There are those who rise to the peak of their specific craft, to which all other people aspire to climb, but few ever come close. For classical music, such is the case with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the child prodigy who would one day become known as the greatest classical musician of all time.
Born on January 27, 1756, Mozart would complete 600 compositions that are recognized as the pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic and choral music. He is the most popular of all classical composers and most of his works are standard concert pieces.
The love of music for Mozart would begin when his sister was seven and he, at three-years-old, would watch with fascination as she was given piano lessons. When he was four-years-old, his father began teaching him how to play the piano. In seemingly no time at all, he could play the piano flawlessly, and by the age of five he was composing small piano pieces.
By the time Mozart was seven, the family was traveling Europe to show off the musical prodigy at courts across the land. One concert tour for the family stretched for three and a half years, from Munich to Paris. During the trip, he met Johann Christian Bach in 1765, which proved to be a large influence on him.
Mozart’s skills showed through during those years. Once, while hearing Miserere in the Sistine Chapel, he wrote it down entirely from memory, producing the first illegal copy of a closely-guarded piece of music of the Vatican.When he was 14, he wrote his first opera which met a great deal of success, with two more operas following when he was 15 and 16.
Throughout the years, until his premature death in 1791, Mozart was a highly influential figure in the world of music. What many consider to be the second greatest composer of all time, Ludwig Van Beethoven, was strongly influenced by him, becoming closely acquainted with Mozart’s work as a teenager.
Throughout history, since his death, Mozart has had his music performed by countless individuals, all of whom cite him as a supreme influence on their body of work. Arguably one of the greatest musicians of all time, Mozart transcended beyond just being a performer and legend, becoming a mythical person, whose mind seemed to touch on a musical part of the world the rest of us could not see.
Much of his music is still played today. The instruments are similar but not the same. They are much more in tune and much more expensive. There are music instrument makers that still make instruments like those that were used in Mozart’s time. However, for clarity, intonation and sound, the more modern instruments whether new or used are superior to those used hundreds of years ago.
The music of Mozart is played in symphonies, quartets and small ensembles. They are still favored during the holidays and are often played at weddings and receptions. While the instruments may have changed and improved over time, Mozart’s compositions remain beautiful and timeless.