Johann Georg Leopold, a German musician, born in Augsburg, Nov. 14, 1719, died May 28, 1787. He excelled on the organ when a youth, and paid his way while studying law by teaching music. Having gone to Salzburg to perfect his studies, he accepted the post of chamberlain to Count Thurn, a prebendary of the cathedral. In 1743 Archbishop Sigismund appointed him chamber musician; a few years later he became court composer and leader of the orchestra, and in 1762 vice chapelmaster. In 1757 his musical works were already very numerous. His " Violin School" (1756), which laid the foundation for modern German violin playing, is remarkable as the first of its kind, and as teaching that mere execution is but a means to the true artistic end. He married in 1747 Anna Maria Pertlin, who bore him seven children, all of whom died in infancy excepting a daughter and a son. The daughter, Maria Anna Wal-burga Ignatia (born 1751, died 1829), became known as a pianist and afterward as a teacher, and married Baron Berchthold. II. Johannes Chrysostomns Wolfgang Amadens (generally called Wolfgang), a German composer, son of the preceding, born in Salzburg, Jan. 27, 1756, died in Vienna, Dec. 5, 1791. When in his third year he attracted his father's notice by striking chords upon the harpsichord, and by readily learning passages in his sister's music lessons.
In his fourth year his father began to teach him short pieces for the harpsichord. In his fifth year he composed little melodies with simple "but correct harmonies, which his father wrote out. Though music was his chief delight, he displayed great aptitude for languages and mathematics. In January, 1702, when Wolfgang was six years old, the elder Mozart took his two children to Munich, where they played before the elector and excited the deepest astonishment. In the autumn they visited Vienna, and were at once summoned to Schonbrunn. In October the boy was seized with the scarlet fever, which interrupted their performances, and after a visit to Presburg they reached home in January, 1763. Mozart at this time played at sight the second violin part in six trios, which one of his father's pupils had written during his absence. Schacht-ner relates that one day Wolfgang, who was playing his own violin, said to him: "Your violin is tuned half a quarter of a note lower than mine here, if you have left it as it was when I last played it." Schachtner's violin was brought and found to be as Wolfgang had said. This extraordinary memory for pitch afterward became conspicuous in Mozart's performances.
In the summer of 1703 another tour was undertaken, extending to Paris and London. The boy most astonished old musicians by his organ playing, and in Heidelberg this was commemorated by an inscription placed upon the organ. After performances before various German princes and in cities, they at length reached Frankfort. The following is an extract from the advertisement of their concert in that city, on Aug. 30: "The girl, now in her 12th, and the boy, in his 8th year, will not only play concertos upon the harpsichord (the girl indeed the most difficult pieces of the greatest masters), but the boy will also perform a concerto upon a violin, accompany in symphonies upon the harpsichord, cover the keys with a cloth and play as well as if they were in sight, and also designate any note or chord struck at a distance, whether upon a harpsichord or any other musical instrument, or upon bells, glasses, musical clocks, etc. Finally, he will extemporize, not only upon the harpsichord, but also upon the organ, so long as any one desires, in all, even the most difficult keys that can be proposed, and thus prove that he understands the organ, which is totally different from the harpsichord in its treatment." After successful performances in Coblentz, Aix-la-Chapelle, and Brussels, they reached Paris in November. Here they won additional fame.
Mozart accompanied Italian and French airs at sight, transposing them when required to do so, a task then more difficult than now, as the accompanist had to read the full score or depend upon a figured base. At this time his first work was published, consisting of four sonatas for harpsichord and violin. In April. 1764, the family went to London, where they were received with even greater enthusiasm than in Paris. The queen accepted the dedication of six sonatas for pianoforte and violin from his pen, and the public crowded the concerts, in which he appeared in the new character of composer of symphonies for the orchestra. They returned through Holland up the Rhine, and through Switzerland to Salzburg, where they arrived in November, 1706. The elder Mozart now put both children to a systematic and thorough study of both instrumental execution and the theory of music. Wolfgang studied with unflagging zeal Emanuel Bach, Hasse, Handel, and the old Italian masters. A German passion cantata and a Latin comoedia, " Apollo and Hyacinth," attest his progress in contrapuntal study and composition in 1767. The emperor Joseph II. suggested the composition of an opera by young Mozart on the occasion of the marriage of an Austrian princess with King Ferdinand of Naples. An Italian opera buffa, La finta semplice, was selected, and Wolfgang was engaged to compose it on the usual terms, 100 ducats.
The score was finished soon after Easter. It is still preserved, and is fully up to the standard of similar works of that period, but owing to the intrigues of jealous musicians it was never performed. At the request of Maria Theresa, he composed a mass and conducted it in presence of the empress, Dec. 7, 1768. He also produced an operetta, "Bas-tien and Bastienne." The pecuniary success of this visit to Vienna was limited, but Mozart's increased fame led the archbishop Sigis-mund to appoint him concert master. The year 1769 was devoted to severe study. Two masses of this date indicate the pains taken by the father that his son should become a contrapuntist of the severest school, as the foundation for the future practice of free composition. In December of this year his father took him to Italy. Concerts were given in Verona, Mantua, and other places, Wolfgang appearing as singer, composer, and performer on the harpsichord, organ, and violin. His extemporaneous compositions had the greatest weight with musicians, and that of several arias to words from Metastasio displayed so ' much talent that the composition of an opera for the next winter was offered him under very flattering auspices.
In Lodi he composed his first string quartet; and in Rome he reproduced Allegri's Miserere from hearing it in the Sistine chapel. Several weeks were next spent in Bologna, where Wolfgang had the advantage of much intercourse with Padre Martini, and where he became a member of the philharmonic society. He went thence to Milan, where he wrote his opera Mitridate, re di Pon-to. It was finished and rehearsed in less than two months, and on Dec. 26, 1770, successfully given, Wolfgang presiding at the harpsichord. It ran 20 nights, and when he left Milan the score remained behind, to fill orders for five copies. They visited Turin, Padua (where an oratorio was ordered from Wolfgang, probably the Betulia liberata), Vicenza, and Verona, and reached home in March, 1771. Maria Theresa had ordered an opera by Hasse and a serenata by Mozart for the occasion of the marriage of the archduke Ferdinand with a daughter of the prince of Modena, winch was to be celebrated in Milan with great splendor. It was September before the text to the serenata, Ascanio in Alba, in two acts with ballet, was delivered, and scarcely six weeks were left for the composition and rehearsal of the work; but it was ready in time, and wholly eclipsed Basse's opera.
Just as they reached Salzburg again, Archbishop Sigismund died. His successor, Hieronymus, Count Colloredo, did all in his power to break the spirit, crush the hopes, and ruin the prospects of young Mozart. For the festivities of his installation Mozart was ordered to compose Metastases opera, II sogno di Scipione. It was a hasty composition, and bears more marks of being a mere occasional piece than any other of his works. In November he again reached Milan, bringing with him a part of the recitative of an opera which had been ordered, but changes in the text forced him to rewrite most of it. The singers were not yet there for whom he was to adapt the principal parts. It was already December, and only the recitative, choruses, and overture were finished. Yet on the 26th it was publicly given, and, in spite of a bad performance, was a success. It was repeated more than 20 times; but notwithstanding its success it was Mozart's last opera written for the stage in Italy, because Hieronymus henceforth refused his concert master, save in a single instance, leave of absence. In the autumn of 1774 came an order for a comic opera for Munich. Hieronymus stood in such relations to the elector, that he could not refuse Mozart the necessary leave of absence.
The fine orchestra and excellent singers were a new spur to the young man, and this effort surpassed all his previous ones. The opera was La finta giardiniera, performed Jan. 13, 1775. A visit of Maria Theresa's youngest son, Maximilian, afterward elector of Cologne, to Salzburg, was the occasion of Mozart's last youthful operatic composition; it was Metastasio's Ilre pastore. During the next two years he tilled his position as concert master at a court where there was a constant demand upon him as performer and composer. He was the favorite of all classes, and had but one enemy, the man upon whom he depended for subsistence. He was wretchedly paid, and the family avoided debt only by the most rigid economy. Another artistic tour was a necessity, and as a preparation for this Mozart went again through a course of study in perfecting himself as a performer upon the organ, harpsichord, and violin. In the autumn of 1777 the father petitioned for leave of absence for himself and son. The request was rudely refused. Wolfgang, now of age, immediately resigned his place as concert master.
He was the first pianist, one of the first organists, and in the highest rank of violinists in Europe; and the author of more than 200 works, from the opera, grand mass, and symphony, down through all classes of compositions. He first went to Munich with his mother, but there was no vacancy; and he turned his steps to Mannheim, where he could not obtain employment. He stayed till March, 1778, partly in consequence of a passion for a beautiful young singer, Aloysia Weber. The mother and son now tried Paris, where they arrived March 23. The contest between the Gluckists and Piccinists was at its height, and they with the French composers filled the stage. Baron Grimm received the Mozarts with great kindness; but he belonged to the Italian party. He procured Mozart a few pupils, who were his main dependence during his stay in Paris. Le Gros, the conductor of the conceits spirtu-els, and others, were very ready to use the young composer's talents for their own benefit, until he was forced to refuse any application for new music not accompanied by the offer of a reasonable compensation. The spring passed away, and the prospect began to improve. Le Gros ordered a symphony, which was given with the greatest applause.
At this time (July 3) Mme. Mozart died, and Mozart's father ordered his return to Salzburg. He felt it to be his duty to obey, although fortune was evidently turning in his favor in Paris. The time spent there had been of great value to him. He had made himself familiar with many of the principal works of the three great schools of opera, Gluck's, the Italian, and the purely French. The coming of Christian Bach from London, and his friendship for Mozart, opened a prospect also in the English capital; the place of organist at Versailles, almost a sinecure, had been proposed for him. He delayed at Munich, where he met the Weber family and found that Aloysia's love for him had grown cold; and he did not reach Salzburg till January, 1779. Mozart was now "concert master and court and cathedral organist;" the salary was small, but, together with that of the father and what he earned by teaching, enabled the family to live in comfort. It was stipulated in the new contract with the archbishop that leave of absence should be granted at reasonable intervals, for the production of new works in other cities. So passed nearly two years, Mozart being called upon continually for new music for church and chamber, and supplying the demand with a succession of works of increasing excellence.
Of dramatic music during this period he produced only the choruses and entr'actes to the play of "Thamos, King of Egypt," and an unfinished opera, Zaïde. In 1780 he received the order for Idomeneo, the opera seria for the ensuing carnival, which was produced Jan. 29, 1781. Five years had elapsed since his last work for the operatic stage, which had been in the formal Italian style. Idomeneo from the character of the text was of the same school, but bears marks of the composer's studies at Paris, and exhibits proofs of a genius rapidly becoming independent of traditional trammels. It was received with great applause. Mozart had hopes of obtaining a permanent appointment from the elector Charles Theodore, when he received a peremptory order from the archbishop to meet him in Vienna. Mozart and two other musicians in the archbishop's train dined with the two chamberlains and the three head cooks. The archbishop exhibited his concert master both as performer and composer, but took care that he should have no opportunity of playing where he could increase his income; and it was only through the persistency of men whose request Ilierony-mus dared not refuse that Mozart was permitted to play in the grand annual charitable concert.
The impression made by him on this occasion was remarkable even in Vienna. His success is the only known reason why Mozart was ordered to return to Salzburg early in May. An accident caused him to delay a few days, and when he called on his master to excuse himself and take leave, he was received with a torrent of abuse. Remembering the needy circumstances of his father, he had borne the indignities to which he was subjected for six weeks, but he could endure them no longer, and tendered his resignation. The archbishop took no notice of it, and he repeated his application on June 8, upon which Count Arco, "master of the kitchen," grossly abused him and turned him out of the room. Nothing but the remonstrances of the father prevented the son from publicly calling Arco to account. No cause has ever been suggested for the hatred of the archbishop, except that the Mozarts disdained to play the part of flatterers. Mozart now gave lessons and concerts, and published music by subscription. He resided for some months with the Weber family in Vienna, where Aloysia, who had married Lange the actor, was engaged as a singer. The emperor Joseph, who was then busy with his project of establishing an opera devoted to German works, and who was friendly to Mozart, ordered a composition from him.
This was the opera "Belmont and Constanza." Mozart received the text in July, 1781, and the music was soon ready; but owing to the opposition of the singers and orchestra, urged on by the Italian faction, the opera was not produced till July 12, 1782, and then only by express command of the emperor. In the mean time Mozart had become enamored of Constanza Weber, sister of Aloysia, and his father, apparently belicv-ing the groundless stories respecting their intimacy, gave an unwilling consent to their marriage, which took place Aug. 4, 17<S2. They had several children, of whom only two survived infancy. The emperor having given up his idea of establishing a German opera, and the Italian school continuing to thwart his pro-is, Mozart endeavored in 1783 to compete with it by procuring popular texts, hut was successful only after his acquaintance with Da Ponte, who furnished him with the libretto of the "Marriage of Figaro."Beaumarchais's play was just then exciting extraordinary interest in Paris. Mozart saw the capabilities of the subject, and proposed to Da Ponte to make it the theme of an Italian opera text. It was finished in six weeks.
At the first performance, May 1, 1786, Mozart was obliged to go to the emperor's box after the first act to inform him that several of the singers were singing false purposely, to prevent his success. The emperor put an end to these intrigues, and none of Mozart's successes was more triumphant. His opponents now plotted in secret to prevent its repetition, and it was given but nine times, when V. Martini's Cosa rara, with its light pleasing music, long ago forgotten, met with such a popular reception that the managers withdrew Figaro from the stage for the next two years. But in Prague it was received with so much applause that Mozart was induced to visit that city. His stay there was one of the happiest periods of his life, and he consented to prepare a new piece for the manager of the Prague opera, for which Da Ponte wrote his libretto of Don Giovanni. It was given first on Oct. 29, 1787, the overture being played without rehearsal from parts just from the pens of the copyists, Mozart not having written it out until the night before. On Nov. 3 it was sung for the fourth time and for the benefit of the composer.
Just as Mozart reached Vienna again, Gluck died of apoplexy (Nov. 15), and the emperor, aware that the composer was only awaiting adequate proposals to go to London, at once appointed him one of Ins chamber musicians, a sinecure with a salary of 800 florins, which, though small, wvas higher than that of his colleagues. The report of the first performance of Don Giovanni had excited a desire in Vienna to hear it. It was performed May 7, 1788, but was coldly received. The emperor said to Da Ponte: "The opera is divine! perhaps finer than Figaro; but it is no food for the teeth of my Viennese." Da Ponte repeated this to Mozart. " Let them have time to chew upon it," said he. Da Ponte used his influence to have the performances of it follow each other as rapidly as possible, and the result was an astonishing success, as the audience gradually recognized the transcendent merits of the work. A new sphere of activity now opened for Mozart. Starzcr, director of the great oratorio, died, and Mozart was engaged in his stead. In Handel's time the deficiencies of the orchestra were compensated by the organ; but, as the performances in Vienna took place in halls where there was no organ, it was necessary to supply its place with additional orchestral parts.
Four of Handel's works were arranged by Mozart: "Acis and Galatea" (1788), "The Messiah" (1789), and "The Ode for St. Cecilia's Day" and "Alexander's Feast" (1790). Although he never worked harder than at this time, his pecuniary condition was becoming deplorable. He was plundered of his labors by performers, and of his money by delinquent borrowers; but his fame was extending, and his works, notwithstanding their striking originality, were becoming more generally appreciated. In the spring of 1789 he became a travelling companion of Prince Charles Lichnowsky, and he gave performances in Dresden, Leipsic, and Berlin. The king of Prussia, Frederick William II., understood Mozart's music very well, and took such a liking to him as to offer him the place of chapelmaster with 3,000 thalers salary. Mozart refused the offer out of regard for the emperor Joseph, whereupon the king told him it should remain good for a year and a day. After an absence of three months he returned to Vienna, where his profits were soon absorbed by the illness of his wife.
He now wrote a quartet for the king of Prussia, for which he received a gold box and 100 friedrichs d'or. He had as yet said nothing of Frederick William's offer; but, urged by his friends, he submitted to the emperor his needy condition and requested his dismissal. Joseph was unpleasantly surprised, and exclaimed: " What! you will leave me, Mozart?" Mozart was touched, and replied: "Your majesty, I throw myself upon your mercy, and will remain." His Cost fan tutte was produced Jan. 26, 1790, and was running successfully when the emperor died, before he had increased the composer's salary. The new emperor Leopold II., hostile to his predecessor's favorites, declined his services; and he carried his spitefulness so far that when the musicians in Vienna played before the king of Naples, Mozart was not invited to take part. In the autumn he visited Frankfort, Mentz, and Mannheim, on occasion of Leopold's coronation. In Munich he was invited to play before the king of Naples, upon which he wrote to his wife: " Very honorable to the court at Vienna that the king could only hear me in a foreign land! " He was still pressed for money, but fortune was turning. Soon after his return, John Peter Salomon came to Vienna to engage Haydn, and after him Mozart, for his London concerts.
Early in the spring of 1791 an old acquaintance, Schikaneder, proprietor of a small theatre in Vienna, applied to him to compose music for a fairy play. The subject was the Zauberflöte ("Magic Flute"). Constanza Mozart was in Baden at the sulphur baths, and her husband while engaged upon this opera was thrown much into the society of Schikaneder, who led a dissipated life. With him and his companions the disappointed and harassed composer forgot his troubles, and for 10 or 12 weeks, the first and only time in his life, was induced to break in upon his abstemious habits. With the exception of those which relate to this short period, the stories unfavorable to his reputation which are current in musical literature are without foundation. On May 9 the magistrates of Vienna appointed Mozart adjunct and successor to the chapelmaster Hoffmann of St. Stephen's church, the best musical position in Vienna, except the imperial chapelmasterships. In July a messenger unknown to Mozart (his name was Leut-ger) brought him an anonymous letter in which, after speaking warmly of the composer's genius, his terms for a requiem were demanded. Mozart gave them, and soon after the messenger returned and paid him 50 ducats (or according to some authorities 100) in advance.
At this time he was so assiduously engaged on the " Magic Flute" that he could not carry out Da Ponte's suggestion of giving performances in London, and he was moreover suddenly called upon in August to compose an opera for the coronation of the emperor as king of Bohemia at Prague. But four or five weeks remained for the entire labor of composition and rehearsal of this, the Clemenza di Tito, one of Metastasio's texts. When they were about to leave for Prague, some one pulled Mme. Mozart's dress as she and her husband were entering the carriage. She turned, and recognized the man who had ordered the requiem. Mozart explained the necessity of the journey, and promised to complete it at once on his return. When he reached Prague but 18 days were left before the opera was to be given. But his pupil Süssmaier was so well acquainted with Mozart's style of composition, that his master could give the score into his hands after the vocal parts were written and the accompaniment sketched, to be filled out. In this manner the work was completed in time; but it was not received as his others had been, partly on account of the character of the libretto, and partly because the subject was scarcely fitted for the excitement of a coronation. The opera afterward became popular.
In September Mozart returned to Vienna, sick and disappointed, to divide his time between the "Magic Flute" and the requiem. The opera was performed on the 30th of that month, Mozart directing. The audience remained cold to the end of the first act, but warmed up before the close, and the composer was called before the curtain. Its popularity increased with each performance. It was given 24 times in October alone. There is hardly another instance in the annals of the lyric stage where an opera possessed of so little dramatic action has become so universally popular. That Goethe wrote a second part to it is perhaps the greatest compliment that could be paid it. Mozart now applied himself to the composition of the requiem with all the force of his genius. He was unable to discover the name (a Count Walsegg) of him who had ordered it, and he began to fancy that there was something supernatural about it. The anxieties of the preceding year, possibly the change in his habits while under the influence of Schikaneder, and his labors on the "Titus," had brought his nervous system into a condition which required a long period of rest.
But he persisted in work, although he fainted repeatedly while engaged on the "Magic Flute;" and the restless energy with which he labored on the requiem daily enfeebled him. His wife became anxious, called a physician, and took away the score. He then imagined that some one had given him poison. In November he was so much better as to write a cantata for the masonic lodge to which he belonged, "Praise of Friendship;" but at this time a rheumatic inflammatory fever was epidemic in Vienna, and in Mozart's enfeebled condition it seized upon him. Inflammation of the lungs led to dropsy of the chest, and after two weeks' confinement to his bed he died. On the last day of his life he busied himself with the requiem, which he fancied he was composing for his own obsequies, but left it unfinished. The widow could not return the money which had been received for it, and she determined to have it completed from her husband's rough notes. Sussmaier, Mozart's pupil, had often conversed with him about the plan of the work, and as his hand had a remarkable similarity to that of his master, he undertook the task.
He copied all that Mozart had written, and added the rest, consi>ting of the close of the Lacri-mosa, the Sanctus, the Benedictus, and the Agnus Dei, save that to the words Cam Sanctis he repeated the fugue of the Kyrie. When the messenger came for the requiem, this score was given him; and its authenticity as a manuscript from Mozart's hand was never suspected by Walsegg until it began to be discussed by the press. While Mozart lay sick, the Hungarian nobility secured to him an annual pen-sion of 1,000 florins, and a musical association in Amsterdam a still higher annuity, for which he was to furnish certain compositions annually. - Mozart left more than 800 works for the pianoforte in all forms, variations on a simple theme, works for two pianofortes, and up through all gradations to the concerto, with full orchestra; for orchestral instruments of every kind, from solos to the grand symphony; there are even compositions for Franklin's harmonica, and a piece for a musical clock. Equally universal is he in vocal music, from songs and airs for every kind of voice, to the opera and church music in all its forms as employed in the Roman Catholic service. But it is not so much the quantity as the excellence of his music which excites the astonishment of the musician.
This was owing not more to the greatness of his genius than to his profound studies, which from infancy to the close of his life never ceased. During the rehearsals of Don Giovanni at Prague, in a conversation with the chapelmas-ter Kucharz, he remarked, in reply to praises of the new work: "People err if they think my art has cost me no trouble; I assure you, my dear friend, no one has taken such pains with the study of composition as I. There is hardly a celebrated master in music whom I have not carefully, and in many cases several times, studied through." Several generations of musicians have been educated upon the works of Mo/art. His ideas have become common stock; and effects which, if now introduced into a composition, would sound hackneyed, were in his works the joint production of lofty genius and profound contrapuntal knowledge, guided and restrained by exquisite taste. As an instrumental composer perhaps one only has surpassed him, Beethoven; but Beethoven had perfected his genius by studying Mozart. Haydn had developed the quartet form and invented the grand symphony. Mozart gave them a new spirit, and one sees his influence in all Haydn's later works.
That great master said to Mozart's father in 1785: "I tell you before God and as a man of honor, that I look upon your son as the greatest composer of whom I ever heard; he has taste, and possesses the most thorough knowledge of composition." The symphony in C with the fugue is alone sufficient proof of the correctness of Haydn's opinion; it is the greatest work of the kind ever written before Beethoven. But it was as an operatic composer that Mozart reached a height upon which, like Handel in oratorio, and Bach in his own contrapuntal sphere, and Beethoven in orchestral music, he stands superior to all his predecessors. Two musical institutions bear his name, the Mozarteum at Salzburg, and the Mozartstiftung in Frankfort, and a monument was erected to him in the former city in 1852. - Among German works relating to Mozart are those by Niemetschek (1798), Röch-litz (1801), Arnold (1808), Nissen (1828), and Otto Jahn (4 vols., 1856-'9; new ed., 2 vols., 1869), the last of which is considered the best.
The best French works on Mozart are by Fétis and Scudo. Several of the German works have been translated into French, and a publication in French by the Russian Ulibisheff (Moscow, 1841) has been translated into German (new ed. by Prof. Santler, 3 vols., 1873). In English, E. Holmes published a "Life of Mozart" (2 vols., London, 1805). Mozart's letters, edited by Nohl (1865; new ed., 1870), have been translated into English by Lady Wallace (2 vols., London, 18G5). The earliest notice of Mozart in any language is by Daines Barrington in the " Philosophical Transactions" (1770). In 1874 the house in which Mozart composed the "Magic Flute" was removed to the Mirabellgarten in Salzburg, to be a repository of portraits and autographs of his eminent contemporaries and of musicians and poets of the present day. - Karl, the last surviving son of Mozart, attended the centennial celebration of his father's birth at Salzburg in 1850, and died in Milan, Oct. 31, 1858, leaving a large fortune.