- String Quartet No 1, in C Major, Op. 49
- String Quartet No 7, in F sharp Minor, Op. 108
- String Quartet No 14, in F sharp major, Op. 142
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died on December 5, 1791. It had been an incredibly productive year for the ill-fated 35-year-old composer. Although he left his Requiem incomplete, Mozart composed an astounding number of masterpieces in 1791, some of which are excerpted on this compilation, part of National Public Radio's Milestones of the Millennium series. Drawn from Sony Classical's vast archives, this 78-minute program features a broad selection that includes chamber, orchestral, and choral music, as well as opera. There's history here, too, in a 1942 recording of legendary coloratura soprano Lily Pons singing the stratospheric roulades of "Der Holle Rache" from "The Magic Flute." Other highlights include Robert Marcellus's velvety smooth reading of the final rondo from the Clarinet Concerto, backed by the Cleveland Orchestra under conductor George Szell. Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic evoke the rustic charm of "Sleigh Ride," a German dance. E. Power Biggs breathes magical innocence into the Andante for a Toy Organ. The disc concludes with three selections from the famous Requiem, conducted with exceptional gracefulness by Jean-Claude Malgoire. Even with the small sampling of masterworks on this album, the astounding nature of Mozart's genius is abundantly clear. Those listeners interested in understanding more about the composer's tragic end should read 1791: MOZART'S LAST YEAR, a highly engaging account by the distinguished musicologist H. C. Robbins Landon.