How much do you love Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? A mammoth box set from Decca is celebrating the composer this fall.
The Austrian composer lived just 35 years, from 1756 to 1791, but his impact on Western music is hard to deny. An acclaimed keyboardist and a composer from age five, Mozart’s body of work–which spanned from symphonies to concertos, chamber and sacred music, and even operas like The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute–remains the most influential of the classic period. It’s a body of work that still remains fresh and vital, able to transcend generations thanks both to repeated performance and popular culture (notably the 1984 film adaptation of Peter Shaffer’s play Amadeus, which took home eight Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director).
Now, 225 years after the composer’s passing, W.A. Mozart: The New Complete Edition chronicles every last note of Mozart’s many compositions over a staggering 200 discs. Limited to 15,000 copies worldwide, this box features 240 hours of performance, including five hours of new recordings, some done on instruments the composer personally used.
Here you’ll find, arranged in chronological order by the famed Köchel catalogue used to collect Mozart’s works, everything: original compositions, arrangements of Handel and Bach, fragments, works completed by other composers, and even the newly discovered solo cantana K477a, discovered only last year. Eighteen labels, including Decca and Deutsch Grammophon, will be represented, and 70% of the recordings are alternate to Philips Classics’ 180CD box set The Complete Mozart Edition, first released in 1991.
The package includes two hardback books (one a new biography by Mozart scholar Cliff Eisen, one a 120,000-word series of essays and commentary from 30 additional scholars), five art prints, copies of Mozart’s last authenticated portrait, a handwritten letter and score manuscripts; an updated Köchel catalogue and access to full scores and texts online.