This is Rondo alla Mambo (inspired by the Third Movement of W. A. Mozart’s Horn Concerto No.3) played by French Horn player, Sarah Willis, and the Havana Lyceum Orchestra of Cuba. Sarah Willis is a horn player in the world-renowned Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. She travelled to Havana in Cuba to teach and discovered that music was everywhere, and was very surprised to come across a monument commemorating Mozart. This was the inspiration for her project ‘Mozart y Mambo’ a one-time musical experience combining Mozart’s horn concertos with traditional Cuban music. Find out more about this project here.

The mambo is a genre of Cuban dance music which originated in Cuba in the 1940s. Listen out for the syncopated rhythms and exciting percussion. Compare the mambo-style melody in today’s extract above (from 57 seconds) with Mozart’s original version here from the 1780s.

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