Biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | Austrian composer's

Extraordinarily precocious genius, the Austrian composer's premature death resulted in an accumulation of legends.
Considered by many to be the greatest musical genius of all time, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed an original and powerful work that spanned genres as diverse as opera buffa, sacred music, and symphonies. The Austrian composer became famous not only for his extraordinary gifts as a musician, but also for his eventful personal biography, marked by rebellion, conspiracy against and his premature death. Character rebel and unpredictable, Mozart foreshadows the romantic sensibility. He was, along with Handel, one of the first composers who tried to live apart from the patronage of nobles and religious, made putting highlight the step to a freer mentality with regard to the standards of the time. His anarchic, alien character earned the enmity of its competitors to the conventions and created him difficulties with their employers.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756, fruit of the marriage of Leopold Mozart and Anna Maria Pertl. The mother came from a wealthy family of public servants; the father was a modest composer and violinist of the Court of the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, author of a useful manual for introduction to the art of the violin, published in 1756. Mozart was the seventh son of this marriage, but his six brothers had just survived a girl, Maria Anna. Wolferl and Nannerl, as family, called the two brothers grew up in an environment in which music reigned from dawn to sunset, since the father was an excellent violinist who was in the Court of the Prince-Archbishop Segismundo de Salzburgo as composer and Chapel vicemaestro.

The Treaty for a basic violin school,
Leopold Mozart
At the time, Salzburg was beginning to recover from the economic and human disaster of the civil wars of the 17TH century, but still the cultural and economic life revolves almost exclusively around feudal figure of the Archbishop, while began to circulate ideas illustrated between a nascent middle-class urban, still oblivious to the social centers of prestige and power. An atmosphere that should be remembered for, in turn, become in charge of the mentality of Mozart father, as well as the youthful rebellion of the son.
Leopold, indeed, educated their children at an early age as a musicians capable of contributing to the sustenance of the family and as soon as possible become servers in the pay of the Salzburg Prince. A logical and common aspiration in his time. Nannerl, five years older than Wolfgang, already gave piano lessons at the age of ten, and one of his pupils was his own brother. Interest and the attentions of Leopold focused initially on the formation of the dotadisima Nannerl, without realizing the early appeal of the little Wolferl felt by the music: three years is exercising with the keyboard of the harpsichord, it was without moving and with eyes like dishes to its sister classes was hiding under the instrument for listening to his father to compose new pieces.

The more precocious geniuses

A few months later, Leopold was forced to give lessons to the two and was stunned to see to their four-year-old son read the notes without difficulty and play minuets with more ease with which the soup was taken. It was soon evident that the music was the second nature of the early Wolfgang, capable at such tender age to memorize any passage heard random, repeat the keyboard melodies that had liked in the Church and see with both innocence and tino harmonies of a score.
A year later, Leopold discovered moved in the notebook of her daughter the first compositions of Wolfgang, written with children calligraphy and filled with ink smears, but properly developed. With tears in his eyes, father hugged his little "miracle" and determined to devote himself body and soul to their education. Joker, sensitive and lively, Mozart was encouraged by a mocking spirit that just before the music was transforming; to interpret the notes of your favorite pieces, her rosy face adopted an impressive expression of severity, a gesture of firmness almost adult able to become fierce if there was less noise in the surroundings. Self-absorbed, he seemed to hear then a wonderful inner melody fine fingers trying to tear away from the keyboard.
Paternal pride could not be stopped and Leopold decided to introduce its two geniecillos in the world of the sovereign and nobles, in order to both enjoy predictable praises as find generous patrons and protectors willing to secure the career of future musicians. Waiving all personal ambition, was exclusively devoted to the Mission of driving the prodigious brothers until the full musical maturity. Although the child was by all accounts a genius, it should be noted that his talent was educated, spurred and polished by the diligence of the father, that can only be attributed to have exposed a child of brittle health to the constant rigors of a certainly uncomfortable trips. The iconography of the child Mozart does not offer us a faithful portrait of his appearance, but testimonies agree in an extreme, almost sickly pallor.
Thus, the Mozart brothers became children's concert in increasingly ambitious tours; they had the blessing of the Prince, without which would have not been able to leave the city. From 1762 to 1766 they made several journeys by Germany, France, Britain and the Netherlands. In 1762, a year after the first essay of Mozart, the brothers gave concerts in the halls of Munich and Vienna. In the same year, they traveled to Frankfurt, Liège, Brussels and Paris.

His sister Maria Anna Mozart
In Versailles, that boy spoiled by the applause of all, but at the end and after child, jumped in an outburst in the foothills of the Empress to hug her, and suggested him to the future Queen María Antoinette, then girl of his own age, marry him, in addition to making a public desplante to madame de Pompadour for refusing to kiss him. From there they marched to London, where they played at Buckingham Palace and met Johann Christian Bach, Johann Sebastian, whose compositions have seduced the child's favorite son. In just six weeks Wolfgang was able to assimilate its style and composing personal versions of their music.
However, not all trips were carpeted success and benefits. Concerts, sometimes similar to circus acts, were not what was expected. Father Mozart purse was empty too often. As the memory of the great is weak and capricious, some doors were closed to them; In addition, the delicate health of the small played them several times a dirty trick. The poor state of the roads, the price of the posadas and endless travel caused bad humor and nostalgia, tears and frustrations.
The first tour was completed in 1766. From 1767 to 1769 gave concerts for Austria, and from this date until 1771 for Italy, where he received the protection of Martini, who managed his admission to the Accademia Filarmonica. Leopold recognized that too called for his son and on several occasions they returned to Salzburg to put an end to the nomadic life. But the city could little offer to Wolfgang, although he was to receive at age thirteen the honorific title of Konzertmeister of the Salzburg Court; Leopold wanted to Wolferl continue perfecting their education musical there where it was accurate, and continued their journey in country country and cut in court. Wolfgang met during their tours many celebrated musicians and teachers who taught different aspects of his art and foreign techniques.

Mozart in Verona (oil of Saverio dalla Rosa, 1770)
The boy became acquainted with the violin and the organ, with the counterpoint and the fugue, Symphony and opera. The permeability of its character facilitated him assimilation of all music styles. Also began to compose seriously, first minuets and later symphonies, sonatas and later operas, orders fairly well paid but little interesting for their aspirations, accepted because of the need to earn enough money to survive and continue traveling. Often it was also forced to teaching harpsichord to stupid children their age who irritated him immensely.
Meanwhile, the father was increasingly impatient. Why had failed to still the highest glory his son, who already knew more music than any teacher and whose genius was so visible and obvious? Neither his concerts for piano and his sonatas for harpsichord and violin, and neither the premieres of their comic operas feigned doorbell and Bastian and Bastiana had managed to place him among the greatest composers. Only in 1770 Leopold will consider that at last his son enjoys a deserved success: Pope Clement XIV gives the order of the Golden spur with the title of Knight, the Academy of Bologna distinguishes him with the title of compositore and the Milanese accompany his first opera serious, Mithridates, King of Pontus, with frantic applause and cries of "Viva il maestrino!"

Mozart (a harpsichord) with violinist
Linley in Florence, 1770
On December 16, 1771 the Mozart returned to Salzburg, aureolados by the triumph achieved in Italy but always at the mercy of circumstances. That famous fifteen-year-old boy already had the writing of more than one hundred compositions (concerts, symphonies, masses, motets and operas) and looked with pride the Golden Spur by the Pope. That same year, however, had died the Archbishop of Salzburg, and the ideas and the character of the new mitrado, the Geronimo count Colloredo, altered the course of the life of Mozart.

In Salzburg

Against what may seem, the atmosphere in the Catholic Austria was less rigid and puritanical in Protestant Germany, especially in Vienna, and the new Archbishop was not a feudal Lord old style, but all an enlightened reformer, which turned serfs and servants of its cut in civil servants. In this operation, however, Colloredo acted with the rigidity of a despot, and for the young Mozart, administratively equated with Palace gardeners, the modernization of the Court found it humiliating and more burdensome than the benevolent and paternal, although arbitrary, his former Lord's treatment. The Salzburg Court was, in addition, impregnated of clericalism and intrigue in the Vatican tradition, and vitalism and cosmopolitanism of Mozart longed for the life of Vienna, by the intensity of its opening and musical curiosity and artistic animation of its theatres.

The Archbishop Colloredo (F. X. Koenig oil, 1772)
Only his cheerful and carefree nature saved the young of apathy or rebellion and allowed him to create at this time more and better than ever. It was the end of the child prodigy and the beginning of musical maturity. In his concerts, it broke with traditional conceptions reaching a genuine dialogue between the Orchestra and the soloists. His symphonies, of brilliant instrumental and dramatic effects, were too innovative for lazy ears of his contemporaries. Mozart was for all at the same time new and strange. But not his next opera, the feigned gardener, which melted first boldly drama and buffoonery, was a success, although he had tried to follow to the letter the fashion rules and conventions. The girl felt frustrated, wished to compose with freedom and escape from the narrow and parochial framework of his hometown. New and brief visits to Italy and Vienna increased their desire for wide horizons.
During this period its custom production was basically sacred, although Mozart composed several courtly operas, string quartets, sonatas and divertimentos. After a stay in Munich, in January 1775, to represent before the elector Maximiliano III the feigned gardener, Mozart finally got Colloredo authorization for a new tour. Accompanied this time by his mother, he left Salzburg, happy to leave his «wild hometown» and with the hope of reviving their children's successes in Paris. But first stopped long months l 777 in Munich, Augsburg and Mannheim, among other cities. In the latter he befriended Ramm, Wendling and Cannabich and wrote the piano concerto that was the number 271 of his compositions.
March 23, 1778 arrived in Paris, where he met the first of their most bitter experiences: the city was unaware of him; It had grown; a phenomenon of nature that could be displayed in salons, was not, because of his age, a few salons against which Mozart wrote harsh words by the frivolity and musical insensitivity to his work. Their living conditions were extremely precarious, which no doubt contributed to undermine the already precarious health of his mother. Anna Maria died on July 3, and this death contributed to increase misunderstandings and strained relations between father and son.

The mother of Anna Maria Pertl Mozart
Defeated, before returning to Salzburg, Mozart made landfall on the hospitable family refuge Weber in Mannheim. During his tour of ida in love with Aloysia Weber, who, at his young age, heralded a promising singing career. If he hoped then to find solace in it, this would be his third experience of pain. In his absence, Aloysia had triumphed and made him know clearly that not he would join his life a musician without a future assured as he.
The following two years spent in Salzburg, languishing in its «episcopal slavery», until an assignment came in Munich: the composition of an opera, Idomeneo, in which Mozart, even within the courtly Gluck scheme, would surpass his earlier compositions for the stage. In 1781 Mozart and Weber family agreed in Vienna. He, as a member of the Court of Colloredo, transferred to the capital; the Weber family, to follow the musical events of the season. Then came the love for the sister of Aloysia, Constance.
Meanwhile, relations with the Archbishop curled. Mozart, to the despair of Leopold, was not any model of diplomacy and, despite his cheerful and kindly nature, reacted with instant acrimony when he was attacked or humiliated. At the beginning of may, Mozart received the order, through a lackey of Colloredo, immediately leave Vienna, apparently to take a package to Salzburg, where it indicated that it should remain. Mozart presented his resignation letter to the Archbishop, who accepted it immediately. Free patterns, Mozart would reside in Vienna the rest of his life.

In Vienna

Mozart thus foreshadowed the modern artist of romanticism, in consonance with the rebellious spirit of the Sturm und Drang and sensitivity wertheriana that conmocionaba to the German youth of the time; an artist who wanted to get rid of feudal serfdom, which refused to be inserted into the cultural civil service ranks, and was intended to survive at their own expense. Mozart would pay very expensive his exemplary boldness; but, for the moment, he felt happy and free. He started to give lessons in piano and compose tirelessly. Soon the luck was on his side: was commissioned to write an opera to commemorate the visit of the Grand Duke of Russia to Vienna. As at the time they were fashion issues Turkish, exponents of Eastern exoticism with slightly erotic touches, Mozart addressed the composition of the abduction from the Seraglio, which premiered a year later, became his first real success, not only in Austria but also in Germany and other European cities like Prague.
On August 4, 1782, shortly after this great triumph, Mozart married Constance Weber, who dedicated the Serenade Nachmusik (k. 388). Much discussed biographers motives of this wedding. Real love? Weakness to the mother of Constance matchmakers maneuvers? Need to assert itself in its new independence from the pressures of Leopold? Possibly it had everything a little. The musical genius of Mozart did not have to coincide with the maturity of character.
In general tends to believe that Mrs Weber, who had dreamed of becoming his son-in-law to the promising young, tried to awaken the interest of Mozart by her youngest daughter, Constance, of fourteen years. Would not be hard: Wolfgang could not or wanted to resist the sweet pressure and promises the girl, she was beautiful, child, cheerful and loving, although perhaps would not be the ideal wife for the chaotic composer. Constance even less practicality had that he, everything it was a game and couldn't remotely share the deep spiritual universe of her husband, masked behind the jokes and the laughter. But although he was a young man of little spiritual refinement, its Vitalism had to please and fascinate even the Mozart rebel. Mozart was considered the luckiest man in the world on their wedding day, and he continued to believe that it was during the next nine years, until his death. It seems unfair to say that Constance was the single cause of their ruin and losses. It is not certain that it was true (some letters of the husband wife are extremely pathetic, in their pleas for know to 'save face'), but nor is that Mozart would to it at all times.

Constance Weber (oil on canvas by Joseph Lange, 1782)
It no doubt is, like her young husband, Constance was not the administrator that the delicate situation of an independent artist would have required, and it seems that he wasted with the same joy that Wolfgang Amadeus: the Viennese home of the Mozart received daily visits by Barber and other servers; in moments of greatest hardship, Mozart managed to appear in public, impeccably dressed and displayed liberal and obsequious. Only after his death, his friends, many of them in enviable economic situation, learn with surprise of the extent of their indebtedness.
Marriage settled in Vienna in a luxury downtown apartment which soon filled with overflowing joy, Parties until dawn, dancing, music and children. It was a crazed, anarchic and environment unconcerned, very to the taste of Mozart, who in the midst of that chaos was able to develop his enormous creative impulse. A shadow in these years was poor health of his wife, weakened with each pregnancy; in the nine years of his marriage gave birth seven children, of which only survived two: Karl Thomas and Franz Xaver (born four months before the death of Mozart and future pianist). Constance was forced to follow rest cure, gravosisimas for the weak economy.
All in Mozart was, therefore, waste: faculties, Vitalism, projects, works and feelings. Did not come to Freemasonry in 1784 in search of financial support than ever, by pride, asked his friends, but for satisfying a craving of universal fraternity and spirituality than Mozart, as many Austrian Catholics, priests included, found in symbols and rites Masons before that in the clerical pomp of the Church. A symbology which later would know how to translate musically in the composition of the magic flute.
The nine years that separate their marriage of his death can be divided into two periods. Until 1787, and above all from 1784 Viennese successes, Mozart enjoys a few years that can be qualified of «happy». During this first period, its production was enormous in all genres: concertos for piano, trios, quartets, quintets... Of 1783 is the mass in c minor, both solemn and exultant; 1784 date from his most famous concertos for piano; in 1785 dedicated six quartetsHaydn: all of them are masterpieces, but the public continues to be dismayed before a music that is not fully understood and that therefore offends him.
1786 data the opera the marriage of Figaro, with libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte from the work of Beaumarchais. The choice of the subject was risky, because the original work was prohibited; but in this same choice was revealed liberal composer courage to participate of mild criticism, but in the corrosive background, that noble privileges had been undertaken, Beaumarchais. Mozart eagerly in the day of the premiere of his new opera: the best artists had been hired and everything seemed to announce an absolute triumph, but after some representations the Viennese did not return to the theatre and critics dismissed the work as being overly bold and difficult.


Vienna began to inexplicably close their doors and and thus initiated a grey and painful period that would last until his death. Biographers speak over train of life, expensive diseases of Constance and the machinations of the musicians Viennese, envious not his fortune but to his genius. In the Mozart House bad luck was installed soon. The money was missing, lacking orders and contempt of the Viennese redoubled. Mozart was faced with the threat of poverty without knowing how to stop it.
Marriage changed House several times always looking for cheaper accommodation. Friends lent to them at the beginning with generous gesture sums sufficient to pay the butcher and the doctor, but to be aware of the unfortunate musician would not be able to return their borrowed, disappeared one after the other. If the couple was dancing in ever smaller rooms during the long, harsh winters of Vienna was not by their festive joy but to blood circulase by freezing legs. Constance health worsened and Mozart had to return it, despite its debts, to a sanatorium. It was the first time that spouses are separated and the composer suffered greatly; He never stopped writing you every day passionate letters, as if his love will continue as vivid as the day of the wedding.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
To survive, the genius was forced to the resource of tutorials, which are not always found. The absence of Constance, the humiliation of being unfairly relegated, the economic hardship, the experience of pain, in short, not soured his character; Moreover, increased and refined their musical inspiration in a prolific series of masterpieces in the field of Symphony, concert, opera and chamber music. Compositions from this period speak of a Mozart tender, light and almost smiling, but with some touches of melancholy. Little night music and their famous Jupiter Symphony are good examples of this.
While interned, Constance Mozart will receive an opera commissioned from Prague. The result will be Don Giovanni first performed fanfare on October 29, 1787. Prague, in love with the master, begged him that he remained there, but Wolfgang refused an attractive offer, which would have surely improved his position, to be closer to his wife. At the end and after the Vienna attracted you as the fire butterfly which has to burn in it.
His opera was premiered in the Austrian capital in 1790 Cosi fan tutte and the following year the magic flute. Unexpectedly, both were received with enthusiasm by the public and the critics. It seemed that the Viennese appreciated his genius without reservation to the end and wanted to show you gratitude dyed repentance, even though it was late. But his health broke down: we know that the day of the premiere of the magic flute, September 30, 1791, in Vienna, and was unable to attend the great triumph of the people of the most optimistic and beloved of his compositions. The master began to suffer from strong headaches, fevers and strange tremors.

A Requiem for his own death

It has much has written about the death of Mozart. The romantic idea that was poisoned had even a protagonist: Antonio Salieri, musician of success of the period to which the legend draws as a mediocre artist who knew, as any in his time, understand the original genius of Mozart and, died of envy, could not bear the idea that a childlike man had such gift. The paroxysm became the end believing that Mozart was buried in a mass grave to erase the traces of the killing. To such an extent spread this story which became the plot of the opera Mozart and Salieri of Rimsky-Korsakov, from a play by the famous Russian writer Alexandr Pushkin and drama Amadeus de Peter Shaffer (text that is based on successful eponymous film Milos Forman, premiered in 1984 and starring Tom Hulce). There is no reference historical who can corroborate this version.

Amadeus (1984), Milos frame form
The reality is that in July of 1791, when Mozart was already suffering the symptoms of the disease that would be deadly, possibly uremia, he was visited by a character "slim and high that it wrapped in a grey coat, which commissioned him to conduct a requiem. The romantic legend aims to that Mozart saw the incarnation of his own death in the anonymous character. Since 1954 is known for a portrait, the physical appearance of the visitor, who was none other than Anton Leitgeb, whose tasting was certainly sinister; count Franz von Walsegg sent him, and the mass of requiem was by the recently deceased wife of the count.
The fact that high characters secretly charged compositions to famous musicians and presented them in public as own works was not something uncommon at the time, and could not catch Mozart, who, in any case, accepted money from the Commission. But the ominous coincidence of the sinister appearance of the Messenger, the funeral condition of the custom and the awareness of the weakness of his forces had to deeply impress the sensitivity of the musician, who not hid his friends his belief to be composing his own requiem.
In any case, is misplaced the libelous hypothesis or a deliberate plot hatched by Salieri poisoning or any other rival musician. Mozart never was a diplomat with his colleagues of inferior artistic carving, but precisely Salieri spared no praise to Mozart, and was one of those saddened attending his funeral. Today only a dubious romantic interest can ignore the reasons and identity, perfectly established, who was hiding behind the custom of the requiem. While you look, real random matches are more disturbing than the malicious fantasy of the fabricators.

Mozart composing the Requiem
Mozart was right in his intuition that he would die before finishing his Requiem. As in other works of this last period, his style is more contrapuntal and his melodic writing more purified and simple, but now with the prominence of some very shady Clarinets tenors and bassoons. On the death of Mozart, Joseph Eyble received the score for his termination, not carried out, with this task in Süssmayer. It claimed to have completely orchestrated movements of the Requiem, from the «Dies irae» until the «hosts», claim that there are no compelling evidence.
The morning of December 4, 1791, Mozart still worked in Requiem, preparing the trial that his musician friends would perform in the afternoon in his bedroom. It was already a week that doctors had evicted him. That evening, during the trial of the «Lacrimosa», Mozart cried and told his sister-in-law Sophie, arrival to help Constance: «Ah, dear Sophie, what happy I am that you have come.» You have to stay tonight and witness my death». At night, with great serenity, gave his last instructions after his death and went into a coma. He died a few hours, in the early hours of December 5.
His friend Earl Deym made him a funeral mask, unfortunately lost, as it would have been able to clarify the enigma of his physical, so contradictory aspect in his various portraits. Below funeral took place in a side nave of the Cathedral of Salzburg, attended, despite the very strong snow storm and hail triggered, a large number of musicians, Freemasons and members of the local nobility. The data is significant, because it denies the legend about the indifference that surrounded his death and burial. It is true, however, that no one accompanied the corpse to the cemetery of St. Marx, where he was buried without a coffin. But these were the norms established by José II in his curious desire for 'modernize' the public health, rules that, even after being abolished, they were respected by many free thinkers and Freemasons.

Chronology of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

1756Salzburg, Austria, was born on 27 January.
1761He wrote his first composition.
1762-66First tour as a soloist with her sister by Germany, France, Great Britain and Netherlands.
1767-71New tour of Austria and Italy.
1769He was appointed concertmaster of the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg.
1770Success at the premiere of his opera Mithridates, King of Pontus.
1771-81It remains in Salzburg, although it makes some trips. It is preferably composed religious music. His relations with his new protector, the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg Geronimo Colloredo, deteriorate progressively.
1778Stay in Paris. His mother died.
1781Break with the Archbishop Colloredo. Definitely set in Vienna.
1782Opens the opera the abduction from the Seragliowith great success. He married Constance Weber.
1784He joined the Freemasonry.
1786Premiered at Vienna State opera the marriage of Figaro, received with coldness.
1787His opera Don Giovanni triumphs at its premiere in Prague, but Mozart prefers to stay in Vienna.
1790Triumphs again in Vienna with opera Cosi fan tutte.
1791Great success of the magic flute, the last opera, whose premiere can not attend by his weakened health. He composed the Requiem. He died in Vienna on December 5.

Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mozart and classicism

Classicism, as stage of musical aesthetics, was certainly brief but crucial. It was felt with particular intensity approximately between 1770 and 1805, was a remarkable evolution of the musical styles and took in the figures of Haydn and Mozart to its two largest representatives, not to mention an important part of the first production of Beethoven, linked to the classic precepts. In the history of Western music, classicism is the stage that receives the name of neoclassicism in the other arts. During this period, the remaining arts take as a model the art Greek and Roman; the music was lacking of such models, but, like in the other arts, perceived in the compositions of this period a search for beauty and the balanced.
Classicism emerges as a result of a set of musical trends that begin to develop towards 1740 and who react against the Baroque music. Exhaustion in the middle of the 18th century in Baroque forms gave birth between composers a desire for renewal, which led to the cultivation of a more simple and balanced, Miconia style of what some considered "Baroque excesses".

The pursuit of balance and transparency, i.e., of a natural language, led teachers as Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782) to formulate a music devoid of severe architecture of its predecessors. It was the way of leaving behind the last of the stages of Baroque, Rococo, whose intimate, somewhat affected, was still a formalist world.
In the works of Johann Christian and other contemporaries, such as his brother Karl Philipp Emmanuel Bach (1714-1788), Johann Stamitz (1717-1757) and Johann Christian Cannabich (1731-1798) - the latter two were architects of the famous school of Mannheim, so important for Mozart-, warns that attempt at stylistic fluency and create a refined while agile language. The sensitivity of slow, always meditative movements, was a feature of the so-called "galante style", and responded to a new way of conceiving reality, conditioned by the air of the illustration. The reason led to build the pieces of music with the logic of Prosody, which musically is to say that the scores had a clear structure of phrases and a unique and outstanding melody, which ran on a harmonic Foundation that already had their point of support in the Basso continuo.

Vienna, capital of the new music

If it was in Germany where he began to detect this musical shift, the most important point of development and irradiation of the classical style was Vienna, since in this city worked most musicians of the time. Although Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) provided its services in the Court of Esterháza, far from Vienna, was very linked to this city, especially since 1780, when it established higher relationship with the Viennese music publishers.
A year following Mozart was established in the capital, when his music, already mature style began to produce works of the dimension of the abduction from the Seraglio and the Symphony No. 35 "Haffner". Not much later, in 1787, the still young Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) went to Vienna to meet the celebrated masters and studied with Haydn after Mozart's death. Beethoven would not already be Vienna. If we take into consideration Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787), who in 1762 his Orfeo ed Euridice prompted the new operatic style, resided in Vienna since her teens, it will be easy to deduce the musical importance acquired by the city. She lived also musicians as notable as Johann Georg Albrechtsberger (1736-1809) and Antonio Salieri (1750-1825), who was teacher of Beethoven, and Schubert, another celebrated Viennese, and Liszt.

Joseph Haydn

See Joseph Haydn the main architect of the stylistic evolution of classicism, at least until the arrival of the mature Mozart works. The most significant step undertaken by Haydn was Symphony, that served excellent experimental field and on which showed a boundless inventiveness. Not in vain is known as the "father of the Symphony", as it contributed to their development in such a way that it conferred a new appearance with respect to those of Johann Christian Bach and Stamitz. Its longevity, passages soloists including, the regular increase in metal, the greater dialogue between the instrumental sections, use the minuetto (added to the three movements) and its subsequent development, pointed chromaticism, the extensive codas and sudden changes tonal are some of the features found in the splendid Haydn's Symphonic catalogue.
Haydn took that same evolution to the realm of the String Quartet, for which set the now usual four movements and invariably two violins, a viola and a cello arrangement, which granted equal importance, so that instruments more serious, breaking the tradition, ceased to exercise a function of accompaniment. The profusion of motifs and designs, and the increasingly pointed dialogue of the instruments, which is evident above all from his string quartets, op. 30, made the German writer Goethe compared the classic String Quartet with a conversation by four smart people.


"Your son is the greatest composer who has ever known." These were the words that Haydn went to Leopold Mozart, father of the composer. Also Goethe, after the death of the musician, told Eckermann in his talks that "Mozart is unattainable in the field of music, and Shakespeare is in the poetry".

Instruments of Mozart in your home
natal, now converted into a Museum
In 1772 a fact was going to influence the trajectory of Mozart: the arrival of the Prince-Archbishop Colloredo of Salzburg, with whom he had a relationship to the throne taut, violent at times, and that would end the establisment of Mozart in Vienna in 1781. However, while he was in the House wrote beautiful works such as the five concerts for violin (1775), the "Haffner" Serenade (1776) and, above all, the concert for piano No. 9 "Jeune homme", considered the first classic fully "" musician. This production alternated it with constant trips to Vienna, Augsburg, Munich and Mannheim, in whose court he met more advanced musicians of the time, members of a famous Orchestra that served as a model for all of Europe. Mozart learned much from the style of those teachers, and always stroked the possibility of forming part of the illustrious orchestral ensemble.
This come and go (remember that in 1778 he again undertook the road to Paris) he broke the patience of Colloredo, and in 1781 the disagreements led to the final March of the teacher to Vienna. There he married in 1782 Constance Weber and started a febrile, decisive for the history of music, as it was then when strengthened the language of classicism and led to higher ends the precepts of his dear Haydn. It should be noted that since his arrival in the capital until his death, period in which have not been more than ten years, wrote about three hundred works, among which there are compositions capital as the piano concertos (especially the Nos. 17, 19, 20, 21, 23, 25, 26 and 27), the sonatas for the same instrument, Concerto for clarinet , the symphonies (of which underline the related with the Nos. 35, 36, 38, 40 and 41), the string quartets (which highlights a beautiful series dedicated to Haydn), the Quintet for clarinet and various operas, each of which would have sufficed to win him universal Fame: the marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, the clemency of Titus and the magic flute. His latest score is sacred in nature: it is one of the most legendary pages, Requiem (he left many unfinished parts), that Mozart himself believed that he was writing for himself, given his precarious health, not favoured by the excesses of the dissipated life which led and the hard work that was so sublime and copious production.

The work of Mozart

There are many aspects that must be taken into account when assessing the work of Mozart. Extremely prolific composer, draws attention first of all the wide variety of styles that make up its repertoire. It can be said that it is the only one of the great masters in the history of music that cultivated all genres of his time with the same interest. Another aspect is the passion for composition that accompanied him throughout his life. He was a composer so early that it trespassed the limits of what is understood by a child prodigy. Its production level, moreover, not declined throughout his life (the most common is that so gifted children lose all interest when you reach puberty). The intensity of his work was also compatible with a cheerful and carefree personality. His contemporaries describe him as a man of world, passionate and taster of the pleasures of life, accomplished dancer and extensive social relationships. This created to her around the idea of the mundane Mozart nothing had to do with the Mozart sitting at the piano, as if a superior being seize absent-minded and Joker man who knew their loved.
If not lent itself to the mundane Mozart special attention, their music not nor aroused enough interest. Contemporary musicians, more focused on the tastes of the moment (with less talent, of course) to develop a new musical language, were praised and treated openly; in Mozart, the moments of forgetfulness or contempt surpassed the glory. It would not be truly up to the magic flute, a nearly posthumous work, when the public began to look at him; previously it had only had success in high society. Not long after, Mozart would become the idol of the young romantic, and the recognition of his work would happen soon to become the cult are still professed by him.
To understand the musical universe of Mozart should take into account, on the one hand, the city where he was born. Salzburg was crossroads of artistic influences, halfway between the large German and Italian centers and Vienna, the "European capital of music" in time of Gluck and Salieri. And on the other, the solid cultural and musical education from his father, Leopold, which all familiarized him with composers in the South of Germany. To this must be added trips made by Mozart and who put him in contact with the great masters of the time, especially the near other great musical center of the moment, Paris. In addition, Mozart was a consummate master of the art of imitation, and knew how to make the best of each teacher (Eberlin, Adlgasser or Haydn) between Germanic, Schobert, Eckardt and Honauer between the Parisian circle to then use it for their own benefit. If we add his immense talent and his capacity for work (to own exhaustion), we can come to understand the immense legacy that left after his death.

First stage: children and adolescents

Mozart wrote more than six hundred compositions, among them forty-six symphonies, twenty masses, hundred and seventy-eight piano sonatas, twenty seven concertos for piano, six violin, twenty-three operas, other sixty orchestral compositions and other hundreds of works. His works were compiled in 1862 by Ludwig Von Köchel; Hence the letter "K" followed by a number that is always used for cataloguing your compositions.
Its abundant production is usually grouped into three periods, the first of which would cover his childhood full of travel and concert tours prodigy and finished approximately when, in 1771, end their tours and preferably remain in Salzburg. In their first parts, simple short sentences made between 5 and 7 years, don't leave yet see the qualities of the Mozart that came later, but give an idea of the early flowering of his genius. Its first complete compositions, mainly various movements for piano sonatas, let see the influences of his first trip to Paris, especially the melodic structure of Johann Christian Bach.

Mozart at age 11
With just nine years Mozart already composed symphonies (would create a total of thirty-four), which shows his eagerness to appear before the eyes of the musical world of the time not only as a virtuoso performer, but as a true composer. In addition to composing works of genres closest to him, such as serenades and divertimenti, also dared with forms that were beginning to be developed in that era, such as the string quartets, in which Italian line that also weighs on their first compositions can be observed.
Another important corpus of his first time as a composer is religious music, which is part of the Salzburg tradition. Thus, wrote five masses, two "Regina Coeli", two litanies and a large number of works by minor, as well as six sonatas for the epistle. However, the thriving Italian composition of the moment made dent in the young creator, who printed his works a language close to the opera, with exalted melodic lines and an orchestra that acts as a mere passenger, all without damaging the harmonious dignity of his compositions.
The first attempts in genres that will then become master, like the singspiel, opera buffa, or serious opera should be added to this. Apollo and hyacinth, Bastian and Bastiana , and feigned doorbellmust stand out in this field. Within the opera would be, they belong to this stage Mithridates, King of Pontus (1770), Ascanio in Alba (1771), the dream of Scipio (1772) and Lucio Silla (1772).

Youth in Salzburg

Second period corresponds to the stage where, despite some trips, remained in Salzburg at the service of Colloredo, and end up with the final rupture with the Archbishop (1771-1781). At this time will produce mainly religious music and instruments. The opera, gender that Mozart showed much inclination, hardly it could develop at this stage due to the lack of orders. However, the most remarkable work of this stage was precisely an opera: Idomeneo, King of Crete (first performed in 1781). Characteristics of the musical universe of Mozart, such as harmonic and melodic introspection, the formal richness, the instrumental color and depth in the interpretation of the text were already present in this work, and were an advancement of the mature Mozart of his Viennese stage. However, the dramatic intensity is not the same in Idomeneo than in its large subsequent operas.
In this period he composed innumerable arias for concert, which reached an intense expression by the passionate nature both the breadth of its conception. Religious music, on the other hand, continues to half way between the old style and modern style. This can be seen in the twelve masses of this period, where Mozart begins to shape musical long texts of the "glory" or the "creed", particularly in the KV 317 and 337.
As for the symphonic works, Mozart strove in this period defining the character of the different movements and balance them in the whole of the work, as it can be seen in the KV 183 and 201, which are carefully finished. The influence of the Parisian music, which is very present in the symphonic works of this period, can be seen in the "Paris" Symphony KV 297, which is more pompous.
Where, however, the talent of Mozart reached its true dimension as artist at this time was in his divertimenti and SERENADES. This music, away from the pageantry and the seriousness of religious and symphonic works, and operas, and much more indifferent and cheerful, was very pleased to Salzburg society. Movements of symphonic character, popular dances and other works show their inventiveness and their compositional freedom. Something similar happened in the field of the concert, from his first piano concerto KV 175, where the musical richness of his art, shown already to the sonatas for piano, which are part of the same line of the earlier works, but with more breadth in terms of its technical demands. On the other hand, the string quartets are inspired by the Haydn, and move away from the first Italianate quartets from the previous reporting period.

The Viennese maturity

This third and final period is associated with its definitive establishment in Vienna (1781-1791) and its first feature a symptomatic drop the composition of religious works. Symphonies and SERENADES were also reduced. However, little of this type of work production is not incompatible with a refinement and exquisite care by the composer. Symphonies and SERENADES will give way to piano concertos, where you register the music more "worldly" Mozart production. The value given to the operas and music of camera in this period is much higher, almost exclusive, although Mozart also had interest in composing works of circumstances, arias, ensembles and choirs, lieder and cannons.
In the artistic climate of the capital style of Mozart arrives at his ultimate maturity, shedding all localism: decreased the production of religious music, serenades and entertainment, classical Symphony, the Quartet and concert forms emerge. Settles with Haydn a fruitful and reciprocal exchange of influences, especially in the production of quatrains. An illustrated Viennese music lover, the baron Van Swieten, reveals the greatness of Bach and Handel to Mozart, and his art is strengthened with the solidity of the counterpoint. So it refers to piano music did not exert influence on the style of Mozart the bittersweet Executive ability tournament where he was his opponent Muzio Clementi, passing through the Court of Vienna in 1781.

Mozart to 1780
But although Mozart based on parts of his friend Joseph Haydn and the study of the works of Bach and Handel, if something is marked this period is for the appropriation of the sources, which are modified and molded to fit completely the wishes of the composer, creating a completely original and unique musical language. The study of Haydn depart pieces such as the six string quartets KV 387, 421, 428, 458, 464 and 465. As for the influence of Bach and Handel, it focuses on numerous leaks and fantasies; the footprint of The Messiah, Acis and Galatea or the Ode to St. Cecilia are present in his two great works, religious of this period, the mass in c minor KV 427 and the Requiem, both unfinished.
The practical absence of serenades and divertimenti gives an idea of the lack of interest of Mozart by the music of simple entertainment and desire to focus on a Spiritualized Chamber music, as it can be seen in the SERENADES KV 361, 375 and 388, and especially in the little night music KV 525. Moreover, the last six symphonies shows the interest of Mozart by the symphonic works of Haydn and its evolution in the contrapuntal and thematic work. Mozart extends in addition the Symphony sound and gives the last of a deep introspection, carrying this type of composition to a deeper expression that it had until then. Good proof of this are the Haffner Symphony KV 385, the Symphony "Linz" KV 425 and the "Jupiter" Symphony KV 551.
Mozart spent much longer in this last period composition of concerts. At this stage, he composed seventeen piano concertos. Some are in the previous line; others are closer to their work (KV 449, 453 and 456) Chamber music, while in others the brilliance and freshness are the dominant notes (KV 450, 451 and 459). Loudness is especially careful at concerts KV 482, 488 and 491, reaching levels that Mozart had not reached until then, sublime in KV 537, which contrasts with the concert "the Coronation" KV 537 and concert in if flat KV 595, where the seriousness of the occasion, which can be seen in certain absence of contrast is more present. In addition to these piano concertos, Mozart wrote four for Horn and a clarinet concerto.
Mozart was the first to make an independent genre of the Chamber music for piano. At this stage, he composed five trios for violin, piano and cello; the "Kegelstatt" trio for clarinet, viola and piano KV 498; two Quartets for violin, viola, cello and piano; and the Quintet for four wind instruments and piano KV 452. The main feature of these pieces is the sober and careful style themed simple but full of great intensity. In them, despite being the piano that dominates, the ropes acquire greater importance. Something similar happens in the divertimento KV 563, the Quintet with clarinet KV 581 and the last four quintets of rope KV 515, 516, 593 and 614; all of them combine the Majesty, the delicacy and the extreme simplicity of the latest compositions of Mozart, also present in the numerous concert arias and lieder in this period.

The Viennese operas

The operas of the Viennese period listed, no doubt among most famous parts of the work of Mozart; they are the culmination of the German singspiel , intermixed operas and the serious operas that had already cultivated in his youth. The first of these genres stands out the work which began in this period, the abduction from the Seraglio (first performed in 1782), where the stylistic diversity exceeds historical corset of the genre. It is, moreover, the first work in which Mozart intervened decisively in the development of the script, therefore taking a role not only as a musician, but also as a dramatic author. Noteworthy contributions in the delicate melodies in the singing of love and joyful servants talks.
This reached its peak in the marriage of Figaro (in 1786 1785). In part, the evolution of Mozart as operatic composer emblematiza the same course of his personal and aesthetic life. In the marriage of Figaro (first of the three scripts that Da Ponte wrote for it) prevails the concept of opera buffa stuck, as some historians of art, to the custom mode, would point to and subject to rules requiring the patronage (respect for conventions, submission of the genius to the office). While it was in the beginning of an opera buffa, they drive away it of this genre, the development of the characters of the characters, which reach an unthinkable human component in previous works.
Don Giovanni (Don Juan, 1787) introduces, for its part, other levels of drama, adding to the human characters others of a supernatural nature. Currently considered the most tragic and perfect of his works, was conceived by Da Ponte and Mozart as a drama-style set by Carlo Goldoni to the Italian theatre: a «humorous» drama, where entanglements and the lightness of the adventures of the seducer and his servant Leporello are works by a score full of dark omens and threatening demonic ideas : the return of the dead and the gates of hell are opened to the unredeemed sinner. Musical expression includes greater nuances, then because of the antics of Leporello is passed to the arrogance and contempt for the laws of don Juan. The terror of don Juan in his last moments contrasts with the chilling appearance of the spectrum of the Commander, in one of the scenes of greatest dramatic intensity of opera performed hitherto.
Cosi fan tutte (So do all, 1789, premiered in 1790), however, takes the plot to the pure game. Harmony in the songs and numerous sets of characters who, really, are only puppets with a light characterization, achieve a resonance as in no other work by Mozart. Arguably, it is the part in which more away from reality to surrender to pure art for art. An argument and a plot entirely belonging to the tradition buffa Mozart imposes a music of such complexity (typical of his latest style or Spatstil) which makes the slight story in the scaffolding of a great aesthetic realization: both feelings and music are a huge distance from very light script, allowing you to incorporate irony and parody ringtones pointed and sublime moments of high expression opposing laughter and comments between teeth of secondary actors and singers. The effect is striking: in part, can be seen as the manifestation, in Mozart, a tension that only would be its final resolution in Beethoven: the tension between the craftsman and the genius. For Beethoven, music and his argument came entirely from inside. Mozart, on the other hand, should balance his own outburst to the historic demands of its function in the service of the Court.
This contrasts with the clemency of Titus, anachronistic and much-maligned work in which, however, you can find elements of the Mozart in the maturity of his art. Perhaps the reason for the order, the coronation of Leopoldo II, weighed on the composer in creating it, and take you to put in scene a "heavy" and far more pompous than the earlier opera. The magic flute (1791) closed a life cycle. In it, Mozart focuses on a Masonic idea of humanity toward which converge all the characters, so it can be said that it is a work that is more concerned with ideas than by the characterization of these. The extreme tonal simplicity of many passages of the work give a spirituality unparalleled up to that time.
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
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