Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is one of the greatest composers ever born. Like Shakespeare, he stands at the summit of human achievement. In every form, from serenade to fugue, from piano concerto and symphony to the heights of grand opera, his music amazes, enchants and invades the memory.
Thousands of books have been written about Mozart. Few lives have ever been so well documented as his, and yet he is one of the most mysterious figures in the world.
Mozart was born in 1756 in Salzburg, Austria.
He began playing the piano at 4, and when he was 5 years old, he already composed serious music. His father took him on tours of Western Europe and Italy and the boy was always a success.
Then the prodigy ripened into genius. The genius conquered Vienna and the world. Mozart's fame was great. He met all the great figures of his time, from Haydn to Goethe, from George III to the luckless Marie Antoinette. But then he suddenly fell from favour. The Vienna aristocracy grew tired of him. He lost pupils and contracts, had to move from his comfortable house in the centre to a modest flat in the suburbs. The genius was forgotten.
Mozart died in 1791, when he was only 35 years old. There's a legend that Mozart was poisoned by his rival composer Antonio Salieri. There's no truth in this legend, though it inspired many great poets, writers and composers. But it has been proved that in the last months of his life Mozart really believed that he was pursued by a spirit, "the grey messenger", who appeared and ordered him to write a requiem. In a state of depression Mozart imagined that he was to write the requiem for himself.
Not long ago a 150-volume edition of Mozart's works was published.
His works include 41 symphonies, nearly 30 piano concertos, 19 operas, a vast quantity of orchestral and other instrumental music, and volumes of church music (he wrote it mostly for financial reasons). His most famous operas are Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute and The Marriage of Figaro.

Last Updated (Friday, 19 February 2010 17:08)