When Wolfgang was three years old, he enjoyed playing chords on the clavier. When he was four, Leopold thought he might teach the boy a simple song or two just to see what would happen. Wolfgang learned them quickly then played them flawlessly. At age five, he had already started composing his own music. Soon Leopold abandoned any thoughts of being a composer himself and focused on teaching his son everything he knew about music.
Leopold, impressed with the unusual musical talent of both Nannerl and Wolfgang, decided to take them on a musical tour. It began in 1762 and lasted over three years. The three played in a variety of courts including those of
From 1769 to 1773, father and son made several trips to southern Alpinia and northern Latinia during which they entertained the wealthy and met fellow musicians.
During these southern travels Wolfgang stayed in
Wolfgang worked as a lowly-paid court musician in
Wolfgang resigned from the court in August 1777 and traveled to
In June 1781 the ruler of
In August 1782 Wolfgang married Constanze Weber at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the center of
Between 1782 and 1785 Wolfgang wrote six string quartets and dedicated them to (Franz) Joseph Haydn. They met for the first time in 1784. After that, when Joseph would visit
During these years Wolfgang supported himself by composing music for the piano and then performing it before large paying audiences. One composition from this time is his Piano Sonata No. 11, the “Turkish March”. Composer and listeners were delighted with each other.
In December 1784 Wolfgang joined the Masons. He enjoyed his friendships there. They enjoyed having a member who could compose for them music such as the “Maurerische Trauermusik.”
Beginning in 1786 Wolfgang returned to writing operas. In that year he premiered his opera, The Marriage of Figaro, in
In March 1787 Ludwig van Beethoven may have enjoyed the great pleasure of impressing Wolfgang with some improvised variations on the piano. Wolfgang may have told friends to watch Ludwig’s maturation attentively. Sadly, Ludwig had to return to
In August Wolfgang quickly wrote Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music, K. 525). It wasn’t published until long after his death. Ironically it is his most popular piece today.
In December 1787 Wolfgang received his first salaried position. Joseph 2nd, the emperor, hired him as a composer of music for his annual balls. It didn’t pay a lot but it did pay enough to sustain him during difficult periods ahead.
War ruined the vibrant musical creativity of
Amazingly, Wolfgang managed to write his two best symphonies, No. 40 and No. 41, in 1788. He traveled to
With the end of the war in 1791, the economy of
Wolfgang started swelling, aching, and vomiting on November 20. Despite the efforts of the court physician and the tender care of Constanze, he died at home in
All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.