Donald Macleod focuses on Mozart's final years and the completion of his final piano concerto, No 27 in B flat, K595.
He took the 'land of the clavier', Vienna, by storm, becoming something of a pioneer in composing piano concertos, this week Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The year 1790 began well with the premiere of Mozart's opera Cosi fan tute. It was a success in Vienna which earned him a fee of two hundred ducats. Unfortunately his finances were not in a good state, and one friend found Mozart and Constanze dancing around their apartment simply to keep warm. Through an act of generosity came a commission, for which Mozart composed his String Quintet in E flat major K614.
1791 would prove to be Mozart's last. It was then that he completed his final piano concerto, No 27 in B flat major K595, although the paper he used to write this work, suggests that this concerto dates from an earlier period. Money remained tight for Mozart, and so he accepted a mysterious commission for a Requiem. In the last hours before his death, Mozart dictated this work to his pupil Süssmayer, and puffed out his cheeks imitating the sound of the timpani passages.
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