Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozart's Early Childhood.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria on January 27, 1756. The funny thing is Mozart was perfectly normal until he reached the age of three. At age of three Mozart began imitating his sister Anna Maria at the piano. By the age of four Mozart was making up his very own compositions, which is extremely remarkable.
At the age of 5 Mozart stayed up late practicing by candle light. When he turned 6 years old he went on tour with his sister Anna. By the end of his travels Mozart knew 15 languages. Something remarkable about Mozart is when he was 7 years of age he proposed to Marie Antoinette, who later became the queen of France.
When Mozart was only 8 years old he composed a symphony titled Symphony No. 1 in E flat major. He wrote this piece of writing while he and his family were on the Mozart's family's Grand Tour of Europe. The house Mozart wrote this symphony sits at 180 Ebury Street, now in the borough of Westminster and is marked with a plaque.
Teenage Years of Mozart
Mozart entered his teenage years by going to tour in Italy with his father when he was 13 years of age. They left his mother and sister at home for this tour because Anna Maria's musical career was becoming dead, and she was nearing marriageable age, which, at that time, meant she could no longer show off her musical talents in public. Anyways, this tour lasted nearly 3 years. Mozart's father, Leopold, wanted to show everyone how talented his young son really was.
In 1770 when Mozart was only 14 he was asked to write the opera Mitridate, re di Ponto by upcoming December. He began to work on this opera in October and, by December 26th, and after eight painstaking rehearsals, the show was finally preformed. The show included several ballets by other composers as well, but in the end it lasted up to 6 full hours.
Symphony No. 31, "Paris"
The year was now 1778. Mozart was now exploring Paris, hoping to get into the musical society and get a well-paying job. This would be the first trip he made without his father Leopold. The places Mozart visited though were not interested in his talents at all. His Paris trip ended catastrophic, both personally and professionally. From the fact his mother, who accompanied him during the trip, was dying to the fact French musicians and listeners were snobby and rude to Mozart. He deeply resented them for the rest of his life. Things kept getting worse from there, his job search didn't end successfully either. Not a single person wanted to hire him.
Soon though, Mozart's troubles ended. He was asked write a symphony to open Paris's most famous concert series. He finished the piece in June of 1778, and this new symphony was his 31st composition, "Paris". The premiere of Mozart's piece was a private concert at an ambassador's home, and his public premiere would be a few days later. Mozart had tried very hard to mold his symphony to fit into French tastes. The people in France at that time loved to have raw excitement and bright flashy colors in their music.
The audience was very pleased with this symphony. They even applauded in the middle!
In my opinion "Paris" is one of beautiful compositions Mozart ever wrote. Each of the movements in the symphony is more beautiful than the last, and it's also full of energy and light.
The Final Three Symphonies
Mozart's final three symphonies are extremely fascinating. He wrote the last three symphonies in a "composing frenzy" in about 6 to 9 weeks during the summer of 1778. Mozart marked all three of these symphonies complete on the 25th of July.
People often ask how in the world could Mozart have written these compositions. During the time of writing these he was spiraling into poverty, his wife had fallen ill, and she was also expecting another child. Mozart eventually had to beg a friend of his for a loan to even survive. He was also having "black thoughts" which meant he was suffering through depression because of his immense failure. During this time Mozart was also moving apartment, teaching music, and giving concerts. Once more, how did he manage to create three symphonies with all this on his mind and to do list?
No one ever truly knew why Mozart wrote these three symphonies, but they are said to be the greatest symphonies of that era.
Theory One- Concert Series
Many people say that he wrote these three symphonies to preform as a concert series at a new casino, but this sadly did not happen for our struggling Mozart because no one was truly interested in him anymore.
Theory Two- Genius.
Mozart was a musical genius, and maybe he just felt the need to create, for the sake of creating and providing the world with something beautiful once more, even if these symphonies would never be preformed while Mozart lived.
Symphony No. 39
This symphony by Mozart is mostly calm, the most modest symphony of this grand trilogy. The orchestra required for this calm piece is relatively small, and becomes even smaller in the second movement.
The beginning of this piece is very grand and powerful, but the symphony's third movement is enchanting and rollicking. The finale of Symphony No. 39 ends with an exploding re-treatment of the same theme- it's as if Mozart is saying "Look what I can do!"
Symphony No. 40
This symphony is very special; it's only one of the two symphonies Mozart wrote in minor key. Symphony No. 40 ventures into the world of darkness and weight. Perhaps this is a reflection of how the depression Mozart was slowly suffering was affecting him in life.
Another thing quite remarkable about Symphony No. 40 was it represents how raw and disturbing music can get, even though it was made 100 years before this type of music was introduced in the music world.
Symphony No. 41, "Jupiter"
Mozart's very last Symphony was nicknamed in the 19th century by a publisher, and Symphony No. 41 does deserve it's nickname. "The composer displays such a profound mastery of music that the work brings to mind celestial majesty, god-like talent originating from some distant world."
The Jupiter symphony's tone is very energetic and positive. The Finale features a spectacular quintuple counterpoint passage - five melodies playing at once, each blending and soaring in perfect equilibrium with the others.
People say that Mozart kept all his musical talent and then released it on to this symphony, creating a "revolutionary, world-stoppingly high level of intellectual art."
Death of Mozart
Mozart died in the autumn of 1791 at the age of 35 in Vienna. His cause of death was recorded as "severe miliary fever," which is an extremely vague description. Let's skip back a bit before Mozart's death. Mozart was in Prague in August to view the performance of his opera La clemenza di Tito. At this time, Mozart was already very ill. During this visit, Niemetschek wrote, "he was pale and expression was sad, although his good humour was often shown in merry jest with his friends." Following Mozart's return in mid-September to Vienna his illness gradually worsened. For just a short period of time Mozart was able to work, which allowed him to finish Clarinet Concerto, work toward his completion of his Requiem, and conduct the premiere performance of The Magic Flute, which happened September 30th.
An anecdote from Constanze is related by Niemetschek: On his return to Vienna, his indisposition increased visibly and made him gloomily depressed. His wife was truly distressed over this. One day when she was driving in the Prater with him, to give him a little distraction and amusement, and they were sitting by themselves, Mozart began to speak of death, and declared that he was writing the Requiem for himself. Tears came to the eyes of the sensitive man: 'I feel definitely,' he continued, 'that I will not last much longer; I am sure I have been poisoned. I cannot rid myself of this idea.'
December 5 of 1791, after two weeks of being bedridden because of constant suffering from swelling, pain, and vomiting our beloved Mozart came to an end. He was truly loved as a composer, and wrote some of the greatest pieces of his era. Even though he wasn't treated like he should have been, he still managed to provide our world with some of the greatest pieces of classical music ever to be written. He gave our world beauty through music, and I'm surprised we don't thank this wonderful composer enough. I wish, with everything I have, that this great composer shall live in everyone's memories until the world reaches oblivion and everything as we know it turns to dust.