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Friday, January 27, 2017

Musical Interlude: Mozart, #261

Today is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's 261st birthday.

He was born in Salzburg, Austria in 1756. Mozart composed his first symphony at age 8...his first opera at 11. Last year, I showcased some of his early works...a piano piece he wrote when he was five and his first symphony.

Aside from being precocious, he was also versatile. Mozart wrote more than two dozen piano concertos, five violin concertos, four horn concertos, as well as concertos for bassoon, flute, clarinet, trumpet, cello, and various combinations of instruments. In all, Mozart wrote more than 600 pieces of music in his short life of 35 years...

Here are five of his concertos (some complete, some excerpts)...for Horn, Bassoon, Oboe, Clarinet, and Flute. The definition of "concerto" has changed over the centuries and continues to be loosely defined, but generally, a concerto has three movements in which one solo instrument is featured. Accompaniment is usually with an orchestra or chamber orchestra. [FYI, a symphony can resemble a concerto in style and format, however, usually a concerto highlights one solo instrument throughout.]

The nice thing about these videos is that they are of live performances. Enjoy watching the musicians – soloists, orchestra members, and conductors – dance in their own special ways to the music. Most are "head dancers" but quite a few of them move their arms or sway at the waist. Very few, if any, are still while they play.

Mozart's four horn concertos rank among my favorites pieces of music...

Here is Horn Concerto #1 (here is a link to all four)


...the complete Bassoon Concerto.


The first movement of the Oboe Concerto...


...the first movement of the Clarinet Concerto...


...and the first Flute Concerto.


🎼🎼🎼

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