The year is 1788 as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart began to work on his last three symphonies during a time of strife for musicians as the Austro-Turkish War continues to war on in Austria. Tired from moving his family from central Vienna to the suburbs of Alsergrund all while in debt to his ears as he continued to borrow money from friends including a fellow mason, Michael Puchberg, Mozart finished his final symphony on August 10, 1788. This piece, nicknamed the “Jupiter Symphony,” coined by impresario Johann Peter Saloman, was Mozart’s longest symphony with a total of four movements, a typical symphonic form during the Classical era. The Jupiter Symphony totals to about forty five minutes of music ending with a quintuple fugato that brings back the five melodies introduced in the final movement making the closer one of the most complex examples of counterpoint that has ever been created. My goal shall be to give the reader a sense of Mozarts life at the time of this composition, a detailed analysis of all four of these movements, as well as a look at why this piece was seen as a work of innovation.
On January 27th, 1756, at 9 Getreidegasse in Salzburg, Austria, a Jupiter among mere men and composers was born. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born the son of Anna Maria (1720-1778) and Leopold Mozart (1719-1787), a composer, teacher, and the fourth violinist for Count Leopold Anton von Firmian. Already learning to play the keyboard at a mere age of three years old, Mozart would learn by sight as he watched his seven year old sister took lessons from her music teacher. As Mozart got older and started to develop as a player and composer, his traveled with his father around Europe performing as a child ...
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...as he paved the way for composers of the Romantic period like Ludwig van Beethoven, Gioachino Rossini, and Franz Schubert. No one can doubt the finality that mirrors Mozart’s life in his final symphony and his final farewell.
Abert, Hermann. W. A. Mozart. Germany: Breitkopf and Hartel. 1956, Print.
Blom, Eric. Mozart’s Letters. Great Britain: Western Printing Services Ltd. 1956, Print.
Grove, George. The Musical Times Volume 47. United Kingdom: Musical Times Publications Ltd. 1906, Print.
Dr. Lorenz, Michael. Mozart’s Apartment on the Alsergrund. Last updated September 30, 2011. Website.
Sadie, Stanley. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Essays on his Life and his Music. United States: Oxford University Press. 1996, Print.
Zaslaw, Neal. Mozart’s Symphonies: Context, Performance Practice, Recteption. United States: Oxford University Press. 1989, Print.
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