• Portrait of Mozart

    A Day in the Life of Mozart

    „...I assure you that this is a magnificent place...“

    This is what Wolfgang Amadé Mozart wrote on April 4, 1781, to his father in Salzburg.

    Welcome to Mozart’s Vienna

    The Stephansplatz is an excellent starting point for our day in the footsteps of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It is 9 am, the sun is shining and the coachmen are readying their “Fiaker” for the day’s work. At St. Stephen’s Cathedral, located right in the heart of the city, Mozart married his wife, Constanze Weber, and had his children baptized there as well. Walking along the Kärntnerstraße and the Himmelpfortgasse, we get to the Café Frauenhuber, a typical, cosy Viennese coffee house. This used to be the location of the Jahn’sche Konzertsaal, where Mozart gave many concerts as a pianist. Today, waiters in coattails look after patrons, oozing classic Viennese charm. Was that already a thing during Mozart’s time?

    Home, sweet Home – the Mozarthaus

    Only a few steps away from St. Stephen’s Cathedral lies the Mozarthaus Wien. Here, at Domgasse 5, in Vienna’s first district, the great musician used to live. It is by no means the only apartment he stayed at in Vienna, but the only one that remained in its original form. It is possible that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart spent the happiest days of his life here, after all, he had never stayed as long anywhere else. This is also where he found inspiration for his opera „The Marriage of Figaro“. Where the musical genius once wrote world-famous pieces, we are now lucky to be able to explore three floors of music history. Many of the rooms in which Mozart used to live still show historic stucco ceilings and wall frescoes that are a nice window into the past. To satisfy our thirst for knowledge, we visited the Mozarthaus, to satisfy our craving for food, we now choose one of the many cafes or restaurants in the area for lunch.

    Music to touch at the Haus der Musik

    Refreshed, we’ll continue our programme: The winding alleys of the inner city and the sunny weather are perfect for a stroll. Not far away from us lies the Haus der Musik. The building not only houses an innovative sound museum, but it is also the birthplace of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The orchestra’s founder, Otto Nicolai, used to live here, which is one of the reasons the Museum of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Is located here as well. It is the express aim of the sound museum to promote understanding of and enthusiasm for music. In a playful way - with interactive and innovative exhibits - we are encouraged to become active ourselves and discover our own musicality. For his students, Mozart had devised a kind of musical alphabet, in which each letter has a certain sound. With this invention, we can listen to the sound of our name - much like Mozart had intended it - at the Haus der Musik. The well-known melody of “A Little Night Music” and other masterpieces accompany us throughout the entire stay. With new impressions and a new melody in our ears, we leave the Haus der Musik and move on to the next stop of our Mozart discovery tour.

    From cradle to grave – Mozart’s last resting place

    After having playfully discovered new facets of classical music at the Haus der Musik, we now move on to the last resting place of the great composer. Even though Mozart earned a decent living during his lifetime, nothing remained of it after he passed away. This is why he was buried anonymously at the St. Marx cemetery in a so-called „Schaftgrab,“ together with several others. Approximately 70 years later, a commemorative plaque was installed roughly where his grave was thought to be. This plaque was later moved to the Vienna Central Cemetery. That is where we are now headed. From the nearby Schwarzenbergplatz in the city centre, we can take tram No. 71 to the Central Cemetery and enjoy the beautiful views along the way. Here, on what is the 2nd largest cemetery in Europe with almost 2.5 km² (a little less than one square mile) and its own bus line, we can reconstruct Mozart’s last journey. Surrounded by honorary graves, a large plaque commemorates the musical genius and his oeuvre: surrounded by other great names such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Gustav Mahler, as well as modern artists such as Falco or Udo Jürgens. Solemnly we regard the graves, stillness surrounds us. After a moment of quiet, the sight of a fawn at the far end of the path brings us back to the present. Before we head back to the city, we make the most of the lovely afternoon by walking to the gates and absorbing the peaceful quiet of the Central Cemetery. We remember the masterpieces Mozart has left for future generations to enjoy, and which have also significantly shaped Vienna. Then we head back to the city centre.

    A fitting end to the day: A performance at the Theater an der Wien

    After an exciting day in which we visited several important places in the life of Mozart, it is now time to see one of the major opera houses: the Theater an der Wien, which was founded by Mozart’s colleague and friend, Emanuel Schikaneder. The opera house lies directly next to the popular Naschmarkt. Schikaneder, who wrote the libretto for “The Magic Flute,” was the first director of the house which opened in 1801. Twenty years ago, it was used for a while as a musical stage, until it was reopened in 2006 as a venue for operetta and concerts of all kinds. Elegantly dressed, and full of anticipation, we walk through the imposing entrance of the opera house to see a performance of Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro.” What will it sound like after all the new impressions about Mozart's life that we collected today? The curtain rises and the show begins. With the sound of the first note, the audience falls silent. Now it is time to enjoy - just like Mozart, who famously knew how to enjoy life - did in “his” Vienna. On the way home, we reflect on the events of the day. Looking at the magnificent buildings and narrow alleys we realize how remarkable Mozart’s life in Vienna has been.

    What is it like to perform at the Theater an der Wien?

    Florian Schönwiese, who can look back on 20 years as a violinist, gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the Theater an der Wien. The theatre is very familiar to him, as it is the performance venue of the Concentus Musicus. As a member of the ensemble, he performs here on a regular basis. The programme features great composers of the past, performed with historic instruments and today's musical know-how. In the interview, he tells us what it is like to live in the music city of Vienna and have the tradition of classical music surround you every day.

    Eager for more Mozart?


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