A prolific artist, Austrian composer Wolfgang Mozart created a string of operas, concertos, symphonies and sonatas that profoundly shaped classical music.
Born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a musician capable of playing multiple instruments who started playing in public at the age of 6. Over the years, Mozart aligned himself with a variety of European venues and patrons, composing hundreds of works that included sonatas, symphonies, masses, chamber music, concertos and operas, marked by vivid emotion and sophisticated textures.
Central Europe in the mid-18th century was going through a period of transition. The remnants of the Holy Roman Empire had divided into small semi-self-governing principalities. The result was competing rivalries between these municipalities for identity and recognition. Political leadership of small city-states like Salzburg, Vienna, and Prague was in the hands of the aristocracy and their wealth would commission artists and musicians to amuse, inspire, and entertain. The music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods was transitioning toward more full-bodied compositions with complex instrumentation. The small city-state of Salzburg would be the birthplace of one of the most talented and prodigious musical composers of all time.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s was the sole-surviving son of Leopold and Maria Pertl Mozart. Leopold was a successful composer, violinist, and assistant concert master at the Salzburg court. Wolfgang’s mother, Anna Maria Pertl, was born to a middle class family of local community leaders. His only sister was Maria Anna (nicknamed “Nannerl”). With their father’s encouragement and guidance, they both were introduced to music at an early age. Leopold started Nannerl on keyboard when she was seven, as three-year old Wolfgang looked on. Mimicking her playing, Wolfgang quickly began to show a strong understanding of chords, tonality, and tempo. Soon, he too was being tutored by his father.
Leopold was a devoted and task-oriented teacher to both his children. He made the lessons fun, but also insisted on a strong work ethic and perfection. Fortunately, both children excelled well in these areas. Recognizing their special talents, Leopold devoted much of his time to their education in music as well as other subjects. Wolfgang soon showed signs of excelling beyond his father’s teachings with an early composition at age five and demonstrating outstanding ability on harpsichord and the violin. He would soon go on to play the piano, organ and viola.
In 1762, Wolfgang’s father took Nannerl, now age eleven, and Wolfgang, age six to the court of Bavaria in Munich in what was to become the first of several European “tours.” The siblings traveled to the courts of Paris, London, The Hague, and Zurich performing as child prodigies. Wolfgang met a number of accomplished musicians and became familiar with their works. Particularity important was his meeting with Johann Christian Bach (Johann Sebastian Bach’s youngest son) in London who had a strong influence on Wolfgang. The trips were long and often arduous, traveling in primitive conditions and waiting for invitations and reimbursements from the nobility. Frequently, Wolfgang and other members of his family fell seriously ill and had to limit their performance schedule.
In December, 1787, Emperor Joseph II appointed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as his “chamber composer,” a post that had opened up with the death of Gluck. The gesture was as much an honor bestowed on Mozart as it was incentive to keep the esteemed composer from leaving Vienna for greener pastures. It was a part-time appointment with low pay, but it required Mozart only to compose dances for the annual balls. The modest income was a welcome windfall for Mozart, who was struggling with debt, and provided him the freedom to explore more of his personal musical ambitions.
Toward the end of the 1780s, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s fortunes began to grow worse. He was performing less and his income shrank. Austria was at war and both the affluence of the nation and the ability of the aristocracy to support the arts had declined. By mid-1788, Mozart moved his family from central Vienna to the suburb of Alsergrund, for what would seem to be a way of reducing living costs. But in reality, his family expenses remained high and the new dwelling only provided more room. Mozart began to borrow money from friends, though he was almost always able to promptly repay when a commission or concert came his way.
During this time he wrote his last three symphonies and the last of the three Da Ponte operas, Cosi Fan Tutte, which premiered in 1790. During this time, Mozart ventured long distances from Vienna to Leipzig, Berlin, and Frankfurt, and other German cities hoping to revive his once great success and the family’s financial situation, but did neither. The two-year period of 1788-1789 was a low point for Mozart, experiencing in his own words “black thoughts” and deep depression. Historians believe he may have had some form of bipolar disorder, which might explain the periods of hysteria coupled with spells of hectic creativity.
Between 1790 and 1791, now in his mid-thirties, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart went through a period of great music productivity and personal healing. Some of his most admired works — the opera The Magic Flute, the final piano concerto in B-flat, the Clarinet Concerto in A major, and the unfinished Requiem to name a few — were written during this time. Mozart was able to revive much of his public notoriety with repeated performances of his works. His financial situation began to improve as wealthy patrons in Hungary and Amsterdam pledged annuities in return for occasional compositions. From this turn of fortune, he was able to pay off many of his debts.
However, during this time both Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s mental and physical health was deteriorating. In September, 1791, he was in Prague for the premier of the opera La Clemenza di Tito, which he was commissioned to produce for the coronation of Leopold II as King of Bohemia. Mozart recovered briefly to conduct the Prague premier of The Magic Flute, but fell deeper into illness in November and was confined to bed. Constanze and her sister Sophie came to his side to help nurse him back to health, but Mozart was mentally preoccupied with finishing Requiem, and their efforts were in vain.
Death and Legacy
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died on December 5, 1791 at age 35. The cause of death is uncertain, due to the limits of postmortem diagnosis. Officially, the record lists the cause as severe miliary fever, referring to a skin rash that looks like millet seeds. Since then, many hypotheses have circulated regarding Mozart’s death. Some have attributed it to rheumatic fever, a disease he suffered from repeatedly throughout his life. It was reported that his funeral drew few mourners and he was buried in a common grave. Both actions were the Viennese custom at the time, for only aristocrats and nobility enjoyed public mourning and were allowed to be buried in marked graves.
However, his memorial services and concerts in Vienna and Prague were well attended. After his death, Constanze sold many of his unpublished manuscripts to undoubtedly pay off the family’s large debts. She was able to obtain a pension from the emperor and organized several profitable memorial concerts in Mozart’s honor. From these efforts, Constanze was able to gain some financial security for herself and allowing her to send her children to private schools.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s death came at a young age, even for the time period. Yet his meteoric rise to fame and accomplishment at a very early age is reminiscent of more contemporary musical artists whose star had burned out way too soon. At the time of his death, Mozart was considered one of the greatest composers of all time. His music presented a bold expression, often times complex and dissonant, and required high technical mastery from the musicians who performed it.
His works remained secure and popular throughout the 19th century, as biographies about him were written and his music enjoyed constant performances and renditions by other musicians. His work influenced many composers that followed — most notably Beethoven. Along with his friend Joseph Haydn, Mozart conceived and perfected the grand forms of symphony, opera, string ensemble, and concerto that marked the classical period. In particular, his operas display an uncanny psychological insight, unique to music at the time, and continue to exert a particular fascination for musicians and music lovers today.
زندگینامه موتسارت به زبان فارسی
ولفگانگ آمادئوس موتسارت متولد ۲۷ ژانویه ۱۷۵۶ بود.
موتسارت آهنگساز اتریشی و موسیقی دان کلاسیک بود.
موتسارت در زندگی کوتاه خود بیش از ششصد قطعه موسیقی برای اپرا، سمفونی، کنسرتو، مجلسی، سونات، سرناد، و گروه کُر ساخت.
موتسارت در سومین سال از زندگی اش شروع به آهنگسازی کرد و در اروپا شهرت بسیاری یافت.
در هفت سالگی اولین سمفونی، و در دوازده سالگی اولین اپرای کامل خود را نوشت.
او در تمام ژانرهای مرسوم در دوران زندگی اش موسیقی تصنیف کرد.
وی در تاریخ ۵ دسامبر سال ۱۷۹۱ درگذشت.