Most people are at least familiar with the name Mozart and his music. However, some might not be aware of some facts about his life or music. So, here are ten facts you may not know about Mozart.
1. The first instrument he learned
By age three, Mozart was imitating the clavier playing of his talented older sister Maria Anna. The clavier is an old-fashioned stringed instrument that also had a keyboard. He would soon after learn the violin and harpsichord.
2. First tour
At the age of six, Mozart went on tour around Europe traveling by stagecoach. He played for royalty, for the well-known musicians of the day, as well as bars. Being well traveled at such a young age also helped him to learn to speak fifteen languages.
3. First compositions
Although he first started composing at the age of four, he began composing symphonies at age eight, and composing his first opera by age eleven.
4. His first proposal
Marriage came at an earlier age during Mozarts time, but he gave his first proposal to Marie Antoinette, future queen of France, at the age of seven.
5. Mozarts Marriage
After being madly in love with Aloysia Weber and being rejected by her, Mozart would go on to marry Constanze Weber, Aloysia’s sister. He called her “little mouse” and they had six children together, two of which lived to adulthood.
6. Superstitions and death
Mozart was a very superstitious man, which might explain his reaction to the mysterious stranger who came to his house one night and commissioned Mozart to write a requiem. Thinking it was for his own death, Mozart worked feverishly. Some people speculate that this is what drove him to die at the age of thirty-five of kidney failure and malnutrition. However, Mozart spent most of his life in poor health.
7. Fame, but not fortune
Mozart was very famous during his time, but aristocrats would often pay him with trinkets such as watches and snuff boxes, rather than with the money he needed. At the peak of his career, Mozart earned as much money in one concert as his father earned in a year. However, Mozart seemed to spend money faster than he earned it, for he died with very little possessions (six coats, three silver spoons, 346 books, his walnut piano, and his pool table).
8. A shared theme
There are striking similarities between Mozart’s opening theme to “Bastien and Bastienne” and Beethoven’s opening theme for is Symphony No. 3 “Eroica.” Some might argue that is is the same theme. However, it is doubtful that Beethoven was familiar with Mozart’s then unpublished piece. A likely explanation of the similarities is that both composers took the theme from another unknown source.
9. Mozart’s name
Most people know this famous composer by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. However, his full name is “Joannes Crysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart.” His baptismal names, Joannes Crysostomus, were often not used but sometimes parenthesized either with these names or their German equivalents (Johann
Crysostom). Theophilus is a Greek name meaning “lover of God” or “loved by God;” Amadeus is the Latin form, which Mozart preferred to use.
10. His music today
It is amazing, yet not surprising that More recordings of Mozart’s music are bought today than recordings of any other composer’s work. Because he was prolific with his writing, to play all of Mozart’s music in a row would take about 202 hours.
Thanks for reading about the famous Mozart. If you liked what you read, be sure to give a like and leave a comment below. You may also be interested in reading about Mozart through “Lives of the Musicians” by Kathleen Krull or Wikipedia, or play a little trivia on Useful Trivia.