Baptised with the gloriously baroque names Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria at the very end of the Baroque musical period. He was composing before he was 5 and was toured around the capitals of Europe by his father to display (and cash in on!) his prodigious performing skills on keyboard and violin. He moved to Vienna in 1781, aged 25, and stayed there for the rest of his life. Along with the likes of Haydn, he essentially defined the Classical musical period.
He is, of course, generally regarded as the greatest Classsical composer of all time, having written extensively in most genres and been influential on Beethoven (and beyond, naturally). As the Bluffers Guide to Music puts it, in its inimitable, hyperbolic style:
Everything he wrote is perfect with never a wrong note in it. The proper reaction to Mozart is to go glassy-eyed and full of inexpressible admiration. If you find Mozart’s music boring, you had better keep this horrible fact to yourself: you might as well say that you don’t like animals or can’t see the point of cricket.
Personally… I like a lot of Mozart, but I do not love it… and, er… find a lot of it rather boring. Ooops.
I do manage to admire Le nozze di Figaro (otherwise known as The Marriage of Figaro) and Don Giovanni, which are probably the two greatest operas in the repertoire. I am also keen on all his horn concerti, too, and am fond of the last half-dozen of his numbered symphonies. Regardless of the specific likes and dislikes, he has somehow managed to get into my top-10 listened-to-of-all-time composers, according to Last.fm… so I would argue that I am not completely hopeless on the matter (though I really don’t see the point of cricket!)
Mozart’s music has, since 1862, been cursed with ‘Köchel numbers’ (pronounced ‘kir-kel’), when Ludwig von Köchel decided to put his music into a chronologically-organised catalogue. Thus, Symphony No. 40 is also known as K 550 and his Requiem is K 626. As I’ve explained elsewhere, however, the Köchel catalogue has a number of shortcomings which have got worse over time. I’ve therefore unilaterally decided to assign all of his works Dizwell Numbers. Symphony No. 40 is therefore now DZ 01057 and his Requiem is DZ 02096.
To allow you to work with -and convert between- the two numbering schemes with ease, I have produced a complete online catalogue of his works. Additionally, the complete catalogue has been broken down into its separate, thematic, sections as follows:
- Section 01: Symphonies
- Section 02: Choral works
- Section 03: Concerti
- Section 04: Orchestral
- Section 05: Opera
- Section 06: Keyboard works
- Section 07: Chamber works
- Section 08: Vocal works
Preparing the catalogue is a work-in-progress, so not all sections will yet be curated and edited to their eventual standard.
As of 26th January 2020, the Symphonies, Choral works, Concerti, Orchestral, Operas, Keyboard and Chamber works can all be considered completely catalogued, though some renumbering remains to be performed after the catalogue as a whole has been prepared. Only the Vocal works remain to be completed -and they are about half-done at present. Overall, about 92% of the entire catalogue has been processed (i.e., checked, and illustrated with incipits and excerpts). As cataloguing proceeds, further updates will be made here.