January 25, 2008

Around the World In 80 Bands - Austria

For this next trip, we're going to Europe, and back several hundred years, to 1700s. The country is Austria and the artist is possible the greatest musician that the world has ever seen: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Mozart was a musical genius from a very early age. Over the course of his lifetime, he composed more than 600 pieces of music, most of which are still played today and is regarded as one of the most influential figures in classical music.

Austria has long been a focal point of classical music, with numerous well known composers from the country, including Mozart, but also
Joseph Haydn, Franz Schubert, Anton Bruckner, Johann Strauss, Sr., Johann Strauss, Jr. and Gustav Mahler, all big names in classical music. Often, musicians would travel here, to Vienna, where they would perform for the Royal Family, making the city as important as major entertainment cities such as Hollywood, LA, London or New York are today.

Here is my favorite piece by Mozart, Concerto in A Major for Clarinet K. 622, performed by the Indiana University ad Hoc Orchestra, conducted by Chen-Sheng Lee.

I. Allegro
II. Adagio
III. Rondo: Allegro