Composer of the Month – What to listen to: Mozart

So far this month I have talked about who Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was, about his life and about why people say listening to Mozart’s music makes you smarter (see last week’s post, and TLDR, it doesn’t really, there’s a bit more to it than that!) but I haven’t talked that much about his music. So if you wanted to listen to some of Mozart’s music with your children, where would you start?

The picture shows a statue of Mozart under a bright blue sky.
Photo by Dany on Pexels.com

Handily, I have put together a playlist of some suggested pieces to listen to over on Spotify. I have linked to that playlist below so you can go straight over to Spotify from this post if you want to. I have listed the pieces on the playlist below, so of you don’t have Spotify you can look these pieces up on your streaming service of choice. In making this playlist, I have tried to cover a number of different types (if you like) of composition that Mozart wrote. You will find a couple of concertos, a symphony, some pieces for smaller ensembles or solo instruments. For these compositions I have included the whole work, so you have the whole of Symphony no 40 for example. Feel free to listen to the whole thing, or just dip into it for one or two movements to start off with. I have also included excerpts from two of Mozart’s operas and I have not included the whole opera, as it is just far too long to include in a playlist like this. Some of Mozart’s operas are a lot of fun. They are a great introduction to opera full stop. So if you and your children have never listened to opera before, then these are great operas to start with. The Magic Flute (one of the operas I have included excerpts from in this playlist) is especially fun for children given its rather magical story line and its brilliant birds Papageno and Papagena. If you or your children like the arias (or songs) I have included from The Magic Flute in this playlist, look it up on YouTube and you can see parts a production of The Magic Flute from London’s Royal Opera House there, along with extracts from other opera houses. Look out, in the playlist, for a piano piece that contains a tune that everyone knows very well, even if they think they have never heard anything written by Mozart in their lives. Let me know if you spot it.

The playlist ends with the last piece that Mozart wrote, and which remained unfinished at the end of his life, completed by one of his students, the Requiem. It is full of drama, beauty and even fury. It is one of my favourite musical works. OK so the list of my favourite musical works is days long, but this Requiem is definitely on it. You don’t need to shy away from music that is full of emotion, or full of this kind of drama with your children, including young children. They can love these dramatic works and get a lot out of them even though we as adults might worry that it is too much for them. I would watch the volume with some of the extracts from the Requiem on this playlist, namely the Dies Irae (meaning day of wrath) and Rex Tremendae (meaning King of Tremendous Majesty), but I certainly wouldn’t shy away from having them on for my children to listen to.

The picture shows someone opening up the Spotify app on their phone.
Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

In the list below you will see that I have included, after each work’s title, the letter K with a number after it. This refers to the piece’s Köchel number, named after Austrian composer and musicologist Ludwig Ritter von Köchel who catalogued all of Mozart’s compositions chronologically. The Requiem is, as mentioned above, the last thing that Mozart wrote, so if you don’t like the pieces in this playlist, you can see that there are hundreds of others to choose from!

So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are the pieces in my Mozart Suggested listening playlist:

Clarinet Concerto in A Minor, K. 622

Piano Concerto No 21 in C Major, K. 467

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525

Symphony no n40 in G Minor, K. 550

Die Zauberflöte, K. 620 (The Magic Flute) – extracts

Le nozze di Figaro, K. 492 )The Marriage of Figaro) – extracts

Rondo Alla Turca (part of Piano Sonata No 11, K. 331)

Twelve Variations in C on “Ah, vous dirai-je Maman”, K. 265

Horn Concerto No. 4 in E-flat Major, K. 495

Ave verum corpus, K. 618

Requiem in D Minor, K. 626 – extracts

And you can listen to the playlist in whole, or in part by following this link to my Spotify playlist:

If you have enjoyed reading my blog post, thank you. I am always looking for ideas for the blog, so would love to hear from you with suggestions for topics you would like me to cover in the future. Also, if you would be interested in supporting me to keep this blog running, buying the books to review here, and supplies to make the DIY instruments, for example, I would be absolutely delighted if you would consider buying me a coffee using the following link: Buy Me A Coffee Thank you!!

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