Dead Rebel Of The Week
~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ~
Mozart was cool. The very first rock star if you will… He lived a life of fast carts, busty babes and champagne overflow… Celebrated and hailed as a genius wherever he set foot, he still died too young and was buried in an unmarked grave poorer than a church rat.
Born in Austria 1756 to a famous violinist/composer, Leopold Mozart, he had his career already staked out for him. At the age of five he was composing minuets and at the age of seven his father took him touring Europe with his violin and harpsichord, dazzling royalties and commoners alike with his magical tone and ingenious little melodies.
When he was nine he composed his first symphony and at the age of 12 his first opera. Shortly thereafter he was made the concertmaster of the royal court in Vienna. This friggin’ kid had it all… He was smart, charming and blessed with a musical genius never before seen and equipped with the technical ability to put it to use.
He was forever the eternal prankster and once wrote a piece for piano that could only be played by having the pianist stretching his two hands to the fullest, and simultaneously hitting the middle notes with his nose. Made for great entertainment when the world famous court pianists thus were ridiculed in front of kings and queens.
He was the be all and the end all of Austria’s music scene at the time. He composed the country’s national anthem, played the harpsichord (a piano like instrument) flawlessly sideways, up-side-down and with his feet while drunk off his face and he would write parody symphonies poking fun at fellow composers’ work.
After having laid Europe at his feet he got married against his father’s wishes to a rather loose girl, Conztance Weber, of common blood in 1782. The couple lived a fast life and spent the money Wolfgang made faster than they made it. Mozart had to work day and night, writing and performing operas for the royal court in the daytime and writing and performing comic operas, “buffas”, for the commoners in the downtown theaters during the night. His popularity with the courts dwindled as a result of his behavioral problems but he was always the common man’s hero…
His fast lifestyle took its toll and in 1791 he got sick and died. The cause of death is presumed to be kidney failure. A rumor that never dies is that a jealous collegue, Salieri – the big shot composer in Vienna before Mozart rolled into town, commissioned the requiem Mozart was working on till his death and during that time had him poisoned.
The fact still remains though that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was one of a kind. A true bona-fide rebel and a musical genius that deserves all the respect you will undoubtedly give him after checking out any of the following pieces (try to get a rendition with a renowned symphony orchestra):
The Magic Flute
The Marriage of Figaro
Symphony No 40 in G minor