Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Little Mozart

Author Stephanie Cowell discusses the making of a child prodigy.
It began very young with Wolfgang Amadé Mozart. When he was three years old he began to pick out thirds on the clavier, when he was four he learned a minuet in half an hour, when five began to compose on a paper full of ink blotches. His father cried over it. Friends and neighbors were astonished. If left to himself, he would have played the clavier all night. Music was play for him, a delight; he was never forced. Neither did he ever go to school; his father taught him everything from harmony to mathematics. He loved his father Leopold who was a respected violin teacher, composer, and musical employee of the Salzburg Archbishop. Before sleeping each night, Wolfgang used to stand on a chair and kiss Leopold’s nose.

By the time the young Mozart was ten his parents had taken him and his older pianist sister Nannerl on a three-year tour, performing in the courts, theaters, private homes, inns and monasteries of Europe. They lived out of trunks and prayed for their luggage to arrive safely. Travel was difficult. Food was excellent or dreadful. Leather curtains on carriages did not keep out the rain and they were damp for days on end. Snow fell at the worse time. Likely they carried some saintly relics with them, being devout Catholics.

Mozart was little and thin and quick with a great deal of fair hair and large eyes; everything was of passionate interest to him. He was a sweet natured child, always wanting music and music, taking all of it in as they traveled, listening, learning from all he heard, and remembering everything. When he wasn’t climbing organ lofts on his short legs to play to the amazement of others or making up variations on a tune for the clavier, he created games and worlds. But by the age of seven was the principle family breadwinner. (Read entire article.)

1 comment:

julygirl said...

Could have been some form of autism.