The Marriage of Figaro - Overture

By: Wolfgang A. Mozart
For: String quartet
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Wolfgang A. Mozart
Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
4 minutes
Classical music
License details
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By the time Mozart had settled in Vienna he had developed a keen sense of the dramatic. Evidence comes not only in the meticulous attention to detail that emerges from the series of letters exchanged with his librettist Gianbattista Varesco during the composition of Idomeneo in 1781, but also from the knowledge that during his early years in the capital he spent much time searching for a libretto that would suit his dramatic requirements. Two comic operas, L'oca del Cairo (The Goose of Cairo), K. 422, and Lo sposo deluso (The Deluded Bridegroom), K. 430, were started in 1783, only to be put to one side because Mozart had obviously become aware of dramatic weaknesses. The libretto for the latter has been attributed to the Viennese court poet, Lorenzo da Ponte, whom Mozart had met in 1783 and was keen to work with. Two years later Da Ponte finally came up with the libretto Mozart had been searching for. The subject was both attractive and potentially dangerous. Le Mariage de Figaro by the French playwright Beaumarchais was a sequel to his popular Le Barbier de S?ville. First given in Paris in 1784, it had become an enormous success in both France and England, where its disrespectful treatment of the nobility had resulted in a certain notoriety. For that reason it had been banned in Vienna. Yet the attractions of attempting to get a version past the court censors were considerable. There was naturally much curiosity about the play in Vienna, while an operatic version of its predecessor by the Italian composer Giovanni Paisiello had proved immensely popular. Da Ponte skillfully toned down some of the more contentious parts of the play, while Mozart set to work on the results, a four-act opera buffa completed on April 29, 1786 (the date Le nozze di Figaro was entered in Mozart's own catalog). The librettist had done his work well; he was able to persuade Joseph II that an unacceptable play had been transformed into an opera that would not cause offense. The first performance took place at the Burgtheater on May 1, 1786. The opera was not the success with the Viennese public that Mozart and his librettist had hoped for, being withdrawn after only nine performances. Yet disappointment was to prove short-lived. Nine months later Figaro was mounted by the opera company in Prague, where it caused such a sensation that the delighted composer was able to report that the tunes were sung and whistled throughout the Bohemian capital. The opera had achieved a triumph that not only led to Prague commissioning a new opera, Don Giovanni, but also started its career as one of the best-loved operas in the entire repertoire.

This arrangement comes with an additional bass part for use with string orchestra.

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Symphony No.40 - 1. Allegro molto, Water Music Suite No.1 in F, Slavonic Dance, Op.46 No.7, La Damnation de Faust - Rakoczy March, Pavane, Op.50, Swan Lake - Dance of the Cygnets, Symphony No.29 - 3. Menuetto, Of The Father's Love Begotten, Morning Has Broken, Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 3. Adagio, Birthday Minuet, Habanera from "Carmen", Kinderszenen, Op.15 No.11 Furchtenmachen (Frightening), Symphonie Fantastique - 2. Un Bal, Gradual, Children's Corner, No.6 The Golliwog's Cake-Walk, While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks, Symphony No.25 - 4. Allegro, Who Let The Cows Out?, A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 "The Wedding March", Slavonic Dance, Op.72 No.2, Who Let The Cows Out? - For Sax Quartet (AATB), Symphony No.29 - 1. Allegro moderato, A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 "The Wedding March", Symphony No.25 - 2. Andante, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 - 2. Affettuoso, Trumpet Tune, Trio No.3, Trio No.1, The Stars And Stripes Forever, The Manhattan Beach March, The High School Cadets, The Gladiator March, The First Noel, The Cannon Ball Rag, String Serenade - 2. Waltz, Song Without Words No.45 - Scherzo Op.102 No.3, Song Without Words No.30 - Spring Song Op.62 No.6, Song to the Moon, from "Rusalka", Sonata in A, KV 331 - 2. Menuetto and Trio, Sonata in A, KV 331 - 1. Andante grazioso (Theme and variations), Sonata "Pathetique" Op.13 - 2. Adagio cantabile, Sonata "Pathetique" Op.13 - 1. Grave - Allegro, Sleepy Sidney, Siegfried Idyll, Si. Mi chiamano Mimi, from "La boheme", Sextet: Chi mi frena, from "Lucia di Lammermoor", Semper Fidelis, Rosamunde - Ballet Music No.2, Radetzky March, Op.228, Preludes, Book 1 No.8 - The Girl With The Flaxen Hair, Piano Sonata No.14 "Moonlight" - 2. Allegretto, Orchestral Suite No.3 - 5. Gigue, Orchestral Suite No.3 - 3. Gavotte I and II, Orchestral Suite No.3 - 2. Air, Orchestral Suite No.3 - 1. Overture, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 6. Menuet, Ode To Joy, O soave fanciulla, from "La boheme", O Little Town Of Bethlehem (2), Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix, from "Samson et Dalila", Minute Waltz, Op.64 No.1, Lullay My Liking, Lohengrin - The Bridal Chorus, Little Jesus, Sweetly Sleep, Largo al factotum, from "The Barber of Seville", La Marseillaise, L'Estate ("Summer") - 2. Adagio, Presto, L'Estate ("Summer") - 1. Allegro non molto, L'Autunno ("Autumn") - 3. Allegro, King Cotton, Key-Stone Rag, Joy To The World, Jingle Bells, It Came Upon The Midnight Clear, In The Bleak Mid-Winter, I Got The Blues, Holberg Suite - 2. Sarabande, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Good King Wenceslas, God Save The Queen, El Capitan, Duet: Sous le dome epais, from "Lakme", Die Fledermaus (The Bat) - Overture, Concerto for Two Violins "L'estro armonico" Op.3 No.8 - Movement 3, Concerto for Two Violins "L'estro armonico" Op.3 No.8 - Movement 1, Christians, Awake!, Chanson Triste, Op.40 No.2, Chanson de Matin, Canon in D, Brook Green Suite - 3. Dance, Brandenburg Concerto No.6 - 3. Allegro, Brandenburg Concerto No.6 - 1. Allegro, Brandenburg Concerto No.2 - 3. Allegro assai, Brandenburg Concerto No.2 - 2. Andante, Bethena - A Concert Waltz, Ave Maria, Op.52 No.6, Anvil Chorus, from "Il Trovatore", Anvil Chorus, from "Il Trovatore", Angels From The Realms of Glory, A Thousand And One Nights, A Cyclone in Darktown, The Flight of the Bumble Bee, Symphony No.29 - 4. Allegro con spirito, Serenade No.10 , Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 2. Menuetto; Trio 1; Trio 2, Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 6. Theme and variations, Solomon - Act III, Sinfonia "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba", Symphony No.40 - 2. Andante, Symphony No.40 - 3. Menuetto, Slavonic Dance, Op.46 No.8 and 1812 Overture

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