Friday, October 16, 2009

Contest Literature-Mozart Sonata in c minor, K57, 1st movement

Who is the composer and where is he from? There is a great website that you may want to direct students to:, for this and other composers that is full of "kid friendly" information.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (German: [ˈvɔlfɡaŋ amaˈdeus ˈmoːtsart], full baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. (Did you notice that Amadeus is not in his baptismal name?) He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers. And he and I share a birthday, hence my blog picture!

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 17 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 his life he achieved fame but little financial security. His 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.
What else have they written that we may already know or have heard? Students seem to know Mozart style, they love Rondo Alla Turca, and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
What time period is it from? Classical
What about this piece do you like? The running broken chord octaves and the crossing over of the right hand look fun.
What sounds challenging? Horowitz is rumored to have said that he didn't play Mozart when he was young because it was too easy, and now he doesn't play Mozart as an old man, because he realized it was so difficult.

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