Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in the city of Salzburg on the 27th January 1756 and was the son of the music director Leopold Mozart.
The young boy started composing when he was five. In 1762, together with his sister Nannerl, he gave one of his first performances before the Imperial family of Austria.
His father Leopold encouraged his children to exhibit their talents and in 1763 the family set out on their first tour.
Mozart's genius astonished his audiences and he was invited to perform before the Royal Families in both, Paris and London.
During the following years the Mozart family travelled to Vienna, Milan, Munich and back and forth to Salzburg.
In 1777 Wolfgang was sent to Munich and later travelled on to Mannheim where he fell in love with Aloysia Weber. His father Leopold wanted to send him to Paris, but the prospects of success there were poor and he decided to bring him home again.
After a short stay in Munich Mozart hoped to get a position at the Imperial Court in Vienna but had to be content with teaching, composing and publishing his music in order to make a living.
In 1782, Mozart married Constanze Weber, Aloysia's younger sister.
In 1787 he was appointed Court Musician (Kammermusicus), which gave him a reasonable income. Nevertheless, his lavish spending resulted in financial problems that forced him to borrow money.
Mozart was able to improve his reputation by writing and publishing his music and by giving piano recitals.
Between 1782 and 1786, Mozart wrote many of his piano concertos.
In 1786 he wrote the ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ (Le nozze di Figaro) and ‘Don Giovanni’ (1787) followed by ‘Cosi fan tutte’ and the ‘Magic Flute’ (Die Zauberflöte) in 1791.
The Emperor Joseph II once commented, “... too many notes, dear Mozart”.
Joseph Haydn regarded Mozart as one of the greatest composers the world had ever known; one who has, - “a taste for, and, what is more, the greatest knowledge of composition.”
Mozart lived in Vienna for the rest of his life but undertook a number of journeys to Salzburg, Prague and Berlin.
Mozart had been a freemason since 1784 and this was to influence his compositions during his last years.
The famous genius died in Vienna on the 5th December 1791 and was buried in a reusable coffin, in an unmarked grave in St. Marx’s cemetery in accordance with the burial laws of the reformer Joseph II.
His last composition, the ‘Requiem’, was left unfinished until it was finally completed by his pupil Franz Xaver Süssmayr.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in the city of Salzburg
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was the son of the music director Leopold Mozart.
Archduke Joseph introduces the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to Maria Theresia
During this court visit Wolfgang met Archduchess Maria Antonia (Marie Antoinette), who was two months his senior. An anecdote of this event recounts how the Archduchess helped Wolfgang to his feet after he had slipped on the polished floor in Schönbrunn Palace.
Mozart is said to have made a proposal of marriage to the Archduchess in return.
Count Hieronymus von Colloredo
Count Hieronymus Joseph Franz de Paula Graf Colloredo von Wallsee und Melz was born on the 31st May 1732 and died on the 20th May 1812.
Hieronymus was born in Vienna and was son of a high-ranking Imperial official.
He had a strict religious upbringing and was later educated at the Theresianum Academy in Vienna and studied philosophy at the University of Vienna and theology in Rome.
He was elected Prince-Archbishop on the 14th March 1772 and implemented many reforms during his thirty years as ruler of Salzburg.
During the Napoleonic Wars, Colloredo fled Salzburg and in 1803 he resigned as head of state but remained the ecclesiastical head of the diocese until his death.
Colloredo and Mozart
Colloredo became well known as a patron and employer of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The Archbishop and his court had taken up temporary residence in Vienna to participate in the celebrations surrounding the accession of Emperor Joseph II to the throne and commanded Mozart to attend him in Vienna to provide entertainment during his soirées.
Mozart considered that he was not receiving the respect he deserved and his resentment toward Colloredo became an increasingly difficult problem.
He had arrived in Vienna to find himself reduced to the status of a humble servant and was obliged to lodge with the Archbishop's regular entourage.
Mozart was not allowed to perform for the new Emperor and was denied the salary which he thought to be appropriate for a man of his genius.
In May 1781, Colloredo ordered Mozart to return to Salzburg but the musician wanted to stay in Vienna and ignored the order.
Mozart’s behaviour led to the Archbishop becoming very annoyed and ultimately dismissed the musician.
Mozart’s father, Leopold Mozart tried to sort things out but his son was finally sacked after the Chamberlain had given him a severe dressing down and literally kicked him out.
The famous genius died in Vienna on the 5th December 1791.
He was buried in a reusable coffin, in an unmarked grave in St. Marx’s cemetery
in accordance with the burial laws of the reformer Emperor Joseph II.