Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is often referred to as the most brilliant composer ever known. Not only is his work highly regarded today, but was admired by his contemporary peers, like the eloquent Ludwig van Beethoven, whou once summmed it up concisely, saying, "Mozart is good and admirable." The "good and admirable" Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria in 1756. The Classical Period was well under way, and Salzburg was quickly becoming one of the centres for the arts in Europe. Mozart was fortunate to be born into the family of one of the town's foremost music teachers: Leopold Mozart. Leopold's influence in his young son's musical development was enormous, as he encouraged the eager Wolfgang to improve his already astounding talents. By the age of four, having already experimented on his own for about a year with tunes and chords, Wolfgang began his studies in earnest on the keyboard. Under Leopold's training, Mozart began learning at an incredible rate. In half an hour, Mozart was able to learn an entire minuet and trio.
Mozart also posessessed an eerie sense of perfect pitch. By the age of six, Leopold felt that his son and his daughter, who was also extremely talented, were ready to be presented to the rest of the world. With this in mind, the family set out for Munich, the Bavarian capital. Upon their arrival, Wolfgang and his sister Nannerl were presented to the Municher nobles, who, needless to say, were stunned by the performances of thes two tiny children. A tour of Munich which lasted nearly three weeks followed this highly successful first concert, and the Mozarts' renown and popularity grew. This wildly successful tour presented the Mozarts with the key to a tour in Vienna, the musical capital of the Classical world. This tour in turn led to one in Paris and Versailles. It was in Paris, when Wolfgang was seven, that his first published works appeared. Four sonatas for clavier and violin were printed. By the age of 13, Mozart had written La Finta Semplis, his first opera. He was enjoying enormous popularity, swarmed by throngs of people wherever he travelled in Europe. Returning to Salzburg, Mozart took up employment as concertmaster for the Archbishop Colloredo.
Unfortunately, the Archbishop was unconvinced of Mozart's genius, and fired the young composer at the age of twenty-one. Following his release, Mozart toured unsuccessfully through Mannheim and Paris, where he endured the loss of his beloved mother. Heartbroken and jobless, he returned to Salzburg where he was forced once again to be employed by the hated Archbishop. This spell of employment was short-lived. Soon, Mozart was travelling again, this time to Vienna, where he married Constanze Weber in 1782. In 1785, Mozart began work on one of his most famous operas_The Marriage of Figaro. By 1787, Mozart was writing as if in a frenzy, churning out works, trying to keep up with the costs of his sickly wife and six children. However, his hard work paid off. He finally landed a position as the Imperial and Royal Court Composer in Vienna. Mozart soon found disappointment in his new job.
The salary was insufficient to pay for his now extravagant lifestyle, and the fashionable Viennese public was tiring of his concerts. He was forced to borrow money, mostly to pay for his wife's health care, and this depressed him. Despite these setbacks, Mozart was optimistic that his fortune would change. His fortune did change, but not for long. In 1791, his newest opera, The Magic Flute premiered to rousing success. However, Mozaart did not live long to enjoy this success. He was by this time quite ill, suffering from weakness, and fainting frequently. On Decembler 5, 1791, Mozart died, trying to compose the drums for his Requiem.
The joy of Mozart's music reflects Mozart's own enjoyment of life and its pleasures. Even during the times of his deepest despair, Mozart was able to fill his music with the ebulliency of his soul. In these passages, Mozart's playful sense of fun is clearly evident. However, Mozart was also capable of stirring darker emotions. Thus while some themes bounce merrily, others are sombre and pensive. Mozart had few influences. His musical genius allowed him to be almost completely original. Despite the constant praise that was lavished upon him, however, Mozart never allowed himself to become arrogant of supercilious.
He still kept himself open to new experiences, especially those of a musical nature. For instance, after hearing the music of Bach, Mozart exclaimed, "Now here's something one can learn from!" During the course of his thirty-year musical career, Mozart produced over 600 works, in all the popular forms of the time, including concertos for piano, violin, and viola, sonatas, trios, quartets, quintets, symphonies, and operas. Mozart made his music reflect the changing opinions of the time while simultaneously adding his own. If there is one artist wo represents the order and sedate nature of Classical perfection, while embodying the turbulent emotional appeal of the Romantic era, that artist is Mozart. And if one artist can be called the greatest musical genius ever to grace this Earth, that artist is Mozart, the God of Music. More ...