1775: Mozart: Misericordias Domini,  K.222

TUESDAY, August 18, 2020

(Many thanks to Louie for getting me to listen to this early composition by Mozart. I did not know it, and I don’t know why. Many think that a main theme in this was used by Beethoven as his “Ode to Joy” theme.)

Misericordias Domini,  K.222

Mozart was only 19 years old when he wrote this. From what I’ve read, it is not performed a lot, and it’s not one of his most famous compositions. But I think it is one of his best. Mozart wrote magnificently for both solo voices and choruses. Gardiner is an excellent conductor for this kind of choral music. The voices he chooses are crystal clear.

It’s only around 6 minutes long, and it’s incredibly good. The key is D minor, the same key as his much more famous Requiem, which he wrote very close to the end of his life. The Requiem actually ends with the exact same chords in one part.


This is a long, complicated article, but it’s full of very interesting stories about how and why composers borrowed from other composers, and even from themselves.

Mozart: Kyrie from Requiem in D minor, K626

You will hear that this part of the Requiem ends exactly the same way. Mozart died before this was finished, and so it was completed by other people using the parts of his score that were done. So Mozart, who died at the age of 35, was channeling his 19 year-old, teenage self.


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