Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Salzburg - post 3: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Being Salzburg's most famous son the name Mozart appears often in and around the city. Mozartplatz, Mozartsteg, Café Mozart, etc. If you fly direct to Salzburg you will arrive at Salzburg Airport W A Mozart. It is hardly surprising the city should celebrate such a great man, he was after all what we would term today a 'Superstar!'

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg on 27 January 1756 in his parents apartment on the third floor of this building.

Mozart's Geburtshaus - rear
The above image is the rear of the building, which as you can see currently houses a cafe.

Leopold and Anna Maria Mozart lived on the third floor of the ‘Hagenauer House’ at no. 9 Getreidegasse for a total of 26 years, from 1747 to 1773. The house was named after its owner, the merchant, purveyor of spices and friend of the Mozart family, Johann Lorenz Hagenauer. On the 27th January 1756 it became the birthplace of the now world famous Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Mozart Museum

In 1880 the International Mozarteum Foundation set up the first museum in Mozart’s ‘Geburtshaus’. Over the decades it has undergone a systematic process of remodelling and expansion and it is now a place of cultural interest that attracts thousands of visitors to Salzburg from all over the world. Mozart’s ‘Geburtshaus’ has earned its status as one of the most frequently visited sights and places of interest in Austria.

Mozart’s ‘Geburtshaus’ guides guests through the original rooms in which the Mozart family lived and presents a range of artefacts, including historical instruments, documents, keepsakes and mementos, and the majority of the portraits painted during his lifetime. One such example is the unfinished oil portrait painted by Mozart’s brother-in-law Joseph Lange in 1789 – ‘Wolfgang Amade Mozart at the piano’. Among the most famous exhibits are Mozart’s childhood violin, his clavichord, portraits and letters belonging to the Mozart family.

Mozart's Gebursthaust - frontage
The musical instruments exhibited in Mozart’s Geburtshaus were passed on from Mozart’s widow, Constanze Nissen, through her sons Carl Thomas and Franz Xaver Wolfgang, and are now owned by the International Mozarteum Foundation.

The museum is accessed via the staircase on the left, the rest of the ground floor at the front of the property is currently a small supermarket, which is fitting considering the building's original owner sold spices from his ground floor shop.

Mozart died at 1:00am on 5 December 1791 at the age of 35.

During his short life Mozart composed more than 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers, and his influence is profound on subsequent Western art music.