Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart : biography

On the 27th of January in 1756 in a Mozart family which lived in Austrian city Salzburg a boy was born. Mozart’s father Leopold Mozart was a composer and musical theorist, he served as a violinist in the Salzburg archbishop’s orchestra. His wife Anna Maria gave birth to seven children but only two of them lived – the future genius and his sister. As it always happens in families of hereditary musicians both children had unique ear and extraordinary musical qualities. When Mozart’s sister was eight her father began to teach her to play the harpsichord, and Wolfgang learnt to use harpsichord at the age of three. The five year old boy could even compose simple but interesting minuets to everybody’s amazement.

At the beginning of 1762 father took wunderkinds to Munich where they showed their mastery to the Bavarian Prince Elector. In autumn children with their father went on a tour from Linz to Passau and further down the river Danube to Vienna. In Vienna Mozart’s family was received in Schonbrunn Palace and was honoured to visit empress Maria Theresia. It was the first tour of Wolfgang and his sister and it initiated concert tours which lasted for ten years.

In summer of 1763 Leopold with children started a concert trip which appeared to be the longest in their activity – they returned to Salzburg only in autumn of 1766. During this trip they visited Ludwigsburg, Schwetzingen, Paris, Brussels and Munich. By that time Wolfgang mastered playing the violin, and in Frankfurt am Main he performed violin concert which he composed by himself. Incidentally on that day Mozart also played to a fourteen year old youth whose surname was Goethe…

In Paris the family of musicians was received by Loius XV, and their concerts were very popular among the aristocracy. The Mozarts also visited London where they spent a year. The King of England Georg III displayed much kindness to them, and Mozart composed his first symphonies in London. Then the Mozarts’ way went to Netherlands where in autumn of 1767 children got seriously ill with hard pneumonia. Mozart’s sister recovered earlier and the boy completely recovered only in February. On the way Mozart constantly composed music, and his father admitted that his compositions became more voluminous and well-composed with the lapse of time.

During their next trip on the way to Vienna in September of 1767 in Austria people were mowed down by smallpox. Both children got ill and Mozarts had to stay too long in Czechia till December. When they returned in Vienna Wolfgang wrote his first opera “La Finta Semplice” and a big mass for orchestra and choir. The next trip was planned to be to Italy and altogether the family made three trips and three tours over the Alps. Series of triumphs, appointments with the Neapolitan king Ferdinand IV, the cardinal and even Roman Pontiff followed in Italy.

During the voyages Wolfgang always improved his mastery, he studied with famous teachers and composers: Johann Christian Bach, padre Martini and others. It was persistent demands of Martini that helped Mozart to pass the Bolognese philharmonic academy’s exams and be accepted in Academy in 1771. Father tried to settle sixteen year old Mozart to serve for the Milan archduke, but by some incomprehensible reason the empress Maria Theresia sent a letter from Vienna and complained about Mozart family, so Wolfgang didn’t get this position. Two more attempts to settle the son in Italy didn’t lead anywhere so the Mozarts left the south country forever.

Wolfgang familiarized himself with symphonic compositions of such great composers as Haydn and Vanhal. This fact was naturally reflected in his own artwork. Mozart started to get orders for musical compositions and successfully performed them. But at that time he practically never left Salzburg and only happy family life smoothed over dullness of the provincial city. Mozart left the post at Salzburg archbishop in summer of 1777 and went to search for work in other countries. But failures pursued him – the Munich Prince Elector didn’t accept his service, and the Nassau-Weilburg Princess refused to give patronage. When father knew that Mozart fell in love with a singer Aloysia Weber he ordered him to go to Paris with mother. But this was a fatal trip.