Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Requiem

Mozart - Requiem

Mozart's Requiem is one of the most famous choral works in the classical repertoire. The mournful 'Lacrimosa' is a highlight, but how much of it did Mozart actually write?
We all know that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was one of the most remarkable and naturally gifted musicians in history. But composing a deeply emotional and complex choral Requiem on his death-bed in 1791? Surely even Mozart would've struggled with that. In fact, he did - but what's the real story?
When the quirky Count von Walsegg's wife Anna died on Valentine’s Day 1791, it set in motion a series of events that, one could argue, has never stopped. Walsegg, an accomplished musician himself, anonymously commissioned the piece, totally spooking an already unstable Mozart in the process (he'd been taken ill after a performance of La Clemenza di Tito ). Mozart became consumed by the work, believing he had been cursed to write a requiem for himself, because he was about to die.
The work was never delivered by Mozart, who died before he had finished composing it, only finishing the first few bars of the Lacrimosa. The opening movement, Requiem aeternam, was the only section to be completed. It was brushed into some sort of shape by Mozart’s only composition pupil, Sussmayr, but to the complete lack of satisfaction of scholars down the centuries. As a result, the world and his wife have tried to complete it after him. Regardless, the Requiem still sounds wonderful to most ears.
To add further intrigue, when the unfinished manuscript was displayed in Brussels in the 1950s, a section was torn from the last page and never retrieved. As Mozart worked on the Requiem on his deathbed, it’s highly likely that someone stole the last notes ever written by Mozart.

John Eliot Gardiner conducts

Mozart: Requiem recordings

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Who was Mozart? A Fast & Friendly Guide

Mozart's Biography

Mozart, the most famous classical composer
Johannes Chrystostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart (1756–1791) was arguably the most gifted musician in the history of classical music. His inspiration is often described as 'divine', but he worked assiduously, not only to become the great composer he was, but also a conductor, virtuoso pianist, organist and violinist. Mozart's music embraces opera, symphony, concerto, chamber, choral, instrumental and vocal music, revealing an astonishing number of imperishable masterpieces.
  • Mozart was born in Salzburg, in 1756. Mozart's father, Leopold, was an ambitious composer and violinist.
  • Though he was and still is considered a genius, he was also tactless, arrogant and had a scatological sense of humour.
  • Mozart composed his first opera, Apollo et Hyacinthus when he was only 11. A year later the Emperor Joseph II commissioned him to write La finta semplice.
  • In August 1782 he married Constanze Weber. The Mozarts' marriage seemed to be a happy one. Constanze was easy-going, free-spending and usually pregnant. Only two of their six children survived.
  • Post-marriage, some of Mozart's best started to appear -the Haffner and Linzsymphonies and five string quartets, for example.
  • Between 1784 and 1786, he composed nine piano concertos and three of these concurrently with The Marriage of Figaro.
  • The year 1787 saw the premiere of Mozart's second opera, Don Giovanni.
  • Mozart had a great run of successes in his final years - Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and theClarinet Quintet in A, three of his 41 symphonies; Cosí fan Tutte, three piano trios, the Coronation piano concerto, two piano sonatas and three string quartets.
  • His health began to fail and his work rate slowed in 1790. He got better, though, and in 1791 alone composed the most famous The Magic Flute, the Requiem (unfinished), and the Clarinet Concerto.
  • Mozart did not live long enough to complete his Requiem. He died in Vienna, in 1791, before his 36th birthday.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Music

Chopin Piano Con 1-2WatchMozart - Sonatas

He composed his first sonata at the age of six, and his last just three years before his death in 1791 - what is it about Mozart's sonatas that tells us so much about his life?

horn concerto mozartWatchMozart Horn Concertos

Have you heard the one about the cheesemonger and the horn player? Well, they’re actually the same person, and both he and Mozart were great friends; so much so that the Austrian composer wrote his horn concertos for the brass-blowing cheesemonger.

RequiemWatchMozart - Requiem

Find out more about Mozart's Requiem. Watch and listen to different recordings and download your favourite.

Mozart OperasWatchMozart - Solemn Vespers

Find out more about Mozart's Solemn Vespers. Watch and listen to different recordings and download your favourite.

Vivaldi Flute ConcertoWatchMozart - The Magic Flute

Find out more about Mozart's The Magic Flute. Watch and listen to different recordings and download your favourite.

Classic FM imageWatchMozart - Don Giovanni

Find out more about Mozart's Don Giovanni. Watch and listen to different recordings and download your favourite.

Classic FM imageWatchMozart - Così Fan Tutte

Find out more about Mozart's Così Fan Tutte. Watch and listen to different recordings and download your favourite.


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