Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
b. 1756 Salzburg, Austria; d. 1791 Vienna, Austria
Piano Sonata in D Major, K. 576
After an unsuccessful concert tour of Potsdam, Leipzig and Berlin in 1789, Mozart decided, upon his return to Vienna, to try his fortune by composing six string quartets for the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm II, a cellist, and six piano sonatas for his daughter, the princess Friederike. At the time of his death, Mozart had completed only three of the string quartets and one of the sonatas.
Labeled "an easy Piano Sonata" by Mozart, the Sonata in D Major is considered by many to be the most difficult technically of all his 18 piano sonatas.
The first movement opens with a horn-calling, sometimes earning the piece the nickname of "The Trumpet" or "The Hunt." This Allegro in 6/8 is full of polyphonic passages, felt by many to be an influence of his reacquaintance with J.S. Bach in Leipzig.
The second movement, an Adagio, contains one of his most beautiful singing melodies darkened by exceptionally chromatic harmonies.
The lively Rondo is almost as contrapuntal as the first movement, with the theme playfully presented sometimes harmlessly simple, sometimes virtuosic or chromatic, reversed in the bass…. an intelligent playfulness sometimes called Mozart's "Laughter among the Tears."
Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos, K. 448
Mozart only wrote three works for two pianos, including this piece, the large Fugue in c minor, and the Concerto in E-flat Major for two pianos and orchestra. In contrast to the more frequent pieces he composed for one piano four hands, which were more appropriate for music making at home, Mozart was looking for a greater freedom and virtuosity created by the unlimited ability of each pianist to utilize the full keyboard.
Mozart composed this Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos in the autumn of 1781, dedicating the piece to Josepha Auernhammer, his student who was known as one of the most famous piano soloists of the time. The piece was premiered by Mozart and Auernhammer in Vienna in November of that year.
The piece is recognized as being one of the most important pieces in the repertoire for two pianos, and has been described as being "brilliant" and "one of Mozart's most shining piano creations." The piece also has refined figurations, exceptional dialogue and counterpoint between the two pianists, strong contrasts, and a powerful dramatic build up, making it not only brilliant, but also one of Mozart's most profound and mature compositions.
Cosi Fan Tutte
Guglielmo : "Rivolgete a lui lo sguardo"
Guglielmo is a young officer, a comic character of the comic opera "Cosi fan tutte". For fun as a result of a bet, he tries to court the fiancée of his friend, who in turn seeks to seduce his own fiancée. Written in Italian on a libretto of Lorenzo Da Pont, this opera was created in 1790 in Vienna. "Rivolgete a lui lo sguardo" is often drawn from the opera and sung as a concert tune. It is with great talent that Guglielmo tries to direct the two young fiancées towards their new lovers: "Turn your eyes toward him and you will see how he is ... And you my dear, turn your beautiful eyes toward mine where you will find what my lips cannot say."
The Marriage of Figaro
The Countess: "Dove sono i bei momenti"
With a nostalgic touch, the Countess, though remaining calm, recalls her husband’s love to her at the beginning of their marriage, a love that has now evaporated. The musical phrases spread simply in C major, a tonality of balance and plenitude. The melancholy comes from the accompaniment which prolongs the silences of the speech. Then a modulation turns the song into a minor tone where nostalgia is replaced by sadness "Why sings this nightingale...when everything for me has changed into sadness...?"
Count: "Hai gia vinta la causa"
The count thinks he can finally conquer a new mistress, the young and fresh maidservant Suzanne until he hears her telling her fiancé that the Count has been trapped. Here begins a tone of resentment. After trying to seduce a servant and exchanging simple words of love with her, he again becomes the haughty and proud aristocrat, upset to have been tricked by a person of low status. His thirst for revenge animates the aria, and ends in heavy suffering. It is a moment of great drama.