PERFORMING ARTS

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Wolfgang Amadeus MozartMozart-by-Croce-1780-81-01

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart /27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791/, baptized as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era.

Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. At 17, he was engaged as a court musician in Salzburg, but grew restless and travelled in search of a better position, always composing abundantly. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his death

He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers, and his influence on subsequent Western art music is profound; Beethoven composed his own early works in the shadow of Mozart, and Joseph Haydn wrote that “posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years.”

In Rome, he heard Gregorio Allegri’s Miserere twice in performance in the Sistine Chapel and wrote it out from memory, thus producing the first unauthorized copy of this closely guarded property of the Vatican.

Mozart met Joseph Haydn in Vienna around 1784, and the two composers became friends. When Haydn visited Vienna, they sometimes played together in an impromptu string quartet. Mozart’s six quartets dedicated to Haydn date from the period 1782 to 1785, and are judged to be a response to Haydn’s Opus 33 set from 1781. Haydn in 1785 told Mozart’s father: “I tell you before God, and as an honest man, your son is the greatest composer known to me by person and repute, he has taste and what is more the greatest skill in composition.”

On 14 December 1784, Mozart became a Freemason, admitted to the lodge Zur Wohltätigkeit (“Beneficence”). Freemasonry played an important role in the remainder of Mozart’s life: he attended meetings, a number of his friends were Masons, and on various occasions he composed Masonic music, e. g. the Maurerische Trauermusik.

Mozart’s last year was, until his final illness struck, a time of great productivity—and by some accounts, one of personal recovery. He composed a great deal, including some of his most admired works: the opera The Magic Flute; the final piano concerto (K. 595 in B-flat); the Clarinet Concerto K. 622; the last in his great series of string quintets (K. 614 in E-flat); the motet Ave verum corpus K. 618; and the unfinished Requiem K. 626.

Mozart died in his home on 5 December 1791 (aged 35) at 1:00 am.

  • Amazing performance of the music of brother Liszt “Hungarian Rhapsody 16” by Honorable Brother Janos Cegledy and Natsumi Koga.
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