Genius, gifted, unforgettable — the man behind the music

 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart will forever remain one of the most prominent names in music history. While his compositions became part of the most famous movies, most distinctive music halls, and even a very basic phone ringtone, society lacks knowledge about him.

1.Mozart, a child prodigy
At the age of three, Mozart was picking out chords on the harpsichord by ear. Between the age of four and five, Mozart created his first three musical compositions within a few weeks of each other, and his first symphony by the age of eight, in 1764. This is how a genius was born. It is true that talent beats age in some cases, however, no matter how hardworking and gifted someone is, it is still truly baffling to see someone at this level of virtuosity, creating such timeless masterpieces.

2. A family inheritance
His father, Leopold Mozart, a native of Germany, was also a music enthusiast. He was a minor composer and an experienced teacher. Appointed as fourth violinist in the musical establishment of Count Leopold Anton von Firmian in 1743, he was able to prove himself, becoming the orchestra’s deputy Kapellmeister in 1763. Later, Leopold published a violin textbook, entitled Versuch einer gründlichen Violinschule, which achieved success.

3. Trumpet-phobia
As a child, Mozart was afraid of the trumpet. Later, the clarinet became his favourite instrument, for which he wrote the first concerto.

4. Is his music Classical?
While Mozart’s music is definitely in the Classical tradition, his compositional language is rather special because of the combination of various styles he adopted while touring Europe. When he went to London as a child, he met Johann Christian Bach. Some of his symphonies impersonate J.C. Bach’s compositional style. In Italy, he was introduced to the Italian overture and opera buffa (comic opera). In the early part of his career this bold style, characterized by basic and fundamental light music, was frequently presented in London and Italy. In Paris and Mannheim, he determined a more avant-garde approach, especially one that was employed by the Mannheim Orchestra. For instance, the Mannheim rocket, a rapidly ascending broken chord covering the orchestra’s full range, is recognized in the beginning of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40. Evidence of Baroque and Sturm und Drang influences are present in Mozart’s more mature performances.

5. A free musician and a Freemason
Mozart was a Freemason in the last seven years of his life. He participated in a rational, Enlightenment-inspired division, as opposed to those that inclined toward mysticism. Many of Mozart’s compositions incorporate Masonic symbolism, perhaps the most famous one being his opera The Magic Flute.