10 of Mozart’s Essential Pieces (part 2)
July 15, 2019
In a first article, you discovered five of Mozart’s essential pieces, including Queen of the Night’s Aria or Symphony N°40. Here are the latest pieces carefully selected by Metronaut Team to continue this exploration of the greatest hits of Mozart’s work.
Andante in C major (K.315)
The Andante in C for Flute and Orchestra was commissioned by Ferdinand DeJean as a possible alternative second movement for the Flute Concerto No.1. It is said that the flutist disliked the original and asked Mozart to replace it, but some speculate that the movement exceeded the flutist capacities.
Horn Concerto No.1 (K.412)
The inspiration for Mozart’s horn concertos came from his friend Joseph Leutgeb, a virtuoso hornist from Salzburg. This one is the first of a series of four Horn Concertos written specially for Leutgeb. It is the only one with two movements instead of the usual three, and it is the last written despite it’s numerotation.
Unlike the other three pieces, it is shorter and much simpler regarding the range and technique, probably in a nod to Leutgeb’s advanced age and reduced capabilities at the time of composition.
Clarinet Concerto in A major (K.622)
This concerto was written by Mozart few months before his death, for the clarinetist Anton Stadler. It is the only concerto for clarinet he wrote, and the last of his 43 concertos for soloists. The structure is traditional, with three movements, in a fast-slow-fast succession. Unfortunately, the original version of the Concerto was never published and the original music sheet lost.
It is one of the most listened to pieces by Mozart, and generally considered a must-play for clarinet players, as much as Stamitz’s or Carl-Maria von Weber’s clarinet concertos.
Coming soon on Metronaut
Piano Sonata No.11 in A major (K.331) – Turkish March
This three movements sonata was written around 1783. It is best known for his last movement, Alla turca, known as the Turkish Rondo or Turkish March, considered one of Mozart’s best-known piano pieces. It imitates the sound of Turkish military bands (Janissary bands). These Turkish elements place it among the first pieces of music in the European tradition to show non-Western influence.
With the years, this piece entered popular culture, and was played by many musicians and featured in different films and series (such as The Truman Show, The Simpsons or How I Met Your Mother).
La ci Darem la Mano – Don Giovanni (K.527)
Don Giovanni (complete title Il dissoluto punito, ossia il Don Giovanni) is an opera in two acts with music by Mozart, based on the legends of the famous Don Juan. Mozart entered the work into his catalogue as an opera buffa (a genre of Italian comic opera), but it actually blends comedy, melodrama and supernatural elements.
During five seasons (from 2011 to 2015), Don Giovanni was ninth on the Operabase list of the most-performed operas in the world.
La ci darem la mano is a duet between Don Giovanni and Zerlina that takes place during the first act of the opera. The piece is also labelled as a « little duet » because the two roles only sing as a duet at the very end of the piece.