Happy Birthday, Music! Happy Birthday, Humanity! Mozart is born!

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on 27 January 1756 and left our world on 5 December 1791. Thirty five years was the time on earth of this wonderful child of humanity. God loved him too much and called him back. The angel who lightened our life returned to heaven. His body rests in the peace of the St Marx Cemetery, but his kind and generous soul, his free spirit, his tremendous genius will live eternally through his divine Music…

Thank you, Mozart, for the gift of your uneven music!… Eternal gratitude, flowers and tears… a moving homage carrying within it all the loving thoughts which wend your way today and for ever…

Leopold Mozart from Salzburg, 9 February 1756

“… on January 27, at 8 pm, my wife fortunately gave birth to our son. Praise God, at this moment both mother and son are alright. We have named the boy Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgang Gottlieb.”


Vienna, 16 October 1762

“The order to go to the Court arrived immediately after it was known we had arrived in Vienna. We were received with such extraordinary kindness by their majesties that if ever I tell them about it, people will say I have made it all up. Suffice it to say that Wolferl jumped up into the empress’ lap, grabbed her round the neck and kissed her right and proper. In short, we were with her from 3 till 6, and the emperor himself came in from the next room and took me to hear the infant play the violin.”

Paris, 1 February 1764

“You can easily imagine, then, how impressed and amazed were these French people, who are so infatuated with the customs of their court, when the king’s daughters stopped stock still not only in their apartments but in the public gallery when they say my children and approached them…  But the most extraordinary thing of all in the eyes of these French people was that at the grand couvert after nightfall on New Year’s Day, not only was it necessary to make room for us all to go up to high table, but my Herr Wolfgangus was privileged to stand next to the queen, speaking to her constantly, entertaining her, repeatedly kissing her hands and consuming the dishes that she handed him from the table.”

Paris, 1 February 1764

“4 sonatas by Monsieur Wolfgang Mozart are currently being engraved. Just imagine the stir that these sonatas will make in the world when it says on the title-page that they are the work of a 7-year-old child. You’ll hear in due course how good these sonatas are; one of them has an Andante in a very unusual style. And I can tell you that every day God works new wonders through this child. He is always accompanying other performers at public concerts. He even transposes the arias while accompanying them a prima vista; and everywhere people place Italian and French works before him that he has no difficulty in sight-reading.”

London, 28 May 1764

“The kindness with which both their majesties – the king as well as the queen – received us is indescribable. Their common touch and friendly manner allowed us to forget that they were the king and queen of England; we have been received at every court with extraordinary courtesy, but the welcome that we were given here surpasses all the others . All will be well as long as we stay healthy with God’s help and if He keeps our invincible Wolfgang in good health. The king gave him not only works by Wagenseil to play, but also Bach, Abel and Haendel, all of which  he rattled off prima vista. He played the king’s organ so well that everyone rates his organ playing far higher than his harpsichord playing. He then accompanied the queen in an aria that she sang and a flautist in a solo. Finally he took the violin part in some Haendel arias and played the most beautiful melody over the simple bass, so that everyone was utterly astonished. In a word, what he knew when we left Salzburg is a mere shadow of what he knows now. You can’t imagine it.”

Munchen, 15 November 1766

“God – who has been far too good to me, a miserable sinner – has bestowed such talents on my children that, apart from my duty as a father, they alone would spur me on to sacrifice everything to their decent education.Every moment I lose is lost for ever. And if I ever knew how valuable time is for young people, I know it now. You know that my children are used to work: if – on the excuse that one thing prevents another – they were to get used to hours of idleness, my entire edifice would collapse; custom is an iron shirt. And you yourself know how much my children, especially Wolfgangerl, have to learn. But who knows what’s being planned for us on our return to Salzburg? Perhaps we’ll be received in such a way that we’ll be only too pleased to shoulder our bundles and go on our way. But, God willing, I shall at least be bringing my children to their fatherland; if they are not wanted, it won’t be my fault; but people won’t get them for nothing.”

Vienna, 30 January 1768

“Now, in order to convince the public of what is involved here, I decided on a completely exceptional course of action, namely, to get him to write an opera for the theatre. And what kind of an uproar do you think immediately arose among these composers?… What? Today we are to see a Gluck and tomorrow a boy of 12 sitting at the harpsichord and conducting his own opera?… Yes, despite all those who envy him! I’ve even won Gluck over to our side…”

Vienna, 30 July 1768

“His Grace has no liars, charlatans and swindlers in his service who with his prior knowledge and gracious permission go to other towns and like conjurors throw dust in people’s eyes; no, they are honest men who to the honour of their prince and their country announce to the world a miracle that God allowed to see the light of day in Salzburg. I owe it to the Almighty God to see this through, otherwise I’d be the most thankless of creatures: and if it were ever my duty to convince the world of this miracle, it is now, when people are ridiculing all that is called a miracle and denying all such miracles. And so they have to be convinced: and was it not a great joy and a great triumph for me to hear a Voltairean say to me in amazement: ‘For once in my life I have seen a miracle; it is the first!’”



1 Comment

  1. mozart… mozart… a great man with divine talent … left behind a musical legacy…

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