More than beautiful performances – 2005 / 2006 The Mozart Project

A personal compilation by Anne-Sophie Mutter A biography told by letters

Mozart's biography in a personal compilation by Anne-Sophie Mutter out of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's letters:


Mozart travels with Nannerl (his sister) and his father to Munich where they play before the elector Maximilian. Duke Clemens of Bavaria receives the travellers twice because he is so captivated by the children.


Mozart travels with his parents and Nannerl to France and Germany. Prelude in Versaille before King Ludwig XV. Mozart dedicates the two sonatas to the king’s daughter (KV 6 and 7). In May the British queen performs an aria accompanied by the eight-year-old. 


Return to Salzburg. The year in Salzburg passes with only moderate success. Mozart is appointed to the position of an unpaid concertmaster of archiepiscopal court music. Leopold Mozart receives a monetary assistence of 120 ducats for a trip to Italy. Father and son travel to Italy the end of the year.


At the age of 14 Mozart meets the Czech, Josef Myslivecek, for the first time. He becomes a great admirer of Myslivecek, who composed some symphonies in 1762.


Second trip to Italy. 


Mozart receives a year’s wages of 150 guilders for his work as concertmaster from the archbishop Colloredo. He hates Colloredo, who he feels treats his like a servant. Mozart’s talent is not being promoted.


Move to the Getreidegasse. Mozart composes KV 1773 (??). During his stay in Vienna he appears to have become engrossed in Haydn’s works. It was not possible to determine to what degree Mozart drew from the compositions of Myslivecek, whom he adored. What the violin concerts had in common was the rule of three in accordance with his role model, Antonio Vivaldi, whose concert style apparently was also the model for the division into tutti- und solo sections. 


Mozart begins with the composition of the opera buffa La finta giardinierawhich was intended for Munich. Leopold Mozart writes home: "…the people who were present at the rehearsal claim that they have never heard such beautiful music with all arias being performed so well. Everywhere we go, people have already heard about us…" (December 1774)

Shortly before Christmas Mozart listens to Haydn's opera La Fedeltà Premiata at the Kärntnerthor theatre. Later on Mozart employs Haydn’s style in his opera Figaro (Act II, III and IV). Five years later he employs Haydn’s style in his opera Cosi fan tutte.


Mozart composes mainly church music (with little enthusiasm). During this time he composes the violin concerts KV (207), 211, 216, 218 and 219. Most likely, Mozart composed these pieces for himself. This theory, however, is not entirely undisputed since Mozart was also friends with the excellent violinist Antonio Brunetti, who had been part of the court orchestra since 1771 and who became Mozart’s successor as concertmaster in 1777 and, as established, also played those concerts. An indication that Mozart has written the concerts for himself might be the fact that he composed some sentences anew on the request of his colleague. For the a-dur-concert KV 219, Mozart composed a second adagio (KV 261) because the original appeared too "studied" to Mr. Brunetti.

There seems to be a close connection between his violin concerts and some serenades (KV 185, 203, 204). Mozart tries to satisfy his audience in Salzburg. The final movements of his concerts regularly include folksy elements. The a-moll-tutti parts in KV 219 are probably a citation of a theme which Mozart already employed in "Le Gelosie del Serraglio" (KV 109) (composed in 1772). Thus, the Turkish character is established in this place. Concerning this and all other "alla-turca"- places , Dénes Bartha recently provided evidence, that its origin is not found in Turkish, but in Hungarian music, and that "alla turca" musically means "all ungheres" and both terms are used for music with an eastern exotic colouration.

The autographs of KV 207, 211, 216 and 218 are existent and are kept at the Bibliotheka Jagielonska (a public library) in Krakow at this time. The autograph of KV 219 is kept in the music division of the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. The dates of the concerts are not exactly ascertained. By traditional view, all 5 concerts originated in 1775. 


After the low point in Augsburg, Mozart travels to Mannheim with his mother, where he falls in love for the first time in his life with a woman named Aloysia Weber. Mozart’s father protests in his letters from Salzburg against possible marriage plans. In Mannheim Mozart’s Cannabich was recorded. Among others, he composes KV 296 and KV 301-305. Mozart intensively occupies himself with the genre of violin concert. He presumably had been inspired by his acquaintance with Josef Myslivecek. The influence of Mannheim and Paris is most definitely effective and determining in his concert pieces of the years 1778 and 1779. 

Since the genre of Sinfonia Concertante was very much appreciated in Mannheim, and Mozart, however, did not really have such a composition at his disposal, it was obvious to choose those of his pieces for a performance which corresponded the most with this genre. Mozart more closely dealt with the genre Sinfonia Concertante during his time in Paris.

Leopold Mozart wrote to his son: "…what saddens me at times is that I am no longer able to listen to you play the piano or violin; whenever I go home, I become a bit melancholy and when I get closer to our house, I always imagine I can hear you play the violin …" (October 1777)

Mozart wrote to his father: "…afterwards I ate with my cousin at the Heiligen Kreuz (Holy Cross monastery): while eating, music was performed, the violin was played so badly and yet, I prefer the music at the monastery to that of the orchestre of Augsburg. I did a symphony and the concert ex b of vanhal on the violin which was applauded everywhere…" (October 1777)

"…we started out with the 2 quintetti by Haydn, …then I played the concert in c in b and Eb. (=KV 246, 238, and 271), and then the trio (=KV 254) (my own) …and as the last piece, I played the last casation from the b (=KV 287) (my own)…" (October 1777)

Leopold Mozart to his son: "…I am not surprised that everybody looked upon you with big eyes when you played your last casation; you don’t know just how well you play the violin when you really try hard and play with character, heartiness and spirit as if you were the best violin player in Europe. You must not play carelessly with a foolish arrogance, such as to make people believe you think of yourself as a great violinist, since some people do not even know that you play the violin, because you are known for playing the piano since your childhood days; so where does this arrogance and presumption come from …" (October 1777)

"…as long as you stayed in Munich you probably did not practice playing the violin! I would feel very badly about this. Brunetti praises you …" (October 1777)

The topmost bailiff to the archbishop: "…he is the best piano player I ever listened to in my entire life. With the violin he did a great service to you, your honour, and he is a fairly good composer …" (October 1777)


Mozart writes to his father that he spends more time at the Webers. Mozart writes how thrilled he is about Aloysia’s voice and how well she plays the piano. Mozart to his father: "…she played my sonatas slowly, but prima vista without missing a note …" "…I love this family so much that I wish nothing more than to make them happy." (February 1778)

The mother’s postscript: "…you will have seen by this letter that, when Wolfgang meets somebody new, he immediately is ready to give everything for such people …in other words: he is dearer to other people than he is to me …" (February 1778)

Mozart plans a concert trip with Aloysia: "…I am quite sure that she will do me credit. She has already profitted by the short time with me ... neither am I worried about the action; when that happens, Mr. Weber, his two daughters and I will have the honour to visit my dear Dad and my dear sister for 14 days during our travels… …I can say that I am very happy if I should come to Salzburg with them, just so they can listen to her …" (February 1778)

In this letter Mozart further writes that he plans to also go to the Netherlands and to Switzerland with Aloysia. He hopes that his father will support this trip. 

Mozart’s father writes to his son: "…alone this letter lets me recognize my son in his mistake that he always believes everything people say; his goodheartedness becomes apparent by flattering and pretty words, his letting himself be guided by everybody to any ideas by others just as they please … and to the benefit of stangers sacrificing his fame and profit …" (February 1778)

"…in Augsburg you also had your little scenes, happily conversed with my brother’s daughter, who had to send you her portrait … just then the new meeting with the Webers comes about and the former one is past. Now that family is the most honest Christian family and their daughter is the main character of this performing tragedy between your own family and this family …" (February 1778)

"…it is foolish of you to plan to support her action… Your suggestion - I can hardly write it down - just thinking about it – to travel about with Mr. Weber and his two daughter almost makes me lose my mind. My dearest son, how can you agree with such a distasteful idea for even just an hour …"  (February 1778)

In addition, Leopold Mozart asks his son to go to Paris. He does not mention his son being in love at all and is in despair about his son’s naivety: "…Become famous and rich in Paris, then you may, once you have the money, go to Italy and write alda operas…"

"…everybody is convinced that your composition will be very well received in Paris and you yourself are convinced that you are able to copy all types of compositions. It is a good thing that you did not travel with you know whom … My son, you are quite impulsive in all your matters; you have changed your whole character from childhood on… Now you are, as it seems to me, too rash to answer anybody in a joking tone to the first challenge …"

Mozart answered his father: "…I never imagined anything but that you would disapprove of my trip with the Webers, and I never intended to do it, based on our situation at the time. But I promised to write to you…"

"…now also the father (Weber, at my suggestion) has talked to Madame Toscani, to instruct his daughter in the action. Everything is true what you’ve heard about Ms. Weber, except one thing, that she sings like a Gabrielli …I can’t write anymore because I am so hungry …" (February 1778)

"…there are people who believe it is impossible to love a poor girl without having bad intentions …I will have them give me something to chop - even to my greatest prostitution - and I will see to it that I can do it prima fista, because I am a born lumberjack and can do nothing but strum on the piano a little..." (February 1778)

Leopold Mozart wrote to his son: "…if I made the suggestion to Mr. Weber that you, your sister and Ms. Weber made a trip together, what would he answer me …" (February 1778)

Mozart to his father: "…I hope that I will receive the arias this coming Friday or Saturday …I hope so because I would like to play and sing them to Ms. Weber..."

"…when I finished them, I told Ms. Weber to learn the aria herself and to sing it by her own gusto and then let me listen to it. I then would tell her what I liked and what I didn’t like… and then she sang to me and accompanied herself and I had to admit to her that she sang it exactly as I had wished and as I had wanted to teach her …" (February 1778)

Leopold to his son: "Such a trip isn’t any fun; where there is no money, there also aren’t any more friends, and if you do a hundred lessons for free, compose sonatas and every night, you do dirty things instead of more important ones…" (February 1778)

Mozart to his father: "…I will now do a Sinfonia Concertante, for flauto wendling, oboe, Ramm, Punto Waldhorn and Knight Fagott…" (5 April 1778)

The Mozarts leave Mannheim and travel to Paris. Mozart went from salon to salon, offering samples of his competence and gave badly paid lessons. No noticeable success was visible. In Paris the problems in terms of the performance of his works were similar as they had been in Mannheim. While Mozart’s composing for orchestras and operas was thus directed towards Paris, he was also striving to get back to Aloysia. Mozart has doubts about the musicality of the French. He has a bad opinion of the French and he is against French singers, against French music taste. His first six sonatas (301-306) are published in Paris. On his father’s suggestion Mozart tries to adapt his pieces to French taste. 

"…I don’t care about the Parisian applause..."

"…I hope that it (the symphony) will be liked by the few smart French people; as far as the dumb ones are concerned – I don’t think it’s a big tragedy if it doesn’t please them – however, I do have some hope, that also the dullards will be able to appreciate something in my music …" (June 1778)

After weeks of effort without any luck, Mozart describes the situation to his father: "…you write to me that I am to be well-behaved and make visits, in order to make new acquaintances, and renew the old ones, however, that’s just not possible …"

On 3 July Mozart’s mother died. Mozart presumably tried to overcome her death in the Andante in CMoll.

Mozart to his father: "…my dear mother is very ill – she had a bloodletting done which is something she is quite used to, and it had been very necessary. She felt much better afterwards – but some days later she complained of being cold … and because she kept getting worse – she could hardly talk anymore and lost her hearing so that I had to shout at her… I am not saying that my mother will die or has to die and that all hope is lost – she can get well again, but only if God wants her to …"

"… in order to inaugurate the concert spiritually, I had to do a symphony. On Corpus Christi it was performed with great applause …"

Mozart to his friend Joseph Bullinger: "…this was the saddest day of my life – I am writing this at 2. a.m. – I have to tell you that my mother, my dear mother, does not live any longer… I believe that she was meant to die – God wanted it that way… I am therefore asking you, dear friend, please keep my father well for me, encourage him so that he won’t take it the hard way…"

Mozart to his father: "…I hope you will be ready to listen to one of the saddest and most painful news and yet remain steadfast ….that very day, the third of July, my mother peacefully died in her sleep at 10:21 p.m… I was very much pained, I cried plenty – but to what avail? I had to comfort myself, do the same, my dear father and my dear sister…"

"…you know that I wish for nothing more than a good service, good character and good money – be it where it may be – as long as it’s a catholic place …" (9 July 1778)

The French influence is becoming apparent in the concerts KV 216 and KV 218, among other things, by terminology and the enclosed final movements (rondeau). Perhaps the changes that Mozart made in the concert KV 218 are due to this influence. Since Mozart played this concert in Augsburg himself, he also had the note materials with him and perhaps, what he indicates in his letter from Paris to his father, dated 11 September 1778, is true especially for KV 218:

"…when I have the time I arrange numerous violin concerts – I shorten them – even though at home in Germany the long ones are in style, however, a concert is better when it is short and good…"

Mozart’s father was able to gain reemployment for himself and Mozart in Salzburg. Against his father’s will, Mozart travels to Mannheim and hopes to meet Aloysia there. The Webers in the meantime are already in Munich and Mozart is rejected by Aloysia. Aloysia’s younger sister Konstanze feels sorry for him. A good friendship develops between the two of them. 

Mozart to his father: "…Now I had the best opportunity to recommend my dear Weber girl with all my heart to him (Mr. Raaff – however, I did not have to tell him much, he was already quite taken by her. He promised me that he would give her lessons and will care for her as soon as he returns to Mannheim..." (18 July 1778)

Leopold Mozart to his son: "…since I always believed you ought to view me more as your best friend than your father; on more than a hundred occasions I showed you that I am more concerned for your happiness and pleasure than I am for my own. I think you should ask my advice, since I can better think this matter over and find ways… you won’t throw your father down, will you?..." (27 July 1778)

Mozart to his father:

"…your last letter made tears of joy come to my eyes – you totally convinced me of your true fatherly love and care. With all my might, I will strive to deserve your fatherly love even more…"

"…but again, due to my ingeniousness, my lifestyle – you know that I, so to speak, am stuck in my music, that I think of it the whole day, that I like to speculate, study, think… I can’t act any other way, I have to either write a great opera or none at all; if I write a small one, I’ll earn little... however, if I were to write a big one, the pay would be much better …" (31 July 1778)

Leopold Mozart to the ruling bishop Earl of Spaur: "… now my son is in Paris at the Baron von Grimm’s, our old dear friend. I did not want to report the despicable tyrannical circumstances which forced my son to leave his homeland to you, my lord. It was the 23rd September last year, when I was quite ill with a chest disease and yet I had to withstand the pain to see my wife and son leave. A family had to be torn apart…" (31 July 1778)

Mozart to Joseph Bullinger: "…that Salzburg was no location for my talent. First of all, musicians are not held in esteem there, and secondly, there is nothing – no theatre, no opera. If one really wanted to play, who would sing? The cruel Frenchmen are the cause that the music is without a conductor …" (7 August 1778)

Leopold Mozart to his son: "…if I were in your place, I would now try to work ahead some and then employ everything possible to get an opera… don’t leave it at empty words that you want to give away your sonatas for 15 Louisd’or, do it and make sure that they’ll soon be engraved…" (21 August 1778)


After 16 months they return to Salzburg where Mozart is appointed to "court and cathedral organist". He receives 450 guilders. Back in Salzburg Mozart develops a totally new musical language. The three symphonies (nos. 32, 33, 34) of this period are all unique. Mozart orientates himself on Haydn’s style. The first personal meeting with Haydn takes place in Vienna in 1781. 

The Sinfonia Concertante probably originated in ES for the violin, viola and orchestra (KV 364 ) in the summer or early autumn. Mozart might have viewed it as a challenge to make this new genre popular in Salzburg, especially since here the corresponding good instrumentalists were available. 


Mozart travels to Munich to finish his opera Idomeneo. The first rehearsals take place in December. He himself describes this phase in which he composed this opera, as the happiest of his life. 


The end of January is the premiere of the opera Idomeneo. Mozart receives the order to go to Vienna (on the occasion of the appointment of the new emperor Joseph II). The archbishop wants to present his music band. Mozart is staying at the Deutsche-Ritter-Orden (a religious order) and complains to his father that he has to sit at the servants’ table for dinner. 

"…my head and hands are so full of this third act, that it wouldn’t surprise me if I myself would turn into a third act – this act alone is costing me more effort than an entire opera …" (3 January 1781)

"…besides many other little arguments I had a big disagreement with Earl Seeau because of the trombones – I call it a heavy dispute because I had to be rude to him, otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten out of it…" (11 January 1781)

Leopold Mozart to Breitkopf & son, Leipzig:

"…for quite some time I’ve been wishing that they will print something of my son’s work. They hopefully won’t judge him by his piano sonatas which he wrote as a child, will they? Of course they won’t have seen a note of the works which he has written over the past years; it should have been just the six sonatas for the piano and one violin which he had engraved with a script of dedication to the present elector of Palatinate-Bavaria …" (12 February 1781)

Mozart to his father: "…I have a charming room in the same house where the archbishop resides …Ceccarelli, Brunetti and myself are sitting on top, at least I have the honour to sit in front of the chefs …" (24 March 1781)

"…how I would love to do a public concert as is customary here, but I know for certain, I won’t be allowed to do so …" (28 March 1781)

Mozart has to compose and be ready to make music whenever the archbishop desires. He composes the violin rondo and the orchestra KV 373 for Brunetti. On 8th April it is performed in Vienna. A dispute with the archbishop arises. Mozart temporarily moves in with the Webers and begs to resign. Earl Arco agrees to it by booting him. 

Mozart to his father: "… I already wrote to you recently that the archbishop is a great hindrance to me, if it weren’t for him I could easily earn 100 ducats by an academy in the theatre… I dare say that the Vienna audience was quite pleased with my performance…"

"…what do you think – now that the audience knows me – if there were an academy for me, just what would I do then? However, our archbishop won’t permit it; he does not want his people to gain a profit, but rather he wants them to have a loss … today when we were having dinner, Brunetti told us that Arco gave him a message from the archbishop in which he said that we are to receive diligence money and then leave by Sunday…"

"…oh, how I would love to grimace at the archbishop – it would be a real joy for me – just be certain that I would not stay here if I did not have a good standing here and I knew that it was to my advantage…" (4 April 1781)

"…today we had ... an academy. There were 3 pieces by me, of course new ones. A rondeau to a concert for Brunetti, a sonata accompanied by a violin (KV 379, Brunetti-sonata) for myself which I composed last night from 11:00 p.m. till midnight. I only wrote the accompanyment voice for Brunetti, but kept my part in my head so that I was able to finish it …" (8 April 1781)

"..I am writing all this in the most natural German language because the world should know that the archbishop of Salzburg did not lose me forever only because of you, my dearest father. Yesterday there was a great academy, presumably the last one. The academy turned out to be pretty good and in spite of all the hindrances of the archbishop’s mercy, I had a better orchestra than Brunetti... and I am now asking you, dear father, to allow me to travel to Vienna to the end of the carneval in the future… because I will go to Salzburg only under this condition…" (28 April 1781)

"…after this insult, after this triple insult, the archbishop can come up to me and give me 1200 FL, but I’ll simply refuse; I am not a boy…" (19 May 1781)

"…what business of his (Earl Arco) is it, if I ask for my dismissal? He should cite reasons or just let the language go as it goes, but he has no business calling people a lout or a boy and kick you out of the door by giving you a kick in the ass …" (9 June 1781)

"…because you, my father, can say without any fear at all, that you would be ashamed to have raised a son who would let himself be told off by such an infamous bastard as Arco is one – and everybody would assure you that if I were lucky enough to encounter him, I would meet him in such a way as he deserved, and that he would remember me as long as he lived …" (4 July 1781)

Mozart to his sister: "…because of something new on the piano, I want to tell you that I will have 4 sonatas engraved, it includes the ex c and b, and the other two are new– then I wrote 3 arias with variations – I could send them to you, of course, but it’s not worth the trouble; I will wait until I have more to send you..." (4 July 1781)

Mozart settles down in Vienna after his break with the archbishop and receives an imperial order for an opera (The kidnapping from the Serail). He begins to have more intense contact with Konstanze Weber. 

To his father: "…for some time now I have meant to move out of the Webers; and it will certainly happen. I honestly did not know that I was supposed to live at Mr. Auerhammer’s, I swear it …"

"I am telling you again that I have long thought about finding another accommodation, not only because of people talking. I am sorry that I am forced to do so now because of silly gossip, with not a true word in it. I sure would like to know what certain people get out of gossipping all day long without any reason. Just because I live with them, does not mean I am in love with the daughter or that I’ll marry her... I am not opposed to marriage, but at the moment it would most certainly be bad for me... in the meantime, I am having six sonatas engraved, the music engraver has already talked to me. As soon as they are sold and I will receive money, I will send you some …"

"…I am not in love with Konstanze. I fool around and have fun with her, when I have time (which is only in the evening when I dine at home – for in the morning I write in my room and in the afternoon I am seldom at home)… If I were obliged to marry all the girls with whom I’ve had a little fun, I should already have at least 200 wives…” (July 1781)

Leopold Mozart to Breitkopf & son, Leipzig: "…as far as I know, six sonatas for the piano and violin alda are being engraved, he was also asked to write an operetta which is supposed to be performed already by the middle of September… the six sonatas, which are dedicated to the elector of Palatinate-Bavaria are published by Mr. Sieber in Paris …" (10 August 1781)

Mozart to his father: "…from the way you received my last letter I unfortunately see that you trust more the gossip and writings of other people than me, which means that you don’t trust in me at all… please do trust me, I deserve your trust… It really is not my fault, dear father, that you have not received any money from me yet; it is the momentary bad season… from your letters I gather that you believe I do nothing at all than enjoy myself; you are quite wrong in this respect: I dare say that I am not having any fun at all …" (September 1781)

In December Mozart informs his father that he wants to marry Konstanze Weber. 

"…well, now who is the one I love? Don’t get a fright, please. Not one of the Webers? Yes, one of the Webers! Not Josepha, not Sophie, but Konstanze, the one in the middle… Before I tell you more, I have to get you more acquainted with the character of my dearest Konstanze. She is not ugly, and nothing less than beautiful. Her entire beauty consists of small eyes and a beautiful figure. She is not witty, but has enough common sense, to accomplish her duties as a wife and mother …"

"…I love her and she loves me with all her heart – tell me if I could wish for a better wife..."

"…and I don’t doubt that you will give your permission to this marriage in your future letters – you couldn’t possibly have anything against it – and you don’t really. That’s what your letters tell me – because she is an honest, good girl, from a good home – I am able to support her. We love each other and want each other …" (December 1781)

The family Auerhammer also belonged to his circle of friends from Vienna. Mozart gives piano lessons to their daughter, Josepha. Besides that, he dedicates to her his first Vienna publication, the six violin sonatas op. 2, and also the sonata in d-dur (KV 448).

At times the conflict with the archbishop also affected Mozart’s works, which he composed during that time, which include the sonata KV 378 as well as the symphonies KV 318, 319 and 338. In December 1781 six sonatas are published (KV 376-380, KV 296).


His first concert in the Vienna Augarten: Mozart plays his concert for two pianos (KV 365) with Josepha Auerhammer. Mozart is looking for an engagement in order to secure his subsistence. Premiere of The Kidnapping from the Serail in July. He marries Konstanze on 4th August. 

"…My opera was performed, to the honour of all Nannerln, with great applause for the third time, and the theatre was, in spite of the horrible heat, filled to the hilt... the people, I can tell you, are quite crazy about this opera. It really does feel wonderful to receive such an aupplause..."

"…Dearest, best father! I must beg you for the world, give me your consent so that I may marry my dear Konstanze …My heart ist restless, my head is confused, just how am I supposed to think right and work? With longing I am awaiting your consent, my best father …" (Juli 1782)

"…We are made for each other, and God, who has arranged and therefore also provided for all this, will not leave us… I don’t serve any monarch rather than the emperor, however, I will not beg for service. I believe I will be able to bestow honour upon any court. If Germany, my beloved homeland, which I am very proud of, will not receive me, then in God’s name, France or England will have one more skillful German …" (August 1782) 


In the presence of emperor Joseph II he played the violon-piano sonata b-dur KV 454 with the violinist Regina Strinasacchi, which was composed for her, without a prior rehearsal and with only a fragmentally recorded piano part. Mozart describes Strinasacchi as a "very good violinist, who has excellent taste and much emotion in her playing". For the customs of the time, Regina Strinasacchi did the unspeakable, in that she performed in public as a violinist. The violin was regarded as one of the "improper" instruments, and educators, music theoreticals and critics outdid themselves in warning of this apparently perceived as a male musical gesture. Educated in a Venetian conservatorium, Regina Strinasacchi started to travel as a 15-year-old and met Mozart in Vienna in 1783. Mozart apparently took her serious as a colleague and did not, as it would have fit the picture people had of Mozart, make any lewd remarks. 

Mozart becomes a close companion of Joseph II and admires him greatly. He is accepted into the freemason lodge, for which he writes several compositions. 

"…I wrote two great concerts and then a qintett for oboe, clarinette, corno, fagotto and pianoforte, which received extraordinary applause; I myself think it’s the best I’ve ever written in my life …" (April 1784)

"…here we have the famous …Strinasacchi, a remarkable violin player. She has lots of taste and feeling in her playing. Presently I am writing a sonata, which we will play together in the theatre at her academy on Thursday…" (24 April 1784)

1785 Mozart forms a friendship with Joseph Haydn, for whom he writes six string quartets. In January three of the string quartets are performed in the presence of Josph Haydn in Mozart’s apartment; later on he dedicates those to Joseph Haydn. Haydn is the only composer who Mozart does not feel superior to; he sincerely admires Haydn. 

Haydn about Mozart to Leopold Mozart in a letter dated 16 Feburary: "…I tell you before God, as an honest man, your son is the greatest composer I know personally and by name. He has taste and moreover, he is the most gifted composer"

Mozart to Haydn: "…To my dear friend Haydn…here, then, celebrated man and my dearest friend, are my six sonatas. Truly, they are the fruit of a long and labourious effort…you, yourself, dearest friend,…expressed to me your satisfaction with these pieces…


Premiere of The Wedding of the Figaro (Die Hochzeit des Figaro)


Mozart’s father dies in Salzburg. In the summer Mozart composes KV 525 The Little Night Music (Die kleine Nachtmusik) as well as his last great sonata KV 526 in Vienna. After his father’s death he becomes increasingly dependent on Konstanze.

Mozart to his father: "…Since death is the true final purpose of our lives, I have, over the past few years, made myself familiar with this true, best friend of humanity, so that its image is no longer frightening to me, instead it is very much calming and comforting to me! And I thank the Lord that he let me have the opportunity to get to know death as the key to true happiness …" (April 1787)


Premiere of Don Giovanni in Vienna. In the summer Mozart composes his last three symphonies (KV 543, 550, 551 Jupiter) within just 10 weeks. His financial situation worsens dramatically. He composes his last violin sonata KV 547.

Mozart to the friar Michael Puchberg: "…If you would have the kindness to support me for one or two years with one or two thousand guilders, in return for due interests, you would help me out tremendously. You must admit, that it is very difficult, even impossible to live, if one has to wait from income to income …"

"…With longing, I am now looking forward to a reply, a pleasant reply – and I don’t know – I have known you once as a man, who, like myself, if possible, would support his friend, his true friend, his brother, his true brother. If, however, you are unable to give away a sum like this, I would ask you, to just lend me a few hundred guilders till tomorrow …" (June 1788)


Mozart’s financial situation deteriorates further. He writes begging letters to the freemason lodge. 


Mozart asks for a second turn as bandmaster: "…Diligence and fame, love of my work and being convinced of my capabilities, are telling me to dare ask for a second turn as bandmaster, especially since the very talented bandmaster Salieri has never dedicated himself to the style of the church, but I myself have made this style to my own from the days of my youth on …" (May 1790)


Mozart dies in December.

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