Music History

Compositions by Mozart: Famous Songs, Symphonies, Piano Concertos, & Operas

By Jesse Preis
Learn About Mozart | Famous Songs | Symphonies | Piano Concertos.

Discover the most famous Mozart pieces here.

Would you like to learn more about Mozart and famous songs by Mozart? In this article, we will list some of his most famous compositions and give recommendations for works that are fun to learn to play! 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is one of the most famous classical composers in history. He was extremely prolific, having composed over 600 works for piano, symphonies, concertos, and operas. So, there is a lot of music to choose from! 

Important Note on Classical Music: Nowadays, many different types of music are called songs, but in the Western classical tradition, a piece of music is only a song if it’s short and includes singing. Many of Mozart’s pieces, such as his symphonies and concertos, are quite long and contain several smaller pieces within them. These smaller pieces are called movements. Most of Mozart’s symphonies contain three movements. Mozart did write many vocal songs and his operas contain songs as well, but traditionally these songs are called arias! One of Mozart’s most famous songs or arias would be the Queen of the Night aria from his opera Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute). You may have heard this aria before. Check it out here!

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Where should I start with Mozart?

A great place to start with Mozart’s music would be his earliest piano pieces from the Nannerl Notenbuch (Notebook for Nannerl). This book was compiled by his father Leopold Mozart for Wolfgang’s sister Nannerl and contains short piano pieces by Leopold, Wolfgang, and other composers, including C.P.E. Bach. Many of the pieces composed by Wolfgang were written when the composer was only 5 years old! The simplicity and beauty of these works make them a wonderful place to get acquainted with the brilliance of Mozart and his music. Examples of pieces from this book include his very first composition – the Andante in C Major, K. 1a, the Allegro in C Major, K. 1b, the Minuet in F Major, K. 2, and the Allegro in B-flat Major, K. 3.

If you want to learn more about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s life, check out our blog article on him here!

Mozart’s Most Famous Pieces

Mozart was a consistent composer of beautiful and high-quality works. As a result, many of his works are well-known today, making it difficult to name all of them. Here is a list of some of his most famous works that you may want to listen to or even learn to play! 

Some piano works that are worth getting acquainted with would be his 18 piano sonatas. A piano sonata that is wonderful to learn and play, especially for intermediate pianists, would be his Piano Sonata No. 16 in C Major, K. 545. This is an extremely famous piano piece and, even if you didn’t know that it was Mozart’s, you may have heard it before!

Have you ever heard of Mozart’s Turkish March? This is another piece that you may have heard before, even if you didn’t know what it was called. The “Turkish March”, or “Rondo alla turca”, is the third movement from Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major, K. 331/300i. It can be challenging to play, but it is a lot of fun to perform and people love it!

So far, we have only discussed piano works by Mozart, but there is so much more! He also composed pieces for piano and orchestra. One of his most famous pieces for piano and orchestra is his Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, K. 491. Out of 23 piano concertos, this work is only one of two of Mozart’s piano concertos written in a minor key! Considered to be a powerful and advanced work, it was greatly admired by other composers, including Beethoven and Brahms!

You can’t discuss Mozart without talking about his operas and symphonies. Symphonies to check out include his Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550 and his final symphony, the “Jupiter” Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551

Mozart’s operas are some of the most performed works in the genre, considered to be staples in operatic history. Examples of these include the dark and dramatic Don Giovanni, which contains one of the greatest ghost scenes in opera. A more light-hearted and comedic opera would be his extremely famous Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro). Watch a short comedic ballet scene from this opera here! Other operas to check out by Mozart include Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), Così fan tutte, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and Apollo et Hyacinth (composed when Mozart was only eleven years old!).  

What was the last song Mozart wrote?

The last piece of music that Mozart composed was his famous Requiem in D Minor, K. 626, which was left largely unfinished at the time of his death. There are a lot of rumors and stories that surround this piece. The 1984 film Amadeus, a famous and fictionalized account of Mozart’s life, centers around some of these rumors. One rumor, made popular by Mozart’s wife Constanze, is the story that Mozart was visited by a masked man who commissioned a requiem from the composer shortly before his death. The film goes so far as to claim that the Italian composer Antonio Salieri commissioned the work as the masked man, helped Mozart write it as he died, and intended to pass it off as his own. This story is not supported by real evidence, but Mozart’s wife claimed that he composed it believing that he was writing it for his own funeral. 

As mentioned before, Mozart died before completing the Requiem. Fellow Austrian composer Franz Xaver Süssmayr used sketches made by Mozart to complete the work and delivered it to Count Franz von Walsegg to be premiered at a commemoration in the honor of the count’s wife, who had died a year previously. Count von Walsegg is known to have passed off other composers’ works as his own and it is speculated that he planned to do this with Mozart’s Requiem, but was foiled by Constanze who had secretly hired Süssmayr to complete it.

Now that you know more about Mozart and famous songs by Mozart, I recommend that you listen to the pieces mentioned above! I hope that you have a great time listening to and playing these works by Mozart!

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