Mozart considered canon-writing an essential compositional skill. Though canons are often small chamber works to be performed in company, Mozart's sketches of some of these works show that the composer carefully considered them before completion, giving them as much thought as his larger and more famous works.
This collection includes Mozart's complete canons. The works vary in instrumentation and character; among the vocal ones are puzzle canons (which show one line of music and text, along with only the entry points of the other parts), the ambitious 12-part V'amo di core and the multi-lingual Bona nox! Bist a rechta Ox. Mozart's sense of humour is demonstrated in the two canons written to the daringly-named text of Leck mir den Arsch, as well as in the Difficile lectu mihi mars et jonicu difficile which, provided that the singer has the right accent, provides much hilarity. Aside from the vocal canons, there are several written for instruments, including the Adagio in F major, composed for two basset horns and bassoon.