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A prolific artist, Austrian composer Wolfgang Mozart created a string of operas, concertos, symphonies and sonatas that profoundly shaped classical music.
Wolfgang Mozart was known as a musical prodigy that mastered several styles of music during the 18th century. Witness his growth into one of the greatest composers of all time.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart learned the piano at the age of three, and soon developed his skills in all musical forms. Widely recognized as one of the greatest composers of all time, he produced over 600 works.
Richard Wagner wrote his first opera, "The Fairies," at the age of 21. He used all elements of theater, from music to lighting, to create "total art work."
Raised in a family of musicians, Johann Sebastian Bach played the harpsichord and organ from an early age. Deeply religious, he composed sacred music to be played in churches.
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He also composed another opera for Munich, Ideomeneo in 1781. In March of that year, Mozart was summoned to Vienna by Archbishop von Colloredo, who was attending the accession of Joseph II to the Austrian throne. The Archbishop’s cool reception toward Mozart offended him. He was treated as a mere servant, quartered with the help,
and forbidden from performing before the Emperor for a fee equal to half his yearly salary in Salzburg. A quarrel ensued and Mozart offered to resign his post. The Archbishop refused at first, but then relented with an abrupt dismissal and physical removal from the Archbishop’s presence. Mozart decided to settle in Vienna as a freelance performer and composer and for a time lived with friends at the home of Fridolin Weber.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart quickly found work in Vienna, taking on pupils, writing music for publication, and playing in several concerts. He also began writing an opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio). In the summer of 1781, it was rumored that Mozart was contemplating marriage to Fridolin Weber’s daughter, Constanze. Knowing his father would disapprove of the marriage and the interruption in his career, young Mozart quickly wrote his father denying any idea of marriage. But by December, he was asking for his father’s blessings. While it’s known that Leopold disapproved, what is not known is the discussion between father and son as Leopold’s letters were said to be destroyed by Constanze. However, later correspondence from Wolfgang indicated that he and his father disagreed considerably on this matter. He was in love with Constanze and the marriage was being strongly encouraged by her mother, so in some sense, he felt committed. The couple was finally married on August 4, 1782. In the meantime, Leopold did finally consent to the marriage. Constanze and Wolfgang had six children, though only two survived infancy, Karl Thomas and Franz Xaver.
As 1782 turned to 1783, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart became enthralled with the work of Johannes Sebastian Bach and George Frederic Handel and this, in turn, resulted in several compositions in the Baroque style and influenced much of his later compositions, such as passages in Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) and the finale of Symphony Number 41. During this time, Mozart met Joseph Haydn and the two composers became admiring friends. When Haydn visited Vienna, they sometimes performed impromptu concerts with string quartets. Between 1782 and 1785 Mozart wrote six quartets dedicated to Haydn.
The opera Die Entführung enjoyed immediate and continuing success and bolstered Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s name and talent throughout Europe. With the substantial returns from concerts and publishing, he and Constanze enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. They lived in one of the more exclusive apartment buildings of Vienna, sent their son, Karl Thomas, to an expensive boarding school, kept servants, and maintained a busy social life. In 1783, Mozart and Constanze traveled Salzburg, to visit his father and sister.
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