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Travels with the Mozarts

Donald Macleod discusses the Mozart family's 'grand tour', on which they performed for royalty and aristocrats.

He was at the forefront of early symphonic writing and composed a great deal of music across many forms, but he's been largely overshadowed by the popularity of his own son; this week Donald Macleod with Professor Cliff Eisen, explores the life and music of Leopold Mozart.

Leopold Mozart was convinced that his son, Wolfgang, was a gift from God. Such a talented son should be shown off to the world, and so Leopold took his family on tour. They performed for royalty and aristocrats; Wolfgang, aged just 6, played for the Empress Maria Theresa. These journeys abroad were also intended to be educational and Leopold, who was a devout Catholic, commented much on the changes in religious landscape from country to country.
Once the family had returned from their Grand Tour, Leopold settled back into life in Salzburg, and composed his Symphony in G, the Neue Lambacher symphony, once thought to be by his son. By now Wolfgang had started to compose his own music, although Leopold and Wolfgang often collaborated together on composition, including the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in D major, K 107.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Leopold Mozart

    Symphony in G major

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic. Conductor: Karl Böhm.
    • Deutsche Grammophon: 4193742.
    • Deutsche Grammophon:.
    • 9.
  • Leopold Mozart

    Der Morgen und der Abend - 12 pieces for keyboard

    Performer: Wolfgang Brunner.
    • CPO:9994692.
    • CPO.
    • 10.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Concerto in D major K.107`1 for piano and orchestra [after J C Bach's keyboard

    Orchestra: English Chamber Orchestra. Composer: Leopold Mozart. Performer: Murray Perahia.
    • CBS: CD39222.
    • CBS.
    • 1.
  • Leopold Mozart

    Litaniae lauretanae de BVM in E flat s.4.7

    Singer: Siglinde Damisch. Singer: Chris Merritt. Singer: Walter Raninger. Orchestra: Camerata Salzburg. Conductor: Ernst Hinreiner.
    • Koch Schwann: 3-1714-2.
    • Koch Schwann.
    • 4.
  • Leopold Mozart

    Serenade in D major for orchestra with trumpet & trombone soli

    Performer: RIAS Berlin Sinfonietta. Performer: Ernö Sebestyen.
    • MUSICA MUNDI : CD 311-127.
    • 3.


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