Mozart Q & A



WHAT DID MOZART LOOK LIKE?
Mozart was known for being tiny. He stood 5'4" tall. He was sickly throughout his entire life, which is what made him tiny and somewhat out of proprotion...his head was a bit big compared to his body. His eyes were his main characteristic: they were very large and blue-grey, and when he would get excited they would seem to light up. His wild, fine hair was a light-brown to blond; those who knew him said that he was somewhat vain about it.

WHAT WAS MOZART'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
It is popular belief that Mozart thought and acted like a child throughout his whole life. While this is somewhat true (his fondness for scatological humor in letters to his cousin and mother can take all of the "somewhat"), it was not so extreme as many say it was. He loved to pull pranks on his friends, and, in short, have a good time. He loved fashion and dancing. He had trouble dealing with money; he almost always depended on his wife Constanze or his father Leopold to keep it organized. Mozart also often burst into fits of anger if something upset him.

WHAT WAS MOZART'S FULL NAME?
Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Amadeus Mozart.

HOW MANY CHILDREN DID MOZART HAVE?
Mozart had 6 children with his wife Constanze:
-Raimund Leopold (June - August 1783)
-Karl Thomas (1784 - 1858)
-Johann Thomas (October - November 1786)
-Theresia Constanzia Adelheid Friedericke Maria Anna  (1787 - 1788)
-Anna Maria (December 1789)
-Franz Xaver Wolfgang (also known as Wolfgang, Jr.) (1791 - 1844).
As you can see, only Karl Thomas and Franz Xaver survived to adulthood. Both were fine musicians; Franz Xaver became a composer as well. Neither brother married nor had children.

HOW MANY PIECES DID MOZART WRITE IN HIS LIFETIME?
Mozart wrote over 626 pieces in his short life of 35 years. He began composing when he was 5.

WHAT DOES THE "K" MEAN IN, FOR EXAMPLE, REQUIEM IN D MINOR, K. 626?
The "K" stands for Ludwig von Köchel, who, in 1862, published a catalogue of all of Mozart's pieces in chronological order, "Chronologisch-thematisches Verzeichnis sämmtlicher Tonwerke W. A. Mozart's"--Chronological-thematic Catalogue of the Complete Musical Works of W. A. Mozart. K. 626 means that the Requiem in D Minor was the 626th piece Mozart wrote. However, even though this was his last piece, he wrote more than 626 pieces, since more have been discovered (and are still being discovered) since the Catalogue was written.

WHERE DID MOZART LIVE?
Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria, and died in Vienna, Austria. He had travelled to places such as Paris, England, Rome and Prague, however it is hard to say whether he considered anywhere besides Salzburg or Vienna "home".

WHAT WAS A TYPICAL DAY LIKE FOR MOZART?
Here is a letter Mozart wrote to his sister, Nannerl, on February 13, 1782 at the age of 26. The way his day went certainly changed after he married in August of that year. Here, he is living in a third-floor apartment on Der Graben, a street in Vienna's first district, the city centre, after being asked to leave the Weber boarding house in September the year before.
At 6:00 in the morning I am already done with my friseur (hairdresser), and at 7:00 I am fully dressed. Thereupon I compose until 9:00. From 9:00 - 1:00 I give lessons; then I eat unless I am a guest at places where they dine at 2:00 or even 3:00--as, for instance, today and tomorrow with Countess Zichy and Countess Thun. I cannot work before 5:00 or 6:00 in the evening and I am often prevented even then by a concert; if not I write till 9:00. Then I go to my dear Constanze, where the delight of our meeting is generally embittered by the words of her mother;--hence my desire to free and save her as soon as possible. At half after 10:00 or 11:00 I am again at home. Since (owing to the occasional concerts and the uncertainty as to whether or not I may be called out) I cannot depend on having time for composition in the evening, I am in the habit (particularly when I come home early) of writing something before I go to bed. Frequently I forget myself and write till 1:00,--then up again at 6:00.

WHO WAS MOZART'S HERO?
Mozart's hero was his father Leopold. He constantly looked to him for advice. He had a saying: "After God, Papa."

Mozart had other heros as well:
-Johann Sebastian Bach
-George Frideric Händel
-Johann Christian Bach
-Philipp Emanuel Bach
-Benjamin Franklin *

DID NANNERL (MARIA ANNA) EVER MARRY OR HAVE CHILDREN?
Yes...on August 23, 1783, Nannerl (who in her adult years was referred to as "Marianne") married Johann Baptist Franz von Berchtold zu Sonnenburg. Johann Baptist had five children from two previous marriages (both wives had died). Marianne helped raise them, and had three children of her own: Leopold Alois Pantaleon, Jeanette and Maria Babette.  


HOW MANY SISTERS DID CONSTANZE HAVE?
Constanze had three sisters: Josepha, the eldest, was 4 years older than her, Aloysia, who was 2 years older than her, and Sophie, who was 1 year younger than her. All the sisters had beautiful voices.

WHO WERE MOZART'S FRIENDS?
Mozart's closest friends were probably Count August Hatzfeld, Sigmund Barisani, Gottfried von Jacquin and the composer who was 24 years his senior, Joseph Haydn. (Mozart admired Haydn so much that he even dedicated six string quartets to him -- the Haydn Quartets, K. 387, 421, 428, 458, 464 and 465.) Other friends were horn player Joseph Leutgeb, and singers Michael Kelly, Franz Xaver Gerl and Benedikt Schack (who played the original Tamino in The Magic Flute, K. 620).

WHO DID MOZART KNOW AND DISLIKE?
The Archbishop Colloredo of Salzburg, who mistreated Mozart while he was his employee (or servant, as the man seemed to think he was), was certainly not counted among his friends. He also knew and didn't care for composer Muzio Clementi. Although he never met him, he absolutely despised Voltaire.

WAS MOZART REALLY POISONED BY ANTONIO SALIERI?
No. Mozart died of rheumatic fever, which is deadly to someone so weak as he was.

HOW MUCH OF THE MOVIE "AMADEUS" IS TRUE?
See Amadeus: Fact and Fiction.


*Mozart was fond of Benjamin Franklin's inventions, particularly his Glass Armonica, which he composed a piece for, Adagio in C for Glass Armonica, K. 617A.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

this helped so much thank you I used this on my Mozart project and got a lot of my facts from here thanks again keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

thanks

Eilis said...

I'd like to know where Mozart's Clarinet Concerto A Major has been used - films; stage etc.
Can anyone help please?

Mozart's Music said...

Eilis - The Clarinet Concerto has been used in a variety of films; the first that comes to mind is The King's Speech. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Mozart is truly amazing and very talented. I wish I could know more! Are there any biographies you would recommend?

Mozart's Music said...

Anonymous - So far the best Mozart biography I have read is called "The Mozart Myths" written by William Stafford. But why not read about Mozart in his own words? You will also enjoy "Mozart: The Man and the Artist Revealed in His Own Words" compiled and edited by Friedrich Kerst and Henry Krehbiel.