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Mois Année
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"Let's discover the Galilee
with Mozart "
June 2021


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In Mozart Family, I choose the father & the mother (Gen. n°1)!

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Intended for a career as a clergyman, (Johann Georges) Léopold Mozart was enrolled at the Benedictine University of Salzburg but chose to devote himself to music and he entered in 1743 the service of Hieronymus Colloredo, Prince-archbishop of Salzburg. For more details and developments, we refer you to our Newsletter n ° 7 Léopold Mozart, the biological father (which you can find on our site newsletters).

In 1747 Leopold married Anna Maria Pertl (1720-1778) daughter of a civil servant from the nearby town of Sankt Gilgen. Anna Maria remains an obscure character. Coming from a society that hardly cared to provide any education to women, preferring to teach them the virtues of piety and submission to fathers, brothers and husbands, she barely knew how to read and write and does not seem to have exercised any great influence on major family decisions. Despite all the affection Leopold showed her in his letters, her status within the family was clearly subordinate. She traveled with her children with her husband or alone with Wolfgang, notably during her second trip to Paris. They lived 8 rue du Gros-Chenet, today “rue du Sentier” where, ill, (probably suffering from typhoid fever), she died on July 3, 1778 after refusing to be to take care of.

A commemorative plaque recalls in the church of Saint Eustache that she was buried in the small adjoining cemetery.

In Mozart Family, I choose cousin « Bäsle » (Gen. n°2)!

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Maria Anna Teckla Mozart known as “the Bäsle” is the daughter of Leopold Mozart's brother, Franz Aloys. Wolfgang established a playful and affectionate friendship with his cousin during his stay in Augsburg in 1977 with his mother. Wolfgang subsequently sent her several letters famous for their scatological allusions. Note that allusions and scatological expressions are not rare in the 17th and 18th centuries. Wolfgang is not the only one to use it in his correspondence. Maria Anna Thekla gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, Josepha, fathered by Theodor Franz von Riebeld, a canon of Augsburg Cathedral.

In Mozart Family, I choose « Nannerl » (Gen. n°3)!

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Maria-Anna Mozart affectionately nicknamed “Nannerl” by Wolfgang is his elder sister (Léopold Mozart had 7 children with Anna-Maria Pertl, 5 of whom died in infancy). A child prodigy like her brother, a brilliant harpsichordist and talented pianist, she traveled with Wolfgang to the courts and salons of Europe to show her artistic prowess but did not have the aura of her brother. It is not known how far her career might have gone had her father not stopped her public appearances and her training as soon as she turned 18. We will never know anything about her compositions because they have all been lost, yet we know of Wolfgang that she composed since he wrote to her on July 7, 1770 from Rome:

« C.S.M. (Carissima Sorella mia.), I am really surprised that you can compose so charmingly. In a word, the song is beautiful. Try often something similar. »

In 1784, at the age of 32, she married (on Leopold's recommendation) Johann Baptist Franz von Berchtold zu Sonnenburg, a twice widowed magistrate and father of 5 children with whom she had 3 children. After the death of her husband in 1801, she earned her living teaching piano in Salzburg and died on October 1829 in dire poverty. Wolfgang at first very close and accomplice of his sister, exchanged affectionate letters with her until their relationship gradually weakened, especially after Wolfgang's marriage. A sacrificed child prodigy, with a thwarted career, and controlled by his father Leopold, Nannerl undoubtedly suffered from Wolfang success and independence.

In Weber Family, I choose Josepha (Gen n°4)!

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Family of musicians, Franz Fridolin Weber (1733-1779) worked as a violinist, singer and copyist at the court of Mannheim. He married Maria Caecilia Stamm in 1756. They had 7 children including 4 girls (the boys died in infancy).
The eldest daughter is named (Maria) Josepha. She began a career as Soprano in the 1780s. From 1790, she sang in the theatrical troupe of E. Schikaneder in Vienna, where she created the role of the Night Queen in Die Zauberflöte. Mozart wrote for her the aria "Schon lacht der holde Frühling" illustrated here by Regula Mühlemann for Sony Classical. As a first wedding she married Franz de Paula Hofer, violinist who sang the tenor part during the reading of the Requiem at Mozart's bedside.

In Weber Family, I choose, the second (Gen n°5)!

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Ah! here comes (Maria) Aloysia (Louise Antonia) Weber, a talented singer whom Mozart met during his stay in Mannheim (1777-1778). His love for her was not returned. In October 1780 she married Joseph Lange in Vienna. Aloysia and Joseph Lange remained close to Mozart. We owe to Joseph Lange the unfinished portrait of Mozart which illustrates the genealogical table. Aloysia sang the role of Donna Anna at the premiere of Don Giovanni in Vienna and of the arias that Mozart composed for her including "Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio" illustrated here by Sabine Devieilhe.

In Mozart Family, I choose Constanzia, the wife (Gen n°6)!

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(Maria) Constanzia (Caecilia Josepha Johanna Aloysia) Mozart, born 3rd daughter of Franz Fridolin Weber became Wolfgang wife on August 4, 1782 against the advice of Leopold who saw in the Weber Family only schemers. Four of their six children died in infancy. After Wolfgang's death, she remarried in 1809 to Georg Nikolaus Nissen (1761-1826) whom she helped in writing the Biography of Mozart. Constanze was a trained musician. She played a role in her husband's career. Tradition states that in the Great Mass in C minor, Constanze played the part of the first soprano there, notably in "Et incarnatus est" here performed by Julie Fuchs with the Insula Orchestra conducted by L. Equilbey.

Many biographers have been quite unfair to Constanzia and in describing "Wolfy's" attachment to his "Stanzerl" ... She has often been judged or portrayed as a foolish, frivolous, spendthrift wife. It is forgetting that she was unmistakably the woman of his life. It appears from their correspondence that Wolfgang's carnal passion for her is beyond doubt. In the last years of her life, while in pain, she spent several weeks in Baden, Wolfgang worried about her health, mixing tender advice and admonishment in his letters. As H.C. Robbins Landon argues (cf. Dictionary Mozart / JCLattes) "the portrayal of Constanze as a capricious and irresponsible woman is difficult to reconcile with the energy she subsequently displayed in the management of affairs."

In Weber Family, I choose the youngest (Gen n°7)!

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(Maria) Sophie is the youngest of the Weber girls. In 1807 she married the composer and singer Jakob Haibel (1762-1826). In 1825, she gave a famous account of the last moments of Mozart's death, who allegedly supervised a reading of the score made at her bedside and gave directions to her pupil Xavier Süssmayer for the completion of the Requiem (controversial contribution). After her husband death she went to live in Salzburg with Constanzia whose second husband (G.N. Nissen) died the same year.

In Weber Family, I choose, cousin Carl-Maria (Gen n°8)!

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Franz Anton Weber, brother of Fridolin was also a musician at the court of Mannheim. His two sons from a first marriage to Maria Anna Fumetti (1736-? 1783) studied with Haydn in Vienna. After his wife death, Franz Anton remarried Genoveva Brenner (1764-1798) and gave birth to composer Carl Maria von Weber (notably Oberon and Der Freischütz, an excerpt from the overture of which is illustrated here by the Berliner philarmoniker under the baton of Myung-Whun Chung).

In Mozart Family, I choose the sons (Gen n°9)!

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Karl-Thomas and Franz-Xaver are the only children born from the union of Wolfgang and Constanzia. They died without posterity.
Karl-Thomas was the eldest of the two. After studying in Milan with the composer Bonifacio Asioli, he gave up music to become a civil servant of Eugène de Beauharnais, Viceroy of Italy (Napoleon 1st son-in-law)
Franz-Xaver is the last of the six Mozart children. He studied music in Prague and Vienna with Johann Nepomuk Hummel & Antonio Salieri. Child prodigy like his father, he made his public debut in 1805, he was 13 years old. His first work published in 1805 was a string quartet composed in 1803. His last years were spent in great isolation, his health deteriorating. He left in particular two piano concertos, a symphony, pieces for solo piano and several lieder.

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This letter is based on portraits made for the Mozart Dictionary (Edited by H.C. Robbins Landon. JCLattes)
a) View of Augsburg
b) View of Salzburg
c) Extract from the marriage certificate of Wolfgang and Constanze Mozart
d) View of Mannheim
Portraits in order of appearance:
Wolfgang unfinished portrait and Constanze engraving by J. Lange
Leopold Mozart portrait by A. Lorenzon and Anna Maria Mozart / Pertl portrait by Rosa Hagenauer-Barducci
Anna Maria Thekla known as ”Bäsle” self-portrait
Maria Anna Mozart known as Nannerl portrait by A. Lorenzoni
Engraving depicting Schikaneder's theater troupe with Josepha Weber and J. Haibel (far right)
Maria Aloysia Weber performing Zémire (opera by Grétry), portrait by J. B. von Lampi the Elder
Maria Constanze Mozart by Hanz Hansen
Maria Sophie Weber anonymous portrait
Carl Maria von Weber portrait by Caroline Bardua
Franz Xaver (left) and Carl Thomas (right) double portrait by Hans Hansen

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