Frederick II of Prussia: Symphony in D


Frederick II (the Great), King of Prussia, aged 68
Frederick II (the Great), King of Prussia, aged 68 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Frederick II of Prussia (Frederick the Great) was a talented musician, played the flute on what would appear a near professional level, and he dabbled extensively in composition, especially in his younger years. Music, for Frederick, was a pleasurable experience, a diversion from the cares of the day, in sort, not at all a philosophical or biographical experience. In fact, much that was written at his court has pretty much faded for that reason; it is not all that memorable. Though the great CPE Bach was a fixture of Frederick's court for a number of years, most of the corpus of his writing lends itself from the Hamburg years, not from Berlin and Potsdam. In Hamburg, the free city allotted a composer greater freedom of "thought" then a royal court.