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loved operas. It ran for over two hundred performances. This was not enough to save Mozart from poverty and illness which led to his early death at the age of thirty five. He died a pauper and was buried in an unmarked grave.

Mozart’s works include:

23 Operas 20 Masses 49 Symphonies 29 String Quartets 27 Piano Concertos 33 Serenades, Cassations and Divertimenti for wind instruments and unusual combinations of other instruments, plus many church and chamber works. All 626 surviving compositions were listed by Köchel, a 19th Century music historian, who gave Mozart’s works a ‘K’ number.


Italy was the birthplace of many important musical forms in the 17th Century including OPERA, CONCERTO and SONATA and it gained a position of supremacy throughout the European musical world. Musicians travelled to Italy from all over Europe to learn the craft of composition from first-hand experience (George Frederick Handel, for example, travelled from Germany to learn about Italian opera and then moved to England to compose for the Royal Court). Furthermore, Italian musicians achieved positions of great responsibility outside their own country throughout the 17th and 18th Centuries and they were often preferred to native musicians, just as Salieri had been in Vienna.

The Italian influence was particularly strong in 18th Century Southern Germany and Austria, not least in the field of opera. However, as the century progressed, Italian styles were becoming less dominant and French and German styles were coming to the fore. In the courts of Mannheim and Munich, for example, the presence of large orchestras did much to further the cause of a German style of symphonic writing.

Mozart’s extensive travels left him with a very broad knowledge and understanding of European music. His music was above all a combination of many different elements rather than a copy of one national style, whereas his fellow composers in Vienna were less aware of the changing musical tastes of Europe and they tended to follow the Italian model which had dominated for so long.

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