Life

1756

January 27 - Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus* Mozart is born in Salzburg, Austria, to parents Leopold and Anna Maria (Pertl). Has one sibling: an older sister, Maria Anna, "Nannerl" for short. His father Leopold is a great composer and violinist; works as deputy Kapellmeister to the Archbishop of Salzburg. It is during this year that he publishes a violin textbook that becomes famous.

January 28 - Baptized Catholic at Saint Rupert's Cathedral in Salzburg.


1761

-Writes first piece of music, "Andante in C Major, K. 1a" at the age of five.


1762

- Wolfgang and sister Nannerl begin touring Europe with their father as "Wunderkinder", or "Child Prodigies". The children play beautiful duets together for royalty. Wolfgang's favorite trick to perform is playing a piece perfectly with a piece of cloth covering his fingers and the keys.



1764 - 1765

-Wolfgang and Nannerl travel with Leopold to London and meet Johann Christian Bach, son of Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach is astounded by the boy's ability to play and compose. Together, they play the organ, one letting off and another picking up. Those listening can't decide who is playing which part. Bach gives little Wolfgang music lessons. Wolfgang forever remains an admirer of Bach.


1768

- Writes opera, "Bastien und Bastienne", K. 50, a German Singspiel** and opera buffa***.


1769

- Nannerl no longer tours with her brother and father; she is now 17 going on 18--a marriageable age--and must learn to keep house and care for children.


1770

- Travels with his father to Rome, Italy, at the age of 14 to perform for the Holy Father, Pope Clement XIV. Hears Gregorio Allegri's "Miserere" being sung in the Sistine Chapel and falls in love with it. It is strictly forbidden to copy music from the Vatican, so that night he writes it out completely from memory. Everyone is afraid that the Pope will excommunicate the boy; on the contrary, he makes young Wolfgang a Knight in the Order of the Golden Spur, an award given to those with exceptional gifts.

December 26 - Premier of "Mitridate, re di Ponto" (K. 87), an Italian opera seria***.


1771

October 17 - Premier of the opera "Ascanio in Alba" (K. 111).


1772

December 16 - Premier of the opera "Lucio Silla" (K. 135).


1773

March 13 - Becomes employed by the Archbishop Colloredo, the ruler of Salzburg, who mistreats him.


1775

January 13 - Premier of the opera, "La Finta Giardiniera" (K. 196), The Pretend Garden-Girl.


1777

September 23 - Mozart sets out with his mother, Anna Maria, to Augsburg, Mannheim, Paris and Munich in search of work. While in Mannheim, he meets the Weber family, and falls in-love with the second-eldest, Aloysia, a soprano.


1778

July 3 - Mozart's mother, Anna Maria Pertl Mozart, takes ill and dies while travelling with her son. Wolfgang writes letters to his father easing into letting him know that she has died.


1781

January 29 - Premier of "Idomeneo" (K. 366).

March 16 - Moves to Vienna to stay at the house of the Teutonic Order with other men who work for the Archbishop.

May - Mozart is asked to leave the house he has been living at after a quarrel with the Archbishop about the way he has been treated. Mozart asks for permission to resign and work as a freelance composer. Permission is refused.

June - Archbishop Colloredo finally dismisses Mozart as his employee, literally with a kick, given by the Archbishop's steward, Count Arco.

-Moves in with the Weber family, who had moved to Vienna and were now taking in boarders after father Fridolin died. Aloysia is now married to Joseph Lange, an actor. Mozart becomes attracted to the 19-year-old Constanze and begins to court her.

September 5 - Mozart moves out of the Weber home, at the request of Constanze's mother, who doesn't like that the two are seeing one another.

December 24 - Mozart enters a musical duel with composer Muzio Clementi, who is 4 years his senior, as a form of entertainment for Emperor Joseph II and his friends. Each composer plays and improvises on some of his own pieces. The Emperor is impressed with both composers and declares a tie.

*Mozart did not care for Clementi's playing -- see Quotes -- but Clementi was very impressed with Mozart's. Mozart did, however, use the theme of Clementi's Sonata in B Flat Major (Op. 24, No. 2) in his overture to the opera Die Zauberflöte (K. 620) in 1791, ten years later. Clementi was obviously annoyed by this since each time the Sonata was published after that, it included a note that stated the piece was written ten years before Mozart's.*


1782

- Begins to work for Emperor Joseph II, who commissions Die Entführung aus dem Serail. 

July 16 - Premier of "Die Entführung aus dem Serail" (K. 384), The Abduction from the Seraglio, a German Singspiel and opera buffa. This is the opera which the Emperor Joseph II famously quoted as having "too many notes". However, the German he used could also translate to, "very many notes", which is very well what he might have meant.  

August 4 - Marries 20-year-old Constanze Weber (whom he calls "Stanzerl") at the age of 26 at Saint Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, against his father's wishes. After many letters begging for his father's consent to the marriage, Wolfgang finally receives his father's consent letter...the day after the wedding.


1783

June 17 - Son Raimund Leopold is born in Vienna.

August 19 - Raimund Leopold dies.

- Newlyweds Wolfgang and Constanze visit Leopold and Nannerl in Salzburg. Wolfgang's family does not approve of Constanze; they are only polite to the young bride.

October 26 - Premier of the unfinished "Great Mass in C Minor" in Salzburg. Written in thanksgiving for the recovery of an illness Constanze suffered while they were engaged. Constanze sings the solo parts.


1784

September 21 - Second child, Karl Thomas, is born in Vienna.

December 14 - Mozart becomes a freemason. He claims that he is still a faithful Catholic, however, many Catholics don't know to this day (present time) that they cannot be both, and are excommunicated if they become a freemason. Many of his works hereafter are inspired by masonic teachings...The Magic Flute is strongly influenced by the freemasons.


1786

May 1 - Premier of "Le Nozze di Figaro" (K. 492), The Marriage of Figaro, an Italian opera buffa which becomes a huge hit in Prague. He writes to a friend in the year 1787, "...Here nothing is talked about except "Figaro"; nothing played, piped, sung or whistled except "Figaro"; no opera is attended except "Figaro", always "Figaro". Certainly a great honor for me."

October 18 - Third child, Johann Thomas Leopold, is born in Vienna.

November 15 - Johann Thomas Leopold dies.


1787

May 28 - Wolfgang's father Leopold dies in Salzburg.

October 29 - Premier of "Don Giovanni" (K. 527), an Italian opera buffa.

December 27 - Fourth child, Theresia Constanzia Adelheid Friedericke Maria Anna, is born in Vienna.


1788

June 29 - Theresia Constanzia dies.


1789

December 25 - Fifth child, Anna Maria, is born and dies one hour after birth.


1790

January 26 - Premier of "Così fan tutte", K. 588, an Italian opera buffa whose title translates to Thus Do All Women.


1791

July 26 - Sixth child, Franz Xaver Wolfgang (a.k.a. "Wolfgang, Jr."), is born in Vienna.

- Mozart receives a mysterious visitor who commissions him to write a Requiem Mass. Mozart thinks of the Requiem Mass as being for himself, as his health is declining and his death approaches.

September 6 - Premier of opera, "La Clemenza di Tito" (K. 621). Mozart falls ill while opera premiers in Prague.

September 30 - Premier of opera, "Die Zauberflöte" (K. 620), The Magic Flute, a German Singspiel and opera buffa.

December 5 - Wolfgang dies of rheumatic fever in Vienna at the age of 35.

- Mozart's pupil, Franz Xaver Süssmayr, completes the Requiem in D Minor (K. 626) based on his teacher's notes. It is given to the mysterious visitor, who was later found to be Count Walsegg, a man just a few years younger than Mozart, whose wife had died recently. He wants to pass the creation off as his own, but is unable to when it is performed at a Mozart benefit concert to make money for Constanze, and his signature is found on the scores.



*In his later years, Wolfgang would sign his middle name as "Amadé", which is the French form of the Greek name Theophilus. "Amadeus" is the Latin form of the name, which he only used when he would jokingly sign letters as "Wolfgangus Amadeus Mozartus". Rarely, if at all, he used "Gottlieb", the German form of the name. All of these names translate to "God's beloved", quite an appropriate name for such a man!
**A Singspiel is a German opera with a spoken dialogue.
***An opera buffa is a comedy opera; an opera seria is a serious opera.

3 comments:

  1. Thank You for taking the time to build this time line, I`ve "discovered" classical music recently and accurate information is so very welcome.

    ReplyDelete

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