Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozart was born in which city?

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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Amid a field of geniuses (Bach, Beethoven etc. ~ though not all beginning with B!), 'young' Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart still towers high. He was a talented child and began composing when he was just 5 years old! Mozart went on to write more than 600 works - symphonies, concertos and operas - which are still recognized today as some of the greatest pieces of music ever composed. Sadly, Mozart died when he was just 35 years old. If he had lived longer, who knows what other delights he may have given us.

Wolfgang made an early start as a composer and performer ~ being taken on tour at a tender age by his father Leopold, to perform with his young sister. What was her name?
By many accounts they were the darlings of the court and cultural circuits of Europe
There is fairly good evidence that Mozart wrote his very first piece at the age of 5 (before you probably started school). What sort of piece was it?
A waltz
A minuet
A prelude
A song
This is a short dance in steady 3/4 time. Reportedly he wrote his first symphony at the grand old age of 8, though it's likely his father Leopold helped him with filling-in and writing-out the parts for the individual musicians
While still in his mid-teens, Mozart went to Rome and visited the Vatican to hear the famous Ash-Wednesday anthem Miserere Mei ('Have mercy on me') in its setting by Allegri ~ this, of course, over a century before recording or broadcasting were invented. How many times did he listen to it in performance before writing it down, complete, from memory?
Three times
Once in performance, plus he listened-in during rehearsals
The piece is, admittedly, slow and repetitive by nature ... but this is still quite a feat, and Mozart was thus able to break the strict embargo on taking out a piece which was (effectively) the Pope's own property
In which Austrian city was Mozart born?
Salzburg and Vienna each 'claim him as their own' ... see our next question!
Anywhere vaguely appropriate that they think they can sell them, Austrian shops and stalls will offer you souvenir Mozart-kugeln ~ confectionery in a form reminding us of one of Mozart's hobbies. What are they?
Miniature horses made of nougat or marzipan
Billiard-balls made of chocolate
Violin-shaped bottles of liqueur
Sweet dough rolls in the form of skittles
There is little escaping these at the tourist and transport hubs. Answer 3 is also widely available (though not yet to you, dear young reader, if you are clearly of under drinking age)!
One of Mozart's instantly recognizable compositions is a short suite for string orchestra (no. 525 of his 600-odd compositions) originally called Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. What does this title mean?
A peal of Christmas bells
A short serenade
A walk to the tavern
A string symphony
The suggestion is that this was a relatively light (but, as always, well-crafted) item to be played and enjoyed in the evening
One of Mozart's most famous operas contains the name of an instrument. Which of these is the title?
The Drum of Fate
The Bells of Rome
The Royal Trumpet
The Magic Flute
This opera contains a very strange story and a lot of very beautiful music
'Papa' Haydn wrote over 100 symphonies; Beethoven, only 9 (but what groundbreaking ones they were and are!) ... how does Mozart stack up as a symphonist?
24 symphonies
37 symphonies
41 symphonies
49 symphonies
... among which, what turned out to be the final three (and in particular, No.40 in G minor) are all-time classics
Mozart's was obviously a highly unusual mind at the creative and craftsmanly levels: along with this genius came at least one 'behavioral flaw' for which there is ample evidence in his letters and some music, and in the diaries of others who had met him. Since Mozart's own day, this occasional and usually non-deliberate behavior has been identified and named by psychologists. What is the condition now officially called?
Tourette's (syndrome)
Mozart mania
An interesting example of a powerful mind that is sometimes even beyond its own conscious control
When Mozart died in 1791 he left behind an uncompleted requiem (a large work for voices and orchestra, in sacred honor of someone who has died). What happened at the first performance?
The work was performed incomplete, with the musicians stopping playing/singing at the last notes Mozart had actually written (which was obviously very poignant)
The musicians were all colleagues and/or pupils of Mozart, so they improvised the rest of the work in his honor
The master-score was completed by a close assistant of Mozart, on the basis of draft sketches he had already left
Mozart's publishers quietly got another composer to finish the work under a false name
The widely acknowledged 'completion' is by Sussmayr. Perhaps because of Mozart's genius and his tender age, there seem to be vast numbers of conspiracy theories surrounding this great and significant final work
Author:  Ian Miles

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