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Much Ado About Mozart… in Vienna

A look at Mozart in Vienna and some of his contemporaries.

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church dome and facade

Photo: Magnus von Koeller

The dome and facade to the Karlskirche in Vienna.

Mozart’s Vienna years as well as the music of his contemporaries.

Before Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart moved to cosmopolitan Vienna, however, he lived and compsed in Munich, where he penned his oboe quartet in F major, KV 370 in 1781. Paul Goodwin and ensemble Terzetto perform on the CD release from Harmonia Mundi, Oboe Quartets.

Later in the year 1781, Mozart was unceremoniously discharged from his duties to Archbishop Colloredo of Salzburg, “with a kick on my arse,” the budding celebrity wrote. He quickly moved to Vienna and established himself a piano virtuoso who could compose in the most modern of ways—music à la mode.  Fortepianist Ronald Brautigam performs Mozart’s fashionable pieces in his recording of the complete piano sonatas.

Georg Christoph Wagenseil

One of Mozart’s more prominent predecessors in Vienna was Georg Christoph Wagenseil, a leading musical figure in the development of the Classical style who was court composer to the Empress Maria Theresa. Although he passed away in 1777, Wagenseil’s music would have been familiar to a young Mozart, who had performed a concerto of his for the Empress during a visit to Vienna in 1762.  The Orfeo Baroque Orchestra performs Symphony WV 413 by Wagenseil on their CD release, Symphonies.

Leopold Hoffmann

For many years flutists never questioned the authorship of Joseph Haydn’s D major flute concerto, yet today we know it was actually composed by Leopold Hofmann, a Viennese composer who was held in high esteem by his contemporaries. Barthold Kuijken, accompanied by Tafelmusik, performs Hofmann’s flute concerto on a Sony release.

Johann Georg Albrechtsberger

Teacher, theorist, and organist, Johann Georg Albrechtsberger was a truly prolific composer—he put out 284 church compositions, 278 keyboard works, and over 193 other instrumental works, which included two concertos for Jew’s harp. Monica Groop, mezzo-soprano, performs an aria by Albrechtsberger entitled Passione Domine on the recording, Trombone and Voice in the Habsburg Empire.

New Release

Our new release this week features the music of Francesco Maria Veracini. The sonatas from 1716 for violin or recorder and basso continuo are performed by Karsten Erik Ose, recorder, and the ensemble ornamente 99 on the release entitled Sei Sonate a Flauto e Basso.

Music Heard On This Episode

W. A. Mozart: Rondeau: Allegro
Paul Goodwin, classical oboe and TERZETTO: Anna McDonald, violin; Jane Rodgers, viola; Helen Gough, cello — Mozart, Massonneau, Stamitz, Krommer: Oboe Quartets (Harmonia Mundi, 1998)
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W. A. Mozart: Rondeau: Allegro
Paul Goodwin, classical oboe and TERZETTO: Anna McDonald, violin; Jane Rodgers, viola; Helen Gough, cello — Mozart, Massonneau, Stamitz, Krommer: Oboe Quartets (Harmonia Mundi, 1998)
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W. A. Mozart: from Sonata in A major, KV 331
Ronald Brautigam, fortepiano — Mozart: The Complete Piano Sonatas (BIS, 1996)
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Georg Christoph Wagenseil: from Symphony WV 413 in G major
L’Orfeo Barockorchester (Michi Gaigg, director) — Georg Christoph Wagenseil: 5 Symphonies (CPO, 1999)
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Joseph Haydn/Leopold Hofmann: Adagio
Barthold Kuijken, transverse flute, and Tafelmusik (Jeanne Lamon, director) — Stamitz, Richter, Haydn, Gluck: Flute Concertos (Sony, 1992)
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Johann Georg Albrechtsberger: Aria De Passione Domine, Andante
Monica Groop, mezzo-soprano; Christian Lindberg, trombone; Ann Wallström and Marit Bergman, violins; Olaf Larsson, cello; Björn Gäfvert, organ — Trombone and Voice in the Habsburg Empire (BIS, 1994)
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Francesco Maria Veracini: from Sonata Prima
Karsten Erik Ose, recorder and ornamente 99 (Diez Eichler, harpsichord; Andre Heinrich, archlute; Matthias Hofmann, cello) — Francesco Maria Veracini: Sei Sonata a Flauto e Basso (Aeolus, 2007)
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Bernard Gordillo

Bernard Gordillo was born in Managua, Nicaragua, and raised in New Orleans. He holds degrees from Centenary College of Louisiana, the Early Music Institute at Indiana University, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London). Bernard also writes and hosts the Harmonia Early Music Podcast.

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