Leonard Bernstein once said, “Mozart is all music; there is nothing you can ask from music that he cannot supply…bathed in a glitter that could have come only from the eighteenth century…It is a perfect product of the age of reason – witty, objective, graceful, delicious. And yet over it all hovers the greater spirit that is Mozart’s – the spirit of compassion, of universal love, even of suffering – a spirit that knows no age, that belongs to all ages” (Kenyon 19-20). Mozart’s effervescent spirit is apparent in letters that he wrote to his family and friends. These letters show that Mozart lived a life full of family feuds, heartbreaks, romance, triumphs, and failures in the short span of thirty-five years. Mozart’s letters prove that he took the music of the eighteenth century and reinvented it using perspective gained in the course of events in his lifetime.(Johann Chrysostom) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria on January 27, 1756 to composer, violinist, and theorist Leopold Mozart and his wife Maria Anna (Sadie 276). Wolfgang was the ultimate definition of a child prodigy. He mastered one of his sister’s music books at the age of four and wrote his first compositions, Andante and Allegro K1a and 1b, at only five years old (277). The public first witnessed young Mozart’s talent when he performed a dancing role in Sigismundus Hungarie rex at Salzburg University in September of 1761 (277). Mozart flourished in the spotlight and began to tour Europe with his father and sister, Maria Anna (affectionately referred to Nannerl), in September of 1762 (277). Both children were extremely talented musicians and they often performed for the courts or gave public concerts (277). The family returned home to Salzburg …
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Glover, Jane. Mozart’s Women: His Friends, His Family, His Music. New York : Harper Collins Publishers, 2005. Book.
Kenyon, Nicholas. The Pegasus Pocket Guide to Mozart. New York: Pegasus Books LLC, 2006. Book.
Landon, H.C. Robbins. The Mozart Compendium: A Guide to Mozart’s Life and Music. New York: Schirmer Books, 1990. Book.
Marshall, Robert L. Mozart Speaks: Views on Music, Musicians, and the World. New York: Schirmer Books, 1991. Book.
Rushton, Julian. The New Grove Guide to Mozart and His Operas. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. Book.
Sadie, Stanley. The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 1986, New York. Book.
Spaethling, Robert. Mozart’s Letters, Mozart’s Life. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., 2000. Book.
Wright, Craig and Bryan Simms. Music in Western Civilization. Boston: Schirmer Cengage Learning, 2010. Book.