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Trivia / Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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  • Author Existence Failure: Mozart died in December 1791 at the young age of thirty five. This left several pieces incomplete or in fragment form.
    • At the time of his death, the Requiem (K. 626) was only fully orchestrated in the first movement, 'Requiem aeternam'. The 'Kyrie eleison', the 'Sequentia' ('Dies irae', 'Tuba mirum', 'Rex tremendae', 'Recordarde' 'Confutatis', 'Lacrymosa') and 'Offertorium' ('Domine Jesu', 'Hostias') only had the SATB voices, the cello/contrabass/figured bass organ and certain musically important segments (eg, the violin part in 'Dies irae' or the tenor trombone in 'Tuba mirum') written out as a sketch. In fact, 'Lacrymosa' was only eight bars completed.
      • Mozart's widow Constanze first asked Joseph von Eybler, a fellow composer, to step in and try and complete the missing orchestration and movements but he was daunted by the task and only attempt a little bit before handing over the incomplete score to Franz Xaver Süssmayr, who had been Mozart's pupil. Süssmayr is the person who wrote the other remaining movements and who filled in the orchestration. It is his completion which people hear most commonly nowadays, although others have tried to rewrite/alter it to fit what they think is more 'Mozartian'.
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    • For unknown reasons, Mozart never finished his Great Mass in C minor (K. 427) from 1783, leaving the 'Credo' and 'Sanctus' incomplete orchestrally and vocally. As with the Requiem other music scholars have attempted to fill these parts in.
  • Big Name Fan: In spite of the depiction of Mozart in Amadeus as being a persistently misunderstood and underrated genius, his most illustrious fan in his own lifetime was the most respected composer of the age and one of the greatest in the history of Western music, Joseph Haydn. In spite of being nearly 25 years older than Mozart, when he first heard Mozart's mature music he immediately recognised the younger man as a genius, and said so at every opportunity. He paid Mozart one of the most famous compliments in music history, in a remark he made in 1785 to Mozart's father Leopold: "Before God and as an honest man I tell you that your son is the greatest composer known to me either in person or by name; he has taste, and, furthermore, the most profound knowledge of composition."
    • For what it's worth, Ludwig van Beethoven was also a huge Mozart fan, playing Mozart's piano concertos and writing cadenzas for at least one of them.
  • Short-Lived Big Impact: He died at just 35, yet produced much of the most highly-regarded classical music in history.

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