Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1756-1791Born in Salzburg7th child of Leopola andAnna Maria only he and sister Nannerl survived infancy
Leopold Mozart Very respected composer and violinist Leopold Mozart, 1765.
First composition age 5 transcribed by LeopoldLater 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 dressedjust 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.
MozartAble to hear complete pieces inhis headCapability for output 10 years: 8 Symphonies 17 Piano Concertos 6 Operas Clarinet quartet and quintet Requiem Mass 11 String Quartets 5 String Quintets Many Individual Works
“Though it be long, the work iscomplete and finished in my mind. Itake out of the bag of my memorywhat has previously been collectedinto it. For this reason the committingto paper is done quickly enough.” — Mozart
“What a delight this is I cannot tell —all this producing takes place in apleasing, lively dream.” — Mozart
“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.” — Mozart
“[My pay is] too much for what I do, too little for what I could do.” — Mozart
Mozart’s MusicSimple melodiesContrasting moodsRich orchestrationPerfected the serenade
Mozart’s MusicFavored the pianoConcertos written for his performanceLater symphonies considered his bestOperas
Mozart’s music was meant to be fun and entertaining.Mozart 2 years before his death in 1777. Rondo alla Turka
Piano Concerto in A Major K.488 First movement, Allegro 1786sold to Prince von Furstenburgcombined elements of sonata andritornello form
Mozart & Opera Opera problems Mozart’s solutions:1. “stock”characters characters have real, believable personalities2. plots about mythology, plots about real-life middle class gods, aristocracy characters3. “stop & go” continuous flow (aria) (recit.) arias and recitatives blended together4. not cohesive (e.g., style, orchestration, harmony, sinfonia) melody--all contribute to setting mood & adding depth to characters
Don Giovanni"The Best Opera Ever Written" - Richard Wagner
LibrettoBy Court poet – Lorenzo Da Ponte (likeCosi and Figaro)Based on a very well known existingstory.Don Juan is a stock character.Da Ponte and Mozart worked closelytogether on the opera right up to theperformance.
used contemporary characters, not mythologicalDa Ponte figures or ancient history from Rome or Greece (although he did a few of those, too) biting social commentary: the decadent aristocracy is compared to the normal, happy, healthy lust and love of the common folk recitative still used some in German with spoken dialogue
-- all voice ranges used (instead of theBaroque’s treble + bass preference)-- ensembles (groups of solo voices) nowcontrasted with arias and recitative
Don GiovanniItalian comic opera Don Juan as anti-hero – critique of aristocracy Rarely performed in the 1800s – now regarded as one of Mozart’s finest operas 1787
Don Giovanni 1787A comic opera (opera buffa) in 2 acts.Commissioned by the Prague Operacompany after the success in Prague ofMarriage of Figaro.Planned as entertainment for visit ofnewlywed niece of Emperor – thearchduchess Maria Theresia and PrinceAnton Clemens of Saxony – 14 October1787.
The CastAs always the singers determined the nature ofthe music – Mozart had to write to theircapabilities. He knew them all except one as hehad conducted them in Figaro.Don Giovanni – Luigi Bassi had been CountAlmaviva – a fiery Italian `very handsome andvery stupid’ – 22 years old, an excellent mimicand a very good actor.The cast requires 3 females (all sopranos), 5males (3 basses, baritone and tenor), pluschorus. This small cast reflects the Praguecompany exactly.
Characters - MaleDon Giovanni – a cavalier and seducer ofwomen. An ambivalent role that can be playeda number of ways. Needs a great voice. Leporello – servant of Don – his assistant incrime who unlike Don has some reservationsabout their activities.Don Ottavio – fiance of Donna Anna.Masetto – country peasant lover of ZerlinaCommendatore – elderly knight and man ofhonour.
Characters FemaleDonna Anna – daughter ofCommendatore and betrothed to Ottavio.Donna Elvira a highborn lady fromBurgos – used and abandoned by Don.Zerlino – a country girl who Donattempts to seduce.
SynopsisACT IScene 1. The garden of the Commendatores houseA disgruntled Leporello keeps watch while Don Giovanni tries to add Donna Anna to his list ofconquests. Don Giovanni runs from the house, followed by Donna Anna, who is trying to unmask himand calling for help. Her father, coming to her aid, challenges Don Giovanni and is killed by him. DonGiovanni and Leporello make their escape before Donna Anna reappears with her betrothed, DonOttavio, whom she calls on to avenge her dead father.Scene 2. A street near an innDon Giovanni and Leporello come upon Donna Elvira, who has been seduced and abandoned by DonGiovanni and who is pursuing him. Don Giovanni slips away, leaving Leporello to explain to her thatshe is but one of many.Scene 3. The countryside near Don Giovannis houseDon Giovanni and Leporello come upon a peasant wedding. Don Giovanni orders Leporello to distractMasetto, the bridegroom, while he attempts to seduce the bride, Zerlina. He is interrupted by DonnaElvira, who warns Zerlina and persuades her to come away.Donna Anna and Don Ottavio, not realising that Don Giovanni is the villain they are looking for, askfor his help. Elvira appears again and accuses Giovanni of faithlessness, and he tries to convince theothers that she is mad. As he leaves, something in his voice and manner convinces Anna that he is herattacker and the murderer of her father.Leporello reports to his master that he has all the peasants feasting and drinking, and Giovanni ordershim to ply them wine, as he intends to add to his list of conquests.Scene 4. The garden of Don Giovannis houseZerlina manages to convince the reproachful Masetto that she has done nothing wrong, but he is againsuspicious when she is alarmed by Don Giovannis voice. Another attempt on Zerlina foiled byMasettos presence, Don Giovanni leads the couple into the house.Donna Elvira, Donna Anna and Don Ottavio return wearing masks. Accepting Leporellos invitation tojoin the party, they hope this will make their revenge easier.Scene 5. A ballroom in Don Giovannis houseAs the guests feast, dance and sing, Leporello distracts Masetto again and Don Giovanni lures Zerlinainto another room. When she screams for help Giovanni accuses Leporello. But Elvira, Anna andOttavio reveal themselves and confront him with their knowledge of his villainy. He makes his escape in
ACT IIScene 1. A street near an innDon Giovanni soothes Leporellos indignation with money. He has his eyes on Donna Elviras maidand changes clothes with Leporello so he will look like one of her class. Elvira appears at a windowand laments her continuing love for Don Giovanni. He answers from the shadows that he still lovesher, while Leporello, dressed in his clothes, mimes in the street. Elvira comes down and DonGiovanni instructs the disguised Leporello to lead her away while he serenades the maid.Masetto and his friends appear, armed and in search of Don Giovanni, who, pretending to beLeporello, sends the villagers off in different directions, then catches Masetto off guard and beatshim. Zerlina finds Masetto and comforts him.Scene 2. A courtyard near Donna Annas houseLeporello has not managed to free himself from Donna Elvira, who still takes him for his master.Donna Anna, Don Ottavio, Zerlina and Masetto find them and accuse Leporello of Don Giovanniscrimes. Elvira tries in vain to intercede for her "husband" but Leporello reveals his identity, pleadsinnocence and succeeds in making a getaway. Don Ottavios promises to avenge his belovedswrongs.Scene 3. A cemetery, where the Commendatore is buriedDon Giovanni and Leporello have escaped from their pursuers. Giovannis narrative of a girl whotook him for Leporello is interrupted by the voice of the statue of the Commendatore reproving himfor his levity and libertinism. Undeterred, he orders the terrified Leporello to invite theCommendatore to dinner. The statue accepts.Scene 4. A room in Donna Annas houseDon Ottavio tries to calm Donnas Annas grief by reminding her that they will soon be married, butshe begs to him to delay their wedding.Scene 5. A banquet hall in Don Giovannis villaDon Giovanni is interrupted at supper by Donna Elvira, who wants him to change his ways. Helaughs at her and she leaves, but runs back screaming. Investigating, Leporello returns in terror: thestatue has come. The Commendatore enters and, refusing to touch earthly food, invites DonGiovanni to dine with him. Don Giovanni accepts and is engulfed by the flames of hell, steadfastlyrefusing to repent.The other characters sing an epilogue about how the wicked receive their just deserts.
First Performance29 October 1787 beginning at 7pm and planned to endat 9.30.Mozart had composed the overture the night before itwas to be rehearsed.Mozart greeted with great cheers on entering pit toconduct at the keyboard.A great success and a long run of performances.Mozart remained in Prague until 13th November.Boldini wanted Mozart to stay and write another butMozart had to return to Vienna.Prague was always a great supporter of Mozart andMozart remained very fond of the city to the end.
ViennaThe success of Don Giovanni became known in Viennaand helped Mozart get Gluck’s job as Kammermusikusto the Emperor.Command for Vienna performance by Emperor – 7thMay 1788 in Burgtheater.Joseph II already busy on battlefield of second TurkishWar.Some alterations to arias and scenes to accommodateViennese taste and singers available.Mozart conducted first three performances. Onlygradually did Vienna warm to the work.Vienna and Prague versions exist – the Prague isgenerally preferred.
Terror and Effects.Don Giovanni is notable for the introduction ofterror into opera. Naked fear.To do this he uses Trombones – alwaysassociated with the underworld. They do notappear until Commendatore statue appears onstage to condemn Don Giovanni.At the end of Act I three orchestras playsimultaneously on stage. First band playsMinuet in G in ¾ for oboes, horns and strings;then orchestra II turn up and playContradanse in G in 2/4 time; orchestra three
KeysAs always the opera is carefully constructed interms of key relationships.D is the opera key – minor at first (overtureand statue scene at end). Overture and operaend in D major.Second Act leads from G major to A major, Dmajor, F major, E flat (sextet). Then to Dmajor for trumpets and drums. Then to Dminor punishment key for murder. Back to Dmajor then D minor for end of sextet in E flat.
LibertyAct I scene 20 Don’s grant reception in the Hall. Afterintroductory scene with Don, Leporello, Masetto andZerlina – key changes to C major for entry of DonOttavio, Donna Anna and Donna Elvira (all masked).After greeting all Don sings `E aperto tutti, a tuttiquanti, viva, viva la liberta’ (it is open to everyone, longlive liberty).Every one seizes the phrase and it turns into triumphalmarch with trumpets and drumsIS this Da Ponte’s personal tribute to Joseph II and hisideas on personal freedom and enlightenment.
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 enormoustalent. One of thegreatest composersthe world has everknown is buried in an unmarked grave.
K. 550 Symphony in G minor, No. 40July 25, 1788One of the last and most beautiful of themaster.Labeled “Romantic” by the people of the timefor Intensity Chromaticism Unconventionality Thematic development Abundance of Ideas Ambiguity.
Mozart Piano Concerto in G Major, K. 4531784 Mozart wrote 6 piano concertos. Thisone is written for a 19 year old student,Barbara von Ployer.Mozart’s concerti are considered the watershedof classical concerti. Grand flourishes as well asintimate conversations make up this style inMozart’s mind.Notice elements present from chamber musicas well as symphony.Intimate conversation.Laughing strings.
Mozart Piano Concerto in G Major, K. 453March-like character.Grand contrasts.Notice the similarities to the symphony.Use of the woodwinds for coloration.Use of classical forms: ritornello – sonataallegro – rondo.Dazzling writing for the piano as well asfor the orchestra.
The Sonata CycleMovement I: Long Dramatic, Sonata Form:Allegro fastMovement II: Slow and lyrical, Theme andVariations or ABA. Andante, Adagio, or LargoMovement III: Minuet and Trio (18thC.)Minuet and Scherzo (19thC.), Allegretto orAllegroMovement IV: 18th C = lively and happyending, Sonata Allegro, Sonata Rondo, Themeand Variations. Very Fast. Allegro, Vivace,Presto. Grand Finale 19th C. Triumph
The Marriage of Figaro- celebration of “common people” v. thedecadent aristocracyBourgeois (Genre) Chardin The Prayer before Meal 1744
Mozart listening example -- 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)