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Classical Breakdown

13. The life of Mozart

January 28, 2020

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's life was kind of complicated. His childhood as a musical prodigy was filled with practicing, writing music, and performing for royalty throughout Europe. He later struggled at times finding suitable employment and wanted to find his own path. It was a life lived under the watchful eye of his father, Leopold Mozart, and cut short at the age of 35. 

Show Notes

The Glass (H)armonica 

Glass Armonica, invented by Ben Franklin in 1762

Have you (definitely) ever wet your finger and rubbed it around the lip of a wine glass? That sound is brought to life with the Glass Armonica (aka the Glass Harmonica) and it's mechanized version was created by Ben Franklin in 1761. A long spindle has threaded glass bowls of different sizes to create what is like a keyboard. The spindle is rotated with a foot pedal, and just like with a wine glass, moistened finger tips produce the notes on the rotating bowls. 

Examples and resources used in the episode

Box set of the complete works by Mozart from the Brilliant Classics label.

A thorough biography of Mozart's life: Mozart by Maynard Solomon.

The famous aria, "Der Hölle Rache" from Mozart's opera The Magic Flute