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Travels, 176373.




Travelling by way of Munich, Augsburg, Ludwigsburg, the summer palace of the Elector Palatine Carl Theodor at Schwetzingen, Mainz, Frankfurt, Coblenz and Aachen, the Mozart family arrived at Brussels on 4 October 1763; in each of these places the children either performed at court or gave public concerts. From there they pressed on to Paris. The children played before Louis XV on 1 January 1764, with public concerts following on 10 March and 9 April at the private theatre of M. Félix, in the rue et porte Saint-Honoré. In Paris Mme Vendôme published Mozart's two pairs of sonatas for keyboard and violin, k69, his first music to appear in print.

The family arrived in England on 23 April, first lodging at the White Bear Inn in Piccadilly; the next day they moved to the house of the barber John Cousins, in Cecil Court. They played twice for George III, on 27 April and 17 May 1764 (in a letter of 28 May, Leopold enthusiastically recounted to Hagenauer the friendly greeting the king gave them at a chance meeting in St James's Park), and were scheduled to appear at a benefit for the composer and cellist Carlo Graziani on 23 May; however, Wolfgang was taken ill and was unable to perform. The Mozarts mounted their own benefit on 5 June, at the Great Room in Spring Garden; later that month Mozart performed several fine select Pieces of his own Composition on the Harpsichord and on the Organ at Ranelagh Gardens, during breaks in a performance of Handel's Acis and Galatea. Further benefit concerts followed on 21 February and 13 May 1765. At some time during their visit to London, Mozart was tested by the philosopher Daines Barrington, who in 1769 furnished a report on him to the Royal Society (published in its Philosophical Transactions, lx (1771), 5464). Barrington's tests were typical of others that Mozart was set elsewhere on the Grand Tour and, later, in Vienna and Italy:

I said to the boy, that I should be glad to hear an extemporary Love Song, such as his friend Manzoli might choose in an opera. The boy looked back with much archness, and immediately began five or six lines of a jargon recitative proper to introduce a love song. He then played a symphony which might correspond with an air composed to the single word, Affetto. It had a first and second part, which, together with the symphonies, was of the length that opera songs generally last: if this extemporary composition was not amazingly capital, yet it was really above mediocrity, and shewed most extraordinary readiness of invention. Finding that he was in humour, and as it were inspired, I then desired him to compose a Song of Rage, such as might be proper for the opera stage. The boy again looked back with much archness, and began five or six lines of a jargon recitative proper to precede a Song of Anger. This lasted also about the same time as the Song of Love; and in the middle of it, he had worked himself up to such a pitch, that he beat his harpsichord like a person possessed, rising sometimes in his chair. The word he pitched upon for this second extemporary composition was, Perfido. After this he played a difficult lesson, which he had finished a day or two before: his execution was amazing, considering that his little fingers could scarcely reach a fifth on the harpsichord. His astonishing readiness, however, did not arise merely from great practice; he had a thorough knowledge of the fundamental principles of composition, as, upon producing a treble, he immediately wrote a base under it, which, when tried, had very good effect. He was also a great master of modulation, and his transitions from one key to another were excessively natural and judicious; he practised in this manner for a considerable time with a handkerchief over the keys of the harpsichord.



The Mozarts left London on 24 July 1765, travelling by way of Canterbury (where a concert was announced, but apparently cancelled) and Lille to Ghent and Antwerp, arriving at The Hague on 10 September. There the children gave two public concerts and played before the Princess of Nassau-Weilburg, to whom Mozart later dedicated the keyboard and violin sonatas k2631. They moved on to Amsterdam in January, returning to The Hague for the installation of Wilhelm V on 11 March it was for this occasion that Mozart composed the Gallimathias musicum k32 and in April they set out again for Paris, arriving there in early May. The Mozarts remained in Paris for two months; their patron, Baron Grimm, who had paved their way there earlier, commented on Mozart's prodigious progress since early 1764.



The final stage of the homeward journey took the Mozarts to Dijon, Lyons, Lausanne, Zürich and Donaueschingen, where they played for Prince Fürstenberg on nine evenings. From Donaueschingen they pressed on to Dillingen, Augsburg and Munich, arriving back in Salzburg on 29 November. On the day of their arrival, Beda Hübner, librarian at St Peter's, wrote in his diary (in A-Ssp):



I cannot forbear to remark here also that today the world-famous Herr Leopold Mozart, deputy Kapellmeister here, with his wife and two children, a boy aged ten and his little daughter of 13, have arrived to the solace and joy of the whole town the two children, the boy as well as the girl, both play the harpsichord, or the clavier, the girl, it is true, with more art and fluency than her little brother, but the boy with far more refinement and with more original ideas, and with the most beautiful harmonic inspirations There is a strong rumour that the Mozart family will again not long remain here, but will soon visit the whole of Scandinavia and the whole of Russia, and perhaps even travel to China, which would be a far greater journey and bigger undertaking still: de facto, I believe it to be certain that nobody is more celebrated in Europe than Herr Mozart with his two children.

Leopold Mozart is often portrayed as an inflexible, if consummate, tour manager, yet much of the Grand Tour was not planned in advance. When he left Salzburg, Leopold was undecided whether to travel to England; nor was it his intention to visit the Low Countries (letter of 28 May 1764). There were also miscalculations. It is likely, for instance, that the Mozarts outstayed their welcome in London: by June 1765 they were reduced to giving cheap public displays at the down-market Swan and Hoop Tavern in Cornhill (see McVeigh, G1993). On the other hand, it is not widely appreciated how difficult travel could be at this time: routes were often unsafe and almost always uncomfortable (Leopold marvelled in a letter of 25 April 1764 at his successful crossing of the English Channel, an experience that was surely unknown to his friends in Salzburg), expenses were substantial, and he was frequently mistreated, ignored or prevented by potential patrons from performing. In a letter completed on 4 November 1763 he wrote from Brussels:

We have now been kept [here] for nearly three weeks. Prince Karl [Charles of Lorraine, brother of Emperor Francis I and Governor of the Austrian Netherlands] spends his time hunting, eating and drinking Meanwhile, in decency I have neither been able to leave nor to give a concert, since, as the prince himself has said, I must await his decision.

(Quotations from the Mozart family correspondence are based on the translations in Anderson, A1938, 3/1985.)

Nevertheless, these unexpected detours which added nearly two years to the tour also reaped rich musical rewards: at every stage of their travels the Mozarts acquired music that was not readily available in Salzburg or met composers and performers who did not normally travel in south Germany and Austria. At Ludwigsburg they heard Nardini (on 11 July 1763 Leopold wrote to Salzburg, it would be impossible to hear a finer player for beauty, purity, evenness of tone and singing quality), and in Paris they met, among others, Schobert, Eckard and Honauer, from whose sonatas, as well as sonatas by Raupach and C.P.E. Bach, Mozart later chose movements to set as the concertos k37 and 3941. Their stay in London brought Mozart into contact with K.F. Abel, Giovanni Manzuoli and most importantly J.C. Bach, with whom the family became intimate and whose influence on Mozart was lifelong. Years later, when Wolfgang was in Paris, Leopold upheld Bach as a model composer (letter of 13 August 1778):

If you have not got any pupils, well then compose something more . But let it be something short, easy and popular Do you image that you would be doing work unworthy of you? If so, you are very much mistaken. Did Bach, when he was in London, ever publish anything but similar trifles? What is slight can still be great, if it is written in a natural, flowing and easy style and at the same time bears the marks of sound composition. Such works are more difficult to compose than all those harmonic progressions, which the majority of the people cannot fathom, or pieces which have pleasing melodies, but which are difficult to perform. Did Bach lower himself by such work? Not at all. Good composition, sound construction, il filo these distinguish the master from the bungler even in trifles.

It is also safe to say that on the Grand Tour Mozart began to absorb his father's opinions about various national styles and how to conduct himself in public. In Paris on 1 February 1764, Leopold wrote of the Royal Chapel at Versailles:

I heard good and bad music there. Everything sung by individual voices and supposed to resemble an aria was empty, frozen and wretched in a word, French but the choruses are good and even excellent the whole of French music is not worth a sou.

In this he anticipated by many years Mozart's comment on 5 April 1778, when he was again in Paris, that

at Mannheim [the choruses] are weak and poor, whereas in Paris they are powerful and excellent What annoys me most of all in this business is that our French gentlemen have only improved their goût to this extent that they can now listen to good stuff as well. But to expect them to realize that their own music is bad or at least to notice the difference Heaven preserve us!

More importantly, perhaps, Mozart also took to heart his father's negative opinions of Salzburg, repeating them almost verbatim in his letters of the late 1770s and early 80s. As early as 19 July 1763 Leopold wrote from Schwetzingen:

The orchestra is undeniably the best in Germany. It consists altogether of people who are young and of good character, not drunkards, gamblers or dissolute fellows.

Mozart, some 15 years later, wrote to his father (letter of 9 July 1778):

one of my chief reasons for detesting Salzburg [is the] coarse, slovenly, dissolute court musicians. Why, no honest man, of good breeding, could possibly live with them! Indeed, instead of wanting to associate with them, he would feel ashamed of them [The Mannheim musicians] certainly behave quite differently from ours. They have good manners, are well dressed and do not go to public houses and swill.

Mozart remained in Salzburg for nine months. During this time he wrote three vocal works: a Latin comedy, Apollo et Hyacinthus, for the university; the first part of the oratorio Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots, a joint work with Michael Haydn and Anton Cajetan Adlgasser; and the Grabmusik k42 (to which he added a concluding chorus with introductory recitative, c1773). On 15 September 1767 the family set out for Vienna. Presumably Leopold had timed this visit to coincide with the festivities planned for the marriage of the 16-year-old Archduchess Josepha to King Ferdinand IV of Naples. Josepha, however, contracted smallpox and died on the day after the wedding was to have taken place, throwing the court into mourning and inducing Leopold to remove his family from Vienna, first to Brünn (Brno) and then to Olmütz (Olomouc) where both Mozart and Nannerl had mild attacks of smallpox.

Shortly after their return to Vienna in January 1768, Leopold conceived the idea of securing for Mozart an opera commission, La finta semplice, but intrigues at court conspired to defeat his plan (the Mozarts' side of the story is preserved in detail in the surviving correspondence). He wrote an indignant petition to the emperor in September, complaining of a conspiracy on the part of the theatre director Giuseppe Afflisio (dAffligio), who apparently claimed that Wolfgang's music was ghost-written by his father, and proving Mozart's output by including a list of his compositions to that time (see Zaslaw, A1985). Presumably as compensation for the suppression of the opera, in December Mozart directed a performance before the imperial court of a festal mass (k139), an offertory (k47b, lost) and a trumpet concerto (k47c, lost) at the dedication ceremony of the Waisenhauskirche; the Wienerisches Diarium reported on 10 December 1768 that Mozart performed his works to general applause and admiration, and conducted with the greatest accuracy; aside from this he also sang in the motets. That same month he completed the Symphony k48. Earlier, in October, Mozart may have given a private performance of his one-act Singspiel Bastien und Bastienne at the home of Dr Franz Anton Mesmer, the inventor of magnetism therapy (later parodied in Così fan tutte).

On the return journey to Salzburg, the Mozarts paused at Lambach Abbey, where father and son both presented symphonies to the library (the controversy over the attribution of the two works, Leopold Mozart's G9 and Mozart's kAnh.221, is summarized in Zaslaw, L1989). They arrived home on 5 January and remained there for nearly a year. La finta semplice was performed at court on or about 1 May, and Mozart wrote the Mass k66 in October for the first Mass celebrated by his friend Cajetan (Father Dominicus) Hagenauer, son of the family's Salzburg landlord. Other substantial works from this time include three orchestral serenades (k63, 99 and 100), two of which were probably intended for performance as Finalmusik at the university's traditional end-of-year ceremonies, possibly some shorter sacred works (k117 and 141) and several sets of dancing minuets (k65a and 103; k104 and 105 are by Michael Haydn, possibly arranged by Mozart). By the age of 13, then, Mozart had achieved a significant local reputation as both a composer and a performer. On 27 October he was appointed, on an honorary basis, Konzertmeister at the Salzburg court.

Less than two months later, on 13 December, Leopold and Wolfgang set out on their own for Italy. The journey followed the now usual pattern: they paused at any town where a concert could be given or where an influential nobleman might wish to hear Mozart play. Travelling by way of Innsbruck and Rovereto, they arrived at Verona on 27 December. While there, Mozart played at the Accademia Filarmonica and had his portrait painted, probably by Saverio della Rosa (fig.2); the piece of music shown on the harpsichord, almost certainly by him, is otherwise unknown (k72a; but see Heartz, O1995). At Mantua, on 16 January, Mozart gave a concert typical of his public and private performances at the time: it included a symphony by him; prima vista and extempore performances of concertos, sonatas, fugues, variations and arias; and a small number of works contributed by other performers. The Gazzetta di Mantova, in a report on the concert (19 January 1770), described Mozart as incomparable.

From Mantua the Mozarts travelled to Milan where Wolfgang gave several performances at the home of Count Karl Firmian, the Austrian minister plenipotentiary, including a grand academy on 12 March that may have included the newly composed arias k77, 88 and Anh.2; presumably as a result of his performances and compositions, Mozart was commissioned to write the first opera, Mitridate, re di Ponto, for the carnival season in December. Father and son left Milan on 15 March, bound for Lodi (where Mozart completed his first string quartet, k80), Parma, Bologna (where they met the theorist and composer Padre Martini) and Florence, where Mozart became reacquainted with the castrato Manzuoli and newly acquainted with the English composer Thomas Linley, a boy of his own age. From there they passed on to Rome, arriving on 10 April, in time for Holy Week; Mozart made a clandestine copy of Allegri's famous Miserere (traditionally considered the exclusive property of the papal choir), and may have composed two or three symphonies (k81, 95 and 97). After a brief stay in Naples, where Mozart gave several concerts and heard Jommelli's Armida (which he described on 5 June 1770 as beautiful, but much too broken up and old-fashioned for the theatre), they returned to Rome, where on 5 July Pope Clemens XIV created Mozart a Knight of the Golden Spur (fig.3). Father and son set out again on 10 July, returning to Bologna and the summer home of Count Pallavicini. There Mozart may have completed the Symphony k84, as well as some sacred works and canons, and he received the libretto and cast-list for his Milan opera. Before they left Bologna he was admitted to membership of the Accademia Filarmonica; the original autograph of his test piece, the antiphon k86, has annotations by Padre Martini, suggesting that he may have had help.

Work on the composition of Mitridate, re di Ponto began in earnest after the Mozarts' return to Milan on 18 October 1770. The libretto, by Vittorio Amadeo Cigna-Santi, after Racine, had been set by Quirino Gasparini for Turin in 1767 and Leopold in his letters described various intrigues among the singers, including the possibility of their substituting certain of Gasparini's settings for Mozart's. In fact the setting of Vado incontro al frato estremo found in the earliest scores of the opera has been found to be by Gasparini; apparently the primo uomo, D'Ettore, was unwilling to sing Mozart's now lost version (Peiretti, J1996). There were three recitative rehearsals, two preliminary orchestral rehearsals and two full ones in the theatre, as well as a dress rehearsal; Leopold's letter of 15 December gives the useful information that the orchestra consisted of 14 first and 14 second violins, 6 violas, 2 cellos, 6 double basses, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets and 2 keyboards. The première, at the Regio Ducal Teatro was on 26 December; including the ballets (by other composers), it lasted six hours. Leopold had not been confident that the opera would be a success, but it was, running to 22 performances.

The Mozarts left Milan on 14 January 1771, stopping at Turin, Venice, Padua and Verona before returning to Salzburg on 28 March. The 15-month Italian journey had been an extraordinary success, widely reported in the international press: on 20 March 1770 the Notizie del mondo of Florence carried a notice of the magnificent academy given at Count Firmian's, while the Hamburg Staats- und gelehrte Zeitung described Mozart's extraordinary and precocious musical talent in a report sent from Rome on 22 May. The same newspaper's account of Wolfgang's Venice concert of 5 March 1771 (published on 27 March) neatly sums up the professional and personal accomplishments of the tour:

Young Mozart, a famous keyboard player, 15 years old, excited the attention and admiration of all music lovers when he gave a public performance in Venice recently. An experienced musician gave him a fugue theme, which he worked out for more than an hour with such science, dexterity, harmony and proper attention to rhythm that even the greatest connoisseurs were astounded. He composed an entire opera for Milan, which was given at the last carnival. His good-natured modesty, which enhances still more his precocious knowledge, wins him the greatest praise, and this must give his worthy father, who is travelling with him, extraordinary pleasure.

Even before their return to Salzburg in March 1771, Leopold had laid plans for two further trips to Italy: when the Mozarts were in Verona, Wolfgang was commissioned to write a serenata or festa teatrale, Ascanio in Alba, for the wedding in Milan the following October of Archduke Ferdinand and Princess Maria Beatrice Ricciarda of Modena; that same month the Regio Ducal Teatro at Milan had issued him with a contract for the first carnival opera of 1773, Lucio Silla (an oratorio commissioned for Padua, La Betulia liberata, seems never to have been performed). Accordingly, Mozart spent barely five months at home in 1771, during which time he wrote the Paduan oratorio, the Regina coeli k108, the litany k109 and the Symphony k110. Father and son set out again on 13 August, arriving at Milan on 21 August: They received Giuseppe Parini's libretto for Ascanio in Alba on 29 August; the serenata went into rehearsal on 27 September and the première took place on 17 October. Hasse's Metastasian opera Ruggiero, also composed for the wedding festivities, received its first performance the day before; according to Leopold, Ascanio struck down Hasse's opera (letter of 19 October 1771), a judgment confirmed by a report in the Florentine Notizie del mondo on 26 October: The opera has not met with success, and was not performed except for a single ballet. The serenata, however, has met with great applause, both for the text and for the music. The Mozarts remained in Milan until 5 December; Wolfgang wrote the curiously titled Concerto ò sia Divertimento k113 (later revised for Salzburg performance; see Blazin L1992) and the Symphony k112. He also may have sought employment at court, but his application was effectively rejected by Ferdinand's mother, Empress Maria Theresa, who in a letter (12 December 1771) advised the archduke against burdening himself with useless people who go about the world like beggars.

The third and last Italian journey began on 24 October 1772; probably Mozart had been sent the libretto and cast-list for the new Milan opera, Lucio Silla, during the summer, and had also set the recitatives. On his arrival at Milan, these were adjusted to accommodate changes made by the poet, Giovanni de Gamerra. He then wrote the choruses, and composed the arias for the singers in turn, having first heard each of them so that he could suit the music to their voices. The première, on 26 December, was a mixed success, chiefly because of a patchy cast; nevertheless, the opera ran for 26 performances. In January Mozart wrote the solo motet Exsultate, jubilate for the primo uomo in the opera, Venanzio Rauzzini (in Salzburg, about 1780 he revised the motet, probably for the soprano Francesco Ceccarelli to sing at the Dreifaltigkeitskirche; see Münster, I1993).

Leopold and Wolfgang arrived back in Salzburg on 13 March 1773. Mozart's days as a child prodigy were over; although he later travelled to Vienna, Munich and, more importantly, Mannheim and Paris, the 1770s can fairly be described as dominated by his tenure at Salzburg. For the most part, his career as both performer and composer was focussed on his court activities and a small circle of friends and patrons in his native town.

Mozart: (3) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


: 2015-09-13; : 16;







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