Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1756-1791. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1756-1791. Born in Salzburg 7 th child of Leopola and Anna Maria only he and sister Nannerl survived infancy. Leopold Mozart Very respected composer and violinist. Leopold Mozart, 1765. First composition age 5
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart1756-1791
Very respected composer and violinist
Leopold Mozart, 1765.
transcribed by Leopold
Later composition age 6
Mozart played for kings and queens.
This portrait of him was painted in 1762, when he was six years old.
Children during Mozart’s time dressed just like adults. He just finished playing for Empress Maria Theresa of Austria.
The Mozart Family
As Mozart grew older, his reputation spread. Not only was he a gifted musician, but he could also compose his own music.
Mozart at 14, 1770.
“Though it be long, the work is complete and finished in my mind. I take out of the bag of my memory what has previously been collected into it. For this reason the committing to paper is done quickly enough.”
“What a delight this is I cannot tell — all this producing takes place in a pleasing, lively dream.”
“People make a mistake who think that my art has come easily to me. Nobody has devoted so much time and thought to composition as I. There is not a famous master whose work I have not studied over and over.”
“[My pay is] too much for what I do, too little for what I could do.”
Mozart’s music was meant to be fun and entertaining.
Mozart 2 years before his death in 1777.
Rondo alla Turka
Opera problemsMozart’s solutions:
characters have real, believable personalities
2. plots about mythology,
plots about real-life middle class characters
continuous flowarias and recitatives blended together
3. “stop & go” (aria) (recit.)
4. not cohesive (e.g., sinfonia)
style, orchestration, harmony, melody--all contribute to setting mood & adding depth to characters
"The Best Opera Ever Written"
- Richard Wagner
Italian comic opera
Don Juan as anti-hero –
critique of aristocracy
Rarely performed in the 1800s – now regarded as one of Mozart’s finest operas
Mozart was 36 years old when he died in 1791. In his short life he wrote over 600 compositions.
This portrait, painted after Mozart’s death, is said to look the most like him. It was painted in 1819.
Mozart died penniless despite his enormous talent. One of the greatest composers the world has ever known is buried in an unmarked grave.
- celebration of “common people” v. the decadent aristocracy
Chardin The Prayer before Meal1744
Cosi fan Tutte (they all do it)
3 pairs of voices – symmetry of design appeals to the Classical mind
-- finale from Act II of The Marriage of Figaro
-- an ensemble scene (six voices)
-- contrasting emotions presented simultaneously (compare that to the Baroque ideal aesthetic of Affect, one mood or emotion per piece)