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date: 26 September 2021

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus (b Salzburg, 27 Jan. 1756; d Vienna, 5 Dec. 1791). Austrian composer. 

Source:
The Oxford Companion to Music
Author(s):
Julian RushtonJulian Rushton

(His full given names were Johannes Chrysostomos Wolfgang Theophilus, Amadeus being a Latinization of the Greek Theophilus; but he usually styled himself ‘Wolfgang Amadè Mozart’.) He is perhaps the most beloved of ‘classical’ composers, and the one whose life and times are most subject to mythical distortion. His inborn musical ability may have been equalled, but no other feted infant prodigy lived to achieve so much. His powers of assimilation were developed when, on the family's travels, he learnt to cultivate local tastes. At the same time he mastered the universal technical difficulties of musical composition, such as counterpoint, harmony, fugue, variation, instrumentation, and formal planning (of arias, ensembles, sonatas, and rondos); yet all this learning never suppressed the element of fantasy. Mozart excelled in virtually every genre and style. Expert in the composition of entertainment music, he also produced searching works that suggest a sombre, introspective, even fatalistic nature; a supreme exponent of ostensibly ‘abstract’ instrumental design, including such ... ...

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