Its got 3 sections: Biography, Important Event in his Life, & What is to be learned (Analysis). I think its about 7 or 8 pages. It was written for a High School Sophomore History Class but it’s damn good. Complete with Bibliography and all. — -Stephanie Biography of Mozart The rain poured down hard, flooding the suburban streets of Vienna. Thunder roared all around the funeral procession on December 6, 1791, as it laboriously headed for St.
Marx Cemetery. As it reached the city walls of Vienna, the few friends who had accompanied Mozart on his last journey turned back, due to the unusually bad weather conditions. Such a scene is sadly appropriate in representing the tragic end of Mozart who had begun his life with such immeasurable promise. On January 27, 1756, Leopold Mozart paced up and down the hall of his home in Salzburg, Austria, in anticipation of the arrival of his seventh child. His wife, Anna Maria, had given birth to a boy: Wolfgang. Wolfgang and his only other surviving sibling, Nannerl, grew up immersed in music.
He progressed quickly and began to compose before he could even write. Leopold felt that his child’s gift should be promoted by travel so the family left Salzburg in 1762 eager to ‘show the world a miracle.’ From court to palace the Mozart family traveled the roads of Europe, showing Wolfgang off to the world as a child genius. Often his father would take him to carnivals and masked balls and dress the little boy up as a harlequin. These experiences had made Wolfgang not only become something of a legend but had allowed him musical experiences far beyond those of a mere child prodigy. Upon his eleventh birthday, commissions flooded in not only from the court but from the bourgeoisie, too.
He wrote one act of an oratorio to be performed in March, and followed it by a Latin comedy, Apollo and Hyacinthus. In September of 1767, the Mozart family left for Vienna where, after recovering from small pox, Mozart would be inspired by his father to write his first opera, LaF inta Semplice. So impressed with Vienna was Mozart tha the and his father set off again for Italy alone in 1769. Traveling throughout the towns of Italy, his recitals were one success after the other, and his opera ‘Mithridate, re diPonto’s aw its twentieth consecutive performance in Milan. A failed attempt at a commission in Milan led Mozart to understand how fickle society can be, and brought the two back to their home in Salzburg. Mozart’s farewells to Milan were tinged with bitterness and he resigned himself to a life as court musician in Salzburg, but the seventeen year old genius soon began to feel suffocated in the narrow confines of his native city.
He continued to produce quartets and vocal works but the regular rhythm of Salzburg life failed to give him musical satisfaction. After three years of monotony with an occasional commission, the twenty year old musician had no more to hope for from life in the provinces and reached the decision: he would leave Salzburg. Mozart fel the could breathe again as he set off from Salzburg sure that his genius was about to be acknowledged by the world at large. In 1777, Mozart traveled with his mother to Mannheim, where he remained and composed, ignoring the looming financial problems he was facing.
In the meantime, he had fallen madly in love with the young singer Aloysia Weber. Leopold was aghast, Aloysia was the daughter of a lowly copyist and member of the chorus at the court theater, this match seemed disastrous. Mozart’s father resorted to emotional blackmail to get him out of Mannheim and into Paris where he could take on pupils. It seems that Mozart did pay heed and set off with his mother for Paris on March 13, 1778.
In Paris, everything seemed to be going well until Anna Maria was struck down by a fever and fell into a coma. Her death on July 3 rd left Mozart grieving and in isolation. He reluctantly returned to Salzburg full of dread, and was greeted by his father with these words: ‘If your mother had come back home from Mannheim, she would not have died… You would have got to Paris at a better time… and my poor wife would still be (alive) in Salzburg.’ With this sad reunion, Mozart remained in his hometown until 1780 when he was asked to compose an opera the upcoming carnival season in Vienna. The Weber family had also moved to Vienna and a warm affection quickly sprung up between Mozart and Aloysia’s younger sister, Constanze.
Although he claimed he was not really in love, Mozart agreed to an engagement, partly to removeConstanze from an unhappy home. The couple was married on August 4 1782 in St. Stephen’s Cathedral and his father’s blessing did not arrive until the next day. The following year, Mozart experienced the birth and death of their first ‘fine sturdy baby, round as a ball,’ Rami und Leopold. Despite this grief, Mozart remained buoyant in Vienna where he continued producing concerto after concerto, whileConstanze tended to their second son, Karl Thomas. After the premier and mere ‘qualified success’ of The Marriage of Figaro Mozart began to feel his artistic isolation.
The death of his third son only added to his feelings of loneliness and misunderstanding. The year 1787 started well for Mozart but the death of his father on May 28 marked the beginning of his decline. During these last four , the financial difficulties that had dogged him for so long continued unabated, yet during these years he composed his most radiant masterpieces. Although, to Mozart’s delight, Constanze had given birth to a daughter, the family’s financial problems were going from bad to worse. His performance of the opera Don Giovanni was a flop and felt by the Emperor Joseph II ‘not suitable for the teeth of my Viennese.’ He clearly had no idea how to handle money and his efforts to catalog his work and keep track of his accounts did not last. Constanze was almost continually pregnant and the two went from illness to illness, barely keeping their heads above water.
The summer of 1778 was a time of extraordinary creativity and Mozart continually produced work after work. Yet his financial position remained meager due to his gambling problems, and Mozart was forced to spend the next six months devoted to earning his bread. Constanze, plagued with an infected foot, was forced to go to the spa at Baden where she bore their fifth child who lived only an hour. Mozart worked from morning to night, piece after piece.
On July 26, 1791 his sixth and last child was born and he poured himself into his last two operas, The Magic Flute and La Clemenza de Tito. The exhausted composer used his remaining strength to compose the Clarinet Concerto K. 622 and to start the Requiem… He was insistent on finishing the Requiem before his death, almost obsessed, but the manuscript breaks off after only a few bars of the Lacrymosa movement. On December 4 his condition deteriorated and he fell into a coma late that evening. He died just before one o’clock in the morning.
The thunder roared on the day of his sparsely attended funeral. Not even his wife present, as she was too ill to attend. His body was placed in an unmarked communal grave, without even a cross. Such was the tragic end of the life that had begun with such seemingly limitless potential.
The Requiem The very day before his death, Mozart sat with a blanket over his lap, surrounded by the rich voices of altos, sopranos, and tenors performing the Requiem. As they reached the Lacrymosa movement he suddenly broke down, weeping violently: ‘Did I not say I was writing this Requiem for myself?’ Maybe there was more to this statement than even Mozart realized. The great tragedy of this funeral mass is Mozart’s untimely death before its completion. This composition which Mozart believed was being written for himself was possibly the greatest illustration of this composer than any other work he had produced. The mere fact that this Requiem was left unfinished is a significant representation of the major affairs in Mozart’s life that were left unfulfilled. His troublesome relationship with his father was clearly unresolved during his lifetime, and the last years of his life reflected a financial and career instability he was never able to control.
The last years of Mozart’s life were marked by a financial and musical decline he could never shake free of. Although The Magic Flute was a commended accomplishment, an occasional success wasn’t enough to support Mozart’s gambling habits and inability to control his economic situation. The cost of Constanze’s trip to the spa was a heavy expense and forced Mozart into begging his friends for loans. His opera Don Giovanni brought in no musical acclaim and His opera Cosi Fan Tutte was considered amusing but the subtle cruelty was not fully appreciated. The death of Joseph II just as the opera was being introduced caused it to be ignored by the new Emperor and diluted the opera’s debut. Mozart never lived long enough to see beyond his music as being popular tunes of his lifetime.
He never saw his work being appreciated by the general public and growing into something eternal. His life was cut short at age thirty-five before he could see himself abound to the legend that he is and the once popular composer died poor and out of style, with a dissatisfying feeling of being a mere fad. As a child, Wolfgang attended many carnivals with his father that played an important part in their relationship. For Mozart it was an occasion for temporarily overturning the commanding authority of his father. He once created an obscene German acrostic on the word ‘papa.’ His love with riddles and words carried over later in life when he would compose riddling letters to his father forcing him to write back with unfriendly words like ” blast your oracular utterances!’ These riddles, in part, were descriptions of Mozart himself, coded messages meant for his father. His riddle world teased out allusions and was a dream haunted by themes that ran through his life.
As an adult, Mozart’s relations with his father dominated his thoughts to a most uncommon degree. His marriage to Constanze seriously affected their relationship. His father sent letters to him that were elaborate attempts to inspire guilt and regret. It was after much opposition before Leopold voluntarily consented, although most unwillingly, to this match.
He was deeply wounded by this and stated: ‘He knows that I am sacrificed morally and physically by his behavior-and there now remains no resource to me but to leave him.’ Leopold could not recognize his son’s independence which left him hard and unjust, and he gave into a feeling of bitterness that was never altogether erased from his heart. In 1787, after suffering from several bouts of illness and prompt recoveries, Leopold suddenly died, and the news seemed to carry Mozart back to his youth. To deal with the death of his father Mozart worked with intense concentration, his production that year was tremendous and his work was nonstop. When he was writing he used foolish jokes and pranks and hid his sorrow under an inappropriate mask of dispassion and reserve. His reaction to his father’s death was more of a reaction to their relationship beforehand. The father and son had become estranged and he had even left the bulk of his estate to Wolfgang’s sister, Nannerl, which had left Mozart bitter and forced to devoting all his time and concentration to his music.
Leopold’s death was unexpected and abrupt, the father and son never had a chance to make amends before the end had come. Their relationship had been strained due to Leopold’s ambitious goals for his son and Wolfgang’s desire to live his life at his will. At first sight of Mozart’s incredible talent, Leopold had sought to escape his limited career as a musician in a minor court at Salzburg. He wished to elevate his social status and become acquainted with the most prominent people of the day, to mingle with the high society through his son. Wolfgang’s marriage to an unworthy bride and lifestyle of gambling and freelance composing left his father partly ashamed of his son and sometimes cruel and harsh. In the thirty-five years that Mozart lived, he was never able to ultimately please his father and himself at the same time, leaving an unfulfilled yearning in his heart where paternal pride was supposed to lie.
The unfinished Requiem serves asa passageway into understanding Mozart’s life, not by analyzing the music but by analyzing the circumstances. He poured himself into this composition, sometimes fainting over it late at night with exhaustion, yet he never lived to see its completion. Mozart struggled to achieve his full capability, he was applauded throughout his life and praised enormously, yet he saw that this was only temporary and never witnessed his musical achievement as it is celebrated today. The Requiem was finished after his death by various other composers, just as Mozart’s life was finally appreciated after his death by the world at large. Neither had the luxury of a golden age from which to reminisce back on successes and cherished performances. This funeral mass, like its creator’s life, was an extravagant unfinished masterpiece cut off before it had time to even see its true closure.
Analysis What conclusions can be drawn from Mozart’s extraordinary life and what can be learned from them? One glaring issue would be his overwhelming ability to achieve. Mozart lived his life as an over achiever. He developed a talent and worked at perfecting it his whole life. His strive to be the best brought him renown before he was even a teenager. Opera after opera, he was a success and he strove to create music that the public wanted to hear. He worked endlessly, day after day, until he made himself sick from exhaustion, just to complete an opera or finish a symphony.
Mozart completely and fully dedicated his life to music, and in return, became a classically renowned and praised musician, to be celebrated for years to come. It is important to remember how he achieved what he did. He did not lay back and watch his complicated concertos and choral pieces write themselves. He sat at his desk and composed every note himself.
Mozart teaches us the classic lesson, to work hard for great accomplishments. Yet, one of Mozart’s great faults lay in his obsessive dedication to his work and childish inability to focus on issues that were not of a positive nature. He tended to neglect issues that were of importance by getting so wrapped up in the glory of his compositions. In Mannheim with his mother, Mozart ignored the imminent financial difficulties until he was forced to travel to Paris to earn some money.
A similar occurrence in the latter years of his life brought him to imploring his friends for any kind of money they could spare. The most significant mistake of this nature he made was when he allowed himself to become involved with Constanze Weber without his father’s approval. While Mozart and Constanze were just beginning to develop a relationship, Leopold had feared the worst and urged his son to give up the acquaintance. Yet, Mozart ignored his father’s plea and continued to see Constanze. Madame Weber caught the two together and forbade Mozart to come to the house unless he signed a formal promise of marriage or paid Madame Weber a regular annuity for the rest of her life. Leopold was aghast at hearing this, and put up a stubborn fight.
Yet, Mozart would not listen and merely tried to dissipate his father’s distaste for Constanze with soft words, not addressing the issue but trying to appease it thus ignoring the consequences. In this example Mozart displays even greater what a mistake it is to ignore the bad and focus on the good. If Mozart had paid heed to his father’s words, he would not have been beguiled into marriage as he was. Leopold and Wolfgang Mozart teach the world a lesson in themselves and their actions towards each other. It was clear what Leopold expected of his son and Mozart achieved these expectations musically, but not enough in social interactions to make Leopold content. Had Wolfgang’s father taken a different more positive approach when interacting with his son, Wolfgang may have been even more encouraged.
The son’s need to ignore the bad and only focus on the good may have come from his father’s inability to give him an encouraging compliment. Constantly being told he should be better, Mozart may have been attempting to shield himself from verbal abuse by ignoring the insistent, harsh comments of his father. When Mozart was a child, Leopold put his heart and soul into fulfilling his own dreams and desires through hiss on. He put high expectations on Wolfgang, but also he made him what he was.
He pressured, educated, and inspired his young virtuoso to grow up into the great composer he became. If Leopold had not exerted such an influence over him, Mozart might not have been compelled to work day after day so intently and relentlessly on his compositions later in his life. Mozart’s amazing accomplishments may be in part, due to his father’s influence. Yet, regardless of Mozart’s personal hardships, he has left us with an impression through his music that will last through the years. Bibliography Gartner, Heinz. (translation by Reinhard Pauly) Constanze Mozart After the Requiem.
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