Ms. Vicki Fox
May 16, 2016
The Life and Music of Mozart Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, known as an adult as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was born January 27, 1756 to Leopold and Anna Maria Mozart. The last of their two children to survive infancy, he and his sister Maria Anna- also known as Nannerl- were noted to be musically skilled from a young age. Mozart had learned to play piano at the age of three and by the age of five he had begun to compose simple musical pieces (A Short Biography of Mozart).
Leopold Mozart and his family left Salzburg for a concert tour in 1763 in hopes of showing off the musical abilities of the prestigious(precocious) children to the European royalty (A Short Biography …show more content…
Wolfgang and his father visited all of the main musical centers during their first tour which lasted fifteen months. It was during this tour that Wolfgang and his father visited the Sistine Chapel. There they listened to the Miserere of Gregorio Allegri and Wolfgang copied the exclusive piece from memory. During the second tour, Wolfgang’s Ascanio in Alba was highly praised. After they returned from this tour, Mozart wrote “eight symphonies, four divertimentos, several substantial sacred works, and an allegorical serenata, Il sogno di Scipione.”(Sadie) The last tour contained the opening of the opera Lucio Silla. It was highly acclaimed and was performed twenty-six times (Sadie).
The pair returned from Vienna in 1773 and Wolfgang wrote many symphonies. During this time, he also composed what is considered to have been his first piano concerto. In 1774 the young musical prodigy wrote more symphonies, concertos, serenades, and sacred works. He officially began to be paid for his position as the Konzertmeister at this time as well. He was commissioned to write La finta giardiniera, known as The Feigned Gardener Girl, and it was fairly successful. This composition could be considered his first comic opera since his childhood …show more content…
The Viennese people had lost interest in Mozart. His father had taught him to be aloof toward his fellow musicians and friendly toward the aristocracy. This process hurt him and lost him many allies. Mozart also lived a highly extravagant lifestyle. This led him to live outside of his means and die a pauper (Sadie).
The year leading up to his death was a promising one. Mozart wrote and composed pieces for strings and the piano. He was given the unpaid role as an assistant to the elderly Kapellmeister of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. This position, had he lived long enough, had the likelihood of being passed down to him. He was also commissioned to write multiple pieces during this time as well (Sadie).
Mozart became ill in November. He seemed to be getting better around December 3, 1791 but then died on December 5, 1791. The cause of his death is debated. Some believe he died of severe miliary fever and others believe he died of rheumatic inflammatory fever. There was speculation that he was poisoned but this was later disproved.