2015-2016 – A Celebration of the Montgomery Philharmonic’s 10th Anniversary Season

October 18th, 2015

About Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (baptized Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart) was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era who showed prodigious ability from his earliest years of childhood. He started composing at the age of 6, and by the time he was 17 had been appointed court composer and musician in Salzburg. These were tremendously prolific years for Mozart. It was during this time that he composed the Serenata Notturna, as well as several symphonies, string quartets, masses, serenades, a few operas, and piano concerti. He also went on two important tours that his father arranged—one to Vienna in 1773 and the second to Munich in 1777.

Following his time in Salzburg, Mozart spent time in Paris, Augsburg, Mannheim, Munich, and Vienna. He settled in Vienna, where he achieved great success as an opera composer and met his wife, Costanza. In 1786, after he stopped performing in public, his income shrank and he was forced to take out loans. In need of money to support his family, he composed three more symphonies and his final two operas—
Cosi fan tutte and La clemenza di Tito. His final work was the controversial Requiem in D minor, which was left incomplete at the time of his death. He managed to complete a few movements, however, and provided his friend Süssmayr with enough sketches to finish the requiem mass.

Born: January 27, 1756, Salzburg, Austria
Died: December 5, 1791, Vienna, Austria
Full name: Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart
Compositions: 41 Symphonies, 27 Piano Concerti, 5 Violin Concerti, 4 Horn Concerti, Concerti for Bassoon, Clarinet, Flute, and Flute and Harp, numerous solo piano works, 9 works for piano four-hands, 36 violin sonatas, 6 strings duos/trios, 23 string quartets, 6 string quintets, 7 piano trios, numerous other chamber music, including flute quartets, an oboe quartet, a horn quartet, 13 serenades, 17 divertimenti, numerous marches and dances for various instruments, 18 masses, 14 other pieces of sacred music, 17 church sonatas for organ as well as numerous other works for organ, 23 operas
Children: Raimund Leopold (June 17 – August 19, 1783), Karl Thomas Mozart (September 21, 1784 – October 31, 1858), Johann Thomas Leopold (October 18 – November 15, 1786), Theresia Constanzia Adelheid Friedericke Maria Anna (December 27, 1787 – June 29, 1788), Anna Maria (died soon after birth, December 25, 1789), Franz Xavier Wolfgang Mozart (July 26, 1791 – July 29, 1844)
Overture to Il Re Pastore, K. 208 (1775) – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)
Il Re Pastore (The Shepherd King) is a short opera, written in the opera seria style that is often referred to as a serenata. The term serenata as we use it today is not the way it was used then. In those days, a serenata was usually semi-staged as a festival piece and performed in the joyous atmosphere of the festival. Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria, son of Empress Maria Theresa, commissioned the work; Il Re Pastore comprises only two acts and is 107 minutes long. It is interesting to note that Mozart was only 19 years old when he composed this work and, because of his early death, this opera falls at the beginning of his middle period of work. Mozart is just beginning to put the Mozartian busyness in his writing and develop a certain beauty in his orchestral accompaniment for the singers.

This very short overture displays Mozart’s comical juxtaposition of the three-note theme played softly and then the stern display of the three-note theme played loudly. After playing with this theme, he introduces a gorgeous second theme, which he includes in a symphony a few years later. The overture reflects Mozart’s youthful exuberance, yet you can also hear a spark of his maturity as a composer.

The work was premiered in Salzburg on April 22, 1775 at the Archbishop of Salzburg’s palace.

Instrumentation – 2 oboes, 2 horns in C, 2 trumpets in C, strings