Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756
and lived to the year of 1791. In Mozarts early childhood
when he was six years old he had become an accomplished performer
on the clavier, violin, and organ and was highly skilled in
sight-reading and improvision. Mozart had composed five short
piano pieces when he was six, which are still played to this day.
At the age of 14, Mozart was payed to write a serious opera.
This work, mitridate, re di Ponto
(Mithridates, King of Pontos, 1770), produced under his direction
at Milan, completely established an already big reputation.
In 1777 Mozart obtained a leave of absence for a concert tour
and left with his mother for Munich. The courts of Europe ignored
the 21-year-old Mozart in his search for a more congenial and
rewarding appointment. He traveled to Mannheim, then the musical
center of Europe because of its famous orchestra, fell in love with
Aloysia Weber. Leopold then ordered his son and wife to Paris.
His mother died in Paris in July of 1778, his rejection by Weber,
and the neglect he suffered from the aristocrats whom he courted
made the two years Mozart's arrival in Paris until his return to
Salzburg in 1779 one of the most difficult periods in his life.
While at home Mozart composed two masses and a number of sonatas,
symphonies, and concertos; these works reveal for the first time
a distinctive style and a completely mature understanding of
musical media. Mozart had a success on the Italian opera seria
Idomeneo, re di Creta (Idomeneo, King of Crete).
A series of court intrigues and his exploitation at the hands
of the court soon forced Mozart to leave. In a house in Vienna
rented for him by his friends, he hoped to sustain himself by
being a teacher. During this period Mozart composed a singspiel
called The Abduction from the Seraglio, which was requested by
Emperor Joseph the 2nd in 1782. In that same year Mozart had
married Constanze Weber, Aloysia's younger sister. Not ending
poverty and illness harassed the family until Mozarts death in
1791. Mozart had had an unsuccessful career and died young
but he ranks as one of the geniuses of Western civilization.
His large output which is more than 600 works, shows that even
as a child he had had a thorough command of the technical
resources of musical composition as well as an original imagination.
His works include symphonies, divertimentos, sonatas, chamber music
for a number of instrumental combinations, and concertos; his vocal
works consist mainly of church music and operas. Mozart's creative
method was extraordinary, for his manuscripts show that, although
he made an occasional preliminary sketch of a difficult passage, he
almost invariably thought out a complete work before committing it
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