Mozart, Wofgang Amadeus
Austrian born, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was regarded to be the greatest child prodigy the world has ever known. At age four, he heard his older sister playing a harpsichord minuet. Mozart begged his father to let him try the piece, and by ear, he played the piece perfectly. Throughout his life, tragedy struck. He was one of the most talented composers ever to walk the face of the earth, yet he led a life filled with much unhappiness.
Upon traveling to Italy, Mozart fell in love with the Italian opera. One of his most famous peras is The Escape from the Seraglio, in which the heroine was named after his wife Constanze. Although many of the people in Vienna greatly praised this opera, Mozart's patron, Emperor Joseph, was not a fan of the style. Even though Mozart had his streaks of bad luck and his family was often in debt, his marriage to Costanze held many moments of happiness. On Sunday mornings, Haydn and two other musician friends from Vienna would show up at Mozart's residence and would play string quartets. Haydn is quoted as telling Mozart's father, "I declare to you upon my honor that I consider your son the greatest composer that I have ever heard (Kaufmann, 67)."
Mozart composed many operas of which his most loved are The Marraige of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi Fan Tutte. His last opera, The Magic Flute, has charm and intelligence, even though it was written when he was sick and depressed. Ironically, during the same year that he wrote his last opera, a stranger approached Mozart and asked him to write a Requiem Mass. Although the stranger's motives and identity were unclear, Motzart began writing the Requiem Mass that was requested. When it was half finished, Mozart's sickness took a turn for the worse, and he died. The Requiem Mass would be his last composition. When he died the piece included (including Requeim Aeternam, Kyrie Eleison, Dies Irae, and Confutatis, Lacrimosa. Although he only lived to age 35, Mozart is regarded as a prominent musical genius.
Basso continuo, or figured bass, was purely an instrumental concept. It is music that is played by one or more bass instruments and a keyboard instrument. Basso continuo gave bass parts an importance of their own in all areas of ensemble music. It is one of the most distinct features of the Baroque Era as a whole.
The third movement in the classical sonata was called the menuetto or minuet. It was written in a moderately fast tempo, played in the tonic key, and was written in three-four. The minuet had three sections: minuet, trio, and a repeat of the minuet. In a sonata with three movements, the minuet was left out or omitted.
In some of Haydn and in most of Beethoven’s works in sonata form, the third movement was called a scherzo. It utilized the same aspects of the minuet, but was more...