Doris Stock’s silverpoint drawing of Mozart, 1789, Dresden
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was one of the most influential musicians of his time. He composed more than 600 works, many of which are widely viewed as masterworks of their genre, from symphonic and chamber works to piano, choral, and operatic pieces. Led by opera and classical music expert Saul Lilienstein, this series offers a rich view of some of Mozart’s most important accomplishments, from his beginnings as a child prodigy in Salzburg to becoming one of the leading musicians of the Classical period. Lectures are highlighted by CD and DVD recordings.
Oct. 15 The Wunderkind (1756–1775)
After touching briefly on his early years as a musical prodigy, hear excerpts from a series of Mozart’s youthful masterpieces as he transcended the restrictions of parental and aristocratic control: the Piano Concerto in E-flat major (“Jeunehomme”), Coronation Mass, and Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola.
Oct. 22 From Munich to Vienna (1780–1785)
Mozart achieves a personal independence and growing international recognition with works including Idomeneo, the “Haffner”’ Symphony, and The Abduction from the Seraglio, along with success as soloist and composer of piano concertos in B-flat, G, and F-major. The C-minor Mass is performed in Salzburg.
Oct. 29 The Zenith of Acclaim (1786–1787)
Mozart captivates the Viennese public with The Marriage of Figaro, his piano concertos in D-minor and C-major, and the “Prague” Symphony.
Nov. 5 Personal Triumphs in Wartime (1787-1788)
Don Giovanni receives an admired, if less-than-enthusiastic, response in a Vienna weary of the Turkish War. A series of introspective works, including the C-minor Fantasia for Piano and the Adagio and Fugue in C-minor are composed.
Nov. 12 The Symphony Becomes Paramount (1788–1790)
Mozart’s last three symphonies—No. 39 in E-flat major, No. 40 in G-minor, and No. 41 in C-major—reflect the summit of the Classical symphonic style. The opera Così fan tutte premieres in 1790.
Nov. 19 The Final Year (1791)
Mozart’s last masterworks: Ave Verum Corpus, The Magic Flute, the Clarinet Concerto, and the Requiem.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
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Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)