Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the most amazing child prodigies in history, was born in Salzburg, Austria. By the age of six, he could play the harpsichord and violin, write minuets, and read music perfectly at first sight. At eight, he wrote a symphony; at eleven, an oratorio; at twelve, an opera. * By his early teens, Mozart had behind him many works that would have brought credit to a composer v three times his age.
Mozart's father, Leopold, was understandably eager to Omega Replica show him off and went to great lengths to ' do so. Between the ages of six and fifteen, Mozart spent almost half his life on tour in Europe and Eng- • land. On his trips to Italy he was able to study and master the operatic style which he later put to superb use.
At fifteen, Mozart returned to Salzburg, which was ruled by a new prince—Archbishop, Hieronymus Colorado. The Archbishop did not appreciate Mozart's genius, and he refused to grant him more than ' a subordinate seat in the court orchestra. With his father's help, Mozart tried repeatedly over the next j decade to find a suitable position, but there were never any vacancies.
The tragic irony of Mozart's life was that he won more acclaim as a boy wonder than as an adult musician. As a child, his complete dependence on his father gave little opportunity to develop initiative. Even when Mozart was twenty-two, his mother tagged along when he went to Paris to seek recognition and establish himself.
Unlike Haydn, Mozart began life as an international celebrity. He could not tolerate being treated like a servant and eating with valets and cooks, and his relationships with his patron went from bad to worse.
By 1781, when he was twenty-five, Mozart could stand it no longer. He broke free of provincial Salzburg and traveled to Vienna, intending Omega Seamaster Replica to be a freelance musician. To reassure his father, he wrote,
"I have the best and the most useful acquaintances in the world. I am liked and respected in the best houses, and all possible honors are given to me, and moreover I get paid for it. I guarantee you. I' II be successful."
Indeed, Mozart's first few years in Vienna were successful. His German opera The Abduction from the Seraglio was acclaimed. Concerts of his own music were attended by the Emperor and nobility. Pupils paid him high fees, his compositions were published, and his playing was heard in palace drawing rooms. He even went against his father's wishes by marrying Constance Weber, who had no money and was impractical.
Then, in 1876, came his opera The Marriage of Figaro. Vienna loved it, and Prague was even more enthusiastic. This success led a Prague Opera Company to commission Don Giovanni the following year. Don Giovanni was a triumph in Prague, but it pushed the Viennese too far. The Emperor Joseph U acknowledged that it was a masterwork.
Mozart's popularity in Vienna began to decline. It was a fickle city: one was a society's darling for a few seasons, then they suddenly ignored him. And Mozart's music was considered complicated and hard to follow. A publisher warned him:" Write in a more popular style, or else I can neither print nor pay for any more of your music!"His pupils dwindled, and his elite snubbed his concerts. In desperate financial straits, he wrote to friends," Great god, I would not wish my worst enemy to be in this position. I am coming to you not with thanks but with fresh entreaties. "
Many of Mozart's letters have been published. These spanned his life, and it is sad to move from the colorful, witty, and keenly observant notes of a prodigy on tour through his initial optimism about Vienna to the despair of "I cannot describe what I have been feeling."
The events of Mozart's last year would have been good material for a grim opera plot. Though his health was failing in 1791, Mozart was delighted to receive a commission from a Viennese Theater for a German comic opera The Magic Flute. While hard at work, Mozart was visited by a stranger dressed entirely in gray who carried an anonymous letter commissioning a Requiem, a mass for the Dead. Unknown to Mozart, the Omega Speedmaster Replica stranger was a servant of an unscrupulous nobleman who meant to claim the Requiem as his own composition. Mozart's health grew worse, and the Requiem took on ominous implications; he believed it to be for himself and rushed to finish it while on his death bed. A final bit of happiness came to him two months before his death. The Magic Flute was premiered to resounding praise in Vienna. Its success probably would have brought large financial rewards, but it came too late. Mozart died shortly before his thirty-sixth birthday, and the final sections of the Requiem were not his. The work was completed from sketches by Sussmayr, his favorite pupil.
Mozart's funeral was the poorest possible. His body was laid in a common grave assigned to paupers.
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