Mozart had composed over 600 works by the time he died at the early age of 35. He wrote his first piano piece at the age of 5, his first symphony at age 8, and his first opera when he was 11.
Aside from being precocious, he was also versatile. Mozart wrote more than two dozen piano concertos, five violin concertos, four horn concertos, as well as concertos for bassoon, flute, clarinet, trumpet, cello, and various combinations of instruments. He wrote more than four dozen symphonies and eighty-four string quartets. For a complete list of the music Mozart composed in his short life, click here.
The first three pieces (below) were written over a period of 6 years - from age 5 to 11 - and show an amazing growth and maturity for someone so young.
The Allegro in C, written by a five year old...
...and an entire symphony, albeit a short one, written by an eight year old...
I'm not a big fan of opera, but this short piece about the recording of Mozart's first opera, Apollo and Hyacinth (written when he was eleven), gives some interesting facts and displays the beauty of Mozart's music.
The following is a video of Mozart's Horn Concerto No. 1 in D major. It's a live performance so enjoy watching the musicians – soloist, orchestra members, and conductor – dance in their own special ways to the music. Most are "head dancers" but quite a few of them move their upper bodies as they play. Very few, if any, keep still.
To listen to all four of Mozart's horn concertos, click here.
Further reading and listening
- Biography of Mozart (short)
- Biography of Mozart (longer)
- My post on Mozart's 260th birthday. (some duplication)
- My post on Mozart's 262nd birthday. (some duplication)
- I wonder if Indiana would have forced Mozart to take the state achievement test...