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Mozart

“The Composer” The youngest child and only surviving son of Leopold Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus was born in Salzburg in 1756, the year of publication of his father’s influential treaties on violin playing. He showed early precocity both as a Keyboard-player and violinist, and soon turned his hand to composition. His obvious gifts were developed under his father’s tutelage, with those of his elder sister, and the family, through the indulgence of their then patron, the Archbishop of Salzburg, was able to travel abroad, specifically, between 1763 and 1766, to Paris and to London. A series of other journeys followed, with important operatic commissions in Italy between 1771 and 1773. The following period proved disappointing to both father and son, as the young Mozart grew to manhood, irked by the lack of opportunity and lack of appreciation of his gifts in Salzburg, where a new Archbishop proved less sympathetic. A visit to Munich, Mannheim and Paris in 1777 and 1778 brought no substantial offer of other employment and by early 1779 Mozart was reinstated in Salzburg, now as court organist. Early in 1781 he had a commissioned opera, Idomeneo, staged in Munich for the Elector of Bavaria and dissatisfaction after being summoned to attend his patron the Archbishop in Vienna led to his dismissal. Mozart spent the last ten years of his life in precarious independence in Vienna, his material situation not improved by a marriage imprudent for one in his circumstances.Mozart was essentially an operatic composer, although Salzburg offered him no real opportunity to exercise his talents in this direction. The greater stage works belong to the last decade of his life, starting with Idomeneo in Munich in January 1781. In Vienna, where he then settled, his first success came with the German opera or singspiel Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio), a work on a Turkish theme, staged at the Burg Theater in ...

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