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Leopold Mozart, Father of a Prodigy

Leopold Mozart eventually lost control of his prodigal son.
Leopold Mozart eventually lost control of his prodigal son.

Mozart's relationship with his father was one of love and mutual respect, but not subservience. He broke away from Leopold's control when he moved to Vienna. We explore that rupture with the help of scholars Neal Zaslaw and Jane Glover. And we listen to Mozart's first foray into being a freelancer: a Sonata for Piano and Violin, K. 379, played by Benny Kim and Marc Neikrug at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

In Mozart's opera The Marriage of Figaro, a tyrannical Count is brought to his knees by his scheming household, headed up by Figaro. Author Will Berger explains that if you listen between the lines, you can hear much of the deception and scheming right there in Mozart's music. Bass-baritone Bryn Terfel sings Figaro's first act Cavatina, and Nicholaus Harnoncourt leads the Royal Concertgebouw orchestra and soloists in a scene from Act Two.

Mozart's relationship with his Salzburg boss, the Archbishop, deteriorated over several years. When he got fired for the third time, Mozart decided enough was enough, and he took himself off to Vienna to be a freelancer. He took with him the Piano Concerto No. 9 that he had written for a friend, but which became a showpiece for himself, as he sought out commissions. Malcolm Bilson is the fortepianist in the final movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 9, K. 271, with John Eliot Gardiner conducting the English Baroque Soloists.

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