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The seventeen piano concertos composed in Vienna are major works in Mozart's compositional output; each is a masterpiece (see HWM Figure 23.10).Similar to the works of J. C. Bach, Mozart's concertos are in three movements, and the first movements combine elements of ritornello and sonata forms.
The first movement of the Piano Concerto in A, K. 499 (1786) (NAWM 115)The three solo sections resemble the exposition, development, and recapitulation of a sonata form.The opening orchestral ritornello presents the first theme, transition, second theme, and closing themes in the tonic key.Ritornellos return to mark the end of the first and third solo section.The orchestra also punctuates the long solo sections.The cadenza appears in the final ritornello section.The orchestral transition material serves as a strong contrast to the lyric themes.A significant new idea is introduced at the beginning of the development.The second movement of a Mozart concerto resembles a lyrical aria.The key is often in the subdominant and sometimes in the dominant or relative minor.Typical forms are sonata without development, variations, and rondo.The final movement is usually a rondo or sonata-rondo based on themes of a popular character.Mozart balanced virtuosic display with colorful orchestral material, as evident in the numerous wind solos (see HWM Figure 22.12)..SymphoniesMozart composed nearly fifty symphonies prior to moving to Vienna, many of which are in three movements.Mozart wrote only six symphonies in his Vienna years, each a masterpiece.Haffner Symphony, K. 385 (1782)Linz Symphony, K. 425 (1783)Prague Symphony in D Major, K. 504 (1786)Symphony in E-flat Major, K. 543 (1788)Symphony in G Minor, K. 550 (17880Jupiter Symphony in C Major, K. 551 (1788)The G-Minor Symphony opens quietly with an undulating melody.Jupiter Symphony finale (NAWM 116)Combines sonata form with learned counterpoint and fugueThe opening theme presents two ideas: elegant singing idea and a more active response (see HWM Example 23.9).The first idea is treated in all four species of strict counterpoint, while the second is presented in a homophonic texture.Other motives are interwoven in imitative counterpoint.The coda combines earlier motives into a five-voice fugue (see HWM Example 23.10)..Operas by Mozart.Early operasIn 1768, Mozart composed his first operas.La finta semplice (The Pretend Simpleton), an opera buffaBastien und Bastienne, a SingspielHe composed two opera serie in the early 1770s for Milan.
Two operas were composed for Munich.La finta giardiniera (1775), an opera buffaIdomeneo (1781), an opera seria that reflects the reformist trends of Gluck..Die EnfÃ¼hrung aus dem Serail (1782) established his operatic reputation.Mozart raised the Singspiel to the level of an artwork.The "oriental" setting was popular at this time, and Mozart uses Turkish-style music (see HWM Source Reading, page 562).