Symphony No. 32 in G Major, K. 318 was composed in 1779, after Mozart’s return from Paris. It is composed for strings, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 4 French horns, 2 trumpets and timpani. It is written in the form of an Italian overture (which is not actually a proper Italian overture or overture da capo ), consisting of three short movements which follow one another without interruption: the Allegro spiritoso, the Andante, the Tempo primo.
The first movement of the symphony unfolds as a sonata form, without repetition of exposition. The two thematic groups are set among transitional material At the very beginning of the first movement a development begins that leads to the first theme of the exposition being developed in different tonalities. But just at the moment when the music is in the dominant and seems as if it is ready for resolution in the tonic, the symphony moves to the slow movement. It is in the form of a rondo (ABACAB). And again, just as the listener is anticipating the return of the rondo, the music moves on – into the third movement, which continues the development of the first theme from the first movement and leads to a “reverse recapitulation” in which the two themes from the first movement are presented in reverse order.
This work was originally thought to be an overture to the opera Thamos , King of Egypt or Zaide (originally, Das Serail), but this is unlikely as the dates of these operas do not coincide with its original manuscript. Moreover, it is well known that Mozart as a rule always wrote the overtures to his stage works last. In 1785 he used the symphony as the overture to the Viennese performance of Francesco Bianchi’s La villanella rapita .
Nowadays, the original score of the symphony is being preserved in The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.