Mozart’s Life

“What are you here for?” The mayor asked, intimidating me. “I heard you wanted to hire a composer, and I think I’d be the best for this job.” The mayor looked at me, noticeably judging my short appearance. “What’s your name, young lad?” “Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.” “Why do you think you’d be good for this job?” “Well I’ve been composing music for as long as I can remember, music really is a passion of mine. I’ve traveled all around Europe playing my music for many people. I’ve also performed for the Austrian royals, they were very impressed with my performance. I may be young, but I am very confident in my musical abilities.” The mayor looked at me surprisingly. I guess he didn’t really expect me to be so serious about my music. “Mozart, you really are something, aren’t you?” The mayor said after a few moments of silence, “Yes, I really am.”

Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756 in the Austrian city of Salzburg. Mozart and his sister, Nanneral, were both musically talented. At the young age of 5, Mozart began to show an interest in writing his own music. His father, Leopold Mozart, a leader of a local orchestra, showed him how to write music properly. Around this time, Mozart travelled around Europe, performing for many people. During this tour, it became apparent that Mozart wasn’t an ordinary child. As an adult, Mozart met his wife, Constanze Weber. Mozart and Constanze had 6 children together, but only 2, Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart and Karl Thomas Mozart, survived to adulthood.

One genre of music Mozart was known for writing were symphonies. A symphony is an extended musical composition, usually written for an orchestra. These compositions usually include 4 movements, at least one of these movements uses sonata form, also known as first movement form. The first movement of a symphony typically had a fast, upbeat tempo. The first movement also makes use of the previously mentioned sonata form. The second movement was normally at a slower tempo compared to the fast, upbeat tempo of the first movement. The third and fourth movement could either have fast or slow tempos. Similar to the first movement, the fourth movement can also be written in sonata form. Mozart’s 41st symphony, also known as “Jupiter”, is known as the longest and most complex of Mozart’s symphonies. The symphony, composed in 1788, included an orchestra consisting of a flute, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, and strings. The symphony starts off with a strong, upbeat first movement in sonata form, while the second movement is slower and shows a sadder tone when compared to the previous movement. The third movement is a minuet, while the fourth movement, similar to the first movement, is in sonata form with a bold and energetic tone.

Another genre Mozart was known for is opera. An opera combines theatrical plays with musical score. Most operas normally consisted of up to five acts, each different from each other. An opera’s music mostly was recitative and arias. A recitative was much like a play’s dialogue, except it’s sung instead. An aria, on the other hand, was a lyrical musical piece sung by one person. There are 5 different types of opera: Grand opera, Opera buffa (comic opera), Opera comique, Singspiel, and Operetta. A famous opera in the Classical period is The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart. The Marriage of Figaro was based on a play by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchai, titled Le Mariage de Figaro. The Marriage of Figaro is set in Sevilla, Spain and follows the story of a servant, Figaro, and a maid, Susanna’s marriage. The Marriage of Figaro was an instant success when it first released; its liveliness, personality, and charm were popular with the audience. The Marriage of Figaro contained two brilliant arias – “Non piu andrai” and “Se vuol ballare”.

Mozart’s 41st Symphony (“Jupiter”), as mentioned in paragraph 3, is one of Mozart’s most known works. The symphony sounds great, but there’s more to it than just that. Mozart pours emotion and effort into each and every one of his works, and this symphony is no exception. The first movement of this symphony starts and ends powerfully. Throughout the piece, there’s constant changes in the dynamic level, as the volume would change from fortissimo to mezzopiano. Contrasting the previous movement, the second movement is not powerful, but rather sorrowful. This piece is beautifully orchestrated, filled with small, excellent, crescendi to express feelings of pain. Listening to this piece, many emotions filled my mind. I felt feelings of sadness, yet I almost cried at how beautiful it sounded. Mozart really was a master at having you feel so much emotion; this movement is definitely my favorite out of the four. The third movement is the shortest of the four, but it may be the mightiest movement in the symphony. This movement has a triumphant feel, with an almost childlike melody. Much like the first movement, there’s abrupt changes in dynamics that overwhelm the listener with emotion. Listening to this movement really reminded me of the time I went to a circus as a young child. While I didn’t get to stay for the whole show, the feeling of childlike amazement I felt while watching the performance is a feeling I could never forget. Hearing this movement felt as if I went back to that circus and the same feeling of childlike amazement flowed back to me. The fourth movement is the last and longest movement of the symphony. The texture of this piece is polyphonic; there’s so much happening in this piece, it’s confusing to find a specific melody. The tempo of this movement is very fast, as the mood is very energetic and joyful. I, personally, enjoyed this piece. The unpredictable way Mozart wrote this piece had me looking forward to what came next. Listening to this piece was a fun experience, and despite the long runtime, it went by relatively fast, leaving me asking for more. Whether you enjoy his music or not, Mozart was a musical genius and will continue to be remembered as so for many years to come.

“Mozart, I’ve carefully examined your history with music and I’m quite shocked.” The mayor looked at me with a serious face. “Were you impressed? Did I get this job?” There was a pause. I was getting increasingly nervous, although I’m confident in my abilities, the thought of not getting this job and disappointing my father is just one I cannot stand. “Mozart. You are the best person for this job. You’re so good, it’s terrifying,” the mayor chuckles, “this job was made for you.” A smile grows on my face. I got the job, but this is only a step to achieving more. I need to continue keeping up with everyone’s expectations. For I, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, will be great and will not disappoint.

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