All About Mozart (Part 2: Romance Blossoms under the Potato Flake Plant)
Part two of our fact-dubious look at the greatest composer ever to be named Mozart.

Dan Van Oss Biographies, Complete Columns, Musicians, Authors & Artists 0 Comments

PART TWO OF A SERIES (SEE PART ONE)

After returning to Austria in 1773, Mozart was hired as a court musician by the ruler of Salzburg, Prince-Archbishop Hieronymus Colloredo, so named because his parents apparently lost a bet. While most of his peers were having to take jobs working for wig telemarketers, Mozart was able to make a living as a musician and composer, had many fans, and over 10,000 likes on “GesichtBuch” (Facebook). He was able to compose in a variety of genres, including masses, conglomerations, symphonies, sonatas, elantras, serenades, and a few minor skirmishes (Music Historians: “We’re back. You stink.”). But he was dissatisfied with his career in Salzburg, as his pay was low (only 150 florins a year, equal to about 12 Kronenthalers, or 3 Flohrenkrosers, or one extremely well-powdered wig). He really wanted to compose operas, but with the court theatre closing in 1775 and the other local theater only showing “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at midnight, his options were limited. He was able to produce some operas, such as his La finta giardiniera (“That’sa Fine-a Gardenia”), but had to leave Vienna in hopes of finding more permanent success elsewhere. His adventures led him to Munich, which is in Germany, which makes the Autobahn, as well as to Paris and Mannheim, which makes steamrollers. But he was unable to secure a position that satisfied him and paid for his wig powder habit, and had to dejectedly return once more to Salzburg in 1779 on an overnight Megabus (Music Historians: “NONONONONO!”).

More Vienna, plus romance, marriage and potato flake plants

[su_pullquote align=”right”]He soon established himself as a performer, and as the finest keyboard player in Vienna; even better than Klans Franzenheimer, who could play “Chopsticks” with his wig.[/pullquote]After disagreements with Count Arco (kind of a jerk; see above) over payment and whether wig powder is best kept in a tin or a jar, Mozart moved to Vienna, where he set up shop as a freelance composer and performer. He soon established himself as a performer, and as the finest keyboard player in Vienna; even better than Klans Franzenheimer, who could play “Chopsticks” with his wig. In 1782 he finished his famous opera on inter-European transportation, Die Entführung aus dem Serail (“The Future is in High-Speed Rail, People”), which was a huge success throughout German-speaking Europe, but not so big where they only spoke Yiddish. This was the work that finally established him as a successful composer, and got him on the coveted cover of Der Rolling Stein, a local beer aficionado magazine. It was at this time that his social life blossomed as well, as he pursued a relationship with Constanze Weber, a short, volatile, bald woman with glasses (Music Historians: “Really? A Seinfeld joke?”) who was the third of four daughters from the musical Weber family. The courtship did not go smoothly, however, as she was a Yankees fan and he liked the Mets, but even so, they were married on August 4 of 1782, which was, coincidentally, the same day the first potato flake plant was completed in Grand Forks, North Dakota, although 176 years later.

A career in full swing

At around 1784, Mozart met famed composer Joseph Haydn, and the two became best friends, exchanging composition ideas, trading baseball cards and skinny dipping in the local pond at midnight. Haydn was greatly impressed with Mozart, saying, “I have often been flattered by my friends with having some genius, but he was much my superior, except in Grand Theft Auto. I always smoked him in Grand Theft Auto.” Mozart was said to occasionally punch the older composer on the shoulder and call him a “big lug”, but this is either unsubstantiated, a rumor, or both. With the larger income attained from his performances and composition success, Mozart and his wife enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, complete with an expensive apartment, a custom piano, and an original “Amadeus” pinball machine in the rec room. He could now consider himself a successful composer with a rich social life, but, as the old Austrian saying goes, “So wie das Erröten Weide im Frühjahr müssen die schwärende Orange der Winter zu necken, so können Sie erwarten, dass der Teig zu verlieren” (“Just as the blushing willow in spring must tease the festering orange of winter, so may you expect to lose your dough), which may not make sense to us pedestrian Americans, but makes your average Austrian cry.

NEXT TIME: A RETURN TO… OPERA!

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