Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, baptized Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart) (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791) was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. His output of over 600 compositions includes works widely acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. Mozart is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers and many of his works are part of the standard concert repertoire.
The youngest child and only surviving son of Leopold Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus was born in
Mozart was essentially an operatic composer, although
As he lay dying Mozart was joined by his friends to sing through parts of a work that he left unfinished. This was his setting of the Requiem Mass, commissioned by an anonymous nobleman, who had intended to pass the work off as his own. The Requiem was later completed by Mozart's pupil Süssmayer, to whom it was eventually entrusted. Mozart composed other church music, primarily for use in
Vocal and Choral Music
In addition to a smaller number of works for vocal ensemble, Mozart wrote concert arias and scenes, some of them for insertion into operas by others. Songs, with piano accompaniment, include a setting of Goethe's Das Veilchen (The Violet).
Mozart wrote his first symphony in
The best known Serenade of all is Eine kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night-Music), a charming piece of which four of the five original movements survive. It is scored for solo strings and was written in the summer of 1787, the year of the opera Don Giovanni and of the death of the composer's father. The Serenata notturna, written in 1776 in
Mozart wrote some 30 keyboard concertos. The earliest of these are four arrangements of movements by various composer, made in 1767, in the form of keyboard concertos. In 1772 Mozart arranged three sonatas by the youngest son of J.S. Bach, Johann Christian, to form keyboard concertos. These last three concertos are not generally included in the numbering of the concertos. Apart from these arrangements Mozart wrote six keyboard concertos during his years in
It was inevitable that Mozart should also show his mastery in music for smaller groups of instruments. With some reluctance he accepted a commission in
Mozart's sonatas for the fortepiano cover a period from 1766 to 1791, with a significant number of mature sonatas written during the years in
There is very little organ music by Mozart or, indeed, by other great composers of the period, although organ improvisation was an art generally practised, then as now. Mozart's organ music includes a few compositions for mechanical organ, one improvisation, transcribed from memory by a priest who heard most of it, and a number of smaller compositions perhaps intended for organ, written in childhood. Mozart's last appointment in