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Mozart: some curiosities

Mozart: some curiosities (2B)

Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, known as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was born in Salzburg on the 27th of January, 1756, and died in Vienna on the 5th of December, 1791. 

You may be interested to know that, besides being one of the most prolific and influential composers in history, he also possessed one of the most privileged brains of all time.

At the age of three he could easily distinguish harmonic intervals on the harpsichord and played many tunes on the piano by ear. His musical career began when he was 5 years old with a piano concert that is difficult even for professional pianists. Aged 8, the boy Mozart composed his first symphony.

Mozart hated the sound of the flute and composed flute concertos only on request. According to him "the only thing worse than a flute is two flutes".

It is known that Mozart suffered from Tourette's syndrome, a nervous disorder that causes anxiety and obsessive compulsive behaviour, both of which are manifested by an inability to behave properly in society. Because of these disorders Mozart commonly used vulgar and insulting expressions, a fact that is evidenced by some of his surviving letters and documents.

As a member of Freemasons, the number 3 had a special meaning for him, and appears in many of his works. In The Magic Flute, for example, three major chords appear in the overture, three fairies, three children that guide the protagonist, three magical instruments, three trials, three temples...

He composed a total of 621 works, which were transcribed carefully and almost without corrections or changes. It is estimated that to transcribe his complete works would take 25 years, working 10 hours a day. An amazing fact when you consider that Mozart only lived 35 years. But this can be explained by his prodigious mind, as before committing the work to paper it was already fully developed in his head, thereby facilitating the transcription and decreasing the number of errors.

In the latter part of his life he suffered economic hardships and was buried in a mass grave along with dozens of other bodies, with no record whatsoever of the event surviving. For this reason there are no assurances as to where the remains of the composer are located. A skull supposedly belonging to him has been preserved since 1902, though there is no definitive evidence that it is his. Interestingly, in his final years, he composed many of his best known symphonies, concertos and operas, in addition to his Requiem.

His death is also a mystery, and even today there are roughly 150 hypotheses surrounding his demise, one of the most widespread being that he was poisoned in a fit of envy by the composer Antonio Salieri.

Finally, visitors who are expecting a child may be interested to know that, according to psychological prenatal and early stimulation studies, the harmonious music of Mozart can be beneficial to the foetus from as early as the third month on. So now you know, if you are going to be parents, some of Mozart's music may help your child develop a prenatal learning, and even if it doesn't, it is always a pleasure to listen to!

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