Thursday, July 4, 2013

Mozart the Patriot

     Happy Independence Day! Although Mozart was not American, he was very much devoted to his own country and people. I thought that today would be a fitting day to share a bit of his patriotism.
     In a letter to his father, written on November 24, 1781, Mozart speaks of a concert he had recently given:
The two of us played a sonata [K. 381] that I had composed for the occasion, and which had a success. This sonata I shall send you by Herr von Daubrawaick, who said that he would feel proud to have it in his trunk; his son, who is a Salzburger, told me this. When the father went he said, quite loud, "I am proud to be your countryman. You are doing great honor to Salzburg; I hope that times will so change that we can have you amongst us, and then do not forget me." I answered: "My fatherland has always the first claim on me."
     Although German culture was not dominant during his time, Mozart nevertheless felt such a great sense of duty to and pride for his country, which he honored through his music. In a letter to his father, written on May 29, 1778 in Paris, he said:
Frequently I fall into a mood of complete listlessness and indifference; nothing gives me great pleasure. The most stimulating and encouraging thought is that you, dearest father, and my dear sister, are well, that I am an honest German, and that if I am not always permitted to talk I can think what I please; but that is all.
     No doubt Mozart's intense love for his country inspired some of his finest works and helped him to always strive to be the best musician he possibly could.

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