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Learn about the piece:

Serenade in D major

Composed by

Leopold Mozart

1719-1787

Orchestration

2 horns, continuo, violins, viola, cellos, basses


notes by Anthony Suter

I. Intrada. Molto allegro
II. Andante
III. Menuetto
IX. Presto

Leopold Mozart's place in music history is something of an interesting story. He began his musical career fairly early, starting out rather successfully as a violinist, composer, and teacher. He published his first group of pieces in 1740 at the tender age of twenty-one and was appointed to various musical positions in Salzburg. His career stalled after these early successes, and he was passed over for promotions time and again. Of course, he is most famously known as the father and primary teacher of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Teaching such a prodigious talent might entice us to consider this a rather easy job, but Leopold was an interested and successful pedagogue outside of his lessons to his son. His violin method, published in 1756, was extremely influential and widely-known.

His Serenade in D major was composed in 1750 while in the service of Count Leopold Anton von Firmian, one of a large number of pieces in the genre. The work serves as a very good example of the style of the time— elegant, clear, and well-proportioned. The conscious effort at maintaining balance and clarity is obvious in the approach to the orchestration and harmony.

The younger Mozart was born in the same year as the method treatise was published, and in the coming years, Leopold's own work— in pedagogy, performing, and composition— would take a back seat to the emerging career of his son. He composed little of note after the early 1760s and, eventually, wasn’t composing at all. The education and performing career of the children occupied nearly all of his time and energy, a considerable sacrifice, perhaps, for a once-promising talent.

Coming 03/11/23

Triumph of The Human Spirit

Join us for an evening of music celebrating the nobility of the human spirit, including masterworks by Verdi, Tchaikovsky, and Prokofiev — showcasing the amazing Anne-Marie McDermott


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