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“The classical period produced more instrumental than vocal music, a wealth of serious and comic operas as well as vocal religious music also appeared during this time”(Goes 11). One of the best composers of this time was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In this paper I will go through his childhood, his friends and family, and of course his music. Enjoy! Child of the Enlightenment The world that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart entered ceremoniously in 1756 was brimming in change. Historians refer to this era as the Age of Enlightenment, one of unparalleled scientific, philosophical, and political ferment. Within Mozart’s lifetime it set in motion forces that would fundamentally alter life not only in his native, Salzburg, but also around the globe. The Enlightenment was not, to be sure, a democratic movement. In France, the absolutism of the Sun King, Louis XIV, continued under Louis XV and XVI. But in Austria, Empress Maria Theresa introduced a greater measure of tolerance and freedom among her subjects, laying a foundation for the democratic revolutions that followed. Wolfgang’s father Leopold came from a family of Augsburg bookbinders. He received a solid Jesuit education, more intellectual than evangelical after a year at the BenedictineUniversity in nearby Salzburg; Leopold stopped attending classes to pursue a career as a musician. “Leopold figured as Mozart’s most important first model. He taught his son the clavier and composition”(Hutchings 23). Wolfgang’s mother Anna-Maria brought as much talent to her 32-year marriage as did Leopold. Though deprived of a formal education, she was highly intelligent and quick-witted— qualities that attracted the sober and reserved Leopold. Only two of their seven children survived infancy. Wolfgang’s musically talented sister Nannerl was five years older. Yet in this painting, the 12-year- old looks like a spinster of seventy—complet...

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