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About the Author: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart full name Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over six hundred works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers.

Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood in Salzburg. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty; at seventeen he was engaged as a court musician in Salzburg, but grew restless and traveled in search of a better position, always composing abundantly. Visiting Vienna in 1781 he was dismissed from his Salzburg position and chose to stay in the capital, where over the rest of life he achieved fame but little financial security. The final years in Vienna yielded many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and the Requiem. The circumstances of his early death have been much mythologized. He was survived by his wife Constanze and two sons.

Mozart always learned voraciously from others, and developed a brilliance and maturity of style that encompassed the light and graceful along with the dark and passionate—the whole informed by a vision of humanity "redeemed through art, forgiven, and reconciled with nature and the absolute". His influence on all subsequent Western art music is profound. Beethoven wrote his own early compositions in the shadow of Mozart, of whom Joseph Haydn wrote that "posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years".


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Find the best price forIdomeneo

Paperback, Published in Jul 2010 by Oneworld Classics

ISBN10: 1847495397 | ISBN13: 9781847495396

Page count: 172

Mozart wrote Idomeneo when he was 24 years old, and the opera was described by Albert Einstein as "one of those works that even a genius like Mozart could write only once in his life." It is one of most astonishing achievements of an altogether astonishing career. In this newly commissioned guide, Julian Rushton explains the special nature of the music in a detailed analysis of its themes and development, while Nicholas Till places the opera in its context as an expression of the Enlightenment. Gary Kahn explores the performance history of an opera which, although largely ignored for more than 150 years, has now taken its place as part of the international operatic repertoire. A selection of the unique letters between Mozart and his father written during the opera's composition is also included. The guide contains a detailed thematic analysis and the original libretto with a facing literal translation of all the words that Mozart set to music in the various performing versions during his lifetime. There is a discography, DVD guide, bibliography, and a list of websites that will allow the reader to explore the opera further.

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