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The Joy of Mozart

Tom Service heads from London to Vienna and Salzburg to unpick the living, breathing genius that was Mozart. With Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Nicola Benedetti, Paul Morley and others.

Tom Service plunges into the life and times of Mozart to try and rediscover the greatness and humanity of the living man in his moment. Mozart's prodigious output and untimely death have helped place him on a pedestal that can often blind us to the unique brilliance of his work in the context of his life and times. Tackling the sentimental tourist industry of Salzburg and the cloying reverence in which Mozart is too often held, Service visits the key cities and rooms in which Mozart lived and worked, plays some of Mozart's original instruments and scores, and gradually uncovers the brilliance and originality of his work as the 18th century turns into the early 19th.

There is the prodigious childhood when Mozart was feted as an infant phenomenon around Europe's most glittering courts, and his golden decade in Vienna in which masterpiece followed masterpiece - operas, symphonies, piano concertos, string quartets - as if this short, high-voiced man-child must have been taking dictation from some divine source, until his death at the age of just 35 in 1791.

Even more than the music, Mozart's tragic demise sets the seal on his myth. The trajectory of Mozart's life sets the template for the romantic paradigm whose throes we are still in today, which requires our creative heroes to die young to prove that they were too good for this madding world, whether it be Wolfgang Amadeus or Jimi Hendrix.

Service travels from London to Vienna and Salzberg, unpicking the living, breathing genius that was Mozart. With Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Nicola Benedetti, Paul Morley and others.

1 hour

Last on

Fri 23 Jan 2015 20:00

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • René Jacobs

    Ouverture

  • Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

    Symphony No 29 in A, K201 Allegro

    Conductor: Herbert von Karajan.
  • Academy of Ancient Music

    Symphony No 4 in D Major

    Director: Jaap Schröder.
  • Lawrence Power

    Sinfonia Concertante In E Flat Major K364

  • Hagen Quartett

    String Quartet In B Flat Major K458

  • Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

    Maurerische Trauermusik K477

    Conductor: Claudio Abbado.
  • Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

    Eine Kleine Nachtmusik In G Major KV 525

    Conductor: Herbert von Karajan.
  • La Chapelle Royale

    Requiem K626

    Choir: Collegium Vocale Gent. Director: Philippe Herreweghe. Orchestra: Orchestre des Champs‐Élysées.
  • Columbia Symphony Orchestra

    Eine Kleine Nachtmusik K525

    Conductor: Bruno Walter.
  • Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

    Divertimento in D Major K136 Allegro

    Conductor: Riccardo Muti.
  • Falco

    Rock Me Amadeus

  • Kristian Bezuidenhout

    Adagio in B Minor K540

  • Kristian Bezuidenhout

    Piano Concerto No 24 K491

  • Nicola Benedetti

    Violin Concerto No 5 K219

  • Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

    Missa Brevis C Dur KV 220

    Conductor: Rafael Kubelík.
  • Eleanor Dennis accompanied by Craig White & Craig White

    Great Mass in C Minor

  • Sir John Eliot Gardiner

    Requiem in D Minor K626

  • The English Concert

    Symphony no 34 in C Major K338

    Director: Trevor Pinnock.
  • Les Arts Florissants

    Die Enteuhrung Aus Dem Serail K384

    Conductor: William Christie.
  • Chiaroscuro Quartet

    String Quarted no 14 in G Major

  • Kristian Bezuidenhout

    Sonata in A Major K331 Andante Grazioso

  • Academy of Ancient Music

    Symphony No 29 in A Major K201 Allegro Spirito

    Conductor: Christopher Hogwood.
  • Orchestra of the Royal Opera House & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

    The Marriage of Figaro, Ouverture

    Conductor: Sir Antonio Pappano.
  • The Royal Opera & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House conducted by Antonio Pappano

    The Marriage of Figaro, Se Vuoi Ballare

    Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Conductor: Sir Antonio Pappano.
  • Glyndebourne Opera, Glyndebourne Chorus & the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment conducted by Ivan Fischer

    Cosi Fan Tutte, Pier Pieta

    Choir: Glyndebourne Chorus. Orchestra: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Conductor: Iván Fischer.
  • The Royal Opera & Orchestra of the Royal Opera House conducted by Antonio Pappano

    The Marriage of Figaro, Deh Vieni

    Orchestra: Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Conductor: Sir Antonio Pappano.
  • Eleanor Dennis accompanied by Craig White & Craig White

    The Marriage of Figaro, Porgi Amor Qualche Ristoro

  • Claudio Abbado & Mahler Chamber Orchestra

    Die Zauberflote, Ouverture

  • Kristian Bezuidenhout

    Rondo in A Minor K511

  • Medici String Quartet with Jack Brymer & Jack Brymer

    Clarinet Quintet in A Major K581, Larghetto

  • Kaushiki Chakrabarty

    Alap

  • Chiaroscuro Quartet

    String Quartet No 19 in C Major K465, Allegro

Tom Service

Tom Service

Tom Service has presented Music Matters on Radio 3 since 2003; also for Radio 3, he regularly presents the new music show Hear and Now, the Proms, and documentaries.

In 2013 he hosted a 6-part series of 20th Century Classics at the Proms for BBC Four television and in 2014, Masterworks at the Proms. He presented the award-winning documentary Handel’s Messiah at The Foundling Hospital with Amanda Vickery on BBC Two in Easter 2014.

Tom writes about music for The Guardian, where he was Chief Classical Music Critic. His books Music as Alchemy: Journeys with Great Conductors and their Orchestras and Full of Noises, interviews with the composer Thomas Adès, are published by Faber.

He was Guest Artistic Director of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 2005. His PhD, at the University of Southampton, was on the music of John Zorn.


Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Tom Service
Producer Chris Rodley
Director Chris Rodley

Broadcasts