Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and His Rise To Fame

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a world-famous Austrian composer. He was a prominent representative of the Viennese classical school. Originally baptized as Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, Mozart was born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria to Leopold Mozart and Anna Maria Pertl. He was the youngest of seven children, five of whom died in infancy. His father was a successful composer, violinist, and assistant concertmaster at the Salzburg court.

Compared to other composers, Mozart wrote in almost all the musical genres that were available during his time.

He wrote operas, symphonies, concertos, and solo pieces for pianos. At the age of five, Mozart had composed his first piece of music. He looked up to many other composers such as Bach, Handel, and Haydn. His family came from a good background, which included architects and bookbinders. He had one sister named Maria Anna (also called Nannerl), who was born on July 30, 1751.

Mozart had what we call an early talent. He started playing instruments such as the harpsichord at just three years old.

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When he was six, Mozart’s father took him and his sister, who was also very talented, to Munich to play at the Bavarian court. His father described him as “the miracle which God let be born in Salzburg.”

Before he started touring, Mozart had worked as a deputy Kapellmeister at Prince Archbishop’s court in Salzburg. In mid-1763, he left his job and went on a prolonged tour with his family. They went to many musical centers in western Europe, including, Munich, Mannheim, Frankfurt, Brussels, Paris, London, Amsterdam, and Switzerland.

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He met many German composers while touring and published his first piece, which was dedicated to a royal princess. Then, in 1769, Mozart went on a 15-month long tour in Italy. He went back and toured Italy for a total of three times.

Mozart is known for composing more than 600 works, including Serenade No. 13, Symphony No. 40, and The Magic Flute. After returning from Italy on March 13, 1773, Mozart was employed as a court musician by Prince-Archbishop Hieronymus Colloredo. He had many friends and during this time, he had the opportunity to work on composing symphonies, sonatas, string quartets, and a couple of minor operas which many of them are performed to this day. He soon resigned from his position in 1777 and ventured out to find a better fitting job for himself. He had no luck and soon fell into debt. When he was 21, Mozart felt as if he was being restrained by his parents and felt the need to “free himself from paternal domination.” Months passed and he could not find a position in which he felt like he belonged.

While trying to find a steady job, he stayed with many people and soon met and fell in love with Aloysia Weber, a German soprano. Finally, in March 1778, Mozart was able to find some work in Paris. During this time, he composed the Concert Spirituel, which had caught the interest of a majority of the Persian public. Unfortunately, by the time of its premiere, Mozart’s mother had fallen seriously ill and soon died on July 3rd. Afterward, he went and lived with a friend who wrote to Leopold and told him to find a better post for Mozart in Salzburg. No one really knew if Mozart had accepted the offer in Paris. He finally agreed to go back home and reached Salzburg in January 1780.

Once he was back home, Mozart wrote more symphonies. He enjoyed different types of music but was most attracted to ones with dramatic flair. He even wrote music for a play by Tobias Philipp von Gebler. After his triumphs from Munich, Mozart found himself placed in the lodgings for the archbishop’s entourage. The archbishop refused to let him play at concerts. Mozart had felt resentful and insulted and went for an interview with the archbishop. He had requested his discharge and it soon got granted on June 9, 1781.

Soon after, Mozart went back and lived with his old friends, the Webers. He found out the Aloysia, the woman he was in love with, had gotten married to Joseph Lange, an actor. Because of this, Mozart was contemplating on whether or not he should marry the third Weber daughter, Constanze. He decided not to because he believed that he was not in love with her. But by December, Mozart had changed his mind and with his father’s blessings, he got married to Constanze. They soon had six kids and only two of them had survived.

In 1783, Mozart and his wife, Constanze went back to Salzburg to visit Leopold and Nannerl. While he was there, Mozart composed the Mass in C minor. It was not fully completed when it premiered in Salzburg. Constanze also had a solo part in this piece.

Around 1784, Mozart entered the most successful part of his life. In less than five weeks, he had appeared at 22 concerts, including five of his own. In his concerts, Mozart mostly played the piano. He would play pieces that already existed and improvisations. In 1784, Mozart also wrote the fine piano sonata K 457 and the piano and violin sonata K 454. They were produced in haste and Mozart was not able to write out the piano part on paper. He instead played the part with a blank sheet in front of him.

Mozart and Haydn met in Vienna and the two became friends. They sometimes even played together in an impromptu string quartet. In 1785, when Leopold had come to Vienna, Haydn said to him: “I tell you before God, and as an honest man, your son is the greatest composer known to me by person and repute, he has taste and what is more the greatest skill in composition.”

With notable returns from his performances, Mozart and Constanze had adjusted into a lavish lifestyle. They bought an expensive apartment, a fortepiano, and a billiard table. They also enrolled their son, Karl Thomas, to an expensive boarding school and kept servants. They didn’t really save money and soon fell into hardships once again. In 1784, Mozart joined the Freemasons, a fraternal organization. This played a very important part of Mozart’s life. He had many friends who were apart of the organization and he even composed Masonic music.

Throughout his whole career, Mozart mostly focused on being a piano soloist. But, towards the end of 1785, he began an operatic collaboration with Lorenzo Da Ponte. In 1786, The Marriage of Figaro was successfully premiered. Due to this, Da Ponte and Mozart collaborated once more with the opera Don Giovanni which was also successful. In 1787, Mozart was finally able to find a steady job under aristocratic patronage. He was appointed by Emperor Joseph II as a chamber composer. It was a part-time job and it required Mozart to compose dances for annual balls.

Towards the end of the decade, Mozart fell into hard times once again. Around 1786, he rarely was seen in public concerts and his income was slowly shrinking. Many musicians were also in the same situation due to Austria being at war. By mid-1788 Mozart and his family went from central Vienna to the suburbs of Alsergrund. Mozart borrowed money from friends and suffered from depression. Even though he was going through a rough patch, Mozart still continued to compose music. Around 1790, Mozart went on long journeys, hoping to improve his situation. He went to many German cities such as Leipzig, Berlin, Frankfurt, and, Mannheim. The trip did not help Mozart and his family during their financial distress.

Mozart’s last years were full of productivity and personal recovery. He had composed many pieces including the famous The Magic Flute. Mozart also started to recover from depression and his financial situation. Unfortunately, Mozart fell ill while in Prague for the premiere of La Clemenza di Tito. He was still able to attend the premieres of his newly released works. However, the illness intensified in November. Mozart was bedridden and suffered from swelling, pain, and vomiting. He was nursed by Constanze, her younger sister, Sophie, and the family doctor. Mozart died on December 5th, 1791 at the age of 35. He was buried at the St. Marx Cemetery in Vienna. The cause of Mozart’s death is not known but many say that he died due to his illness. Mozart has influenced many people during and after his time. Although he wasn’t very well-known and appreciated during his time, many people today look up to and enjoy his music.

Updated: Feb 18, 2024
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and His Rise To Fame. (2024, Feb 18). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/wolfgang-amadeus-mozart-and-his-rise-to-fame-essay

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