Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- Category : Entertain-Music-Composer/Arranger
- Type : GE
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : LAX The Alpha 2
Austrian composer who wrote masterpieces in every branch of classical music, regarded as one of the world's great geniuses. He came into the world endowed with native talent in which there is no equal in the history of music. In total, Mozart wrote 41 symphonies, 17 piano sonatas, about 20 operas, church music and serenades; altogether, he composed more than 600 works, including choral and chamber works, symphonies, sonatas, concertos, and operas.
A prolific child prodigy, his violinist father Leopold (born 14 Nov 1719) recognized his son's natural musical gifts by the time the child was four. Mozart's mother was Maria Anna Pertl, a native of St. Gilgen. The couple had seven children of whom two survived. His older sister, Maria Anna was born 30 July 1751 in Salzburg. His father was a strict disciplinarian who instructed his gifted sister as well as his young son at their clavier lessons. At five, young Mozart composed his first clavier pieces.
On 6 January 1762, Leopold took his affectionate and devoted son and daughter to visit and entertain royalty in Munich, Vienna and Pressburg. In Vienna, the family musical delighted the Empress Maria Theresa. At seven, without formal training, Mozart started playing the violin. On 9 June 1763, Mozart, his father and sister left for an extended trip to Europe, Munich, Augsburg, Brussels and Paris. The Mozart's were received cordially and without ceremony by George III and his musical wife Queen Charlotte in London. The nine-year-old boy met Johann Christian Bach on his fifteen months stay in England. After visiting Holland, the family returned to Salzburg in November 1766. At 13, Mozart and his father traveled to Italy to study with Padre Martini. Pope Clement XIV conferred on Mozart the Order of the Golden Spur. In October 1770, he completed his opera "Mitridate, Re di Ponto" with much acclaim by the Italian audiences. In the spring of 1772, a new prince-archbishop ruled Salzburg. Mozart was commissioned to write music for the prince with a salary of 150 florins and the position of Court Konzertmeister. He wrote four symphonies, four divertimenti, several string quartets and divers pieces for the church. In 1773, Mozart went to Vienna looking for a court position under Maria Theresa. He wrote six string quartets while he waited a position in Vienna. After Mozart departed to Munich for the production of his opera "La finta giardiniera," the archbishop of Salzburg grew angry with his Konzertmeister's repeated absences. In 1776, the archbishop sacked Mozart as Konzertmeister, and the composer left with his mother to perform in Paris in 1777. While in Paris, his mother became seriously ill and died on 3 July 1777.
Mozart loved fine clothing, the fancier the better. His sense of humor was bawdy bordering on scatological and he was inordinately fond of practical jokes. He kept a number of pets, being particularly fond of birds. Restless and notoriously fidgety, he also snored loudly enough to wake the neighbors. He was often ill, suffering from chronic respiratory infections and other ailments, but feared doctors so much that he could not be persuaded to consult one. In later life he suffered from paranoia, fearing that he was going to be poisoned by an unknown enemy. Unable to regulate his spending, his financial affairs were chaotic. Only 5' 4", Mozart was of slight build and pale in complexion.
By 1779, Mozart returned to Salzburg. He worked as court and cathedral organist writing his Symphony in C Major (K. 338) during this period. In 1780, the Elector of Bavaria asked Mozart to write an opera for Munich. The opera was "Idomeneo" considered the first of Mozart's great operas. In 1781, Mozart finally broke with the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg. He moved to Vienna as a freelance composer looking for work. The Emperor Joseph II commissioned Mozart's "Abduction of the Seraglio and it was performed on 16 July 1782 in Vienna. In Berlin, King Frederick William II of Prussia paid the composer generously for a number of compositions. He launched into a creative musical output with "The Marriage of Figaro," 1786, "Don Giovanni," 1787, "Cosi fan tutte," 1790, "La Clemenza di Tito," 1791 and "The Magic Flute" in 1791. In this five-year period there were also an imposing number of chamber music, works for the piano, symphonies like the E-flat, G minor, and C major (Jupiter). In July 1791, the Count Franz von Walsegg commissioned the composer to write the Requiem Mass. While working on the Requiem Mozart died of kidney disease.
At 25, Mozart lodged with the Weber family in Mannheim and fell in love with 18 year-old Constanze Weber. The couple married on 4 August 1782 with the disapproval of his father Leopold Mozart. They were happy in the nine year marriage with two of their six children surviving to adulthood. His son, Wolfgang Amadeus, Jr. was born in Vienna on 26 July 1791. The couple suffered from financial problems that were not alleviated by an extravagant style of living.
In 1767, Mozart and his sister came down with small-pox and for nine days Mozart was rendered sightless. Count Podstatsky, a canon of Salzburg, had the children nursed back to health at his expense. In 1791, Mozart's health began to decline from the years of hardships on the road, financial worries, and his constant work. He died shortly before 1:00 AM on 5 December 1791 after saying goodbye to his family and receiving the last rites from his priest. Contrary to legend, he did not go into a pauper's grave but left instructions for a small and simple ceremony. A memorial service held in Prague a week later drew thousands of mourners.