Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Theophilus(Amadeus) Mozart *27 January 1756,†5 December 1791
“His music is by no means just entertainment; it contains the whole tragedy of human existence.” ― Joseph Ratzinger (1996)Tom Lehrer, the musical professor of mathematics, used to have a line in his act, “when Mozart was my age, he had been dead for __ years”. Mozart was relatively a young death, he had not completed his 36th year. His Köchel number* was up to 626, which was his Requiem Mass in Dm†.
Mozart was the rare child prodigy that became an adult genius. His music had a crisp clarity. He was an interesting fellow, and from time to time he still makes news: a previously, unknown autograph of music is found in some attic or abbey, a doctor diagnoses Tourette’s syndrome, autism, rheumatic fever ... ‡
In current memory is the 1984 picture show, Amadeus, which won a slew of Oscars and many other film awards. It came from a Peter Shaffer play, which came from a Pushkin play, which also spawned a Rimsky-Korsakov opera. The fictive plot is that a musical rival, Antonio Salieri, poisoned Mozart in jealousy. Ron Hansen wrote an essay, in which, he has the two musicians as Cain and Abel. Salieri is supremely angry with God. He had travailed in His fields and produced fruit, and yet, God rains divine talent to this ridiculous child.
Mozart had his marriage and funeral in Saint Stephen’s, Vienna (Wien). To-day(26 January 2009) and to-morrow, at Saint Stephen’s, Cleveland, there will be a programme of recorded music from 10 a.m. till 8 p.m.. The viennese church is the cathedral for its archbishopric, the local church is about the grandest in its diocese.
*Ludwig von Köchel (c.1826) composed a detailed, chronological catalogue of Mozart’s opus.
†finished by Franz Xaver Süssmayr