One of my favorite things about being a librarian is that I’m paid to be curious. People often apologize for asking questions, especially if they think the information will be difficult to find. The tough questions are often my favorites because they allow me to learn something new — and I love learning something new!
Writing for the library’s blogs also provides an outlet for my curiosity. I like to flip through Chase’s Calendar of Events when I’m planning what to write next; because it’s such an extensive list of what’s happening and why we should care, it’s a wonderful introduction to a wide range of topics. I noted that January 27 marked the birthday of a famous composer and I also noted that while I enjoy listening to classical music, I don’t really know that much about it. So, I decided to do a little research. Just for fun — and for this blog post, of course 🙂
- At four years-old, he could learn a piece of music in 30 minutes.
- At eight years-old, he began writing symphonies.
- He was one of the first musicians in history to go freelance, without the backing of a church, court or rich patron.
- To date, he is probably the only composer to write masterworks in every musical genre during his time period.
Who am I referring to? Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. His father, Leopold Mozart, was a violinist, minor composer, and vice-kapellmeister at the court of the Archbishop of Salzburg. Young Mozart accompanied his father on tour, absorbing various European musical styles along the way. His greatest works are noted for their melodic beauty, formal elegance, and richness of harmony and texture. A sampling is listed below:
- Serenade in G major, A Little Night Music
- G Minor Symphony (no. 40)
- Clarinet Concerto
- Mass in C minor
- Requiem (unfinished)
- The Marriage of Figaro
Despite being a successful composer and a renowned piano virtuoso, Mozart struggled financially for most of his life. He was just beginning to achieve financial stability when he died in Vienna at the age of 35. He was buried in a common grave, the exact location of which remains unknown.
Intrigued? ACPL has a variety of ways you can enjoy his work. Click here to browse a list of music cds in the collection, here to browse a list of dvds, and click here to see what’s available for download through Freegal.