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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/685

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MOZART


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MOZART


burg, 1895; French tr., Paris, 1905) ; E. Bishop, Kyrie Eleison in Downside Review, XIX (1900); Labb£, Sacrorum Conciliorum nam et amplissima coUectio (Florence, 1759—); Antonio, Bibliotheca Hispana Vetus (Madrid, 17S8); Idem, Bibtiolheca Hispana Nona (Madrid, 1783-88). Cf. also the various edi- tions of the service-books mentioned in the section of this arti- cle on manuscripts and editions.

Henry Jenner.


Haydn and Anton Cajetan Adigasser respectively. It was published at Salzburg in 1767, and per- formed during Lent of the same year. A year later, at the age of twelve, Wolfgang visited Vienna anew, and was commissioned to write an opera buffa, "LaFinta Semplice", for which Marco Coltellini furnished the libretto. Intrigues of all kinds, especially on the part Mozart, Johann Chrysostomus Wolfgang Ama- of the members of the theatre orchestra, who objected DEUs, one of the greatest musical geniuses in history, to playing under the direction of a twelve-year-old b. at Salzburg, Austria, 27 Jan., 1756; d. at Vienna, 5 boy, prevented its performance. Dec., 1791. His father, Leopold Mozart, assistant Returning to Salzburg, Wolfgang was appointed choir-master and court musician to the Prince-Arch- concert-master, at first without compensation, but bishop of Salzburg, was one of the most distinguished later was allowed a monthly .stipend of twelve florins.


musicians of his time. He was the author of the best method for violin-playing written up to that period, and was a man of thorough education and sterling character. Realizing his son's extraordinary endow-


Leopold Mozart, chafing under Wolfgang's lack of recognition, made every effort to secure for him a suitable appointment in the larger field of Munich and Vienna, and also Florence, but not succeeding, he finally


ments, and also the great musical gifts of his daughter decided to visit Italy, with a view to gaining there the Maria Anna, five years Wolfgang's senior, he devoted prestige which success in that country then carried with


all his energy and knowledge to their education. Wolfgang at the age of three was wont to spend whole hours at the piano, discovering, to his great joy, consonant intervals, and was not yet four when he began to receive from his father syste- matic training in piano-playing 'and in the theory of music, im- provising even before he could write notes. Violin- playing came to him practically by in- tuition, a fact which he demon- strated to the astonishment of his father and a company of artists, by performing at first sight the second violin part in a trio for stringed instruments. He was not j'et five when his father wrote for him a theme for the piano with variations, which he had himself com- posed. So correct was the child's ear that he would re- member the tone pitch of a violin which he had heard even weeks before. His sensitive- ness was such that harsh sounds were distressing to


WOLFGANQ AmaDEUS MozaRT


In Bologna they became acquainted with Padre Giam- battista Martini (1706-1784), the most learned musician of his time. This master put Wolfgang through tests in con- trapuntal writing, which the latter withstood with ease and consummate skill. In Rome young Mozart performed his famous feat of scoring Allegri's "Miserere" for double chorus, after listening to its perform- ance on Wednesday of Holy Week. Hearing the work re- peated on the following Friday, he had but a few minor cor- rections to make in his man- uscript. After being created Ivnight of the Golden Spur, feted, and acclaimed through- out Italy by the artistic and aristocratic world as the great- est living musical genius, Wolf- gang returned to his modest position in Salzburg. Again and again he tried to find a more congenial atmosphere in Munich, Mannheim, Paris, and elsewhere, but without success.


him, a blast of a trumpet almost causing him to faint He continued, except for occasional visits to other away. cities for the purpose of conducting new works, to Wolfgang was not yet eight years old when his reside in Salzburg until his twenty-first year, when father undertook a concert tour with his two chil- he took up his permanent abode in Vienna, dren, visiting Munich, Vienna, and Presburg. Every- An offer from Frederick William II of Prussia to be- where their performances, especially the boy's, created come court conductor at .Berlin at a salary of three great astonishment. In 1763 Leopold Slozart vis- thousand thalers he refused on patriotic grounds, ited Paris with his prodigies, and the following April Mozart was now in the full maturity of his powers, London, where they remained until July, 1764. Re- creating with astonishing rapidity works which will ceived and feted by royalty and people of high station, remain classic for all time: operas, symphonies, quar- the Mozart children, but particularly Wolfgang, were lets, concertos, etc., all of which increased his fame, but considered the musical wonders of the world. On did not ameliorate his material condition. Not only


their way back to Salzburg they visited The Hague and the principal cities of France and Switzerland. During all these travels, and the distraction and ex- citement incident thereto, Wolfgang made progress in all branches of musical and other knowledge. He com- po.sed constantly and in almost every known instru- mental form. Returned home, he devoted himself to the mastery of counterpoint, and the perfecting of his technique in piano, violin, and organ-playing. His patron. Archbishop von Schlatterbach, sceptical re- garding the boy's reported achievements as a com- poser, invited Wolfgang to his palace, forbidding communication of any kind with him, and giving him the text of the first part of an oratorio, prepared by the archbishop, to .set to music. The second and third parts of this work were composed by Michael


was due recognition denied him, but his life was one continuous battle for existence. His aiiplication for the assistant conductorship of the impcriLd opera liouse failed. He applied for a similar position at the cathedral of St. Stephen, in the hope of ultimate pro- motion to the post of choir-master. Only on his death- l)cd did he receive the news of his appointment. The grc;it master died at the age of thirty-four and was buried, wilh the least possible expense because of ex- treme poverty, in a pauper's grave, his exact resting- phicc being now unknown. Only a few persons followed liis remains to the cemetery.

Mozart's individuality was of an exquisitely deli- cate, tender, and noblc^haracter. His operas, "Don Juan", "The Magic Flute", "The Marriage of Figaro", "Cos! fan tutte", "LaCiemenza di "Tito", on ac-