Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was essentially an operatic composer. It is in his operatic work that his genius reaches maximum limits, with the adoption of all kinds of registers and a masterly capacity to adapt to theatrical techniques. The overtures of his operas rank high in the repertoires of orchestras as dramatic summaries of the plot and tone of each opera. Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) is a comic opera set in Seville, the first of various collaborations by Lorenzo da Ponte and Mozart. Its overture is one of the most popular by Mozart, describing a rich array of human passions with sublime skill.
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Louise Farrenc was a much-acclaimed composer in mid 19th-century France. A teacher at the Paris Conservatoire, she was the only woman to figure among its teaching staff in the whole of the 19th century in a society in which women were systematically excluded from the public domain in music. Her three symphonies, which are unknown to most people, made a decisive contribution to Romantic symphonism.