[lang_fr]Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Biographie [/lang_fr][lang_en]Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Biography[/lang_en]

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 4,38 out of 5)
Loading...

[lang_fr]

wolfgang-amadeus-mozart.jpg

Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgang Theophilus Mozart, plus connu sous le nom de Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (né à Salzbourg, principauté du Saint Empire romain germanique, le 27 janvier 1756 — mort à Vienne le 5 décembre 1791) est généralement considéré comme l’un des plus grands compositeurs de la musique classique européenne. Bien que mort à trente-cinq ans, il laisse une œuvre importante (626 œuvres sont répertoriées dans le Catalogue Köchel) qui embrasse tous les genres musicaux de son époque. Selon le témoignage de ses contemporains c’était, au piano comme au violon, un virtuose.

On reconnaît généralement qu’il a porté à un point de perfection le concerto, la symphonie, et la sonate qui deviennent après lui les principales formes de la musique classique et qu’il est un des plus grands maîtres de l’opéra. Son succès ne s’est jamais démenti.

Biographie:

L’enfant Prodige

Né à Salzbourg, qui est à l’époque la capitale d’une principauté ecclésiastique allemande, Mozart est le fils d’un compositeur allemand, Leopold Mozart (1719 – 1787), vice-maître de chapelle à la cour du prince-archevêque de Salzbourg, et de son épouse Anna Maria Pertl (1720 – 1778).

Wolfgang est le septième enfant du couple. Trois enfants sont morts en bas âge avant la naissance de sa sœur Maria Anna (surnommée « Nannerl », née en 1751), et deux autres sont encore morts entre la naissance de cette sœur aînée et la sienne.

Il est baptisé Joannes Chrysost Wolfgangus Theophilus. Theophilus signifiant « aimé des dieux » a des équivalents allemand (Gottlieb), italien (Amedeo) et latin (Amadeus). Il est cependant certain que Wolfgang Amadé n’a jamais été appelé « Amadeus » de son vivant.

Mozart révèle des dons prodigieux pour la musique dès l’âge de trois ans : il a l’oreille absolue et certainement une mémoire eidétique (à quatorze ans, il aurait parfaitement retranscrit le Miserere de Gregorio Allegri, morceau qui dure environ 15 minutes, en ne l’écoutant qu’une seule fois). Ses facultés déconcertent son entourage, et incitent son père à lui apprendre le clavecin dès sa cinquième année. Le jeune Mozart apprend par la suite le violon, l’orgue et la composition. Il sait déchiffrer une partition et jouer en mesure avant même de savoir lire, écrire ou compter. À l’âge de six ans (1762), il compose déjà ses premières œuvres (menuets KV.2, 4 et 5 ; allegro KV.3).

mozart.jpg

Entre 1762 et 1766, il part en tournée avec son père (employé par le prince-archevêque Schrattenbach) et sa sœur aînée Maria-Anna, d’abord à Munich, puis à Vienne, avant de partir le 9 juin 1763 pour une longue tournée en Europe, qui l’emmènera à Munich, Augsbourg, Mannheim, Francfort, Bruxelles, Paris, Londres, La Haye, Amsterdam, Dijon, Lyon, Genève, Lausanne. Ses exhibitions impressionnent les auditeurs et lui permettent de capter de nouvelles influences musicales. Il fait la rencontre de deux musiciens qui le marqueront pour toujours : Johann Schobert à Paris, et Johann Christian Bach (fils cadet de Jean-Sébastien Bach) à Londres. Ce dernier lui fait découvrir le pianoforte, inventé au début du siècle, et l’opéra italien, et lui apprend à construire une symphonie.

En 1767, à l’âge de onze ans, il écrit son premier opéra Apollo et Hyacinthus (K.38), une comédie latine destinée à être interprétée par les élèves du lycée dépendant de l’Université de Salzbourg.

De retour en Autriche, il se rend régulièrement à Vienne, et compose deux autres opéras, Bastien et Bastienne et La finta semplice, durant l’été 1768, à l’âge de douze ans.

L’année suivante, il est nommé maître de concert par le prince-archevêque. Son père obtient un congé sans solde afin de lui faire découvrir l’Italie. De 1769 à 1773, Mozart s’y rend régulièrement, et y étudie l’opéra, forme musicale dans laquelle il excellera (Le nozze di Figaro (les Noces de Figaro), Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte (Ainsi font-elles toutes), Die Zauberflöte (la Flûte enchantée)…).

Grâce à son travail sur les harmonies vocales et sa maîtrise de la polyphonie, il donnera ses lettres de noblesse à ce genre. En Italie, il se lie au savant Padre Martini, devient membre de l’Accademia Filarmonica de Bologne — qui n’admet en principe que des membres âgés de plus de vingt ans. Le pape Clément XIV le nomme Cavaliere del lo speron d’oro (Chevalier de l’éperon d’or).

Le 16 décembre 1771, le prince-archevêque Schrattenbach décède. Le prince-archevêque Colloredo devient son nouvel employeur.

Mozart est malheureux dans sa ville natale. Son nouvel employeur n’aime pas le voir partir en voyage, et lui impose la forme des pièces qu’il doit écrire pour les cérémonies religieuses. À dix-sept ans, il a du mal à accepter ces contraintes, et ses relations avec le prince-archevêque se dégradent au cours des trois années qui suivent. Il fait la connaissance à Vienne de Joseph Haydn avec qui il entretiendra une correspondance et une amitié teintée d’admiration (réciproque), tout au long de sa vie.

Joseph Haydn à Leopold Mozart :

« Je vous le dis devant Dieu, en honnête homme, votre fils est le plus grand compositeur que je connaisse, en personne ou de nom, il a du goût, et en outre la plus grande science de la composition. »
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart à propos de Joseph Haydn :

« Lui seul a le secret de me faire rire et de me toucher au plus profond de mon âme. »

En 1776, Mozart a vingt ans, et décide de quitter Salzbourg. Toutefois, le prince-archevêque refuse de laisser partir son père, et lui impose de démissionner de son poste de maître de concert. Après une année de préparatifs, il part avec sa mère, tout d’abord à Munich, où il n’obtient pas de poste, puis à Augsbourg et enfin à Mannheim où il se lie d’amitié avec de nombreux musiciens. Toutefois, ses démarches pour obtenir un poste restent là aussi infructueuses. C’est à Mannheim également qu’il tombe éperdument amoureux de la cantatrice Aloysia Weber, ce qui déclenche la colère de son père qui lui demande de ne pas oublier sa carrière. Couvert de dettes, Mozart comprend qu’il doit reprendre ses recherches et part pour Paris au mois de mars 1778.

Il espère trouver de l’aide auprès de Melchior Grimm, qui s’était occupé de sa tournée lorsqu’il avait sept ans, mais sans succès. Il ne trouve pas de poste, et a même du mal à se faire payer ses œuvres dans une France en crise. Sa mère tombe malade durant ce séjour, et meurt le 3 juillet. Mozart rentre alors à Salzbourg, où son père a convaincu le prince-archevêque de le reprendre à son service, en passant par Munich où vit la famille Weber. Mais Aloysia aime un autre homme, et c’est un Mozart déprimé qui arrive à Salzbourg le 29 janvier 1779 où il retrouve son ancien poste.

En novembre 1780, il reçoit une commande pour l’opéra de Munich, et il part comme son contrat l’y autorise. La création, le 29 janvier 1781 de Idomeneo, Rè di Creta (Idoménée, roi de Crète) est accueillie triomphalement par le public. De retour à Salzbourg, Mozart doit suivre son employeur à Vienne, où le prince-archevêque le traite publiquement de « voyou » et de « crétin » avant de le congédier. Mozart s’installe alors dans la capitale autrichienne comme compositeur indépendant, dans la pension de madame Weber.

L’indépendance:

Mozart peut enfin composer plus librement, débarrassé de l’autorité de son père et de son employeur. En 1782, l’empereur Joseph II lui commande un opéra. Ce sera Die Entführung aus dem Serail (L’Enlèvement au sérail), en langue allemande, qui incitera Gluck, compositeur et directeur des concerts publics à Vienne, à féliciter Mozart.

Mozart a fait la connaissance de la troisième fille de madame Weber, Constanze, et décide de l’épouser sans attendre le consentement écrit de son père.
Le mariage est célébré le 4 août 1782, dans la cathédrale Saint-Étienne. Peu après, le baron von Svieten lui fait découvrir deux compositeurs qui deviendront célèbres mais complètement inconnus à cette époque, Bach et Haendel. Mozart, homme de théâtre, tout comme Haendel, admire les effets musicaux créés par ce dernier pour accentuer le caractère dramatique de ses œuvres. Il est en outre fasciné par l’art du contrepoint de Bach, qui influence directement sa Grande messe en ut mineur KV.427, et nombre de ses œuvres par la suite. La même année, il commence une série de six quatuors dédiés à son ami Joseph Haydn, qui se terminera en 1785.

En 1784, Mozart entre dans la franc-maçonnerie, et gravit rapidement les échelons pour devenir Maître en avril 1785. Il écrit plusieurs œuvres pour ses frères maçons, dont la Maurerische Trauermusik (musique funèbre maçonnique) K.477 et surtout La Flûte enchantée (dit opéra maçonnique) KV 620 qui est une description de l’initiation à la franc-maçonnerie.

En 1786, Mozart fait la connaissance du librettiste Lorenzo da Ponte, poète officiel du théâtre de Vienne. Ce dernier convainc l’empereur d’autoriser la création d’un opéra basé sur Le Mariage de Figaro de Beaumarchais, alors que l’empereur a interdit la pièce, jugée subversive. Mozart met en musique le livret de Lorenzo da Ponte, et la première de Le nozze di Figaro (Les Noces de Figaro) a lieu le 1er mai 1786 à Vienne. Son succès n’empêche pas son retrait rapide de l’affiche. Mozart part alors à Prague où Le nozze connaît un succès phénoménal. En hommage à cette ville, il compose la Symphonie no 38 en ré majeur.

Il reçoit alors du directeur du théâtre de Prague la commande d’un opéra pour la saison suivante. Mozart fait à nouveau appel à Lorenzo da Ponte pour créer le livret de Don Giovanni. Le 28 mai 1787, son père Leopold meurt. Ce décès bouleverse Mozart, et va influencer la composition de son opéra alors en chantier. Don Giovanni est créé au théâtre des États de Prague le 28 octobre 1787 avec un grand succès, qui ne se confirmera pas à Vienne.

Les difficultés, la maladie et la fin

Durant les dernières années de sa vie, Mozart est souvent malade, et chroniquement endetté malgré de nombreux succès très bien rétribués, car il mène grand train de vie. Il compose beaucoup : sonates, concertos, symphonies, opéras (dont Così fan tutte, sa dernière collaboration avec Lorenzo da Ponte). L’année 1790, qui voit le décès de l’empereur Joseph II (son successeur Leopold II n’est pas favorable aux francs-maçons) et le départ de Joseph Haydn pour Londres, est peu productive.

En 1791, Emanuel Schikaneder, un de ses amis francs-maçons, directeur d’un petit théâtre populaire de Vienne, lui commande un opéra. Il en fournit le livret, et Mozart écrit la musique de son dernier opéra Die Zauberflöte (La flûte enchantée). Sa création le 30 septembre est un triomphe.

En juillet, un inconnu lui commande un Requiem (KV 626), qui doit rester anonyme. On sait aujourd’hui qu’il était commandité par le comte Walsegg, et on suppose que celui-ci souhaitait soit faire deviner à ses amis le nom de l’auteur, soit s’en attribuer la paternité.

Mozart, affaibli par la maladie et les privations, doit en outre faire face à une surcharge de travail, car il a reçu (début août) la commande d’un opéra (La Clemenza di Tito, KV 621) pour le couronnement du roi de Bohême Léopold II, qu’il devra écrire en trois semaines.

Il meurt le 5 décembre 1791 à minuit cinquante-cinq, à l’âge de 35 ans sans avoir pu achever ce Requiem (qui sera terminé à la demande de Constanze par un de ses élèves, Franz Xavier Süssmayer). Selon une légende, il aurait été empoisonné à l’arsenic par les franc-maçons .

La légende, reprise dans le film Amadeus de Milos Forman, qui veut que Mozart ait composé ce Requiem en prémonition de sa mort prochaine relève plus de l’imagerie romantique que de la réalité. Mozart est enterré au cimetière St Marx dans la banlieue de Vienne, dans une fosse commune.

Cela correspond à un enterrement de 3°classe dont les frais sont partagés par la famille Mozart et les amis. Le cimetière est éloigné de la ville selon les décrets de l’empereur Joseph II relatifs aux conditions sanitaires. Contrairement à ce qui est souvent dit, Mozart n’a donc pas été enterré dans une fosse commune . Les fosses communautaires étaient des fosses payées à l’avance pour 10 personnes (8 adultes et 2 enfants). Un service commémoratif a lieu à Prague le 14 décembre, devant des milliers de personnes. Emanuel Schikaneder en organise un à Vienne au cours duquel le début du Requiem (Introitus et Kyrie) pourrait avoir été joué.

Son œuvre:

Style galant et style savant

Mozart est, avec Haydn et Beethoven l’un des principaux représentants du style classique « viennois ». Mais cela ne suffit certes pas à le définir. Dans une époque dominée par le style galant, Mozart réalise la synthèse avec des complexités contrapuntiques propres au baroque tardif, et avec des formes novatrices influencées notamment par les fils Bach ou par Haydn. Si Mozart est le meilleur représentant du style classique, son style va toutefois bien au-delà et est l’un des plus personnels et plus immédiatement reconnaissables à l’oreille.

Né dans une famille de musiciens, tôt habitué à voyager et à rencontrer des instrumentistes et compositeurs d’horizons et nationalités différents, Mozart devient dès l’enfance un imitateur de génie et s’approprie tout ce qu’il entend : il suit cette méthode tout au long de sa vie, notamment quand il s’agit de se familiariser avec le contrepoint, ce « style savant » (ou « sévère ») si difficile à assimiler à l’époque où on lui oppose le style galant dans lequel Mozart baigne depuis l’enfance.

Mozart commence par transcrire plusieurs fugues de Bach pour trio à cordes, sur une commande de Van Swieten (KV 404a), puis se consacre réellement à composer des fugues, non sans difficulté : celle entamée pour le finale de la sonate pour violon KV 402 reste inachevée ; tandis que celles du prélude et fugue KV 394 composé en 1782 ou de la suite dans le style de Haendel KV 399 sont d’une extrême complexité, qui traduit les difficultés rencontrées par Mozart dans l’étude du contrepoint. Pourtant, celui-ci nourrit la messe en ut mineur KV 427 entamée à la même époque, puis dans les mois suivants on retrouve des fugues pour vents (sérénade KV 388), pour piano (Fugue en do mineur pour 2 pianos KV 426, par la suite transcrite pour orchestre dans l’adagio et fugue KV 546), et plus tard pour orgue (KV 594 et KV 608). Puis, dans les années suivantes, Mozart abandonne la simple imitation, mais des œuvres bénéficient de ce travail : c’est le cas du finale du quatuor en Sol majeur (KV 387) ou du finale de la symphonie Jupiter (KV 551), deux mouvements où la superposition des lignes atteint une maîtrise inégalée.

Un génie audacieux et diversifié

Impossible de définir Mozart par un genre précis. Opéra, symphonie, concerto, musique de chambre, musique sacrée… Mozart est un touche-à-tout qui s’approprie chaque genre, chaque forme, chaque instrument pour mieux le réinventer. Si les traits principaux du style classique sont bien présents dans ses œuvres (clarté de la structure et de ses articulations, équilibre de la formation, harmonie simple), si son don inné pour la mélodie est une évidence, Mozart en joue pour mieux faire ressortir tel motif, telle dissonance, surprendre par des audaces peu prisées de ses contemporains : quelques œuvres à l’époque confidentielles en portent la marque (comme la fantaisie en ut mineur KV 475 ou le quatuor « Dissonance » KV 465, dont l’introduction justifie le nom).

Mozart n’était pas pour autant un révolutionnaire, et il est l’auteur d’une abondante production de divertimenti, menuets et airs très conformes aux conventions de l’époque, sans jamais se laisser enfermer dans un registre. Lorsqu’il compose ses opéras, c’est toujours avec une alternance entre opera buffa (les Noces de Figaro, Così fan tutte…) et opera seria (Idomeneo, Don Giovanni…). Et son dernier opéra rompt avec chacun de ces deux styles puisqu’il s’agit d’un Singspiel, une opérette allemande chargée de symbolisme et, à vrai dire, inclassable : la Flûte enchantée.

Cultivé, curieux, toujours à l’écoute des inventions musicales ou artistiques de son époque, Mozart a su jusqu’au bout faire évoluer son style au gré des découvertes, et l’on sent facilement l’influence débutante du Sturm und Drang allemand dans les dernières années mozartiennes (et pas seulement dans Don Giovanni ou dans le Requiem). Le propre du génie mozartien est là : avoir su s’inspirer de ses contemporains sans jamais suivre d’autre modèle que le sien propre.
La force et la grâce, la puissance et l’émotion, le pathétique, l’humour, l’élégance la plus exquise se sont réunis dans son œuvre pour faire de Mozart l’artiste en son genre le plus accompli peut-être qui ait jamais existé.

L’influence

Mozart a d’évidence eu une grande importance sur l’histoire de la musique, et ce dès ses contemporains. Même son aîné, Haydn, ami et admirateur de Mozart, en subit l’influence dans ses dernières symphonies et messes, et dans ses deux oratorios.

Les successeurs de Mozart n’y échappent pas. Beethoven, fortement impressionné par Mozart qu’il a probablement croisé dans sa jeunesse. Schubert, qui grandit à Vienne à l’époque même où le génie de Mozart est enfin unanimement reconnu, quelques années après sa mort. D’autres compositeurs, moins à l’avant-garde du romantisme, restent plus proches de l’esprit mozartien classique, notamment son élève Johann Nepomuk Hummel ou Louis Spohr.

Les opéras de Gioacchino Rossini doivent beaucoup à Mozart, et ce n’est pas un hasard si ce dernier choisit de mettre en musique Le barbier de Séville de Beaumarchais, premier volet des frasques de Figaro. Enfin, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Brahms, et même Busoni assument l’héritage de Mozart dans une grande partie de leurs œuvres, souvent à la même hauteur que celui de Bach.

Plus largement, la musique tout entière est héritière de Mozart, et des pans entiers de son histoire lui doivent tout. L’opéra allemand, par exemple, celui de Weber et Wagner a été fortement influencé par La flûte enchantée.
Aujourd’hui encore, l’enfant chéri de l’Autriche est incontestablement le plus populaire des classiques, et probablement le plus joué.

Quelques décennies après la mort de Mozart, plusieurs tentatives ont été faites afin d’inventorier ses compositions. Toutefois, c’est seulement en 1862 que Ludwig von Köchel complètera un catalogue chronologique quasi exhaustif de 626 œuvres, qui fait aujourd’hui encore figure de référence.

Œuvres majeures

Œuvres sacrées:

Veni sancte spiritus, KV 47
Exsultate, jubilate, KV 165
Vesperae de dominica, KV 321
Krönungsmesse (Messe du Couronnement) en ut majeur, KV 317 (1779)
Vesperae solennes de confessore, KV 339
Grande messe en ut mineur, KV 427 (1782-83)

Opéras:

Bastien und Bastienne(Bastien et Bastienne), KV 50 (1768, Vienne) Il n’avait que 12 ans à l’époque
Mitridate, rè di Ponto (Mithridate), KV 87 (1770, Milan)
Lucio Silla, KV 135 (1772, Milan)
Il Re pastore (Le Roi pasteur), KV 208 (1775, Salzburg)
Idomeneo, Rè di Creta, KV 366 (1781, Munich)
Die Entführung aus dem Serail (L’Enlèvement au sérail), KV 384 (1782, Vienne)
Le nozze di Figaro (Les Noces de Figaro), KV 492 (1786, Vienne)
Don Giovanni, KV 527 (1787, Vienne et Prague)
Così fan tutte, KV 588 (1790, Vienne)
La Clemenza di Tito (La Clémence de Titus), KV 621 (1791)
Die Zauberflöte (La Flûte enchantée), KV 620 (1791, Vienne)

Symphonies:

Symphonie no 25 en sol mineur, KV 183 (fin 1773)
Symphonie no 28 en ut majeur, KV 200 (novembre 1773)
Symphonie no 29 en la majeur, KV 201 (début 1774)
Symphonie no 35 en ré majeur, KV 385 (juillet-août 1782)
Symphonie no 36 « Linz » en ut majeur, KV 425 (novembre 1783)
Symphonie no 38 « Prague » en ré majeur, KV 504 (fin 1786)
Symphonie no 39 en mi bémol majeur, KV 543 (juillet-août 1788)
Symphonie no 40 en sol mineur, KV 550 (juillet-août 1788)
Symphonie no 41 « Jupiter » en ut majeur, KV 551 (juillet-août 1788)

Orchestre seul:

Sérénade Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Une petite musique de nuit) en sol majeur, KV 525 (1787, Vienne)
Adagio et fugue en ut mineur, KV 546 (transcription du KV 426 pour deux pianos)

Concertos:

Concertos pour piano et orchestre :
Concerto pour piano no 9 en mi bémol « Jeunehomme », KV.271 (1777)
Concerto pour deux pianos en mi bémol majeur, KV 365 (1778)
Concerto pour piano no 12 en la majeur, KV 414 (1783)
Concerto pour piano no 13 en do majeur, KV 415 (1783)
Concerto pour piano no 14 en mi bémol majeur, KV.449 (1783)
Concerto pour piano no 15 en si bémol majeur, KV 450 (1784)
Concerto pour piano no 16 en ré majeur, KV 451 (1784)
Concerto pour piano no 17 en sol majeur, KV 453
Concerto pour piano no 20 en ré mineur, KV 466 (1785, Vienne)
Concerto pour piano n° 21 en ut majeur « Elvira Madigan », KV 467 (1785, Vienne)
Concerto pour piano n° 22 en mi bémol majeur, KV 482
Concerto pour piano no 23 en la majeur, KV 488
Concerto pour piano no 24 en ut mineur, KV 491
Concerto pour piano no 25 en ut majeur, KV 503
Concerto pour piano no 26 en ré majeur « du Couronnement », KV 537 (1788)
Concerto pour piano no 27 en si bémol majeur, KV 595
Concerto pour clarinette en la majeur KV 622 (1791, Vienne)
Concertos pour flûte n°1 et 2 KV 313 et 314 (1778, Mannheim)
Concerto pour flûte et harpe en ut majeur KV 299 (1778, Paris)
Concertos pour violon et orchestre :
Concerto pour violon no 1 en si bémol majeur, KV 207
Concerto pour violon no 3 en sol majeur, KV 216
Concerto pour violon no 5 en la majeur, KV 219
Autres œuvres concertantes :
Sinfonia concertante pour hautbois, clarinette, cor, basson et orchestre en mi bémol majeur, KV 297b
Sinfonia concertante pour violon, alto et orchestre en mi bémol majeur, KV 364

Musique pour clavier:

Sonates pour piano :
Sonate pour piano nº 6 en ré majeur « Durnitz », K. 284
Sonate pour piano en la mineur KV 310 (1778, Paris)
Sonate pour piano KV 330
Sonate pour piano n° 11 en la majeur « Alla turca » KV 331 (1781-83, Munich ou Vienne), Media:RondoAllaTurca.mid
Sonate pour piano KV 333
Sonate pour piano KV 457
Sonate pour piano KV 544/494
Sonate pour piano n° 16 en do majeur KV 545, Media:Kv545-allegro.mid
Sonate pour piano en Sib majeur KV 570
Sonate pour piano KV 576
Autres pièces pour piano :
Douze variations sur « Ah ! vous dirai-je, Maman » KV 256
Prélude et fugue en ut majeur KV 394
Fantaisie en ut mineur, KV 475
Fantaisie en ré mineur, KV 397
Rondo en ré majeur, KV 485
Rondo en la mineur, KV 511
Adagio en si mineur, KV 540
Pièces pour orgue :
Adagio et allegro en fa mineur pour orgue mécanique, KV 594
Fantaisie en fa mineur pour orgue mécanique, KV 608
Andante en fa majeur, KV 616
Marche en do majeur, KV 408/1

Musique de chambre:

Pour cordes :

Sonate pour violon et piano en ut majeur KV 296
Quatuors dédiés à Haydn :
Quatuor en sol majeur KV 387 (1782, Vienne)
Quatuor en ré mineur KV 421 (1783, Vienne)
Quatuor en mi bémol majeur KV 428 (1783, Vienne)
Quatuor en si bémol majeur « la chasse » KV 458 (1784, Vienne)
Quatuor en la majeur KV 464 (1785, Vienne)
Quatuor en do majeur « les dissonances » KV 465 (1785, Vienne)
Quatuors avec piano :
Quatuor avec piano no 1 en sol mineur KV 478 (1785)
Quatuor avec piano no 2 en mi bémol majeur KV 493 (1786)
Pour vents :
Sérénade « Gran Partita » KV 361 pour instruments à vents
Sérénade pour sextuor à vent en mi bémol majeur KV 375 (1781) 2 clarinettes, 2 cors, 2 bassons
Sérénade pour octuor à vent en ut mineur KV 388 (1782, Vienne) 2 hautbois, 2 clarinettes, 2 cors, 2 bassons
Divertimento pour 3 cors de basset KV 439
Mixte :
Trio « Les Quilles » en mi bémol majeur pour piano, clarinette, et alto KV 498 (1786, Vienne)
Quintette avec clarinette en la majeur KV 581 (1789, Vienne)
Quintette pour cor et cordes en mi bémol majeur KV 407
Quatuor pour hautbois et cordes en fa majeur KV 370 (1781)
Quintette pour piano, hautbois, clarinette, cor et basson en mi bémol majeur KV 452
Adagio & Rondo pour harmonica de verre, flûte, hautbois, alto & violoncelle en do majeur KV 617

Source Wikipedia

[/lang_fr]

[lang_en]

wolfgang-amadeus-mozart.jpg

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (January 27, 1756 – December 5, 1791) was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. His output of over 600 compositions includes works widely acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. Mozart is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers and many of his works are part of the standard concert repertoire.

Biography:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born to Leopold and Anna Maria Pertl Mozart, in the front room of Getreidegasse 9 in Salzburg, the capital of the sovereign Archbishopric of Salzburg, in what is now Austria, then part of the Holy Roman Empire. His only sibling who survived past birth was an older sister: Maria Anna, nicknamed Nannerl.

Mozart was baptized the day after his birth at St. Rupert’s Cathedral. The baptismal record gives his name in Latinized form as Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. Mozart generally called himself « Wolfgang Amadé Mozart »as an adult, but there were many variants; see Mozart’s name.

Mozart’s father Leopold Mozart (1719–1787) was one of Europe’s leading musical teachers. His influential textbook Versuch einer gründlichen Violinschule, was published in 1756, the year of Mozart’s birth (English, as « A Treatise on the Fundamental Principles of Violin Playing », transl. E.Knocker; Oxford-New York, 1948).

He was deputy Kapellmeister to the court orchestra of the Archbishop of Salzburg, and a prolific and successful composer of instrumental music. Leopold gave up composing when his son’s outstanding musical talents became evident. They first came to light when Wolfgang was about three years old, and Leopold, proud of Wolfgang’s achievements, gave him intensive musical training, including instruction in clavier, violin, and organ. Leopold was Wolfgang’s only teacher in his earliest years. A note by Leopold in Nannerl’s music book – the Nannerl Notenbuch – records that little Wolfgang had learned several of the pieces at the age of four. Mozart’s first compositions, a small Andante (K. 1a) and Allegro (K. 1b), were written in 1761, when he was five years old.

mozart.jpg

During Mozart’s formative years, his family made several European journeys in which the children were exhibited as child prodigies. These began with an exhibition in 1762 at the Court of the Elector of Bavaria in Munich, then in the same year at the Imperial Court in Vienna and Prague. A long concert tour spanning three and a half years followed, taking the family to the courts of Munich, Mannheim, Paris, London, The Hague, again to Paris, and back home via Zürich, Donaueschingen, and Munich.

During this trip Mozart met a great number of musicians and acquainted himself with the works of other composers. A particularly important influence was Johann Christian Bach, who met Mozart in London in 1764–65. Bach’s work is often taken to be an inspiration for Mozart’s music. The family again went to Vienna in late 1767 and remained there until December 1768. On this trip Mozart contracted smallpox, and his healing was believed by Leopold as proof of God’s plans concerning the child.

After one year in Salzburg, three trips to Italy followed, this time with just Leopold, leaving Wolfgang’s mother and sister at home: from December 1769 to March 1771, from August to December 1771, and from October 1772 to March 1773. Mozart was commissioned to compose three operas: Mitridate Rè di Ponto (1770), Ascanio in Alba (1771), and Lucio Silla (1772), all three of which were performed in Milan. During the first of these trips, Mozart met Andrea Luchesi in Venice and G.B. Martini in Bologna, and was accepted as a member of the famous Accademia Filarmonica. A highlight of the Italian journey, now an almost legendary tale, occurred when he heard Gregorio Allegri’s Miserere once in performance in the Sistine Chapel then wrote it out in its entirety from memory, only returning to correct minor errors; thus producing the first illegal copy of this closely-guarded property of the Vatican.

Following his return with his father from Italy (13 March 1773), Mozart was employed as a court musician by the ruler of Salzburg Prince-Archbishop Hieronymus Colloredo. Mozart was a « favorite son » in Salzburg, where he had a great number of friends and admirers, and he had the opportunity to compose in a great number of genres, including symphonies, sonatas, string quartets, serenades, and the occasional opera.

Some of the works he produced during this early period are very widely performed today. For instance, during the period between April and December of 1775, Mozart developed an enthusiasm for violin concertos, producing a series of five (the only ones he ever wrote), steadily increasing in their musical sophistication. The last three (K. 216, K. 218, K. 219) are now staples of the repertoire. The E flat piano concerto K. 271 (1777), with its surprising interruption of the orchestra by the soloist at the start, is considered by critics to be a breakthrough work.

Nevertheless, Mozart gradually grew more discontented with Salzburg and made increasingly strenuous efforts to find a position elsewhere. The reason seems to be in part his low salary, 150 florins per year (Leopold, the vice-Kapellmeister, made 250). In addition, Mozart loved to compose operas, and Salzburg provided at best rare occasions for opera productions. The situation became worse in 1775 when the court theater was closed, and the other theater in Salzburg was largely reserved for visiting troupes.

Two long job-hunting expeditions interrupted this long Salzburg stay: Wolfgang and Leopold (they were both looking) visited Vienna from 14 July to 26 September 1773 and Munich from 6 December 1774 to March 1775. Neither visit was successful, though the Munich journey resulted in a popular success with the premiere of Mozart’s opera La finta giardiniera.

On September 23, 1777, Mozart began yet another job-hunting tour, this time accompanied by his mother Anna Maria. The visit included Munich, Mannheim, and Paris. In Mannheim he became acquainted with members of the Mannheim orchestra, the best in Europe at the time. He also fell in love with Aloysia Weber, one of four daughters in a musical family. Mozart moved on to Paris and attempted to build his career there, but was unsuccessful (he did obtain a job offer as organist at Versailles, but it was a job he did not want). The visit to Paris was an especially unhappy one because Mozart’s mother took ill and died there, June 23, 1778.On his way back to Salzburg Mozart passed through Munich again, where Aloysia, now employed at the opera there as a singer, indicated she was no longer interested in him.

Mozart’s discontent with Salzburg continued after his return.

The question arises why Mozart, despite his talent, was unable to find a job on this trip. Maynard Solomon has suggested that the problem lay in conflict with father Leopold, who insisted that Mozart find a high-level position that would support the entire family. Wolfgang favored the alternative strategy of settling in a major city, working as a freelance, and cultivating the aristocracy to the point that he would be favored for an important job; this had worked earlier for other musicians, e.g. Haydn. The plan Leopold imposed, coupled with Mozart’s youth (he was only 21 when he left Salzburg), seems to have had foreordained failure.

In January 1781, Mozart’s opera Idomeneo, premiered with « considerable success » (New Grove) in Munich. The following March, the composer was summoned to Vienna, where his employer, Prince-Archbishop Colloredo of Salzburg, was attending the celebrations for the installation of the Emperor Joseph II. Mozart, who had just experienced success in Munich, was offended when Colloredo treated him as a mere servant, and particularly when the Archbishop forbade him to perform before the Emperor at Countess Thun’s (for a fee that would have been fully half of his Salzburg salary).

In May the resulting quarrel intensified: Mozart attempted to resign, and was refused. The following month, however, the delayed permission was granted, but a grossly insulting way: Mozart was dismissed literally « with a kick in the arse », administered by the Archbishop’s steward, Count Arco. In the meantime, Mozart had been noticing opportunities to earn a good living in Vienna, and he chose to stay there and develop his own freelance career.

In fact, Mozart’s Vienna career began very well. He performed often as a pianist, notably in a competition before the Emperor with Muzio Clementi, December 24 1781, and according to the New Grove, he soon « had established himself as the finest keyboard player in Vienna. »Mozart also prospered as a composer: during 1781–1782 he wrote the opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail (« The Abduction from the Seraglio »), which premiered July 16, 1782 and achieved a huge success. The work was soon being performed « throughout German-speaking Europe », and fully established Mozart’s reputation as a composer.

Near the height of his quarrels with Archbishop Colloredo, Mozart moved in (May 1 or May 2, 1781) with the Weber family, who had moved to Vienna from Mannheim. The father, Fridolin, had died, and the Webers were now taking in lodgers to make ends meet. Aloysia, who had earlier rejected Mozart’s suit, was now married to the actor Joseph Lange, and Mozart’s interest shifted to the third daughter, Constanze. The couple were married, with father Leopold’s « grudging consent » (New Grove), on August 4, 1782. They had six children, of whom only two survived infancy: Carl Thomas (1784–1858) and Franz Xaver Wolfgang (1791–1844; later a minor composer himself).

During 1782–1783, Mozart became closely acquainted with the work of J. S. Bach and G.F. Handel as a result of the influence of Baron Gottfried van Swieten, who owned many manuscripts of works by the Baroque masters. Mozart’s study of these works led first to a number of works imitating Baroque style and later had a powerful influence on his own personal musical language, for example the fugal passages in Die Zauberflöte (« The Magic Flute »), and in the finale of Symphony No. 41.

In 1783, Wolfgang and Constanze visited Leopold in Salzburg, but the visit was not a success, as his father did not open his heart to Constanze. However, the visit sparked the composition of one of Mozart’s great liturgical pieces, the Mass in C Minor, which, though not completed, was premiered in Salzburg. Constanze sang in the premiere as the lead soprano.

At some (unknown) time following his move to Vienna, Mozart met Joseph Haydn and the two composers became friends; see Haydn and Mozart. When Haydn visited Vienna, they sometimes played together in an impromptu string quartet. Mozart’s six quartets dedicated to Haydn (K. 387, K. 421, K. 428, K. 458, K. 464, and K. 465) date from 1782–85, and are often judged to be his response to Haydn’s Opus 33 set from 1781. Haydn was soon in awe of Mozart, and when he first heard the last three of Mozart’s series he told Leopold, « Before God and as an honest man I tell you that your son is the greatest composer known to me either in person or by name: He has taste, and, furthermore, the most profound knowledge of composition. »

During the years 1782–1785, Mozart put on a series of concerts in which he appeared as soloist in his piano concertos, widely considered among his greatest works. These concerts were financially successful. During the years 1784–1787 Mozart and his family lived in a lavish, seven-room apartment, which may be visited today at Domgasse 5, behind St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna.

Despite the great success of Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Mozart did little writing of operas during the years that followed it, producing only two unfinished works and the one-act Der Schauspieldirektor. He focused instead on his career as a piano soloist and writer of concertos. However, around the end of 1785, Mozart reshifted his focus again: he ceased to write piano concertos on a regular basis, and began his famous collaboration with the librettist Lorenzo da Ponte.

1786 saw the Vienna premiere of The Marriage of Figaro, which was moderately successful in Vienna and considerably more so in a Prague production later the same year. The Prague success led to a commission for a second Mozart-Da Ponte opera, Don Giovanni, which premiered 1787 to acclaim in Prague and was also produced, with some success, in Vienna in 1788. Both operas are considered among Mozart’s most important works and are mainstays of the operatic repertoire today; their musical complexity caused difficulty for both listeners and performers alike at their premieres.

Toward the end of the decade, Mozart’s career declined. Around 1786 he had ceased to appear frequently in public concerts, and his income dropped.This was in general a difficult time for musicians in Vienna, since between 1788 and 1791 Austria was at war (see Austro-Turkish War (1788–1791)), and both the general level of prosperity and the ability of the aristocracy to support music had declined.

By mid 1788, Mozart and his family moved from central Vienna to cheaper lodgings in the suburb of Alsergrund. Mozart began to borrow money, most often from his friend and fellow Mason Michael Puchberg; « a dismal series of begging letters » (New Grove) survives. Maynard Solomon and others have suggested the Mozart suffered from depression at this time, and it seems his output rate sank somewhat (see Köchel-Verzeichnis).

The major works of the period include the last three symphonies (1788: 39, 40, 41; it is not certain whether these were performed in Mozart’s lifetime), and the last of the three Da Ponte operas, Cosi fan tutte, premiered 1790.

During this time Mozart made long journeys hoping to improve his fortunes: a visit in spring of 1789 to Leipzig, Dresden, and Berlin (see Mozart’s Berlin journey), and a 1790 visit to Frankfurt, Mannheim, and other German cities. The trips produced only isolated success and did not solve Mozart’s financial problems.

Mozart’s last year was, until his final illness struck, one of great productivity and (in the view of biographer Maynard Solomon) personal recovery. During this time Mozart wrote a great deal of music, including some of the works for which he is most admired today: the opera The Magic Flute, the final piano concerto (K. 595 in B flat), the Clarinet Concerto K. 622, the last in his great series of string quintets (K. 614 in E flat), the revised version of his 40th Symphony, the motet Ave verum corpus K. 618, and the unfinished Requiem.

Mozart’s financial situation, which in 1790 was the source of extreme anxiety to him, also began to improve. Although the evidence is uncertain it appears that admiring wealthy patrons in Hungary and in Amsterdam pledged annuities to Mozart, in return for the occasional composition. Mozart also probably made considerable money from the sale of dance music that wrote for his job as Imperial Court Composer (Kammercompositeur). He ceased to borrow large sums from Puchberg and made a start on paying off his debts.

Lastly, Mozart experienced great satisfaction in the public success of some his works, notably The Magic Flute (performed many times even during the short period between its premiere and Mozart’s death)and the Little Masonic Cantata K. 623, premiered November 15, 1791.

Mozart fell ill while in Prague, for the Sept. 6 premiere of his opera La clemenza di Tito, written in 1791 on commission for the coronation festivities of the Emperor. He was able to continue his professional functions for some time, for instance conducting the premiere of The Magic Flute on September 30. The illness intensified on November 20, at which point Mozart became bedridden, suffering from swelling, pain, and vomiting.

The cause of Mozart’s illness and death cannot be determined with certainty. His death record listed « hitziges Frieselfieber » (« severe miliary fever, » referring to a rash that looks like millet-seeds), a description that does not suffice to identify the cause as it would be diagnosed in modern medicine.
Dozens of theories have been proposed, including trichinosis, influenza, mercury poisoning, and a rare kidney ailment. The practice of bleeding medical patients, common at that time, is also cited as a contributing cause. However, the most widely accepted version is that he died of acute rheumatic fever; he had had three or even four known attacks of it since his childhood, and this particular disease has a tendency to recur, leaving increasingly serious consequences each time, such as rampant infection and heart valve damage.

Mozart died at approximately 1 a.m. on December 5, 1791 in Vienna. With the onset of his illness, he had largely ceased work on his final composition, the Requiem. Popular belief has it that Mozart was thinking of his own impending death while writing this piece, and even that a messenger from the afterworld commissioned it. Documentary evidence has established that the anonymous commission came from one Franz Count of Walsegg on Schloss Stuppach, and that most if not all of the music had been written while Mozart was still in good health. A younger composer, and Mozart’s friend and, some say, pupil, at the time, Franz Xaver Süssmayr, was engaged by Constanze to finish the Requiem, which he had been already helping the ill composer with, since Mozart could not write on account of his swollen limbs. He was not the first composer asked to finish the Requiem, as the widow had first approached another Mozart student, Joseph Eybler, who began work directly on the empty staves of Mozart’s manuscript but then abandoned it.

Because he was buried in an unmarked grave, it has been popularly assumed that Mozart was penniless and forgotten when he died. He earned about 50,000 florins per year,equivalent to at least 142,000 US dollars in 2006, which places him within the top 1% of late 18th century wage earners, but he could not manage his wealth. His mother wrote, « When Wolfgang makes new acquaintances, he immediately wants to give his life and property to them. » His impulsive largesse and spending often had him asking for loans. Many of his begging letters survive, but they are evidence not so much of poverty as of his habit of spending more than he earned. He was not buried in a « mass grave » for paupers but in a regular communal grave according to the 1784 laws in Austria.

Though the original grave in the St. Marx cemetery was lost, memorial gravestones (or cenotaphs) have been placed there and in the Zentralfriedhof. In 2005 new DNA testing was performed by Austria’s University of Innsbruck and the US Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory in Rockville, Maryland, to determine if a skull in an Austrian Museum was actually his, using DNA samples from the marked graves of his grandmother and Mozart’s niece. Test results were inconclusive.

In 1809, Constanze married Danish diplomat Georg Nikolaus von Nissen (1761–1826). Being a fanatical admirer of Mozart, he and possibly Constanze, edited vulgar passages out of many of the composer’s letters and wrote a Mozart biography. Nissen did not live to see his biography printed, and Constanze had it finished.

Portrait

Mozart’s physical appearance was described by tenor Michael Kelly, in his Reminiscences: « a remarkable small man, very thin and pale, with a profusion of fine, fair hair of which he was rather vain. » His early biographer Niemetschek wrote, « there was nothing special about his physique … He was small and his countenance, except for his large intense eyes, gave no signs of his genius. » His facial complexion was pitted, a reminder of his childhood case of smallpox. He loved elegant clothing: Kelly remembered him at a rehearsal: he « was on the stage with his crimson pelisse and gold-laced cocked hat, giving the time of the music to the orchestra. » Of his voice Constanze later wrote that it « was a tenor, rather soft in speaking and delicate in singing, but when anything excited him, or it became necessary to exert it, it was both powerful and energetic. »

Mozart worked very hard, a great deal of the time, and finished works where necessary at a tremendous pace. When composing he often made sketches and drafts, though (unlike Beethoven’s sketches) these are mostly not preserved, Constanze having destroyed them after his death.

Mozart also enjoyed billiards and liked dancing. He kept pets (a canary, a starling and a dog), and kept a horse for recreational riding.

Mozart lived at the center of Viennese musical life, and knew a great number of people, including not just his fellow musicians, but also theatrical performers, fellow transplanted Salzburgers, and many aristocrats, including a fairly close acquaintance with the Emperor, Joseph II. Mozart had a considerable number of friends, of whom Solomon estimates the three closest were Gottfried Janequin, Count August Hatzfeld, and Sigmund Barisani; others included the singers Franz Xaver Gerl and Benedikt Schack, Haydn (mentioned above), and the horn player Ignaz Leutgeb (with whom Mozart carried on a curious kind of friendly mockery, Leutgeb being always the butt of Mozart’s practical jokes).

Mozart was influenced by the ideas of the eighteenth-century European Enlightenment as an adult, and became a Freemason in 1785. His lodge was specifically Catholic, rather than deistic, and he worked fervently and successfully to convert his father before the latter’s death in 1787.

Die Zauberflöte, his penultimate opera, includes Masonic themes and allegory.

Style

Mozart’s music, like Haydn’s, stands as an archetypal example of the Classical style. His works spanned the period during which that style transformed from one exemplified by the style galant to one that began to incorporate some of the contrapuntal complexities of the late Baroque, complexities against which the galant style had been a reaction. Mozart’s own stylistic development closely paralleled the development of the classical style as a whole. In addition, he was a versatile composer and wrote in almost every major genre, including symphony, opera, the solo concerto, chamber music including string quartet and string quintet, and the piano sonata. While none of these genres were new, the piano concerto was almost single-handedly developed and popularized by Mozart. He also wrote a great deal of religious music, including masses; and he composed many dances, divertimenti, serenades, and other forms of light entertainment.

The central traits of the classical style can all be identified in Mozart’s music. Clarity, balance, and transparency are hallmarks, though a simplistic notion of the delicacy of his music obscures for us the exceptional and even demonic power of some of his finest masterpieces, such as the Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491, the Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550, and the opera Don Giovanni. Charles Rosen has written (1997): « It is only through recognizing the violence and sensuality at the center of Mozart’s work that we can make a start towards a comprehension of his structures and an insight into his magnificence. In a paradoxical way, Schumann’s superficial characterization of the G minor Symphony can help us to see Mozart’s daemon more steadily. In all of Mozart’s supreme expressions of suffering and terror, there is something shockingly voluptuous. » Especially during his last decade, Mozart explored chromatic harmony to a degree rare at the time. The slow introduction to the « Dissonant » Quartet, K. 465, a work that Haydn greatly admired even as it perplexed him, rapidly explodes a shallow understanding of Mozart’s style as light and pleasant.

From his earliest years Mozart had a gift for imitating the music he heard; since he traveled widely, he acquired a rare collection of experiences from which to create his unique compositional language. When he went to London[41] as a child, he met J.C. Bach and heard his music; when he went to Paris, Mannheim, and Vienna, he heard the work of composers active there, as well as the spectacular Mannheim orchestra; when he went to Italy, he encountered the Italian overture and opera buffa, both of which were to be hugely influential on his development. Both in London and Italy, the galant style was all the rage: simple, light music, with a mania for cadencing, an emphasis on tonic, dominant, and subdominant to the exclusion of other chords, symmetrical phrases, and clearly articulated structures. This style, out of which the classical style evolved, was a reaction against the complexity of late Baroque music. Some of Mozart’s early symphonies are Italian overtures, with three movements running into each other; many are « homotonal » (each movement in the same key, with the slow movement in the parallel minor). Others mimic the works of J.C. Bach, and others show the simple rounded binary forms commonly being written by composers in Vienna. One of the most recognizable features of Mozart’s works is a sequence of harmonies or modes that usually leads to a cadence in the dominant or tonic key. This sequence is essentially borrowed from baroque music, especially Bach. But Mozart shifted the sequence so that the cadence ended on the stronger half, i.e., the first beat of the bar. Mozart’s understanding of modes such as Phrygian is evident in such passages.

As Mozart matured, he began to incorporate some more features of Baroque styles into his music. For example, the Symphony No. 29 in A Major K. 201 uses a contrapuntal main theme in its first movement, and experimentation with irregular phrase lengths. Some of his quartets from 1773 have fugal finales, probably influenced by Haydn, who had just published his Opus 20 set. The influence of the Sturm und Drang (« Storm and Stress ») period in German literature, with its brief foreshadowing of the Romantic era to come, is evident in some of the music of both composers at that time. Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 in G minor, K. 183 is another excellent example of this style.

Over the course of his working life, Mozart switched his focus from instrumental music to operas, and back again. He wrote operas in each of the styles current in Europe: opera buffa, such as The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, or Così fan tutte; opera seria, such as Idomeneo; and Singspiel, of which Die Zauberflöte is probably the most famous example by any composer. In his later operas, he developed the use of subtle changes in instrumentation, orchestration, and tone colour to express or highlight psychological or emotional states and dramatic shifts. Here his advances in opera and instrumental composing interacted. His increasingly sophisticated use of the orchestra in the symphonies and concerti served as a resource in his operatic orchestration, and his developing subtlety in using the orchestra to psychological effect in his operas was reflected in his later non-operatic compositions.

Influence

Many important composers since Mozart’s time have expressed profound appreciation of Mozart. Rossini averred, « He is the only musician who had as much knowledge as genius, and as much genius as knowledge. » Ludwig van Beethoven‘s admiration for Mozart is also quite clear.

Beethoven used Mozart as a model a number of times: for example, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major demonstrates a debt to Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C major, K. 503. A plausible story – not corroborated – regards one of Beethoven’s students who looked through a pile of music in Beethoven’s apartment. When the student pulled out Mozart’s A major Quartet, K. 464, Beethoven exclaimed « Ah, that piece. That’s Mozart saying ‘here’s what I could do, if only you had ears to hear!’ « ; Beethoven’s own Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor is an obvious tribute to Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, and yet another plausible – if unconfirmed – story concerns Beethoven at a concert with his sometime-student Ferdinand Ries.

As they listened to Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24, the orchestra reached the quite unusual coda of the last movement, and Beethoven whispered to Ries: « We will never think of anything like that! » Beethoven’s Quintet for Piano and Winds is another obvious tribute to Mozart, similar to Mozart’s own quintet for the same ensemble. Beethoven also paid homage to Mozart by writing sets of variations on several of his themes: for example, the two sets of variations for cello and piano on themes from Mozart’s Magic Flute, and cadenzas to several of Mozart’s piano concertos, most notably the Piano Concerto No. 20 K. 466. A famous story asserts that, after the only meeting between the two composers, Mozart noted that Beethoven would « give the world something to talk about.

However, it is not certain that the two ever met.Tchaikovsky wrote his Mozartiana in praise of Mozart; and Mahler’s final word was alleged to have been simply « Mozart ». The theme of the opening movement of the Piano Sonata in A major K. 331 (itself a set of variations on that theme) was used by Max Reger for his Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Mozart, written in 1914 and among Reger’s best-known works.

In addition, Mozart received outstanding praise from several fellow composers including Frédéric Chopin, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, and many more.
Mozart has remained an influence in popular contemporary music in varying genres ranging from Jazz to modern Rock.

In the decades after Mozart’s death there were several attempts to catalogue his compositions, but it was not until 1862 that Ludwig von Köchel succeeded in this enterprise. Many of his famous works are referred to by their Köchel catalogue number.

Rumours and controversies

Mozart is unusual among composers for being the subject of an abundance of misconceptions. Many rumours began soon after Mozart died, but few have any basis in fact; biographers often resorted to fiction in order to produce a work. Sorting out fabrications from real events is a vexing and continuous task for Mozart scholars. Dramatists and screenwriters, free from responsibilities of scholarship, have found excellent material among these rumours.

An especially popular case is the supposed rivalry between Mozart and Antonio Salieri, and, in some versions, the tale that it was poison received from the latter that caused Mozart’s death; this is the subject of Aleksandr Pushkin’s play Mozart and Salieri, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera Mozart and Salieri, and Peter Shaffer’s play Amadeus.

The last of these has been made into a feature-length film of the same name. Shaffer’s play attracted criticism for portraying Mozart as vulgar and loutish, a characterization felt by many to be unfairly exaggerated, but in fact frequently confirmed by the composer’s letters and other memorabilia. For example, Mozart wrote canons on the words « Leck mich im Arsch » (« Lick me in the arse ») and « Leck mir den Arsch fein recht schön sauber » (« Lick me in the arse nice and clean ») as party pieces for his friends. The Köchel numbers of these canons are 231 and 233.

Another debate involves Mozart’s alleged status as a kind of superhuman prodigy, from childhood right up until his death. While some have criticized his earlier works as simplistic or forgettable, others revere even Mozart’s juvenilia. In any case, several of his early compositions remain very popular. The motet Exultate, jubilate (K. 165), for example, composed when Mozart was seventeen years old, is among the most frequently recorded of his vocal compositions.

Benjamin Simkin, a medical doctor, argues in his book Medical and Musical Byways of Mozartiana that Mozart had Tourette syndrome. However, no Tourette syndrome expert, organization, psychiatrist or neurologist has stated that there is credible evidence that Mozart had this syndrome, and several have stated that they do not believe there is enough evidence to substantiate the claim.

Source Wikipedia

[/lang_en]

About the Author