Something miraculous hovers above the music of Mozart. His elegant writing and his rich instrumental colors sound effortless. This deceptive simplicity is the secret of his art. Mozart was born in Salisbury, Austria, the son of Leopold Mozart, an esteemed composer-violinist at the court of the Archbishop of Salisbury. The most extraordinarily gifted child in the history of music, he started to compose before he NAS five, and, with his talented sister Manner, performed at the court of Empress Maria Theresa at the age of six.

By age thirteen, the boy had written sonatas, concertos, symphonies, religious works, and several operas. The high-spirited young artist rebelled against the social restrictions imposed by the patronage system and at twenty-five established himself in Vienna as a struggling freelance musician. In 1782, he married Constance Weber, against his domineering father’s wishes. He reached the peak of his career in the late sass with his three comic operas (The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Coos fan tutee) on librettos by Lorenz dad Point.

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Although in or health, Mozart continued to produce masterpieces for the Viennese public, including his Clarinet Concerto (he was one of the first to compose for this new instrument) and his final opera, The Magic Flute (1791). With a kind of fevered desperation, he then turned to the Requiem Mass, which had been commissioned by a music-loving count. There are Indications that Mozart became obsessed with the notion that this Mass for the Dead was Intended for himself and that he would not live to finish it. He died on December 4, 1791, shortly before his thirty-sixth birthday.

Mozart is revered for the inexhaustible wealth of elegant and sinful melodies. His instrumental music combines a sense of drama with contrasts of mood ranging from lively and playful to solemn and tragic. His orchestration Is colorful, and his development sections full of chromatic harmonies. HIS symphonic masterpieces are the six written in the final decade of his life. In chamber music, Mozart, Like Haydn, favored the string quartet. His last ten quartets are some of the finest In the literature, among them a set of six dedicated to Haydn.