Mozart: Five essential works

We choose the greatest pieces by Mozart, the legendary travelling composer

Published: January 27, 2019 at 10:00 am

Solemn Vespers

Mozart wrote several choral pieces, but few are as ravishing as the solo towards the end of this otherwise lively work.

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Recommended recording:
Kiri Te Kanawa; London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Sir Colin Davis
Philips 412 8732

String Quartet No. 19 in C, ‘Dissonance’

The final string quartet Mozart composed for a Haydn-dedicated set, this starts with a harmonically adventurous passage.

Recommended recording:
Belcea Quartet
EMI 344 4552

Piano Concerto No. 21 in C, K467

Mozart’s Piano Concertos are among his greatest achievements, revealing both his orchestral skill and his sense of drama.

Recommended recording:
Jonathan Biss; Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
EMI 217 2702

The Marriage of Figaro

Mozart’s comic masterpiece courted controversy by showing a vain aristocrat being bested by his servants, but continues to entertain with its brilliant depth of characterisation.

Recommended recording:
Sena Jurinac, Graziella Scuitti, Rise Stevens; Glyndebourne Festival Chorus & Orchestra/Vittorio Gui
EMI 476 9422

Symphonies Nos 39-41

In an extraordinary burst of creativity, Mozart composed his last three symphonies in less than three months – and every one a masterpiece.

Recommended recording:
Scottish Chamber Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras
Linn CKD 308

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Authors

Freya ParrDigital Editor and Staff Writer, BBC Music Magazine

Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.

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