17 May 2019, 7.30 pm
St James’s, Piccadilly

Mozart Symphony No. 35, ‘Haffner’
Mozart Symphony No. 40
Haydn Symphony No. 103, ‘Drumroll’

Wond’rous Machine returns to St James’s Piccadilly to explore Mozart and Haydn’s penultimate efforts in the symphonic genre, two of the best-loved but most strikingly different pieces of the age. Mozart’s 35th Symphony utterly transcends its functional origins as background music for the ennoblement of a merchant’s son, remaining festive and simple in tone but with areas of beguiling beauty characteristic of the composer’s last decade. His 40th is nothing less than an enigmatic, minor-mode questioning of the musical Enlightenment, fracturing the confidence and unity we hear in the evening’s other works. Haydn’s ‘Drumroll’ Symphony, named after its opening timpani flourish, was the second-last he wrote for a newly diverse and wildly enthusiastic London crowd. It places the audience front and centre, playing with expectations at every turn and containing music for all types of listener.

Tickets £15-£20 (discounts for Students and Under 18s)


Wond’rous Machine’s ambition is to produce inspiring events, which place familiar music in illuminating historical contexts. Future projects will include Lully’s ballet music for Louis XIV in its natural alliance with the dance of the time; Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas performed alongside courtly masques and entertainments; reconstructing the original programmes of Haydn’s sensational London concerts of the 1790s; and Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro in a staging true to its roots in the commedia dell’arte.