Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

 

Biography


Mozart Biography

 

Composer Name: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Born                     : January 27, 1756

Died                      : December 5, 1791

Nationality          : Austrian

 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the greatest composer in the Classical period was born on January 27, 1756, in the city of Salzburg, Austria. He was baptized as Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart.

 

The Child Prodigy

Mozart’s parents emphasized a lot on their children’s music education. His father, Leopold Mozart was a composer, instructor, and famous violinist who was an assistant concertmaster at the Salzburg court. Mozart was a child prodigy who can master multiple instruments. At the age of 6, he was already a budding composer and successful keyboard player who made his first performance at the imperial court in Vienna, Austria. Mozart and his sister, Nannerl followed their father on a musical tour across Europe from 1763 to 1766. From there, he was exposed to music from various styles and genres.

 

Italian Tour

At the age of 13, Mozart followed his father to Italy from 1769-1771. In Italy, he has obtained a commission for an opera and has been accepted as a member of Accademia Filarmonica. Upon returning to Salzburg, he was appointed as an assistant concertmaster. He has composed several symphonies, string quartets, sonatas, serenades and a few operas. He also developed a passion in composing violin concertos.

 

Life in Paris and Vienna

In August 1777, Mozart has traveled to Paris to look for greater opportunities for his talent. He spent nine difficult months there without securing a good employment. During his time in Paris, his mother fell ill and passed away on July 3, 1778. Mozart returned soon after and his father has found him a job as court organist in Salzburg.

 

In March 1779, Mozart was summoned to Vienna by his employer, Archbishop von Colloredo who was attending the celebrations for the accession of Joseph II to the Austrian throne. He was treated like a servant and was refused from performing before the Emperor. Mozart was offended and he resigned. He decided to settle down in Vienna as a freelance performer and composer.

 

Soon, Mozart found his teaching job and started to write music and operas for publication. He was married to Fridolin Weber’s daughter, Constanze on August 4, 1782. The couple had six children, but only two survived infancy. Mozart has spent 10 years in Vienna from age twenty-five to his death at age thirty-five where he experienced the greatest development in his music and composition.

 

Later Years

During 1788-1789, Mozart expeienced the lowest point in his life with depression and some form of bipolar disorder. In his mid-thirties, both Mozart’s physical and mental health was deteriorating. He recovered slightly to conduct the premier of The Magic Flute in September 1791 but was fell sick again and confined to bed in November. Mozart died on December 5, 1791 at the age of 35 due to an uncertain cause.

 

More detailed stories of Mozart can be read from this excellent Mozart’s biography written by Italian historian Piero Melograni.

 

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 The Best Mozart Music


 

Mozart is a productive and dedicated composer who has composed musical works in various genres. His works include opera, concerto, sonata, symphony, string quartet, string quintet and solo piano. A list of Mozart’s works can be referred here. Read my analysis of Mozart’s piano sonata in C major here.

 

The Compleat Mozart: A Guide to the Musical Works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

This book was published on the 200th anniversary of Mozart’s death. It is an informative guide of all Mozart’s works including symphonies, concertos, operas, string quartets and others. The descriptions of each piano work include the time, venue and reasons the work was composed.

 

Mozart’s Complete Piano Sonatas Performed by Mitsuko Uchida:

 

The Symphonies [10 CD Box Set]

This CD box set is a collection of the complete Mozart’s Symphonies performed by Prague Chamber Orchestra which was conducted by Charles Mackerras.

 

 

Mozart: Complete Piano Concertos

This CD box set contains 12 CDs with the complete Mozart’s piano concertos performed by Murray Perahia with English Chamber Orchestra.

 

Mozart Sheet Music


 

Mozart’s earlier works which are suitable for late beginner to intermediate pianist:

16621088
look inside
Mozart – 15 Easy Piano Pieces
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). Edited by Elena Abend. For Piano, Piano/Keyboard (Piano Solo). Schirmer Performance Editions. SMP Level 4 (Intermediate). Softcover Audio Online. 32 pages. Published by G. Schirmer (HL.296685).

 

Mozart’s Sonata for intermediate to early advanced pianist:

3503138
look inside
Mozart — Selected Intermediate to Early Advanced Piano Sonata Movements
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791). Edited by Maurice Hinson. For Piano. Graded Standard Repertoire; Masterworks; Piano Collection. Alfred Masterwork Edition. Form: Sonata. Classical; Masterwork. Early Advanced; Intermediate; Late Intermediate. Book. 96 pages. Published by Alfred Music (AP.4884).

 

Mozart Quotes


 

Mozart Quotes

“Melody is the essence of music. I compare a good melodist to a fine racer, and counterpointists to hack post-horses; therefore be advised, let well alone and remember the old Italian proverb: Chi sa più, meno sa—Who knows most, knows least.”

 

“The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.”

 

“It is a mistake to think that the practice of my art has become easy to me. I assure you, dear friend, no one has given so much care to the study of composition as I. There is scarcely a famous master in music whose works I have not frequently and diligently studied.”

 

“When I am ….. completely myself, entirely alone… or during the night when I cannot sleep, it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly. Whence and how these ideas come I know not nor can I force them.”

 

“I pay no attention whatever to anybody’s praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.”

 

“Nevertheless the passions, whether violent or not, should never be so expressed as to reach the point of disgust; and music, even in situations of the greatest horror, should never be painful to the ear but should flatter and charm it, and thereby always remain music.”

 

Do you love Mozart’s music? Which one is your favorite? Share with us in the comment box below! 

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13 Comments:

  1. hello
    wow what a life Mozart had! So much talent at such a young age. I wish I had known him as a child, to see what he was like. I did not know he had died at such a young age but I guess that at that time, it was typical. I knew he had some mental health issues but of course, there were less resources back then. love his quote about music being in silence!

    1. Hi Emily, Mozart was indeed a genius to be so talented in multiple instruments. If he lives a longer life, I’m sure he will leave us more great music. I’ve read that Mozart got some of his creative inspiration during his euphoric phase of his bipolar disorder.

  2. You certainly did your research well. It was his full name I wasn’t sure of. Thank you so much!
    Mozart is amazing and his story is so inspiring. Keep up the great work on this site too!

  3. I love many of Mozart’s piano sonatas, and have a great time playing them myself (butchering them!) The piano concertos are great as well. Question: do you think the movie Amadeus was a fair portrayal? I suspect that although he may have had some crude moments, he wasn’t what the movie made him out to be.

    1. Hi, Rick. I’m not sure that the plots in the movie Amadeus is true, there is no evidence to support it anyway. I think we shouldn’t believe the 100% of it. What I know is I really love Mozart’s music. 🙂

  4. How did he end up with Amadeus as commonly known by most? I am familiar with a couple of his concertos but cant recall the titles. Back in the 1980s, a European group named Falco hit the charts with a concerto-rock piece called “Amadeus” which as I understand was a loose tribute to Mozart. This is a great page… in a few short minutes I learned more about this music genius than I can remember from the classical lesson of music history in my elementary school days.

    1. Hi Tom, thanks for reading! Hope that my brief description about Mozart’s biography has provided you an idea about his life and great music. 🙂

  5. The most impressive part of Mozart’s story for me is that he was able to compose beautiful music whilst being deaf. His love of music transcended his disability which shows that anything is possible to those who refuse to put limitations on themselves.

    1. I believe that I made a mistake with regards to Mozart being deaf. I now realize that it was Beethoven who was deaf. Mozart had to overcome some mental issues and depression is order to produce some of him finest work.

      1. Hi Sheni, thanks for your comment. Yeah, it was Beethoven who has experienced deterioration of his hearing during the later years of his life.

  6. Mozart often wrote without thought, but never, even when he was six years old, without mastery; and there is much genuine work that is as dull as this concertante, but none that is obviously constructed by a fool. On the other hand, twelve discovered divertimenti for 2 clarinets and bassoon are delightful little works which, with all their slightness, only Mozart, and Mozart in full maturity, could have written.

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