Eine kleine Nachtmusik or “A Little Night Music” aka Serenade No. 13 in G Major, K 525, is admired for its lively, joyful quality and memorable melodies. Take a minute to get the scoop!
The four-movement work opens with a bright allegro in sonata form, and a slow, lyrical second movement follows. The third movement is a light minuet, and the finale is a brisk rondo. Originally, the piece contained a second minuet, but that movement has been lost. The specific occasion, if any, for which Eine kleine Nachtmusik was composed has never been determined.
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Eine kleine Nachtmusik or “A Little Night Music” aka Serenade No. 13 in G Major, K 525, is known for its lively and memorable melodies.
The term serenade by the late 18th century was used broadly to describe a chamber work intended for light entertainment on a social occasion. They were quite popular in Europe, particularly in Vienna, where Mozart spent the last decade of his life.
At that time, it was customary for ensembles to perform serenades in Vienna’s parks and gardens, and the creation of such pieces became a lucrative source of income for composers.
This serenade was completed in Vienna on 10 August 1787, around the time Mozart was working on the second act of his opera Don Giovanni, but it was not published until about 1827, sold by Mozart's widow Constanze.
This 13th serenade of Mozart’s is certainly his best known. In the late 20th century, it figured prominently the movie Amadeus, where the character of composer Antonio Salieri laments that he himself had not created the work.