Mozart was an avowed Freemason, and his connection to the order became integrated with his compositional output. In 1785 he composed the Maurerische Trauermusik (Masonic Funeral Music). It was written in honor of two deceased brethren Franz, Count Esterhazy de Galantha and Georg August, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Mozart associated certain musical motifs with Masonic ideas. The rising interval of the major sixth and various rhythmic embodiments of Masonic ritual knocks were among the elements he used as musical symbols. Although the Requiem is not specifically Masonic in nature, there are aspects present including some of these musical motifs. This 1991 recording bears the signature of Jordi Savall s talent as a conductor the intensity of emotion, clarity of structure and the emphasis on singing musical lines. This new multichannel re-mastering sheds new light on a true gem of the back catalog.
The repertoire choices here seem curiously conservative, considering the course of Jordi Savall's career in recent years. The answer to that conundrum lies in the date of recording – 1991. Back then, Savall was a much more mainstream kind of period performance performer, so a disc of Mozart's Requiem would have seemed like a logical choice for him, especially given that the year marked the bicentenary of the composer's death.
Wolfgang Mozart joined the order of the freemasons at the lodge "Zur Wohltдtigkeit" (Benefaction) in Vienna on December 14, 1784. Mozart and freemasonry seemed an ideal match, and in a little over a year he would achieve the status of "master mason." A small number of works among Mozart's late output was intended directly for use in Masonic lodges, and two major non-Masonic works, the opera Die Zauberflцte (The Magic Flute, K. 620) and the Requiem K. 626, share strong Masonic connections. The best known of Mozart's Masonic compositions is the Maurerische Trauermusik, K. 477 (479a) scored originally for two violins, two violas, clarinet, basset horn, two oboes, two horns, and bass. Mozart later added parts for two additional basset horns and bassoon, resulting in an instrumentation absolutely unique in Mozart's vast output…- David Lewis
MOZART 111 combines the best of the Austrian master's music with the best of Deutsche Grammophon's Mozart recordings, bringing together a total of 111 works, while retaining, as far as possible, the original album releases with their cover art. There's enough of everything here to stock a shop, as they say, in performances that have stood the test of time and performances that make you sit up and listen to Mozart afresh the perfect way to discover, rediscover and savor the incomparable genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
This SIX CD collection of 101 favorite tracks is the perfect introduction to the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the greatest and most popular composers of all time. With a running time of well over 7 ½ hours of music this box set provides unbeatable value for money. The comprehensive collection covers every aspect of this popular composers music best-loved arias from his operas and highlights from the sacred choral works rub shoulders with favorite moments from his symphonies, concertos, serenades, sonatas and chamber music. Includes recordings by some of the greatest exponents of this repertoire in the Decca catalogue, including artists such as Mitsuko Uchida, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Colin Davis, Joshua Bell, Sir Neville Marriner and Sir Georg Solti.
First things first: if you're seeing a picture of this disc on the site of an online retailer, be aware that it contains the Mass in C minor, K. 427, not the "Mass in C," promised by the cover, which would more likely be the "Coronation" Mass in C major, K. 337. It is always a shame when designers are given power of diktat over content editors. The so-called "Great" Mass in C minor is one of Mozart's most ambitious and most problematical works. There was no known immediate stimulus for its composition. Did Mozart begin writing it out of one of his rare religious impulses, on the occasion of his marriage to his bride Constanze? Out of his growing devotion to Freemasonry? Was it his first major exercise in applying the lessons in Bach-style counterpoint he had been receiving at the intellectual salons of the Baron van Swieten in Vienna? Or was it meant as a showpiece for singer Constanze with its killer soprano arias? It was all of these things and none of them, for Mozart never finished the mass.