Solemn Vespers (includes Laudate Dominum)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

85

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The 12th of Mozart's 20 entries in the Ultimate Hall of Fame. This peaked at number 49 in 2003.

It is perfectly possible to hear the music of a composer and simply to take it on the musical merits it presents. Mozart's Solemn Vespers from 1780 sound simply divine, on a sheer musical level. Six movements of wonderful, religious music, culminating in, surely, one of Mozart's finest tunes in the 'Laudate Dominum'.

Mozart himself, however, felt restricted in these works. They were written for performance in Salzburg where his employer, the archbishop Colleredo, insisted on a very conservative style in comparison with, say, the Italian manner of the day. No matter for Mozart, though: soon enough, he was to be booted out of the Salzburg court, enabling him to seek his fortune in Vienna.

Mozart als Ritter vom Goldenen Sporn, an anonymous oil painting (c.1777).