Mozart was born 24 years after Haydn and his experience as a musician was quite different to the experiences of Haydn. Haydn had been very fortunate to be offered several life-changing opportunities and he was also an astute businessmen. Ultimately, Haydn ended up a very wealthy and famous musician in his lifetime.
As a young child Mozart was considered a child prodigy and his father toured him extensively as a performer along with his sister Nannerl. Under the tuition of his father he began composing at a young age and by the end of his life had composed an impressive amount of instrumental music including a large number of symphonies and piano concertos as well as violin concertos, chamber music and operas.
Mozart's concertos in particular "delivered brilliant passagework and impressive displays of virtuosity" that were very popular amongst the Viennese public. This is one example of a Piano Concerto that we studied in class:
During the latter part of his life Mozart worked as a freelance musician, but ultimately died very poor and was buried in Paris in an unmarked grave. Freelancing was a new option for musicians in the Enlightenment period, but for Mozart this was certainly not lucrative. Despite Mozart's financial status by the time he died, he is more popular than ever in the 21st century. More often than not, his pieces are easily recognised by 1st year students - regardless of whether or not they have studied Classical music before!
Here is a youtube clips of one of his more popular symphonies:
Most of our discussions for works of the Classical era have been centred around the musical forms of each piece (such as sonata form and double exposition form). If you find that you are interested in learning more... check out www.otago.ac.nz/music for more information on music courses and local performances at University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Here are two items that we currently have in stock at RELICS that feature performances of Mozart's compositions:
For more info on Beethoven - see RELICS Part III blog post; for more info on Haydn - see RELICS Part I blog post.