Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

4/5. Mozart was an ardent freemason, as were several of his friends. Freemasonry suited his philosophical ideals, his liberal outlook and his sociable nature. Donald Macleod investigates the influence of freemasonry on Mozart's music in The Magic Flute and the cantata Die Maurerfreude (The Mason's Joy). Haydn, a fellow freemason, was the inspiration for a set of six string quartets, including The Dissonance, K465.

Der Holle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen (Die Zauberflote)

Queen of the Night....Natalie Dessay (soprano)

Les Arts Florissants

William Christie (director)

Die Zauberflote (Sc 29)

Papageno....Anton Scharinger (baritone)

Papagena....Linda Kitchen (soprano)

Monostatos....Steven Cole (tenor)

Three Ladies....Anna-Maria Panzarella, Doris Lamprecht, Delphine Haidan (sopranos and mezzo)

Sarastro....Reinhard Hagen (bass)

Die Maurerfreude

Werner Krenn (tenor)

Edinburgh Festival Chorus

London Symphony Orchestra

Istvan Kertsz (conductor)

String Quartet in C, K465 (Dissonance)

Budapest String Quartet


5/5. Mozart's friends came in all guises, from fellow musicians to eminent businessmen whose emotional and financial support was crucial to his wellbeing. Mozart repaid them with some of his most sublime music. Donald Macleod features a complete performance of the Clarinet Concerto, written for Mozart's great friend Anton Stadler, the final movements of his Trio Divertimento, written for his financial aide Michael Puchberg, and the Lacrimosa from his Requiem, completed posthumously by Mozart's friend and pupil Xaver Sussmayr.

Requiem (Lacrimosa)

Bavarian Radio Chorus

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

Colin Davis (conductor)

Clarinet Concerto in A, K622

Michael Collins (basset clarinet)

Russian National Orchestra

Mikhail Pletnev (conductor)

Divertimento in E flat, K563 (mvts 5 and 6)

Leopold String Trio

Se il Padre Perdei (II Idomeneo, Act 2)

Ilia....Heidi Grant Murphy (soprano)

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

James Levine (conductor)


Donald Macleod opens Mozart's address book to discover the friends, family and fellow musicians who inspired some of his greatest music. These include a piano sonata written to perform with Mozart's sister Nannerl, and a horn concerto for his virtuoso friend Joseph Leutgeb.

Sonata for 4 hands, K381

Martha Argerich, Alexandre Rabinovitch (piano)

Die Schuldigkeit Des Ersten Gebots (excerpts)

Margaret Marshall, Ann Murray (soprano)

Hans Peter Blochwitz (tenor)

Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart

Neville Marriner (conductor)

Horn Concerto, K417

Barry Tuckwell (horn)

English Chamber Orchestra

Ah, lo Previdi! Emma Kirkby (soprano)

The Academy of Ancient Music

Christopher Hogwood (conductor)


Donald Macleod explores Mozart's Vienna years, focusing on the composer's arrival in Vienna as he set about establishing himself in all the right circles, in particular, the regular Sunday afternoon gatherings at the home of the diplomat Baron Gottfried van Swieten, who introduced Mozart to the music of Bach and Handel.

The music includes two major chamber works: the powerful - and most un-serenade-like - Serenade in C minor, K388, and the String Quartet in E flat, K428 - one of Mozart's six so-called 'Haydn' quartets, written in tribute to the older composer.

Donald Macleod looks at Mozart's arrival in Vienna, as he began establishing himself.

01The Mozart Family Grand Tour20120625

Donald charts what has come to be known as the Mozart Family Grand Tour.

Between the ages of 5 and 35, Mozart clocked up some 3,720 days on tour; that's more than 10 of his not-quite-36 years. This week, Donald Macleod clambers into the Mozart family carriage to plot a selective course through the composer's Awaydays, from his earliest outings as an infant phenomenon to his final trip three decades later.

Today's programme charts the extraordinary course of the three-and-a-half-year journey around Western Europe that has come to be known as the Mozart Family Grand Tour, on which the 7-year-old Mozart embarked with his father Leopold, mother Anna Maria and sister Nannerl in June 1763.


As a child prodigy, Mozart had tasted success at the court of Mannheim. He returned there with his mother at the age of 21 in search of work, but instead found love. Donald Macleod explores Mozart's unrequited passion for the soprano Aloysia Weber - though it was her sister Constanze who became his wife.

An aria for the revered castrato Venanzio Rauzzini and a piano sonata for a pupil in Mannheim also feature.

Exsultate, Jubilate

Felicity Lott (soprano)

London Mozart Players

Jane Glover (conductor)

Non so d'onde Viene

Natalie Dessay (soprano)

Orchestre de l'Opera de Lyon

Theodor Guschlbauer (conductor)

Sonata in C, K309

Ronald Brautigam (fortepiano)

Konstanze! Dich wieder zu sehen! - O wie angstlich, o wie feurig (Die Entfuhrung auf dem Serail, Act 1)

Belmonte....Ian Bostridge (tenor)

Les Arts Florissants

William Christie (director).


Donald Macleod explores Mozart's Vienna years, describing the visit of the composer's father, Leopold, to his new apartment in Vienna - which was to be the last time they would see each other. The programme features Mozart's Piano Concerto in D minor, K466, which was undergoing its finishing touches as Leopold arrived. There is also a lesser-known work, Davidde Penitente or The Penitent David, whose music Mozart partially recycled from the mighty Mass in C minor, left incomplete in 1783.

02The Land Where The Lemon Trees Grow20120626

Donald Macleod explores the teenage Mozart's three trips to Italy.

Yesterday's programme eavesdropped on the Mozart family's mammoth Grand Tour round the cultural capitals of Western Europe. Today, Donald Macleod explores the teenage Mozart's three trips to Italy, which laid the foundation for his future operatic masterpieces.


Donald Macleod explores Mozart's relationship with his nemesis Antonio Salieri with a complete performance of the opera Der Schauspieldirektor, commissioned by Emperor Joseph II for a battle of the Italian and German opera companies in Vienna. But it was Mozart's relationship with the operatic genius librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte that proved more fruitful.

Der Schauspieldirektor

Magda Nador, Krisztina Laki (sopranos)

Thomas Hampson (baritone)

Harry van der Kamp (bass)

Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam

Nikolaus Harnoncourt (conductor)

Marriage of Figaro (finale)

Figaro....Bryn Terfel (baritone)

Susanna....Alison Hagley (soprano)

Count Almaviva....Rodney Gilfry (baritone)

Countess Almaviva....Hillevi Martinpelto (soprano)

Cherubino....Pamela Helen Stephen (mezzo-soprano)

Marcellina....Susan McCulloch (mezzo-soprano)

Bartolo....Carlos Feller (bass)

Basilio....Francis Egerton (tenor)

Antonio....Julian Clarkson (bass)

Barbarina....Lucinda Houghton (soprano)

The Monteverdi Choir

The English Baroque Soloists

John Eliot Gardiner (conductor)

Ch'io mi Scordi di Te

Christine Schafer (soprano)

Maria Joao Pires (piano)

Berlin Philharmonic

Claudio Abbado (conductor).


Donald Macleod explores Mozart's Vienna years, focusing on the importance to the composer of Johann Leutgeb, an old colleague of Mozart's from Salzburg days. Leutgeb was a talented horn player and, somewhat bizarrely, a cheese-shop owner, for whom Mozart wrote several works, including the famous Concerto in E flat, K495.

The programme also looks at the end of the Viennese public's love affair with Mozart's music, as the fun-loving Viennese struggled to keep pace with the intensity of works like the String Quintet in G minor, K516.

Donald Macleod explores the end of the Viennese public's love affair with Mozart's music.

03Triumph And Tragedy In Paris20120627

Donald Macleod explores Mozart's fateful trip to Paris, during which time his mother died.

When Mozart visited Paris as a child, the Parisians fĂȘted him as a wunderkind. Today's programme finds him back in Paris - but now he's 22, and is met with a snooty Parisian indifference. He eventually scores a success with his 'Paris' Symphony, but at a huge personal cost - the death of his mother.


Donald Macleod explores Mozart's Vienna years, focusing on his growing worries about money, as he dashed off begging letter after begging letter to his wealthy friends and fellow freemasons.

It was in this troubled frame of mind that Mozart composed two of his best-known works -the Piano Sonata, K545, and the Jupiter Symphony, which, although sharing the key of C major, are two very distinct pieces.

Donald Macleod explores how, despite serious money trouble, Mozart wrote two great works.

04Home Is Where The Heart Is?20120628

Donald Macleod eavesdrops on Mozart as he returns to his native Salzburg.

In today's programme, Donald Macleod eavesdrops on Mozart - now all big and grownup, married and living in Vienna - as he returns to his native Salzburg for an uncomfortable family reunion. Experiencing once again the stultifying atmosphere of provincial Salzburg can only have convinced Mozart that he had done the right thing by getting out of there. Back in Vienna a little over three months later, he and his wife Constanza discovered that their first son, Raimund Leopold, whom they had left behind with a foster carer, had been dead for more than a month.

05 LAST20090306

Donald Macleod explores Mozart's Vienna years, and concentrates on the opera that affronted some of the composer's fellow masons, but which has enchanted generations of opera-goers ever since - The Magic Flute.

He also focuses on the commissioning of the Requiem Mass, which, as many believe, came about when Mozart received a call from a stranger, who made him an offer he could not afford to refuse. The composer almost certainly had the whole work mapped out in his head, but died before he was able to get it all down on paper.

Donald Macleod explores Mozart's opera The Magic Flute and the unfinished Requiem.

05 LAST20120629

Donald explores Mozart's late-flowering success in Prague.

In today's programme, Donald Macleod explores Mozart's late-flowering success in Prague, which went Figaro-crazy in December 1786 - Figaro being The Marriage of Figaro, one of Mozart's operatic masterpieces. When the composer turned up in Prague to attend a performance of his latest smash, he got serious red-carpet treatment. Not only that, he was invited to create another opera, especially for the city; this turned out to be Don Giovanni, arguably his most perfect operatic creation. La clemenza di Tito, Mozart's final opera for Prague and a late flowering of opera seria, has never enjoyed the acclaim of his comic masterpieces, but it has a quiet and compelling nobility.