The Life Of Mozart

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Done for music appreciation class, eighth grade.

Submitted: September 21, 2009

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Submitted: September 21, 2009

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Essay on Mozart
 
Born on January 27, 1756 in Salzburg, Germany, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was an ingenious composer who wrote his first piece of music at the age of four. Mozart’s ego was very big and could be considered cocky, and he had reason to act so. Creating their first piece of music at four, first symphony at eight, and first opera at twelve, many people would be inclined to act that way.
Antonio Salieri was a famous composer in Europe in the classical period. He wrote forty operas in his time and used to be the most famous composer in Europe, until Mozart came along. When Salieri was a child, he longed to be a musician, but something was in the way: his father. His father didn’t like music and didn’t think it was important. Salieri prayed to become a famous composer one day and his prayer was answered. His father died not too long after he prayed to become a composer. He was a man that couldn’t stand to be beat in music, and much like Mozart, he had a big ego. His abilities as a musician were great, and were famous for it.
Salieri first met Mozart at a concert Mozart was giving for the Prince-Archbishop Colloredo, which he showed up late for. This did not make the Archbishop very happy. Salieri was working for Emperor Joseph at that time. Salieri had been looking for Mozart and figured he could find a man with such talent just by looking at his face. In other words, he expected to see the genius on his face. What he found confused him.
“Why would God choose such a dirty little man to have that kind of talent?” he later asked himself. Mozart had handled himself in a way that was not very impressing. Mozart’s relationship with his boss seemed like Mozart could care less if the Archbishop was mad about his tardiness to his own concert. Salieri did not think Mozart deserved the talents he had, and was jealous because of Mozart’s superiority.
The emperor and his court soon had the idea to have an opera written. It was suggested that Mozart write it. There was a debate on what language the opera should be in. Some were for German, and some were for Italian. They also debated on the opera’s libretto, or the story of the opera. They finally decided to let Mozart himself choose. Salieri was told to write a piece of music as a march of welcome for Mozart.
When Mozart met the emperor about the opera, the Archbishop had already fired him because of his behavior. Mozart also already had a libretto in mind for the opera. The only problem was that it was about a brothel. The emperor almost didn’t accept this idea because it was about people with low social standing. After a convincing argument made by Mozart, the emperor agreed to the libretto and that it be in German.
At the end of their meeting, Mozart was handed the music written by Salieri but Mozart said he didn’t need it. When asked why, he simply said, “I already have it up here.” He pointed to his head while saying so. The emperor wanted him to prove it by playing it over without the music and Mozart did. Not only did he play the music with great ease, he began revising it, embarrassing Salieri in front of the whole group of men. Salieri was both mad and jealous that Mozart could memorize a piece of music after hearing it only once.
Salieri later met with an opera student that was curious about Mr. Mozart. She had never met him and wanted to know if she could possibly get a part in the opera he was currently composing. Salieri told her she didn’t want to be in it because of it taking place in a brothel house. Much to his surprise, she had a part in the opera, not long after he and this opera singer met. He began suspecting Mozart of having intimate relations with this woman. The worst part was, Salieri thought he loved her. He was angry with Mozart again, and for new reasons. He later found out that Mozart did have an affair with her while he was engaged. Needless to say, both the star singer and Salieri were furious.
Mozart’s relationship with his father and wife, Constanze, were very different. When Mozart was engaged to Constanze, his father told him not to get married before he arrived to the place they were to be married. But Mozart went ahead and got married to Konstanze before his father could arrive. When Mozart and his new wife moved in to their home, Mozart was making little money because he refused to teach pupils. He said that they would just in the way. The way Mozart and Constanze were living made Mozart’s father angry with Mozart.
The emperor later wanted Mozart to teach his niece, when Salieri thought he was getting the job. Mozart didn’t want to teach a twelve-year-old girl, and refused. Mozart’s wife later met with Salieri to deliver music sheets to him that Mozart wrote pieces of music on. When Salieri asked if he had copies, Constanze replied that Mozart only wrote originals. This shocked Salieri because the music sheets showed no sign of corrections. It was amazing that Mozart could just write music as if writing his own name. To not even need to correct his work.
This was when Salieri announced that he and Mozart were now rivals and Salieri would do anything to get Mozart out of the spotlight. Mozart, his wife, and his father later went to a party where everyone wore masks. While playing a game with the rest of the partygoers, he was handed a penalty and had to do what the people suggested. One masked Salieri told him to play some of his own music. Mozart didn’t know it was Salieri and after playing the requested music, he made a scene that mocked Salieri completely.
A woman showed up at Mozart’s door soon after, offering her services as a maid. She said that someone had paid her already and her services were free for Mozart. Constanze, even with Mozart’s father’s protest, readily agreed. What they didn’t know was that Salieri had sent her to spy on Mozart. He had paid her to let him in the house while Mozart was out. He wanted to have a look at Mozart’s work. He found that Mozart had been writing an opera that was based on a play that had been banned by the Emperor to ever be performed in the opera. It was a French play entitled “Le nozze di Figaro” or Marriage of Figaro. Salieri brought this to the Emperor’s attention and Mozart was called in. Mozart obviously got into trouble, but he quickly got out of trouble when he convinced the Emperor to watch the first part of the play.
What Mozart didn’t know was that the Emperor had also banned ballet to be performed in operas. There was an act in the opera Mozart wrote that included ballet. Mozart was told to rewrite the opera and what Mozart did, changed the Emperor’s mind about not having ballet. When the act was performed without the music, it wasn’t considered ballet, but it also wasn’t considered good. Mozart was told to plug the music back into the third act. The Emperor ended up liking the opera and it was performed in the opera house. The problem was it only was performed nine times before being pulled. Salieri wrote an opera that was performed in the opera house and was performed longer than Mozart’s. The Emperor later honored him and said it was one of the best operas written up to that point.
Not too long afterwards, Mozart’s father died. Distraught, Mozart wrote an opera reflecting his current feelings. Salieri thought the new opera was great and was overcome with jealousy again. Then Salieri formed his plot against Mozart. He showed up at Mozart’s door late at night, dressed in the same costume Mozart’s father wore to a party once. Salieri didn’t reveal his identity when he requested Mozart write a mass for the dead.
Mozart started immediately to write the requested mass. Mozart also had another project going. Since operas were meant for richer people of high standing, there were operas made to mock another opera that common folk could go to and have fun. Some of those operas were fashioned after Mozart’s own creation. Mozart found it entertaining, but the same couldn’t be said for his wife. She found it useless and offensive to her husband’s work.
Mozart was also drinking and taking medications all day while he worked. The maid Salieri hired was afraid when Mozart acted so. She informed Salieri of it and the fact that Mozart wasn’t writing the mass, but an opera. Salieri made another visit to Mozart’s home late at night. Mozart promised he would finish it.
Due to Mozart’s reckless drinking, Constanze left Mozart and took their son with her. During a performance of his opera “The Magic Flute” Mozart collapsed and Salieri was the one to bring Mozart home in his time of sickness. Mozart later requested that Salieri help him write the mass for the dead while he was ill. The topic came up on the night Salieri had taken Mozart home. There had been a knock at the door. Mozart thought it was the man dressed in his father’s costume and asked Salieri to answer the door for him.
Of course it wasn’t the man Mozart thought it was. Salieri returned and lied to Mozart, saying that the man would pay Mozart a large sum of money if he could finish the mass by the following night. That’s when Mozart asked Salieri to help him write the music down. During the time they spent together writing the music, Mozart started to think of Salieri as a friend.
Mozart’s wife and son later returned to their home in search of Mozart. But she found Salieri. He had stayed with Mozart at Mozart’s own request. Constanze told Salieri to leave. When she and her son returned, Mozart was asleep. At least they thought he was just asleep. He was really on his deathbed. Not five minutes before Mozart died, Constanze found music sheets and locked them up, saying, “Never again.” She was so set on Mozart giving up music that she failed to realize he had just died. After she and Salieri discovered that he was dead, the funeral was held. Salieri was happy that Mozart was finally gone. But years later, Salieri was put in a mental hospital for an attempted suicide.
Mozart died approximately 1 am, December 5, 1791 in Vienna Austria. His recorded last words were, “The taste of death is upon my lips…I feel something that is not of this earth.” Dozens of theories were formed to explain Mozart’s death. Some thought it was Trichinosis, influenza, mercury poisoning, rheumatic fever, and even a rare kidney ailment, which would make sense because of his excessive alcohol use. Mozart created over six hundred compositions and is still regarded as one of the best composers of the classical era.



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