Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived for only thirty-five years, but during his short life became one of the greatest miracles of music. The supreme genius of his music unsurpassed in lyric beauty, rhythmic variety, and effortless melodic invention. The universal recognition of Mozart's genius has never wavered among professional musicians, amateurs, and the general public. In his music, smiling simplicity is combined with serious drama and sublime inspiration is contrasted with playful entertainment.
Born in Saltzburg, Austria, on January 27, 1756, Mozart's remarkable talent demonstrated itself at a very early age. Mozart may still be considered the most extraordinary child prodigy who ever lived. As a young adult, he was appointed to the royal court in service of the Archbishop in Saltzburg, and later in Vienna. Due to his rash artistic temperament, it was difficult for Mozart to successfully fulfill his duties. He became resentful of his position in the court and was released from his contract. Although Mozart was paid for his compositions and performances throughout his life (he composed over six-hundred works), he was never able to get away from lasting financial troubles. Mozart seemed incapable of successfully managing his own financial and business affairs and he was continually requesting loans from friends, which he never repaid. In 1791, while composing his final work, the "Requiem," Mozart fell ill and became obsessed with the idea that he was writing the mass for his own death. He died on December 5, 1791, before completing the "Requiem." The cause of death was registered as military fever, and later as rheumatic inflammatory fever. There have been posthumous rumors that he was poisoned, but there is no evidence to support this theory. Mozart was buried in a communal grave, in the custom of the day, at St. Mark's churchyard outside Vienna.
Mozart's remarkable output includes many of the world's greatest symphonies, concertos, operas, chamber music and sonatas. The selections on this recording are favorites among intermediate and early advanced pianists. A music book correlated to these selections is available from your favorite print music dealer. Please ask for "Mozart: Selected Works for Piano" (GP394), Compiled and Edited by Keith Snell, Neil A. Kjos Music Company, Publisher.
Keith Snell, Producer
Pianist Diane Hidy made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1991 after completing her studies with John Perry and Leon Fleisher. In 1987 Diane was the first woman to become a Fellow of the American Pianists Association and in 1982 was the winner of the MTNA Collegiate Artist Competition. She has performed with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra s First Prize winner of the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition. Diane attended the Juilliard School of Music, and holds music degrees from the University of Southern California and the Peabody Conservatory of Music. She spent her high school years in Seattle, Washington, where she was a student of Michiko Miyamoto.
Diane and her husband, J. Tony Smith, live in San Francisco, CA, where she teaches young beginners through advanced high school students and adults.