Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is unquestionably one of the most prolific and most loved composers of classical music. Composing his first melody at the age of five, his first symphony at age eight and his final work, the [unfinished] Requiem Mass in D minor when he was 35, Mozart is credited with more than 600 works. In his short 30 years of composing, Mozart averaged two published compositions per month. Brilliant!
In 1862, 70 years after his death, Ludwig von Köchel completed the Köchel-Verzeichnis, which successfully cataloged Mozart’s 600+ compositions chronologically. As a result, each of Mozart’s works thus contain the designation of K or KV with an accompanying number identifying each composition. For example, one of Mozart’s later works, The Magic Flute, is formally called Die Zauberflöte, K620.
Choosing which of Mozart’s 600 works to record is a lesson in patience. Of the many inspiring Sonatas, Symphonies, Concertos and Operas to choose from, years will be spent selecting and recording just a small selection from the Mozart repertoire!
EMH Classical Music currently offers two Mozart albums and for the month of July EMH puts the spotlight on Mozart Allegro. Recorded by the City of Prague Philharmonic and the Nostiz Quartet, with pianists Vaclav Macha, Jaromir Klepac and Miroslav Sekera, Mozart Allegro is an album that represents some of Mozart’s most memorable, lively and high-energy compositions that EMH Classical Music has recorded.
In creating Mozart Allegro, EMH Classical Music wanted to offer a contrast to its recent Sunday Morning with Mozart album [Shadow Mountain], which is part of Deseret Books’ Sunday Morning Classics series presenting ‘Inspirational Classics for a Peaceful Day’. Mozart Allegro is comprised of 14 mostly Allegro movements of piano sonatas, quartets and symphonies!
The Magic Flute Overture K620 was Mozart’s last opera and perhaps his most beloved. The Magic Flute received high praise from audiences, but, sadly, Mozart died a few months after its premiere.
Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor K310 is one of Mozart’s two piano sonatas written in a minor key. It is said to be his darkest sonata. Pianist Jaromir Klepac performs Movements 1 and 3.
The Nostiz Quartet performs Mozart’s String Quartet No. 3 K156 and String Quartet No. 4 K157. These pieces are two of a collection of six string quartets composed in Milan around 1773. As such, they are known as the Milanese Quartets. In addition to three movements from these two works, the Nostiz Quartet performs the fourth movement, Allegro, from Mozart’s Quartet No. 8 K168.
Pianist Vaclav Macha performs Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 10 in C Major K330. Composed in Paris in 1778, the first movement is light and carefree with repetitive and likely familiar themes.
Mozart’s final symphony was completed in August 1788, three years before his death. Symphony No. 41 In C Major K551 is also commonly referred to as the “Jupiter Symphony”, though this nickname was not created by Mozart himself.
Miroslav Sekera performs Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 18 in D Major K576. It was composed in 1789 and was Mozart’s final piano sonata. This third movement is another sonata with a very familiar melody.
The remaining three Mozart works on Mozart Allegro are perhaps some of Mozart’s most recognizable works. Jaromir Klepac performs the last movement, Alla Turca, of Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major K331, also known as “Turkish March”. It’s one of Mozart’s most famous piano pieces and imitates Turkish Janissary or Ottoman Military bands.
The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra performs the first and fourth movements of Symphony No. 40 in G minor K550. An immediately-recognizable Mozart piece, this Symphony was completed along with Symphonies 39 and 41, all within a six-week period in the summer of 1788. The City of Prague Philharmonic also performs Mozart’s 1787 Serenade for Strings in G Major, K525, commonly known as “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”. Literally translated, it means a little night music; it is actually ‘a little serenade’. As popular and well known as this work is, it was unpublished until nearly 40 years after his death.
More than 200 years after his death, Mozart continues to enrich our lives daily, and today, children worldwide hum one of Mozart’s now famous melodies, without even knowing its origin. Thanks to an English nursery rhyme from the early 1800s, children can look to Mozart as inspiration as they gaze into the sky to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, sing Ba Ba Black Sheep, or learn to sing their ABCs.
Note: This article was written for EMH Classical Music to promote its Spotlight Album for July, Mozart Allegro.
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