What Are Mozart's Greatest Masterpieces?
- Requiem. Even though the story told in “Amadeus” isn’t true, Mozart’s Requiem is still one of the most moving pieces in all of classical music.
- The Magic Flute. Ask a group of singers which opera is Mozart’s greatest, and you’ll hear a whole lot of arguing about Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro.
- Clarinet Concerto. ...
- Symphony No. ...
- Serenade No. ...
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- Symphony No.41 in C, K551 – Jupiter. If he was keeping count Mozart cannot have expected his 41st Symphonyto be his last – but so it turned out. He certainly wrote nothing more complex than this brilliant, ambitious work, the finale of which offers a display of contrapuntal skills second to none in the whole of music.
- Requiem Mass in D minor, K626. Our understanding of Mozart’s Requiemis inevitably coloured by the fact that it was his final work, and that he died before he could complete it.
- Quintet in A for Clarinet and Strings, K581. Mozart’s affinity for the clarinet is evident in many of his works, but particularly in the late pieces that were written for his friend Anton Stadler to play.
- Piano Concerto No.21 in C major, K467. Mozart was a great pianist, and initially made his name in Vienna as a composer of piano concertos that he wrote for himself to play at public concerts.
In the course of his 41 symphonies, Mozart transformed the genre from its often-lighthearted roots into a much more profound artistic statement, setting the stage for Beethoven’s symphonic revolution. And Mozart left the best for last. The “Jupiter” is his longest and most intense symphony.
- He was a quick study. Mozart was so young when he wrote his first piece for violin and piano that he needed his father’s help—not to write the music, but to hold the pencil!
- He had big ambitions. Shortly after Mozart started composing, he got serious: he wrote a major mass and his first opera at age 12.
- He and Haydn were friends. Haydn was already a famous and very respected composer when Mozart was still a child, but their age difference didn’t prevent the two legends from becoming friends later.
- His father was a composer, too. Mozart may not have needed much help with his compositions at an early age, but his father certainly could have helped.
- The Magic Flute: Mozart's last opera. The Magic Flute was the last opera Mozart composed, it was premiered on 30th September 1791 - roughly three months before he died.
- Mozart's father, Leopold: a keen musician. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was the only surviving son of the well-known violin teacher and occasional composer Leopold Mozart, who wrote the pieces including a Trumpet Concerto and the Toy Symphony.
- Mozart Horn Concerto No. 2. Another Hall of Fame favourite often voted by Classic FM listeners is his Horn Concerto No.2 for his friend and horn player Ignaz Leutgeb.
- Mozart Clarinet Concerto: a film music favourite. Another of Mozart’s most popular compositions is the Clarinet Concerto in A Major features in films including ‘The King’s Speech’, '27 Dresses' and 'Out of Africa'.
- Christened Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, he was born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, in what is now Austria. This ecclesiastic principality was part of the Holy Roman Empire at the time, and Mozart was a staunch Catholic.
- His father, Leopold Mozart was a native of Germany and he also composed music, but was primarily a musician for the Prince Archbishop of Salzburg and pedagogue.
- When just three-years-old, Mozart would listen to his sister’s instruction on the clavier (a string keyboard instrument like the harpsichord or the piano), and begin to strike thirds, being delighted with the blending of pitches.
- Mozart began his training at the age of five and could play the clavier faultlessly, and had already begun composing small snippets of music by that time.
- He composed masterfully in every musical format. Operas, choral works, concertos, symphonies, chamber music, solo songs, sonatas… Mozart was one of the few composers in history to compose masterworks in every conceivable musical genre.
- He was a master of dramatic timing. Mozart’s operas are timeless works, featuring perfect dramatic pacing, lifelike characters, and humanistic themes that make them seem fresh and relevant even in the modern era.
- He was a melodic genius. Mozart had a knack for churning out memorable melodies nonstop. Check out the performance of the Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat above – how many sing-able melodies do you hear in the space of just the first five minutes?
- He was writing symphonies when you were playing with stuffed animals. Mozart’s first compositions were short keyboard works produced at the tender age of five years old.
- The Marriage of Figaro. Mozart wrote this enchanting opera in 1786 and it tells the story of the Count and Countess Almaviva and two of their staff – the maid Susanna and the count’s valet Figaro.
- Requiem – Lacrimosa. According to Peter Shaffer’s play (later made into a film) Amadeus, Mozart literally wrote this piece on his deathbed, having been poisoned by Salieri.
- Symphony No. 41 ‘Jupiter’ This is the last symphony Mozart composed and writing in The Guardian, music critic Tom Service has said the work “is written at the furthest edges of the possible for Mozart, in terms of seeing just how many different expressive and compositional contrasts he can cram into a single symphony”.
- Clarinet Concerto. A Classic FM Hall of Fame former No.1, the Clarinet Concerto is one of Mozart’s best-loved works. It was written shortly before Mozart’s death for the clarinettist Anton Stadler and has three movements.
- Purely Gossip. Classical music composers were the rock stars of their time, and like any celebrity who dies young, there is always speculation about their death.
- Not So Glorious Food. Mozart was a great lover of food—especially liver dumplings with sauerkraut. He was also known to enjoy his pork chops and a recent study suggests that pork may literally have been the death of him.
- Skeletons in the Closet. In 2004, researchers from Innsbruck’s Institute of forensic medicine secured permission to dig up a couple of Mozart’s relatives and perform some DNA tests on the remains.
- Macabre Souvenir. In Mozart’s time, only the super rich were buried in permanent graves. Mozart was not one of those fortunate souls and was buried in a community grave along with other bodies.
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