Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart quotes

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Birthdate: 27. January 1756
Date of death: 5. December 1791

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical period.

Born in Salzburg, Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. At 17, Mozart was engaged as a musician at the Salzburg court but grew restless and travelled in search of a better position. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his early death at the age of 35. The circumstances of his death have been much mythologized.

He composed more than 600 works, many of which are acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral music. He is among the greatest and most enduringly popular of classical composers, and his influence is profound on subsequent Western art music. Ludwig van Beethoven composed his early works in the shadow of Mozart, and Joseph Haydn wrote: "posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years". Wikipedia

„I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.“

—  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Unsourced in Musician's Little Book of Wisdom‎ (1996) by Scott E. Power, Quote 416.
Misattributed

„I know myself, and I have such a sense of religion that I shall never do anything which I would not do before the whole world; but I am alarmed at the very thoughts of being in the society of people, during my journey, whose mode of thinking is so entirely different from mine (and from that of all good people). But of course they must do as they please. I have no heart to travel with them, nor could I enjoy one pleasant hour, nor know what to talk about; for, in short, I have no great confidence in them. Friends who have no religion cannot be long our friends.“

—  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Letter to Leopold Mozart (Mannheim, 2 February 1778), from The letters of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1769-1791, translated, from the collection of Ludwig Nohl, by Lady [Grace] Wallace (Oxford University Press, 1865, digitized 2006) vol. I, # 91 (p. 164) http://books.google.com/books?vid=0SGwLiCNxu7qZ5ch&id=KEgBAAAAQAAJ&printsec=titlepage&dq=%22The+letters+of+Wolfgang+Amadeus+Mozart,+1769-1791%22&hl=en#PRA1-PA164,M1

„Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.“

—  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

True genius without heart is a thing of nought - for not great understanding alone, not intelligence alone, nor both together, make genius. Love! Love! Love! that is the soul of genius. - Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin, entry in Mozart's souvenir album (1787-04-11) from Mozart: A Life by Maynard Solomon [Harper-Collins, 1966, ISBN 0-060-92692-9], p. 312.
Misattributed

„Melody is the essence of music. I compare a good melodist to a fine racer, and counterpointists to hack post-horses; therefore be advised, let well alone and remember the old Italian proverb: Chi sa più, meno sa—Who knows most, knows least.“

—  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

As spoken to Michael Kelly, from Reminiscences of Michael Kelly, of the King's Theatre, and Theatre Royal Drury Lane, including a period of nearly half a century; with Original Anecdotes of many distinguished Personnages, Political, Literary, and Musical (London, Henry Colburn, 1826; digitized 2006), 2nd ed., vol. I (p. 225) http://books.google.com/books?vid=OCLC00439352&id=ph3XEMzGt5YC&pg=RA2-PA225&lpg=RA2-PA225&dq=%22Melody+is+the+essence+of+music%22&hl=en

„I must give you a piece of intelligence that you perhaps already know — namely, that the ungodly arch-villain Voltaire has died miserably like a dog — just like a brute. That is his reward!“

—  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Letter to Leopold Mozart (3 July 1778), from The letters of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1769-1791, translated, from the collection of Ludwig Nohl, by Lady [Grace] Wallace (Oxford University Press, 1865, digitized 2006) vol. I, # 107 (p. 218) http://books.google.com/books?vid=0SGwLiCNxu7qZ5ch&id=KEgBAAAAQAAJ&printsec=titlepage&dq=%22The+letters+of+Wolfgang+Amadeus+Mozart,+1769-1791%22#PRA1-PA218,M1

„A man of ordinary talent will always be ordinary, whether he travels or not; but a man of superior talent will go to pieces if he remains forever in the same place.“

—  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Letter to Leopold Mozart (11 September 1778), from Wolfgang Amadé Mozart by Georg Knepler (1991), trans. J. Bradford Robinson [Cambridge University Press, 1994, ], p. 12.
Variant: A fellow of mediocre talent will remain a mediocrity, whether he travels or not; but one of superior talent (which without impiety I cannot deny that I possess) will go to seed if he always remains in the same place.

„When I am….. completely myself, entirely alone… or during the night when I cannot sleep, it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly. Whence and how these ideas come I know not nor can I force them.“

—  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

From a letter now regarded as a forgery by Johann Friedrich Rochlitz http://www.aproposmozart.com/Stafford%20--%20Mozart%20and%20genius.rev.ref.pdf, http://www.mozartforum.com/Lore/article.php?id=108, http://www.mozartforum.com/Lore/article.php?id=106
Misattributed
Context: When I am, as it were, completely myself, entirely alone, and of good cheer — say traveling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep — it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best, and most abundantly. Whence and how they come, I know not, nor can I force them.

„Stay with me to-night; you must see me die. I have long had the taste of death on my tongue, I smell death, and who will stand by my Constanze, if you do not stay?“

—  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Spoken on his deathbed to his sister-in-law, Sophie Weber (5 December 1791), from Mozart: The Man and the Artist, as Revealed in his own Words by Friedrich Kerst, trans. Henry Edward Krehbiel (1906)
Variant: The taste of death is on my tongue, I feel something that is not from this world (Der Geschmack des Todes ist auf meiner Zunge, ich fühle etwas, das nicht von dieser Welt ist).

„The most stimulating and encouraging thought is that you, dearest father, and my dear sister, are well, that I am an honest German, and that if I am not always permitted to talk I can think what I please; but that is all.“

—  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Letter to Leopold Mozart (Paris, 29 April 1778), from Mozart: The Man and the Artist, as Revealed in his own Words by Friedrich Kerst, trans. Henry Edward Krehbiel (1906)

„My fatherland has always the first claim on me.“

—  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Letter to Leopold Mozart (24 November 1781), from Mozart: The Man and the Artist, as Revealed in his own Words by Friedrich Kerst, trans. Henry Edward Krehbiel (1906).

„It is a mistake to think that the practice of my art has become easy to me. I assure you, dear friend, no one has given so much care to the study of composition as I. There is scarcely a famous master in music whose works I have not frequently and diligently studied.“

—  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Spoken in Prague, 1787, to conductor Kucharz, who led the rehearsals for Don Giovanni, from Mozart: The Man and the Artist, as Revealed in his own Words by Friedrich Kerst, trans. Henry Edward Krehbiel (1906).

„As I love Mannheim, Mannheim loves me.“

—  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Letter to Leopold Mozart, (Mannheim, 12 November 1778), from Mozart's Letters, Mozart's Life: Selected Letters, ed. Robert Spaethling [W.W. Norton, 2000, ISBN 0-393-04719-9], p. 193.

„The passions, whether violent or not, should never be so expressed as to reach the point of causing disgust; and music, even in situations of the greatest horror, should never be painful to the ear but should flatter and charm it, and thereby always remain music.“

—  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Letter by Mozart, as quoted in a journal entry (12 December 1856) The Journal of Eugene Delacroix as translated by Walter Pach (1937), p. 521. The quote is not found in any authentic letter by Mozart.

„If Germany, my beloved fatherland, of whom you know I am proud, will not accept me, then must I, in the name of God, again make France or England richer by one capable German; — and to the shame of the German nation.“

—  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

"Will mich Deutschland, mein geliebtes Vaterland, worauf ich (wie Sie wissen) stolz bin, nicht aufnehmen, so muß in Gottes Namen Frankreich oder England wieder um einen geschickten Deutschen mehr reich werden,- und das zur Schande der deutschen Nation."
Letter to Leopold Mozart (Vienna, 17 August 1782), from Mozart: The Man and the Artist, as Revealed in his own Words by Friedrich Kerst, trans. Henry Edward Krehbiel (1906).

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