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  • 1 Liszt Academy of Music Liszt Ferenc tér 8., H-1061 Budapest, Hungary
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Surprisingly little work has been dedicated to Mozart and the march genre. The literature has explored only the 17 marches which feature as introductory movements in his cassations and serenades (Neue Mozart-Ausgabe, Günter Hauswald, Wolfgang Plath). However, marches have important functions in Mozart’s operas – in his seria works as celebratory and greeting intermezzos, and at expressly key instances in his Da Ponte operas (“Non più andrai,” “Ecco la marcia, andiamo,” “È aperto a tutti quanti, viva la libertà!”, and “Bella vita militar”). The same applies to Idomeneo and The Magic Flute, where the priestly rituals are accompanied by marches, albeit of a slow variety, as is Tamino and Pamina’s trial by fire and water. Studying the marches reveals a formulaic recurring rhythmic model (a succession of eighth notes in the following pattern: 4:3:1:2:2) that acts as a thematic introduction to many works which do not conspicuously belong to the march genre – notably his piano concertos and symphonies. This model appears already in his juvenile pieces, reoccurring throughout his œuvre as a means of expressing the beginning of a purposeful action.