Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

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0120071203

Donald Macleod opens Mozart's address book to discover the friends, family and fellow musicians who inspired some of his greatest music. These include a piano sonata written to perform with Mozart's sister Nannerl, and a horn concerto for his virtuoso friend Joseph Leutgeb.

Sonata for 4 hands, K381

Martha Argerich, Alexandre Rabinovitch (piano)

Die Schuldigkeit Des Ersten Gebots (excerpts)

Margaret Marshall, Ann Murray (soprano)

Hans Peter Blochwitz (tenor)

Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart

Neville Marriner (conductor)

Horn Concerto, K417

Barry Tuckwell (horn)

English Chamber Orchestra

Ah, lo Previdi! Emma Kirkby (soprano)

The Academy of Ancient Music

Christopher Hogwood (conductor)

0120090302

Donald Macleod explores Mozart's Vienna years, focusing on the composer's arrival in Vienna as he set about establishing himself in all the right circles, in particular, the regular Sunday afternoon gatherings at the home of the diplomat Baron Gottfried van Swieten, who introduced Mozart to the music of Bach and Handel.

The music includes two major chamber works: the powerful - and most un-serenade-like - Serenade in C minor, K388, and the String Quartet in E flat, K428 - one of Mozart's six so-called 'Haydn' quartets, written in tribute to the older composer.

Donald Macleod looks at Mozart's arrival in Vienna, as he began establishing himself.

0120160711

Donald Macleod explores Mozart's childhood, spent as much away from Salzburg as at home.

Donald Macleod explores Mozart's complex relationship with the city of his birth, Salzburg.

There is no place where Mozart's name is more feted than in his home city of Salzburg. Mozart's own feelings about the city of his birth were ambivalent at best. He was often unhappy there; frustrated by the limitations of musical life in Salzburg and increasingly at loggerheads with his overbearing employer, the high-handed Archbishop Colloredo. "How I detest Salzburg", he wrote, and sought to escape the place on many occasions. Nevertheless this was the place where he spent his formative years, where he composed many great works, and where he developed into the composer we now celebrate as one of the greatest of any age. All this week Donald Macleod explores the story of Mozart's relationship with the place where his genius was forged.

Mozart's childhood was spent as much away from Salzburg as at home. Colloredo's predecessor, old Archbishop Schrattenbach, tolerated, even encouraged the young prodigy's trips abroad with his father to visit royal courts across Europe. He must have suspected, though, that the Mozart family was even then planning their escape from provincial Salzburg.

Don Giovanni: Overture

La Cetra Barockorchester Basel

Andrea Marcon, conductor

Coronation Mass K317 (Kyrie, Gloria and Credo)

Susan Gritton, soprano

Frances Bourne, mezzo-soprano

Sam Furness, tenor

George Humphreys, baritone

Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge

St. John's Sinfonia

John Challenger, organ

Andrew Nethsingha, conductor

Church Sonata K.67

Margaret Faultless, violin

Simon Jones, violin

Andrew Skidmore, cello

Kate Aldridge, double-bass

Symphony No.8 in D major

English Chamber Orchestra

Jeffrey Tate, conductor

Regina coeli K108

Lynda Russell, soprano

St Paul's Cathedral Choir

St. Paul's Mozart Orchestra

Andrew Carwood, conductor.

01177720141110

Donald Macleod explores the events of 1777, the year Mozart came of age.

This week, Donald Macleod dips into five key years of Mozart's life, and presents five of his chamber works for solo wind and strings. These works span Mozart's entire career, ranging from his four exquisite flute quartets to the late clarinet quintet - arguably one of the greatest chamber works ever composed.

We begin in 1777, the year Mozart came of age. After a dazzling career as a child prodigy, his mature genius was beginning to flower in works such as the Piano Concerto No.9 in E flat ("Jeunehomme") and the dramatic concert aria "Ah, lo previdi". Increasingly frustrated by the limits of his position in Salzburg, the ambitious young composer set off for Mannheim - with mixed results.

01A Peaceful And Domesticated Existence20170904

A sonata for a love-struck pupil, some serious serenading and Mozart gets married.

This week Donald Macleod explores the miraculous chamber music of Mozart's Vienna years. Today, a sonata for a love-struck pupil; some serious serenading; and Mozart gets married.

When Mozart found himself forcefully ejected from his position at the Salzburg court of Prince-Archbishop Hieronymus Colloredo, it was just what he wanted; he had become bored with the cosily comfortable but suffocating confines of life in livery and was itching to try his luck as a freelance composer and performer in the musical capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Vienna. His first priority was making a living, and the fastest route to doing that was to take private pupils. One such was Josepha Auernhammer, a musically gifted but - at least in Mozart's eyes - personally unprepossessing young woman who quickly developed a crush on him. Her feelings were not returned, but Mozart did toss off a dashingly galant masterpiece to perform with her: his Sonata in D for two pianos, K 448. Much more serious in tone was his contribution to what was traditionally considered a somewhat light-weight genre; the Serenade in C minor for pairs of oboes, clarinets, horns and bassoons is more of a symphony for wind instruments than the usual brand of superior aristocratic background music. The month after he wrote that serenade, his persistent serenading of a young soprano, Constanze Weber, finally paid off when she became Constanze Mozart. As Mozart had explained in a letter to his father Leopold - who was not at all happy with the match - his disposition was "inclined to a peaceful and domesticated existence", and evidently Constanze was the key. She had, Mozart said, "no wit", but she made up for it with "enough common sense to enable her to fulfil her duties as a wife and mother". Praise indeed!

Rondo in A for string quartet, K 464a
Emerson Quartet

Sonata in D for two pianos, K 448
Murray Perahia, Radu Lupu, (pianos)

Serenade in C minor for 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 horns and 2 bassoons ('Nacht Musik'), K 388
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

01The Mozart Family Grand Tour20120625

Donald charts what has come to be known as the Mozart Family Grand Tour.

Between the ages of 5 and 35, Mozart clocked up some 3,720 days on tour; that's more than 10 of his not-quite-36 years. This week, Donald Macleod clambers into the Mozart family carriage to plot a selective course through the composer's Awaydays, from his earliest outings as an infant phenomenon to his final trip three decades later.

Today's programme charts the extraordinary course of the three-and-a-half-year journey around Western Europe that has come to be known as the Mozart Family Grand Tour, on which the 7-year-old Mozart embarked with his father Leopold, mother Anna Maria and sister Nannerl in June 1763.

01Young Artists Day - A Child Prodigy20150504

As part of Young Artists Day on Radio 3, Martin James Bartlett, BBC Young Musician of the Year 2014, joins Donald Macleod to explore the early life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, discuss life as a young pianist, and also perform in the studio part of Mozart's Piano Sonata in F major K332.

He took the 'land of the clavier', Vienna, by storm, becoming something of a pioneer in composing piano concertos, this week Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. From his early beginnings in Salzburg as a child prodigy, being paraded by his father around Europe performing for kings and queens, and up until his early death in Vienna, Mozart was a prodigious composer in many genres including chamber music and opera. It was his talent as a pianist that really had audiences speechless in Vienna. He organised subscription concerts in the Auergarten, arriving on stage in a succession of fancy coats, and then proceeded to amaze his listeners with his latest piano concertos. This week Donald Macleod focuses each day on one of Mozart's piano concertos, and the period in which it was composed.

Nannerl said of her brother Wolfgang, that he had to be restricted from composing or practicing the keyboard at all hours. The child Mozart was a prodigy, and was keen to show off his talents. His father Leopold took Nannerl and Wolfgang on a number of trips around Europe, where they performed for the nobility and royalty. Mozart's main instrument was the harpsichord, but he also took to the violin. One of his first works to appear in print was his sonata for keyboard with violin accompaniment in C major K6.

Leopold described his son as a miracle which God caused to be born in Salzburg. However Leopold realised that Salzburg was too small a place to restrict the talents of his prodigy son, so he made sure Mozart's abilities were recognised far and wide. It was whilst on tour in London that Mozart composed his early Symphony No 4 in D major.

0220071204

As a child prodigy, Mozart had tasted success at the court of Mannheim. He returned there with his mother at the age of 21 in search of work, but instead found love. Donald Macleod explores Mozart's unrequited passion for the soprano Aloysia Weber - though it was her sister Constanze who became his wife.

An aria for the revered castrato Venanzio Rauzzini and a piano sonata for a pupil in Mannheim also feature.

Exsultate, Jubilate

Felicity Lott (soprano)

London Mozart Players

Jane Glover (conductor)

Non so d'onde Viene

Natalie Dessay (soprano)

Orchestre de l'Opera de Lyon

Theodor Guschlbauer (conductor)

Sonata in C, K309

Ronald Brautigam (fortepiano)

Konstanze! Dich wieder zu sehen! - O wie angstlich, o wie feurig (Die Entfuhrung auf dem Serail, Act 1)

Belmonte....Ian Bostridge (tenor)

Les Arts Florissants

William Christie (director).

0220090303

Donald Macleod explores Mozart's Vienna years, describing the visit of the composer's father, Leopold, to his new apartment in Vienna - which was to be the last time they would see each other. The programme features Mozart's Piano Concerto in D minor, K466, which was undergoing its finishing touches as Leopold arrived. There is also a lesser-known work, Davidde Penitente or The Penitent David, whose music Mozart partially recycled from the mighty Mass in C minor, left incomplete in 1783.

02178120141111

Donald Macleod explores the year that saw Mozart arrive in Vienna, the city where he would spend the final decade of his tragically short life.

This week, Donald Macleod dips into five key years of Mozart's life, and presents five of his chamber works for solo wind and strings. These works span Mozart's entire career, ranging from his four exquisite flute quartets to the late clarinet quintet - arguably one of the greatest chamber works ever composed.

1781 was the year Mozart finally escaped the petty frustrations of working for his patron, Archbishop Colloredo. He travelled first to Munich and then to Vienna. His opera Idomeneo was Mozart's major success on stage that year, and he also found time to compose several beguiling chamber works, including the second of this week's featured works for wind and strings: his Oboe Quartet in F.

Donald Macleod concentrates on the year Mozart arrived in Vienna, 1781.

02Bach To The Future20170905

A great act of musical generosity and a revelatory encounter with two past masters.

This week Donald Macleod explores the miraculous chamber music of Mozart's Vienna years. Today, a great act of musical generosity and a revelatory encounter with two past masters.

Mozart's attendance at the regular Sunday afternoon gatherings of the diplomat Baron Gottfried van Swieten was more than just a matter of social networking; it was here that he encountered for the first time large-scale works by Bach and Handel that had fallen into widespread neglect since the composers' deaths. The effect on Mozart's writing is palpable, but it's an influence that he absorbed fully into his own musical language - a language so distinctive that it's surprising anyone could have been taken in by his attempt to pass off his magnificent Duo in B flat for violin and viola as a work by his old Salzburg court colleague Michael Haydn - a gifted composer, but hardly in Mozart's league. Haydn had run into a spot of bother with his employer, Archbishop Colloredo, who had commissioned him to write a set of six duos; but because of illness he'd only managed to complete four. Mozart obliged by dashing off the missing pair and allowing Haydn to claim them as his own. As Donald observes, "the richness of texture and ideas that Mozart manages to conjure from just half a string quartet is truly remarkable." Difficulties of a different sort were posed by the ensemble he wrote for in his Quintet in E flat, K 452. It's written for the unusual combination of piano, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn, which created problems of tonal blend for which Mozart found ingenious solutions. He was clearly delighted with the result, describing it in a letter as "the best thing I have ever written in my life".

Fugue in C minor for 2 pianos, K 426
András Schiff, Peter Serkin (pianos)

Duo in B flat for violin and viola, K 424
Antje Weithaas (violin)
Tabea Zimmermann (viola)

Quintet in E flat for piano, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn, K 452
András Schiff (piano)
Heinz Holliger (oboe)
Elmar Schmid (clarinet)
Klaus Thunemann (bassoon)
Radovan Vlatkovic (horn).

02Battles With Authority20150505

Donald Macleod focuses on the period in which Mozart composed his Piano Concerto No 9.

He took the 'land of the clavier', Vienna, by storm, becoming something of a pioneer in composing piano concertos, this week Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Relations between the Archbishop of Salzburg and one of his employees, young Mozart, were not going well. The Archbishop found Mozart insubordinate and rebellious, and forbade him to compose any further symphonies. Instead Wolfgang was expected to regularly churn out suitable entertainment music for his employer including serenades, marches, and divertimenti, including his Divertimento in F major No 10 K247.

Mozart however pushed against the boundaries where he could, including writing a series of violin concertos. He also had the opportunity to compose much liturgical music including his Litaniae de venerabili altaris sacramento K243. It was however for a visiting French pianist that Mozart composed the first of his great piano concertos, No 9 in E flat major K271. He wrote this work in the month that he turned twenty-one, and there was a sense of dialogue between the soloist and the orchestra, which was quite new for listeners at that time.

02In Service20160712

There is no place where Mozart's name is more feted than in his home city of Salzburg. Mozart's own feelings about the city of his birth were ambivalent at best. He was often unhappy there; frustrated by the limitations of musical life in Salzburg and increasingly at loggerheads with his overbearing employer, the high-handed Archbishop Colloredo. "How I detest Salzburg", he wrote, and sought to escape the place on many occasions. Nevertheless this was the place where he spent his formative years, where he composed many great works, and where he developed into the composer we now celebrate as one of the greatest of any age. All this week Donald Macleod explores the story of Mozart's relationship with the place where his genius was forged.

Archbishop Colloredo took over as ruler of Salzburg in 1772, and immediately moved to curb Mozart's regular jaunts around Europe. He was determined that the child genius should contribute more fully to musical life at home and put Mozart to work writing for the church. If it rankled, taking what was in effect a servants job, after all the adulation he'd enjoyed abroad, Mozart didn't show it...yet.

Il Sogno di Scipione (Aria "Se vuoi che te reccolgano")

Claes H. Ahnsjö, tenor (Publio)

Salzburger Kammerchor

Mozarteum-Orchester Salzburg

Leopold Hager, director and continuo

Exsultate, jubilate, K165

Emma Kirkby, soprano

The Academy of Ancient Music

Christopher Hogwood, director

Serenade in D major, K203 (last 2 movts)

Tapiola Sinfonietta

Jean-Jacques Kantorow

Piano Concerto No 1 in F major, K37

Arthur Schoonderwoerd, harpsichord

Cristofori

Emilio Moreno, concertmaster.

Donald Macleod on Mozart's service for the church in Salzburg under Archbishop Colloredo.

02The Land Where The Lemon Trees Grow20120626

Yesterday's programme eavesdropped on the Mozart family's mammoth Grand Tour round the cultural capitals of Western Europe. Today, Donald Macleod explores the teenage Mozart's three trips to Italy, which laid the foundation for his future operatic masterpieces.

Donald Macleod explores the teenage Mozart's three trips to Italy.

0320071205

Donald Macleod explores Mozart's relationship with his nemesis Antonio Salieri with a complete performance of the opera Der Schauspieldirektor, commissioned by Emperor Joseph II for a battle of the Italian and German opera companies in Vienna. But it was Mozart's relationship with the operatic genius librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte that proved more fruitful.

Der Schauspieldirektor

Magda Nador, Krisztina Laki (sopranos)

Thomas Hampson (baritone)

Harry van der Kamp (bass)

Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam

Nikolaus Harnoncourt (conductor)

Marriage of Figaro (finale)

Figaro....Bryn Terfel (baritone)

Susanna....Alison Hagley (soprano)

Count Almaviva....Rodney Gilfry (baritone)

Countess Almaviva....Hillevi Martinpelto (soprano)

Cherubino....Pamela Helen Stephen (mezzo-soprano)

Marcellina....Susan McCulloch (mezzo-soprano)

Bartolo....Carlos Feller (bass)

Basilio....Francis Egerton (tenor)

Antonio....Julian Clarkson (bass)

Barbarina....Lucinda Houghton (soprano)

The Monteverdi Choir

The English Baroque Soloists

John Eliot Gardiner (conductor)

Ch'io mi Scordi di Te

Christine Schafer (soprano)

Maria Joao Pires (piano)

Berlin Philharmonic

Claudio Abbado (conductor).

0320090304

Donald Macleod explores Mozart's Vienna years, focusing on the importance to the composer of Johann Leutgeb, an old colleague of Mozart's from Salzburg days. Leutgeb was a talented horn player and, somewhat bizarrely, a cheese-shop owner, for whom Mozart wrote several works, including the famous Concerto in E flat, K495.

The programme also looks at the end of the Viennese public's love affair with Mozart's music, as the fun-loving Viennese struggled to keep pace with the intensity of works like the String Quintet in G minor, K516.

Donald Macleod explores the end of the Viennese public's love affair with Mozart's music.

03178220141112

Donald Macleod on the events of 1782, when Mozart married and composed his most bawdy song

Donald Macleod explores the events of 1782 - a year when Mozart both married his wife Constanze, and composed his most notorious bawdy song.

This week, Donald Macleod dips into five key years of Mozart's life, and presents five of his chamber works for solo wind and strings. These works span Mozart's entire career, ranging from his four exquisite flute quartets to the late clarinet quintet - arguably one of the greatest chamber works ever composed.

1782 was a pivotal year for Mozart, as he wed Constanze Weber in a ceremony that attracted ill-feeling and familial strife from all sides. Meanwhile, this year saw him compose two utterly contrasting, yet enchanting, chamber works: the delightful variations on "Ah Vous Dirai-Je Maman" (better known as Mozart's variations on "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"), and the notoriously lewd canon for six voices, K.231. Completing the events of this turbulent year, Donald Macleod introduces a complete performance of Mozart's Horn Quintet in E Flat - written for the virtuoso Joseph Leutgeb.

03The Greatest Composer20170906

Featuring one of the string quartets that caused Haydn to declare Mozart 'the greatest'.

This week Donald Macleod explores the miraculous chamber music of Mozart's Vienna years. Today, one of the string quartets that caused Haydn to declare Mozart 'the greatest'.

In December 1784, Joseph Haydn, the man considered by many to be the leading composer of the age, escaped the gilded cage of Eszterháza - a mini Versailles set deep in Hungarian marshland, where he was director of music for the opera-mad Prince Nikolaus Eszterházy - to spend the Christmas season amidst the bright lights of Vienna. The following February he was guest of honour at a soirée at his good friend Mozart's swanky new apartments near St Stephen's Cathedral - not any old soirée, but the occasion on which Mozart unveiled three of the six brand new string quartets that would in due course come to be regarded as cornerstones of the Classical repertoire. They quickly became known as his 'Haydn Quartets', in view of the warm and respectful dedication to the older composer that Mozart included in the published edition. We know the dedicatee was impressed, because Mozart's father Leopold, who was visiting Vienna at the time, was also present at the performance, and proudly recorded Haydn's words to him in a letter to his daughter Nannerl: "I say to you before God and as an honest man, your son is the greatest composer known to me in person and by reputation: he has wit and taste and what is more, he has the most thorough knowledge of composition." Included on the programme that evening was Mozart's Quartet in C - the one that's acquired the nickname 'Dissonance', due to the extraordinarily forward-looking harmonies of its slow introduction.

12 Variations in G for piano and violin on 'La Bergère Célimène', K359
Ingrid Haebler (piano)
Henryk Szeryng (violin)

String Quartet in C, K 465 ("Dissonance")
Quatuor Mosaïques.

03Theatrical Diversions20160713

Mozart's frustrations with his position in Salzburg become increasingly obvious.

There is no place where Mozart's name is more feted than in his home city of Salzburg. Mozart's own feelings about the city of his birth were ambivalent at best. He was often unhappy there; frustrated by the limitations of musical life in Salzburg and increasingly at loggerheads with his overbearing employer, the high-handed Archbishop Colloredo. "How I detest Salzburg", he wrote, and sought to escape the place on many occasions. Nevertheless this was the place where he spent his formative years, where he composed many great works, and where he developed into the composer we now celebrate as one of the greatest of any age. All this week Donald Macleod explores the story of Mozart's relationship with the place where his genius was forged.

Mozart spent the entirety of 1774 kicking his heels in Salzburg; the longest continuous period he'd spent at home since he was six. A brief diversion presented itself when he was asked to produce an opera for Munich but, ultimately, he found his theatrical ambitions once again thwarted. Mozart's frustrations with his position in Salzburg were becoming obvious.

Bassoon Concerto, K191 (1st movt)

Eckart Hübner, bassoon

Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester

"L'amerò, sarò costanta" (Il re pastore, Act 2, Scene 2)

Reri Grist, soprano (Aminta)

The Orchestra of Naples

Denis Vaughan, conductor

Epistle Sonata in C, K328

Catherine Mackintosh, violin

Miranda Fulleylove, violin

Jennifer Ward Clark, cello

Andrew Lumsden, organ

Missa Brevis in C, K220 (Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei)

Ruth Holton, soprano

Charles Brett, countertenor

Andrew Tusa, tenor

Henry Wickham, bass

The Quiristers of Winchester College and Choral Scholars

The Amadi Orchestra

Julian Smith, conductor

Violin Concerto No.4 in D, K218

Simon Standage, violin

The Academy of Ancient Music

Christopher Hogwood, conductor.

03Triumph And Tragedy In Paris20120627

When Mozart visited Paris as a child, the Parisians fêted him as a wunderkind. Today's programme finds him back in Paris - but now he's 22, and is met with a snooty Parisian indifference. He eventually scores a success with his 'Paris' Symphony, but at a huge personal cost - the death of his mother.

Donald Macleod explores Mozart's fateful trip to Paris, during which time his mother died.

03Wolfgang In Vienna20150506

Donald Macleod focuses on Mozart's time as a freelance musician in Vienna.

He took the 'land of the clavier', Vienna, by storm, becoming something of a pioneer in composing piano concertos, this week Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

In the early 1780s, Mozart was making his way as a freelance musician in Vienna. He'd finally left the employment of Archbishop Colloredo in Salzburg, and was now dazzling Viennese audiences with his music, such as his the Rondo in D major K382 for piano and orchestra. His latest opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail also had quite an impact in Vienna, even though Emeperor Joseph II was supposed to have said that the music was too beautiful, and "a monstrous many notes".

On top of Mozart's growing popularity, there was another reason for his interest for remaining in Vienna. Wolfgang had previously fallen in love with Aloysia Weber, but she was now married. His affections turned to her younger sister Constanze, whom he then married. During this same period, Mozart's career as a virtuoso performer in Vienna was in the ascent. In partnership with a musician called Martin, he organised and gave a number of subscription performances. At these concerts which often included in the audience the Emperor, Mozart wowed his public with his artistry, performing his latest works including the Concerto No 13 in C major K415 for piano and orchestra.

0420071206

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

4/5. Mozart was an ardent freemason, as were several of his friends. Freemasonry suited his philosophical ideals, his liberal outlook and his sociable nature. Donald Macleod investigates the influence of freemasonry on Mozart's music in The Magic Flute and the cantata Die Maurerfreude (The Mason's Joy). Haydn, a fellow freemason, was the inspiration for a set of six string quartets, including The Dissonance, K465.

Der Holle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen (Die Zauberflote)

Queen of the Night....Natalie Dessay (soprano)

Les Arts Florissants

William Christie (director)

Die Zauberflote (Sc 29)

Papageno....Anton Scharinger (baritone)

Papagena....Linda Kitchen (soprano)

Monostatos....Steven Cole (tenor)

Three Ladies....Anna-Maria Panzarella, Doris Lamprecht, Delphine Haidan (sopranos and mezzo)

Sarastro....Reinhard Hagen (bass)

Die Maurerfreude

Werner Krenn (tenor)

Edinburgh Festival Chorus

London Symphony Orchestra

Istvan Kertsz (conductor)

String Quartet in C, K465 (Dissonance)

Budapest String Quartet

0420090305

Donald Macleod explores Mozart's Vienna years, focusing on his growing worries about money, as he dashed off begging letter after begging letter to his wealthy friends and fellow freemasons.

It was in this troubled frame of mind that Mozart composed two of his best-known works -the Piano Sonata, K545, and the Jupiter Symphony, which, although sharing the key of C major, are two very distinct pieces.

Donald Macleod explores how, despite serious money trouble, Mozart wrote two great works.

04178720141113

Donald Macleod explores the aftermath of the death of Mozart's father, Leopold, in 1787.

This week, Donald Macleod dips into five key years of Mozart's life, and presents five of his chamber works for solo wind and strings. These works span Mozart's entire career, ranging from his four exquisite flute quartets to the late clarinet quintet - arguably one of the greatest chamber works ever composed.

1787 saw Mozart visit Prague for the first time, where he was received with both a rapturous welcome and a new operatic commission - Don Giovanni. Yet amongst the year's tremendous success, he suffered the loss of the most influential figure in his life, his father Leopold. Donald Macleod introduces two perennial favourites, "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" and the "Catalogue" Aria from Don Giovanni, as well as Mozart's exquisite Flute Quartet no.4.

04Dissatisfied In Vienna20150507

Donald Macleod considers why, disheartened in Vienna, Mozart considered moving to London.

He took the 'land of the clavier', Vienna, by storm, becoming something of a pioneer in composing piano concertos, this week Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

In 1786, Mozart organised a number of subscription concerts at the Burgtheatre in Vienna. At these events he performed his latest music, including the Concerto No 23 in A major K488 for piano and orchestra. His popularity as a concert pianist had by now peaked, and Mozart was frustrated that he'd still not been able to secure a position at court.

Mozart now cancelled any further subscription concerts, and considered moving to France or England where he thought the prospects were better. The Emperor Joseph II upon hearing the rumours that Mozart was planning to leave, promptly offered him the post of chamber musician. Set against this good fortune, was the tragic news that Mozart's father Leopold had died. Around this time of grief Mozart composed relatively little, but he did complete his opera Don Giovanni K527.

04Home Is Where The Heart Is?20120628

In today's programme, Donald Macleod eavesdrops on Mozart - now all big and grownup, married and living in Vienna - as he returns to his native Salzburg for an uncomfortable family reunion. Experiencing once again the stultifying atmosphere of provincial Salzburg can only have convinced Mozart that he had done the right thing by getting out of there. Back in Vienna a little over three months later, he and his wife Constanza discovered that their first son, Raimund Leopold, whom they had left behind with a foster carer, had been dead for more than a month.

Donald Macleod eavesdrops on Mozart as he returns to his native Salzburg.

04Music And Skittles20170907

A penchant for Kegel, a Trio for Natschibinischibi and 'Anglomania' hits Vienna.

This week Donald Macleod explores the miraculous chamber music of Mozart's Vienna years. Today, a penchant for Kegel; a Trio for Nàtschibinìschibi; and 'Anglomania' hits Vienna.

Kegel - skittles - was a popular leisure-pursuit in late-18th-century Vienna. There were bowling alleys in public parks, and some people even went so far as to set them up in their own gardens - among them Mozart and his wife Constanze, both keen players of the game. Evidently Mozart was prone to musical doodling between turns, and on one occasion in July 1786, according to his inscription on the score, he produced a set of horn duos "during a game of skittles". Not long after dashing off those throwaway little numbers, Mozart produced a real masterpiece: his serene Trio in E flat for clarinet, viola and piano - better known as the Kegelstatt - that's to say, Bowling Alley - Trio. Why it acquired this implausible nickname isn't clear, but it seems to have been added by a publisher, perhaps due to some confusion stemming from the story of the horn duos. Mozart probably wrote it to perform with two good friends - the great clarinet virtuoso Anton Stadler, whom he honoured with one of his silly nicknames: Nàtschibinìschibi; and one of his most talented piano pupils, Franziska von Jacquin. A more transitory fad than Kegel was the 'Anglomania' that seized Vienna's fashionable society during this period, the men donning "round hats, large greatcoats of rough material, full neckerchiefs, dark frock-coats with high collars, boots and spurs", and the women showing "a liking for horse-riding, tea, hats, anglaise dances, speaking English and reading books, and a general preference for any male, young or old, handsome or hideous, who lives any where between the Isle of Wight and Orkney". The Viennese, however, were notoriously fickle in their tastes, and by the time Mozart wrote his G minor String Quintet, K 516, he must have been well aware that his music was now decidedly out of fashion. It's tempting to hear despondency at his personal situation in the opening movements of the Quintet, but after a doom-laden introduction, the finale throws tragedy aside and brings a sunny resolution to a work that began in the depths of despair.

12 Duos for 2 horns, K 487; No 1, Allegro
Iman Soeteman and Jan Peeters (horns)

Trio in E flat for clarinet, viola and piano, K 498 ('Kegelstatt')
Martin Fröst (clarinet)
Antoine Tamestit (viola)
Leif Ove Andsnes (piano)

String Quintet in G minor, K 516
Grumiaux Trio (Arthur Grumiaux, violin; Georges Janzer, viola; Eva Czako, cello)
?rpád Gérecz (violin 2)
Max Lesueur (viola 2).

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Mozart is dismissed from the Salzburg court and sets out for Paris.

There is no place where Mozart's name is more feted than in his home city of Salzburg. Mozart's own feelings about the city of his birth were ambivalent at best. He was often unhappy there; frustrated by the limitations of musical life in Salzburg and increasingly at loggerheads with his overbearing employer, the high-handed Archbishop Colloredo. "How I detest Salzburg", he wrote, and sought to escape the place on many occasions. Nevertheless this was the place where he spent his formative years, where he composed many great works, and where he developed into the composer we now celebrate as one of the greatest of any age. All this week Donald Macleod explores the story of Mozart's relationship with the place where his genius was forged.

After yet another ill-judged request for an absence of leave, Colloredo finally lost his patience with Mozart. He rudely dismissed the composer from his Salzburg court. Mozart set out for Paris to seek his fortune but disappointment and tragedy would follow. He was forced to return, chastened and bereft.

Concerto for Flute and Harp, K299 (3rd movt)

Patrick Gallois, flute

Fabrice Pierre, harp

Swedish Chamber Orchestra

Vespers, K339 (Beatus Vir, Laudate Pueri, Laudate Dominum, Magnificat)

Elin Manahan Thomas, soprano

Ruth Massey, mezzo soprano

Mark Dobell, tenor

Roderick Williams, baritone

The Sixteen

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

Harry Christophers, conductor

Sinfonia Concertante, K363 (II. Andante)

Isaac Stern, violin

Pinchas Zukerman viola

English Chamber Orchestra

Daniel Barenboim, conductor

Idomeneo: Act II, Scene 6

Werner Hollweg, tenor (Idomeneo)

Trudeliese Schmidt, mezzo soprano (Idamante)

Felicity Palmer, mezzo soprano (Elettra)

Mozartorchester and Chor des Opernhauses, Zurich

Nikolaus Harnoncourt, conductor.

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He took the 'land of the clavier', Vienna, by storm, becoming something of a pioneer in composing piano concertos, this week Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The year 1790 began well with the premiere of Mozart's opera Cosi fan tute. It was a success in Vienna which earned him a fee of two hundred ducats. Unfortunately his finances were not in a good state, and one friend found Mozart and Constanze dancing around their apartment simply to keep warm. Through an act of generosity came a commission, for which Mozart composed his String Quintet in E flat major K614.

1791 would prove to be Mozart's last. It was then that he completed his final piano concerto, No 27 in B flat major K595, although the paper he used to write this work, suggests that this concerto dates from an earlier period. Money remained tight for Mozart, and so he accepted a mysterious commission for a Requiem. In the last hours before his death, Mozart dictated this work to his pupil Süssmayer, and puffed out his cheeks imitating the sound of the timpani passages.

Donald Macleod on Mozart's final years and the completion of his final piano concerto.

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5/5. Mozart's friends came in all guises, from fellow musicians to eminent businessmen whose emotional and financial support was crucial to his wellbeing. Mozart repaid them with some of his most sublime music. Donald Macleod features a complete performance of the Clarinet Concerto, written for Mozart's great friend Anton Stadler, the final movements of his Trio Divertimento, written for his financial aide Michael Puchberg, and the Lacrimosa from his Requiem, completed posthumously by Mozart's friend and pupil Xaver Sussmayr.

Requiem (Lacrimosa)

Bavarian Radio Chorus

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

Colin Davis (conductor)

Clarinet Concerto in A, K622

Michael Collins (basset clarinet)

Russian National Orchestra

Mikhail Pletnev (conductor)

Divertimento in E flat, K563 (mvts 5 and 6)

Leopold String Trio

Se il Padre Perdei (II Idomeneo, Act 2)

Ilia....Heidi Grant Murphy (soprano)

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

James Levine (conductor)

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Donald Macleod explores Mozart's Vienna years, and concentrates on the opera that affronted some of the composer's fellow masons, but which has enchanted generations of opera-goers ever since - The Magic Flute.

He also focuses on the commissioning of the Requiem Mass, which, as many believe, came about when Mozart received a call from a stranger, who made him an offer he could not afford to refuse. The composer almost certainly had the whole work mapped out in his head, but died before he was able to get it all down on paper.

Donald Macleod explores Mozart's opera The Magic Flute and the unfinished Requiem.

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In today's programme, Donald Macleod explores Mozart's late-flowering success in Prague, which went Figaro-crazy in December 1786 - Figaro being The Marriage of Figaro, one of Mozart's operatic masterpieces. When the composer turned up in Prague to attend a performance of his latest smash, he got serious red-carpet treatment. Not only that, he was invited to create another opera, especially for the city; this turned out to be Don Giovanni, arguably his most perfect operatic creation. La clemenza di Tito, Mozart's final opera for Prague and a late flowering of opera seria, has never enjoyed the acclaim of his comic masterpieces, but it has a quiet and compelling nobility.

Donald explores Mozart's late-flowering success in Prague.

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Mozart's life in 1789, a year of financial turmoil. With a late chamber masterpiece.

Donald Macleod introduces the events of Mozart's life in 1789, a year of financial turmoil, and his chamber masterpiece, the Clarinet Quintet.

This week, Donald Macleod dips into five key years of Mozart's life, and presents five of his chamber works for solo wind and strings. These works span Mozart's entire career, ranging from his four exquisite flute quartets to the late clarinet quintet - arguably one of the greatest chamber works ever composed.

Donald Macleod ends his survey of Mozart's works for solo wind and strings with one of his last, the Clarinet Quintet in A. The year it was composed, 1789, saw Mozart spiral increasingly into debt, even as his marriage to Constanze found itself under the strain of jealousy and infidelity.

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Mozart finally breaks free to start a new life in Vienna.

There is no place where Mozart's name is more feted than in his home city of Salzburg. Mozart's own feelings about the city of his birth were ambivalent at best. He was often unhappy there; frustrated by the limitations of musical life in Salzburg and increasingly at loggerheads with his overbearing employer, the high-handed Archbishop Colloredo. "How I detest Salzburg", he wrote, and sought to escape the place on many occasions. Nevertheless this was the place where he spent his formative years, where he composed many great works, and where he developed into the composer we now celebrate as one of the greatest of any age. All this week Donald Macleod explores the story of Mozart's relationship with the place where his genius was forged.

In 1781, Mozart finally broke free from Salzburg after an acrimonious parting with his employer, Archbishop Colloredo. Vienna would be his new home and the place where Mozart would finally blossom into the great opera composer he had always wanted to be. He visited his home just once more, taking with him one of his very greatest sacred works.

Serenade for 13 winds, K361 'Gran partita' (3. Adagio)

Members of the Orchestra of St. Luke's

Sir Charles Mackerras, conductor

Symphony No 32 in G major

London Mozart Players

Jane Glover, conductor

Die Entführung aus dem Serail: "Welcher Kummer herrscht in meiner Seele....Traurigkeit ward mir zum Lose"

Lucia Popp, soprano (Constanze)

Munich Radio Orchestra

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Mass in C minor, Gloria (Qui Tollis to end of Gloria)

Sylvia McNair, soprano

Diana Montague, mezzo soprano

Anthony Rolfe Johnson, tenor

Cornelius Hauptmann, bass

The Monteverdi Choir

English Baroque Soloists

Sir John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

String Quartet No 16 in E flat, K428/421b (2. Andante con moto)

Emerson String Quartet.

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This week Donald Macleod explores the miraculous chamber music of Mozart's Vienna years. Today, a late masterpiece; and music for an instrument said to drive its performers insane.

In 1791, a blind musician called Maria Anna Antonia Kirchgessner came to Vienna on the latest leg of a long-running tour of Europe. She was then one of the leading virtuosi on her instrument - the glass harmonica. She must have commissioned Mozart to write a piece for her, because he took time out from work on The Magic Flute to produce an ethereal Adagio and Rondo for glass harmonica, flute, oboe, viola and cello - thereby making a valuable addition to the repertoire of music for the family of 'autophone rubbed instruments'. The claims of insanity may not have been entirely without foundation: the glass used contained 40% lead, so lead poisoning must have been a real danger. Another now-defunct instrument prompted Mozart to compose a work that has secured itself a much firmer footing in the repertoire: his Clarinet Quintet in A, K 581 - or, as it should perhaps be known, Basset Clarinet Quintet in A. The basset clarinet was devised by Mozart's friend and fellow-mason the clarinettist Anton Stadler in collaboration with an instrument-maker called Theodor Lotz. Essentially a regular clarinet with a downwards extension of range, it survived - just - into the 19th century before going into a long spell of retirement, until its revival in the 1950s for a performance of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto, which was also written for the instrument's basset variety.

Larghetto in B flat for piano and wind quintet, K 452a
Mitsuko Uchida (piano)
Neil Black (oboe)
Thea King (clarinet)
Julian Farrell (basset horn)
Robin O'Neill (bassoon)

Adagio and Rondo in C for glass harmonica, flute, oboe, viola and cello, K 617
Bruno Hoffmann, glass harmonica
Aurèle Nicolet (flute)
Heinz Holliger (oboe)
Karl Schouten (viola)
Jean Decroos (cello)

Clarinet Quintet in A major, K. 581
Thea King (basset clarinet)
Gabrieli String Quartet.

A late masterpiece and music for an instrument said to drive its performers insane.

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Donald Macleod on Mozart's final years and the completion of his final piano concerto.

He took the 'land of the clavier', Vienna, by storm, becoming something of a pioneer in composing piano concertos, this week Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The year 1790 began well with the premiere of Mozart's opera Cosi fan tute. It was a success in Vienna which earned him a fee of two hundred ducats. Unfortunately his finances were not in a good state, and one friend found Mozart and Constanze dancing around their apartment simply to keep warm. Through an act of generosity came a commission, for which Mozart composed his String Quintet in E flat major K614.

1791 would prove to be Mozart's last. It was then that he completed his final piano concerto, No 27 in B flat major K595, although the paper he used to write this work, suggests that this concerto dates from an earlier period. Money remained tight for Mozart, and so he accepted a mysterious commission for a Requiem. In the last hours before his death, Mozart dictated this work to his pupil Süssmayer, and puffed out his cheeks imitating the sound of the timpani passages.