01-02-2006 - Traces, n.2

Mozart (1756-1791)

Life and Works
by Andrea Milanesi

1756 January 27, at 8:00 pm, born in Salzburg, the seventh and last child of Anna Maria Pertl and of Leopold Mozart, court composer for the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg. Baptized the next day, with the name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart.
1761 Wrote his first composition, l’Andante in C for Keyboard, K. 1a.
1762 The first tournées of the child Mozart with his older sister Nannerl and his father; during the first tournée, the young Mozart played harpsichord for Maria Teresa of Austria in the Schönbrunn Palace.
1763 Performed in Versailles for the French king and queen in the course of a three-year journey with family members including, in addition to Paris, Munich, Augusta, Mannheim, Frankfurt, Köln, Brussels, London, Holland, and Switzerland.
1764-65 In London, performed at the court of George III, and met Johann Christian Bach, whose music would influence him considerably. Wrote his first symphonies (K. 16-19).
1766 After living in Holland, France, Switzerland, and Germany, the Mozart family returned to Salzburg.
1767 Wrote Die Schuldigkreitsdes ersten Gebots and Apollo et Hyacinthus; came down with smallpox in Vienna, where he lived for over a year.
1768 Composed La finta semplice, Bastien und Bastienne, and the Missa brevis K. 49.
1769 Began first journey to Italy, accompanied by his father.
1770 In Bologna, studied with Fr. Martini and was accepted at the Philharmonic Academy; Mitridate, re di Ponto in Milan.
1771 In Milan, composed Ascanio in Alba.
1772 Became first violinist of the Salzburg court orchestra; wrote Il sogno di Scipione, Lucio Silla, and the Quartets K. 155-160.
1773-74 Composed Symphonies n. 25-29.
1775 Composed Finale of a Symphony (“La finta giardiniera”), the Concerts for violin and orchestra K. 207, K. 211, K. 216, K. 218 and K. 219.
1776 Wrote Il re pastore and Serenade in D, “Haffner” K. 250.
1777 In Mannheim, performed with great success at the court of the Elector.
1778 Traveled to Paris, where his mother died, to Mannheim, and to Munich.
1779 Became court organist in Salzburg; composed Missa in C “Coronation” K. 317 and the Sinfonia concertante K. 364.
1781 Wrote Idomeneo, re di Creta, and the Serenade in B flat for Winds, “Gran partita” K. 361; dismissed by the Prince-Archbishop Colloredo; in Vienna, piano competition with Muzio Clementi in the presence of the Emperor.
1782 Married Constanze Weber; began friendships with Lorenzo Da Ponte and Emanuel Schikaneder; wrote the first of six quartets dedicated to Haydn and Die Entführung aus dem serail.
1783 Birth of his first child, who survived only a few months; composed the Symphony in C, no. 36 Linz K. 425 and Missa in C minor, K. 427.
1784 Became a Mason; birth of his second son, Carl Thomas.
1785 Wrote Concerts for piano and orchestra K. 466, K. 467, and K. 482.
1786 Composed Le nozze di Figaro.
1787 Death of his father, Leopold; wrote Don Giovanni.
1788 Wrote Symphonies K. 543, K. 550, and K. 551 and the orchestration of Händel’s Messiah.
1789 Journey to Germany.
1790 Composed Così fan tutte.
1791 Birth of his sixth and last son, Franz Xaver; wrote The Magic Flute, La clemenza di Tito, Motet in D “Ave verum Corpus” K. 618, Concerto in A for Clarinet K. 622, and the Requiem in D Minor, K. 626.
Died on December 5th due to illness, and was buried in a common grave in the Vienna Cemetery.


Spirto Gentil for Mozart
The “Spirto Gentil” series includes five CDs dedicated to Mozart.
We offer here excerpts of Fr. Giussani’s introductions to the reader’s guides


Piano Concerto in D Minor no. 20 K 466 What an infinite road, what a long, endless, rocky road must 99% of people in the world travel to reach the tenderness of the musical fluctuation of living and, therefore, of the perception of self and of relationships of which Mozartís Piano Concerto no. 20 is the greatest example we have in history. It is quite true that manís original activity is that of acknowledgement and recognition. There is nothing more intense than the activity of one who, with eyes wide open, looks at a painting or a face that he likes; there is nothing more thrilling, more tense, more vibrant, in other words, more active. I think that artistic creation is no more than this. Great Mass in C Minor K 427 This spectacular work by Mozart, which culminates in the song Et incarnatus est (And was made flesh), is the most powerful and convincing, the simplest and greatest expression of a man who recognizes Christ. Salvation is a Presence: this is the wellspring of the joy and the wellspring of the affectivity of Mozartís Catholic heart, of his heart that loved Christ. Et incarnatus est is singing at its purest, when all manís straining melts in the original clarity, the absolute purity of the gaze that sees and recognizes. Coronation Mass in C Major K 317 Agnus Dei. With this cry, translated into notes in his Coronation Mass, Mozart surely earned Godís mercy; music and voice are lifted in power before the Eternal, reaching that sublime perfection which is the manifestation of beauty that is always desired. His genius reaches this height not because he was an upright, irreprehensible person, unblemished by error; rather, he was full of contradictions and human limits, almost desperate, but when he created, his attachment to Jesus mysteriously made everything bright. Requiem in D Minor Mozart, supreme artist and a profoundly Christian one, presents in his Requiem manís evil, the worldís hate, and sinís malice within the reverberations of the mercy of God. Every phrase of the Requiem begins with the undisputed affirmation of the dominion of justice and truth, and then is as though suddenly interrupted by something that comes in and mitigates unexpectedly the harshness of justice, the acrid affirmation of truth, softening it in a request, a supplication that knows it can be made. Solemn Vespers de Confessore KV 339 The cosmos and the whole of reality, of man and of human history, are like a huge building, a great work of art, a great masterpiece of God in which we are the living stones. So it is awareness, consciousness that opens the dimensions of being, of truth, of the beauty of the world, which is Christ, of which the Solemn Vespers de Confessore is so immediately an absorbing and fascinating echo. For it is wonder that makes Mozartís heart sing, and our heart along with his; wonder and gratitude before Being which is the truth and the consistency of all things.