Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

November 25, 2012 6:09 am

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote an amazing amount of music, especially for someone who died so young. He was only 35 when he died, yet he composed more than 600 pieces of music. Music lovers place Mozart among the greatest composers who ever lived.
Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria, in 1756. His father started training him so early that by age six Mozart was performing for the kings and queens of Europe. The young child absorbed the music written at the time on his visits to these royal courts. By eight, Mozart was writing his own symphonies.
People loved Mozart’s lively, often humorous music. Even Austrian composer Joseph Haydn, the dominant figure in music then, was a fan. Mozart was famous, successful, and in great demand. His best-known works include the serenade Eine kleine Nachtmusik, the operas The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute, many outstanding piano concertos, and the Requiem Mass in D Minor.
Mozart often wrote music for people who paid him, but he was happiest working for himself. An archbishop who employed Mozart had little interest in music and once dismissed him with a kick in the rear. Most famously, the Austrian emperor accused Mozart of writing music that was too difficult because it had “too many notes.”
Mozart was always troubled by problems with money. To support his family, he gave music lessons and composed constantly. He was working feverishly when he died at 35 years of age in 1791. The cause of his death is not known, and he was buried as a poor person in an unmarked grave.
Mozart completed more than 600 works in all: 41 symphonies, 27 piano concertos, 23 string quartets, 17 piano sonatas, 7 major operas, and numerous works for voice and other instruments. He had a great gift for creating melodies. Some were charming and amusing. Others were sad and intense. He was able to communicate feelings through his music.
Mozart took the styles of Haydn and others and developed his own style, influencing many composers who came after him. He raised the concerto and string quartet to new levels of brilliance. Mozart is considered one of the world’s great musical geniuses.
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