Hear All of Mozart in a Free 127-Hour Playlist

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“You can’t have Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart as your favorite com­posers,” said con­duc­tor and San Fran­cis­co Sym­pho­ny music direc­tor Michael Tilson Thomas. “They sim­ply define what music is!” True enough, though it does­n’t seem to have stopped any­one from, when asked to name their clas­si­cal music of choice, unhesi­tat­ing­ly respond with the names of Bach, Beethoven, or Mozart — and Mozart most often. So why does the man who com­posed, among oth­er works, the Piano Con­cer­to No. 24 in C minor, the Sym­pho­ny No. 40 in G minor, and Don Gio­van­ni still com­mand such instinc­tive alle­giance near­ly 225 years after his death?

“Mozart did not come from nowhere,” writes New York­er music crit­ic Alex Ross. “He was the prod­uct of a soci­ety that was avid for music on every lev­el, that believed in the pos­si­bil­i­ty of an all-encom­pass­ing musi­cal genius. The soci­ety we live in now believes oth­er­wise; we divide music into sub­cul­tures and sub­gen­res, we sep­a­rate clas­si­cal music from pop­u­lar music, we locate genius in the past.” But as past genius­es go, we’ve picked a good one in Mozart to car­ry for­ward with us into our tech­no­log­i­cal age: the kind of age where you can lis­ten to an 18th-cen­tu­ry com­poser’s col­lect­ed works with the sim­ple click of a mouse.

The sim­ple click of a mouse, that is, onto this Spo­ti­fy playlist of the com­plete Chrono­log­i­cal Mozart, brought to you by the same folks who put togeth­er the playlists we’ve pre­vi­ous­ly fea­tured of 68 hours of Shake­speare and the clas­si­cal music in Stan­ley Kubrick­’s films. (If you don’t yet have the free soft­ware need­ed to lis­ten, down­load it here.) A few tracks have van­ished since the playlist’s cre­ation (such are the vicis­si­tudes of Spo­ti­fy) but it still offers about 127 hours of the (most­ly) com­plete works of Wolf­gang Amadeus Mozart, the afore­men­tioned famous pieces and well beyond. Lis­ten and you’ll not only under­stand why Mozart defines what music is, but — apolo­gies to Michael Tilson Thomas — why you, too, should num­ber him among your favorites.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Leck Mich Im Arsch (“Kiss My Ass”): Lis­ten to Mozart’s Scat­o­log­i­cal Canon in B Flat (1782)

Ger­man String Quar­tet Per­forms Vival­di & Mozart in Delight­ful­ly Com­i­cal & Acro­bat­ic Rou­tine

New­ly Dis­cov­ered Piece by Mozart Per­formed on His Own Fortepi­ano

Read an 18th-Cen­tu­ry Eye­wit­ness Account of 8‑Year-Old Mozart’s Extra­or­di­nary Musi­cal Skills

The Recy­cled Orches­tra: Paraguayan Youth Play Mozart with Instru­ments Clev­er­ly Made Out of Trash

The Clas­si­cal Music in Stan­ley Kubrick’s Films: Lis­ten to a Free, 4 Hour Playlist

Col­in Mar­shall writes on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.


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