Composer Name: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Born : January 27, 1756
Died : December 5, 1791
Nationality : Austrian
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the greatest composer in the Classical period was born on January 27, 1756, in the city of Salzburg, Austria. He was baptized as Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart.
The Child Prodigy
Mozart’s parents emphasized a lot on their children’s music education. His father, Leopold Mozart was a composer, instructor, and famous violinist who was an assistant concertmaster at the Salzburg court. Mozart was a child prodigy who can master multiple instruments. At the age of 6, he was already a budding composer and successful keyboard player who made his first performance at the imperial court in Vienna, Austria. Mozart and his sister, Nannerl followed their father on a musical tour across Europe from 1763 to 1766. From there, he was exposed to music from various styles and genres.
At the age of 13, Mozart followed his father to Italy from 1769-1771. In Italy, he has obtained a commission for an opera and has been accepted as a member of Accademia Filarmonica. Upon returning to Salzburg, he was appointed as an assistant concertmaster. He has composed several symphonies, string quartets, sonatas, serenades and a few operas. He also developed a passion in composing violin concertos.
Life in Paris and Vienna
In August 1777, Mozart has traveled to Paris to look for greater opportunities for his talent. He spent nine difficult months there without securing a good employment. During his time in Paris, his mother fell ill and passed away on July 3, 1778. Mozart returned soon after and his father has found him a job as court organist in Salzburg.
In March 1779, Mozart was summoned to Vienna by his employer, Archbishop von Colloredo who was attending the celebrations for the accession of Joseph II to the Austrian throne. He was treated like a servant and was refused from performing before the Emperor. Mozart was offended and he resigned. He decided to settle down in Vienna as a freelance performer and composer.
Soon, Mozart found his teaching job and started to write music and operas for publication. He was married to Fridolin Weber’s daughter, Constanze on August 4, 1782. The couple had six children, but only two survived infancy. Mozart has spent 10 years in Vienna from age twenty-five to his death at age thirty-five where he experienced the greatest development in his music and composition.
During 1788-1789, Mozart expeienced the lowest point in his life with depression and some form of bipolar disorder. In his mid-thirties, both Mozart’s physical and mental health was deteriorating. He recovered slightly to conduct the premier of The Magic Flute in September 1791 but was fell sick again and confined to bed in November. Mozart died on December 5, 1791 at the age of 35 due to an uncertain cause.
More detailed stories of Mozart can be read from this excellent Mozart’s biography written by Italian historian Piero Melograni.
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The Best Mozart Music
Mozart is a productive and dedicated composer who has composed musical works in various genres. His works include opera, concerto, sonata, symphony, string quartet, string quintet and solo piano. A list of Mozart’s works can be referred here. Read my analysis of Mozart’s piano sonata in C major here.
This book was published on the 200th anniversary of Mozart’s death. It is an informative guide of all Mozart’s works including symphonies, concertos, operas, string quartets and others. The descriptions of each piano work include the time, venue and reasons the work was composed.
Mozart’s Complete Piano Sonatas Performed by Mitsuko Uchida:
This CD box set is a collection of the complete Mozart’s Symphonies performed by Prague Chamber Orchestra which was conducted by Charles Mackerras.
This CD box set contains 12 CDs with the complete Mozart’s piano concertos performed by Murray Perahia with English Chamber Orchestra.
Mozart Sheet Music
Mozart’s earlier works which are suitable for late beginner to intermediate pianist:
Mozart’s Sonata for intermediate to early advanced pianist:
“Melody is the essence of music. I compare a good melodist to a fine racer, and counterpointists to hack post-horses; therefore be advised, let well alone and remember the old Italian proverb: Chi sa più, meno sa—Who knows most, knows least.”
“The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.”
“It is a mistake to think that the practice of my art has become easy to me. I assure you, dear friend, no one has given so much care to the study of composition as I. There is scarcely a famous master in music whose works I have not frequently and diligently studied.”
“When I am ….. completely myself, entirely alone… or during the night when I cannot sleep, it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly. Whence and how these ideas come I know not nor can I force them.”
“I pay no attention whatever to anybody’s praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.”
“Nevertheless the passions, whether violent or not, should never be so expressed as to reach the point of disgust; and music, even in situations of the greatest horror, should never be painful to the ear but should flatter and charm it, and thereby always remain music.”
Do you love Mozart’s music? Which one is your favorite? Share with us in the comment box below!