Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mozart (1756-1791) is born in Salzburg on 27 January, with name of Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus (Amadé).

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was such a child prodigy that his father Leopold sacrificed his own musical career to concentrate on teaching his son full-time. By the time he was five, Mozart had composed his first pieces for piano and could play blindfolded. He began touring Europe with his father and older sister Nannerl and impressed audiences everywhere they went. He was so talented that at only 13 years old he was appointed the Concert Master at Salzburg, Austria, by the Archbishop there. He made musical tours of Italy from 1769 to 1771 and fell in love with opera and choral works.

He was so impressed with Allegri's Miserere when he heard it in Rome in the Sistine Chapel that he hurried home and wrote it out by hand from memory. On another fateful European tour, he traveled to Mannheim, Germany, to hear what was said to be the continent's greatest orchestra, and there he fell in love with Aloysia Weber. But there were not many job prospect there, so he headed to Paris, where he struggled to pay the bills and his beloved mother died. Once back in Salzburg, he was so badly behaved that even the Archbishop grew tired of him, talented though he was, and dismissed him.

Amadeus in Vienna

He headed to Vienna in 1781 to try to make his living as a freelance composer and performer without a wealthy patron. In 1782 he married his former love Aloysia's sister Constanza, much to his father's disapproval. However, his musical career began to flourish when his opera The Abduction from the Seraglio (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) was a huge hit. He then embarked on a series of concerts with him playing his own piano concertos as soloist and also serving as conductor. He became friends with another talented composer, Joseph Haydn, and began to study Bach and Handel. He also became an ardent Freemason in 1784 and served in the same lodge with Hayden. He also tried to convert his father Leopold and succeeded before he passed away in 1787.

Mozart in inancial troubles and death

Mozart always had money worries as an independent composer and performer and was forced to borrow money and move his family to cheap lodgings in the suburbs. His fortunes seemed to be improving in the final year of his life, as he produced some of his greatest works, including The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte), his last piano concerto, (the K. 595 in B-flat), the Clarinet Concert, and his Requiem, sadly left unfinished.

His finances improved for a time and he seemed to be on the brink of great success when he suddenly passed away on the 5th of December 1791. Thanks to the popular play "Amadeus," some have speculated that he was poisoned by the rival composer Antonio Salieri, but that is probably pure fiction. Mozart was buried in an unmarked grave, which was in accordance with the Austrian customs of the time and probably did not indicate that he died a pauper as some have claimed. All of the memorial services and concerts in his honor after his death were well attended, as befitting one of the greatest composers of classical music in the West.


Tags: | Austria | Music | Art | Mozart |


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