That’s right, you voted Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), your No. 1 most essential classical composer. His symphonies, operas, concertos, and compositions, in every genre of the time, remain to this day an incredible marvel of genius. And today is the wunderkind from Salzburg's birthday! So we're celebrating with a morning of music devoted exclusively to the great composer.
None other than Joseph Haydn said to Mozart’s father, “I tell you before God, and as an honest man, your son is the greatest composer known to me by person and repute.”
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Some facts about Mozart:
- “Amadeus” isn’t really one of his baptismal names; “Theophilus,” Greek for lover of God, is. He used the German version of it, “Gottlieb,” and the French or Italian “Amade” (with or without various accents). An inveterate jokester, he probably used the Latin “Amadeus” just for fun in a few letters, but people began using it more and more in the 19th century.
- He started making up music at age 5, his father writing it down
- He finally got his wish, after refusals, to leave the employ of the Archbishop of Salzburg to make his career in Vienna. At his dismissal, a steward literally kicked him in the backside.
- Mozart was considered not only an amazingly gifted composer during his lifetime, but also the finest keyboard player in Vienna .
- He was friends with Haydn, and deeply studied the music of Bach and Handel .