Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Get Your Mozart On

Sure, everyone knows of the child-wonder who was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. At age 6, Mozart found himself playing for the Imperial Court in Vienna, blowing them all away with his talent. He was at that time already a budding composer who was about to embark on a 3 year performance tour of Europe.

Mozart would go on to write over 600 compositions throughout his life, including the world famous operas The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute, La Clemenza di Tito and Così fan tutte.

But did you also know...

* His baptismal name was Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart

* He sometimes composed his symphonies while playing billiards

* The city of Salzburg, Austria still honours Mozart today with a museum and an annual music festival dedicated to him.

* He had a photographic memory

* He could play back an entire piece of music after just one listen

* He had a potty mouth, as seen in his surviving letters. He even wrote a musical canon, a party piece just for friends, called Leck mich im Arsch (Kiss My Arse)

* He measured 5'4"

* In love but rebuffed by soprano Aloysia Weber, Mozart went on to marry her sister, Constanze Weber

* Mozart and Constanze had 6 children, but only 2 survived through infancy

* His final commission came in the form of a requiem Mass, for which he would be paid 100 ducats. The funeral song turned out to be his swansong.

* The cause of Mozart's death is unknown, although there have been speculations that it was trichinosis, mercury poisoning or rheumatic fever.

* Although he was a well-known and well-loved composer, he died practically penniless.

~ Ling Chan

No comments: