• [78] He experienced great satisfaction in the public success of some of his works, notably The Magic Flute (which was performed several times in the short period between its
    premiere and Mozart’s death)[79] and the Little Masonic Cantata K. 623, premiered on 17 November 1791.

  • There is some scholarly debate about whether Mozart was four or five years old when he created his first musical compositions, though there is little doubt that Mozart composed
    his first three pieces of music within a few weeks of each other: K. 1a, 1b, and 1c.

  • Later years 1788–90 See also: Mozart’s Berlin journey Drawing of Mozart in silverpoint, made by Dora Stock during Mozart’s visit to Dresden, April 1789 Toward the end of the
    decade, Mozart’s circumstances worsened.

  • [66] 1786–87: Return to opera Fortepiano played by Mozart in 1787, Czech Museum of Music, Prague[67] Despite the great success of Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Mozart did
    little operatic writing for the next four years, producing only two unfinished works and the one-act Der Schauspieldirektor.

  • [50] Early years See also: Haydn and Mozart and Mozart and Freemasonry Mozart’s new career in Vienna began well.

  • 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.

  • When he was eight years old, Mozart wrote his first symphony, most of which was probably transcribed by his father.

  • In the same letter to his father just quoted, Mozart outlined his plans to participate as a soloist in the concerts of the Tonkünstler-Societät, a prominent benefit concert
    series;[47] this plan as well came to pass after the local nobility prevailed on Colloredo to drop his opposition.

  • [12] 1762–73: Travel Main articles: Mozart family grand tour and Mozart in Italy While Wolfgang was young, his family made several European journeys in which he and Nannerl
    performed as child prodigies.

  • The work was soon being performed “throughout German-speaking Europe”,[49] and thoroughly established Mozart’s reputation as a composer.

  • [96] Mozart lived at the center of the Viennese musical world, and knew a significant number and variety of people: fellow musicians, theatrical performers, fellow Salzburgers,
    and aristocrats, including some acquaintance with Emperor Joseph II.

  • [f] However, Mozart was planning a bigger career even as he continued in the archbishop’s service;[46] for example, he wrote to his father: My main goal right now is to meet
    the emperor in some agreeable fashion, I am absolutely determined he should get to know me.

  • His father and sister were cordially polite to Constanze, but the visit prompted the composition of one of Mozart’s great liturgical pieces, the Mass in C minor.

  • [29] Mozart became acquainted with members of the famous orchestra in Mannheim, the best in Europe at the time.

  • [41] Among the better-known works which Mozart wrote on the Paris journey are the A minor piano sonata, K. 310/300d, the “Paris” Symphony (No.

  • Between April and December 1775, Mozart developed an enthusiasm for violin concertos, producing a series of five (the only ones he ever wrote), which steadily increased in
    their musical sophistication.

  • … At the age of five, he was already composing little pieces, which he played to his father who wrote them down.

  • [10] His first ink-spattered composition and his precocious efforts with the violin were of his initiative and came as a surprise to Leopold,[11] who eventually gave up composing
    when his son’s musical talents became evident.

  • [47] Mozart did indeed soon meet the Emperor, who eventually was to support his career substantially with commissions and a part-time position.

  • This modest income became important to Mozart when hard times arrived.

  • [48] Colloredo’s wish to prevent Mozart from performing outside his establishment was in other cases, however, carried through, raising the composer’s anger; one example was
    a chance to perform before the Emperor at Countess Thun’s for a fee equal to half of his yearly Salzburg salary.

  • He often performed as a pianist, notably in a competition before the Emperor with Muzio Clementi on 24 December 1781,[49] and he soon “had established himself as the finest
    keyboard player in Vienna”.

  • [71][g] In 1787, the young Ludwig van Beethoven spent several weeks in Vienna, hoping to study with Mozart.

  • [65] Freemasonry played an essential role in the remainder of Mozart’s life: he attended meetings, a number of his friends were Masons, and on various occasions, he composed
    Masonic music, e.g.

  • At 17, Mozart was engaged as a musician at the Salzburg court but grew restless and travelled in search of a better position.

  • In 1776, he turned his efforts to piano concertos, culminating in the E♭ concerto K. 271 of early 1777, considered by critics to be a breakthrough work.

  • [55] Mozart met Joseph Haydn in Vienna around 1784, and the two composers became friends.

  • He is thought to have benefited from the sale of dance music written in his role as Imperial chamber composer.

  • Court records show that Joseph aimed to keep the esteemed composer from leaving Vienna in pursuit of better prospects.

  • If, as later reports say, no mourners attended, that too is consistent with Viennese burial customs at the time; later Otto Jahn (1856) wrote that Salieri, Süssmayr, van Swieten
    and two other musicians were present.

  • Its reception in Prague later in the year was even warmer, and this led to a second collaboration with Da Ponte: the opera Don Giovanni, which premiered in October 1787 to
    acclaim in Prague, but less success in Vienna during 1788.

  • Although the evidence is inconclusive,[78] it appears that wealthy patrons in Hungary and Amsterdam pledged annuities to Mozart in return for the occasional composition.

  • One reason was his low salary, 150 florins a year;[24] Mozart longed to compose operas, and Salzburg provided only rare occasions for these.

  • [15] Mozart aged 14 in January 1770 (School of Verona, attributed to Giambettino Cignaroli) The family trips were often challenging, and travel conditions were primitive.

  • Years later, after her brother’s death, she reminisced: He often spent much time at the clavier, picking out thirds, which he was ever striking, and his pleasure showed that
    it sounded good.

  • [106] Some of Mozart’s early symphonies are Italian overtures, with three movements running into each other; many are homotonal (all three movements having the same key signature,
    with the slow middle movement being in the relative minor).

  • Around the end of 1785, Mozart moved away from keyboard writing[68][page needed] and began his famous operatic collaboration with the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte.

  • In the fourth year of his age his father, for a game as it were, began to teach him a few minuets and pieces at the clavier.

  • Despite his short life, his rapid pace of composition resulted in more than 800 works of virtually every genre of his time.

  • [87] Mozart’s modest funeral did not reflect his standing with the public as a composer; memorial services and concerts in Vienna and Prague were well-attended.

  • It was a part-time appointment, paying just 800 florins per year, and required Mozart only to compose dances for the annual balls in the Redoutensaal (see Mozart and dance).

  • [6] When Nannerl was 7, she began keyboard lessons with her father, while her three-year-old brother looked on.

  • Solomon writes that during this period, Mozart created “a harmonious connection between an eager composer-performer and a delighted audience, which was given the opportunity
    of witnessing the transformation and perfection of a major musical genre”.

  • [81] He continued his professional functions for some time and conducted the premiere of The Magic Flute on 30 September.

  • Mozart would sometimes switch his focus between operas and instrumental music.

  • [10] Solomon notes that, while Leopold was a devoted teacher to his children, there is evidence that Mozart was keen to progress beyond what he was taught.

  • He often made sketches and drafts; unlike Beethoven’s, these are mostly not preserved, as his wife sought to destroy them after his death.

  • [69] The two are among Mozart’s most famous works and are mainstays of operatic repertoire today, though at their premieres their musical complexity caused difficulty both
    for listeners and for performers.

  • [94] Mozart usually worked long and hard, finishing compositions at a tremendous pace as deadlines approached.

  • 1791 Mozart’s last year was, until his final illness struck, a time of high productivity—and by some accounts, one of personal recovery.

  • Leopold hoped these visits would result in a professional appointment for his son, and indeed ruling Archduke Ferdinand contemplated hiring Mozart, but owing to his mother
    Empress Maria Theresa’s reluctance to employ “useless people”, the matter was dropped[d] and Leopold’s hopes were never realized.

  • [80] Final illness and death Main article: Death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Mozart fell ill while in Prague for the premiere, on 6 September 1791, of his opera La clemenza
    di Tito, which was written in that same year on commission for Emperor Leopold II’s coronation festivities.

  • There were prospects of employment in Mannheim, but they came to nothing,[30] and Mozart left for Paris on 14 March 1778[31] to continue his search.

  • Life and career Early life Family and childhood Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on 27 January 1756 to Leopold Mozart (1719–1787) and Anna Maria, née Pertl (1720–1778), at
    Getreidegasse 9 in Salzburg.

  • One of his letters from Paris hints at a possible post as an organist at Versailles, but Mozart was not interested in such an appointment.

  • He wrote a great deal of religious music, including large-scale masses, as well as dances, divertimenti, serenades, and other forms of light entertainment.

  • Based on pictures that researchers were able to find of Mozart, he seemed to wear a white wig for most of his formal occasions—researchers of the Salzburg Mozarteum declared
    that only one of his fourteen portraits they had found showed him without his wig.

  • As with earlier journeys, Leopold wanted to display his son’s abilities as a performer and a rapidly maturing composer.

  • Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty.

  • [56] Haydn wrote, “posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years”[57] and in 1785 told Mozart’s father: “I tell you before God, and as an honest man, your son is
    the greatest composer known to me by person and repute, he has taste and what is more the greatest skill in composition.

  • Neither visit was successful, though the Munich journey resulted in a popular success with the premiere of Mozart’s opera La finta giardiniera.

  • [75] Maynard Solomon and others have suggested that Mozart was suffering from depression, and it seems his musical output slowed.

  • In Rome, he heard Gregorio Allegri’s Miserere twice in performance, in the Sistine Chapel, and wrote it out from memory, thus producing the first unauthorized copy of this
    closely guarded property of the Vatican.

  • [16] They had to wait for invitations and reimbursement from the nobility, and they endured long, near-fatal illnesses far from home: first Leopold (London, summer 1764),[17]
    then both children (The Hague, autumn 1765).

  • [73] This was a difficult time for musicians in Vienna because of the Austro-Turkish War: both the general level of prosperity and the ability of the aristocracy to support
    music had declined.

  • I would be so happy if I could whip through my opera for him and then play a fugue or two, for that’s what he likes.

  • [72] No reliable records survive to indicate whether the two composers ever met.

  • [70] In December 1787, Mozart finally obtained a steady post under aristocratic patronage.

  • [59] With substantial returns from his concerts and elsewhere, Mozart and his wife adopted a more luxurious lifestyle.

  • [9] In his early years, Wolfgang’s father was his only teacher.

  • Others mimic the works of J. C. Bach, and others show the simple rounded binary forms turned out by Viennese composers.


Works Cited

[‘1. Sources vary in how Mozart’s name should be pronounced in English. Fradkin 1996, a guide for radio announcers, strongly recommends [ts] for letter z (thus /ˈwʊlfɡæŋ ˌæməˈdeɪəs ˈmoʊtsɑːrt/ WUULF-gang AM-ə-DAY-əs MOHT-sart), but otherwise considers
English-like pronunciation fully acceptable. The German one is [ˈvɔlfɡaŋ ʔamaˈdeːʊs ˈmoːtsaʁt] ( listen).
2. ^ Mozart’s exact name involved many complications; for details, see Mozart’s name.
3. ^ Source: Wilson 1999, p. 2. The many changes
of European political borders since Mozart’s time make it difficult to assign him an unambiguous nationality; for discussion, see Mozart’s nationality.
4. ^ Eisen & Keefe 2006, p. 268: “You ask me to take the young Salzburger into your service.
I do not know why not believing that you have need for a composer or of useless people. … What I say is intended only to prevent you from burdening yourself with useless people and giving titles to people of that sort. In addition, if they are at
your service, it degrades that service when these people go about the world like beggars.”
5. ^ Archbishop Colloredo responded to the request by dismissing both Mozart and his father, though the dismissal of the latter was not actually carried out.
6. ^
Mozart complains of this in a letter to his father, dated 24 March 1781.[45]
7. ^ A more recent view, Wolff 2012, is that Mozart’s position was a more substantial one than is traditionally maintained, and that some of Mozart’s chamber music from
this time was written as part of his imperial duties.
8. ^ More recently, Wolff 2012 has forcefully advocated a view of Mozart’s career at the end of his life as being on the rise, interrupted by his sudden death.
9. ^ For further details, see
Beethoven and Mozart.
10. Buch 2017, “Introduction”.
11. ^ Jump up to:a b c Eisen & Sadie 2001.
12. ^ Arnold, Rosemarie; Taylor, Robert; Eisenschmid, Rainer (2009). Austria. Baedeker. ISBN 978-3-8297-6613-5. OCLC 416424772.
13. ^ Deutsch
1965, p. 9.
14. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 21.
15. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 32.
16. ^ Deutsch 1965, p. 455.
17. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 44.
18. ^ Andante in C major, K. 1a, Allegro in C major, K. 1b, Allegro in F major, K.1c: Scores at the International Music
Score Library Project
19. ^ Jump up to:a b Solomon 1995, pp. 39–40
20. ^ Deutsch 1965, p. 453.
21. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 33.
22. ^ “Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | Composer | Blue Plaques”. English Heritage. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
23. ^ Grove
1954, p. 926.
24. ^ Meerdter, Joe (2009). “Mozart Biography”. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
25. ^ Halliwell 1998, pp. 51, 53.
26. ^ Halliwell 1998, pp. 82–83.
27. ^ Halliwell 1998, pp. 99–102.
28. ^ Gutman 2000, p. 271. For
details of the story, see Miserere (Allegri) and Mozart’s compositional method.
29. ^ Chrissochoidis, Ilias (Summer 2010). “London Mozartiana: Wolfgang’s disputed age & early performances of Allegri’s Miserere”. The Musical Times. Vol. 151, no.
1911. pp. 83–89. Provides new information on this episode.
30. ^ Halliwell 1998, pp. 172, 183–185.
31. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 106.
32. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 103.
33. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 98.
34. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 107.
35. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 109.
36. ^
Vatican 1770.
37. ^ Halliwell 1998, p. 225.
38. ^ Sadie 1998.
39. ^ Drebes, Gerald (1992). Die ‘Mannheimer Schule’—ein Zentrum der vorklassischen Musik und Mozart. Heidelberg. Archived from the original on 7 February 2015.
40. ^ Deutsch
1965, p. 174.
41. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 149.
42. ^ Halliwell 1998, pp. 304–305.
43. ^ Abert 2007, p. 509.
44. ^ Halliwell 1998, p. 305.
45. ^ Piotr Napierała. “Baroque Composers”. Archived from the original on
14 January 2015. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
46. ^ Halliwell 1998, chs. 18–19.
47. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 157.
48. ^ Halliwell 1998, p. 322.
49. ^ Sadie 1998, §3
50. ^ Jean Massin; Brigitte Massin, eds. (1983). Histoire de la musique occidentale.
Paris: Fayard. p. 613. He wrote during that period that, whenever he or someone else played one of his compositions, it was as if the table and chairs were the only listeners.
51. ^ Deutsch 1965, p. 176.
52. ^ Einstein 1965, pp. 276–277.
53. ^
Sadie 1980, vol. 12, p. 700.
54. ^ Spaethling 2000, p. 235.
55. ^ Spaethling 2000, p. 238.
56. ^ Jump up to:a b Spaethling 2000, p. 237; the letter dates from 24 March 1781.
57. ^ Spaethling 2000, pp. 238–239.
58. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Sadie
1998, §4
59. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 247.
60. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 253.
61. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 259.
62. ^ Jump up to:a b Solomon 1995, p. 258
63. ^ Solomon 1995, pp. 265–266.
64. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 270.
65. ^ See Barry 2000 for detailed discussion
of the influence of Opus 33 on the “Haydn” quartets.
66. ^ Landon 1990, p. 171.
67. ^ Mozart & Mozart 1966, p. 1331. Leopold’s letter to his daughter Nannerl, 14–16 May 1785.
68. ^ Jump up to:a b Solomon 1995, p. 293
69. ^ Jump up to:a b
Solomon 1995, p. 298
70. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 430.
71. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 578.
72. ^ Solomon 1995, §27.
73. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 431.
74. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 321.
75. ^ Rushton, Julian (2005). Mozart: An Extraordinary Life. Associated Board
of the Royal School of Music. p. 67.
76. ^ “Czech Museum of Music to display “Mozart” piano”. Radio Praha. 31 January 2007. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
77. ^ Jump up to:a b Solomon 1995
78. ^ Freeman 2021, pp. 131–168.
79. ^ Palmer, Willard
(2006). W.A. Mozart: An Introduction to His Keyboard Works. Alfred Music Publishing. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-7390-3875-8.
80. ^ Solomon 1995, pp. 423–424
81. ^ Haberl 2006, pp. 215–255.
82. ^ Jump up to:a b Sadie 1998, §6
83. ^ Lorenz 2010.
84. ^
Sadie 1980, vol. 12, p. 710.
85. ^ Steptoe 1990, p. 208.
86. ^ Solomon 1995, §30.
87. ^ Jump up to:a b c Solomon 1995, p. 477
88. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 487.
89. ^ And not as previously stated on 15 November; see Abert 2007, p. 1307, fn 9
90. ^
Freeman 2021, pp. 193–230.
91. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 491.
92. ^ Solomon 1995, pp. 493, 588.
93. ^ “Mozart’s final year and death—1791”. Classic FM (UK).
94. ^ Sadie 1980, vol. 12, p. 716.
95. ^ Walther Brauneis. Dies irae, dies illa—Day of
wrath, day of wailing: Notes on the commissioning, origin and completion of Mozart’s Requiem (KV 626) (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 April 2014.
96. ^ Jump up to:a b Wakin 2010
97. ^ Crawford, Franklin (14 February 2000). “Foul
play ruled out in death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart”. EurekAlert!. American Association for the Advancement of Science. Archived from the original on 26 April 2014. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
98. ^ Becker, Sander (20 August 2009). “Voorlopig is Mozart
bezweken aan streptokok” [For the time being Mozart succumbed to streptococcus]. Trouw. Retrieved 25 April 2014..
99. ^ Bakalar, Nicholas (17 August 2009). “What Really Killed Mozart? Maybe Strep”. The New York Times. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
100. ^
Hirschmann, Jan V. (11 June 2001). “Special Article: What Really Killed Mozart?”. JAMA Internal Medicine. 161 (11): 1381–1389. doi:10.1001/archinte.161.11.1381. PMID 11386887.
101. ^ Dupouy-Camet, Jean (22 April 2002). “Editor’s Correspondence:
Trichinellosis Is Unlikely to Be Responsible for Mozart’s Death”. JAMA Internal Medicine (Critical comment and reply). 162 (8): 946, author reply 946–947. doi:10.1001/archinte.162.8.946. PMID 11966352.
102. ^ Jump up to:a b Solomon 1995, p. 499
103. ^
Jump up to:a b “Discovered, new Mozart portrait that shows musician without his wig”. The Telegraph. 11 January 2013. Archived from the original on 10 January 2022. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
104. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 308.
105. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 310.
106. ^
Solomon 1995, §20.
107. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 319.
108. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 169.
109. ^ A list of the canons may be found at Mozart and scatology#In music.
110. ^ Goldstein, Jack (2013). 101 Amazing Mozart Facts. Andrews UK Limited.
111. ^ Abert
2007, p. 743.
112. ^ Grove 1954, pp. 958–982.
113. ^ Rosen 1998, p. 324.
114. ^ Solomon 1995, ch. 8. Discussion of the sources of style as well as his early imitative ability.
115. ^ Heartz 2003.
116. ^ Einstein 1965, p. [page needed].
117. ^
Zaslaw & Cowdery 1990, pp. 331–332.
118. ^ “The Letters of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. (1769–1791), by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart”. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
119. ^ Layer, Adolf; Ullrich, Hermann (2001). Demmler [Demler, Dümmler],
Johann Michael. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.07542.
120. ^ Latcham, Michael (1997). “Mozart and the pianos of Gabriel Anton Walter”. Early Music. XXV (3): 383–400. doi:10.1093/earlyj/XXV.3.383.
121. ^
Bauer, Wilhelm (1963). Mozart: Briefe und Aufzeichnungen (PDF).
122. ^ Solomon 1995, p. 574.
123. ^ See, for example: Temperley, Nicholas. “Mozart’s Influence on English Music”. Music & Letters 42.4 (1961): 307–318.
124. ^ Jahn, Otto; Townsend,
Pauline D.; Grove, George (1882). Life of Mozart. London, Novello, Ewer & Co.
125. ^ Raptus Association for Music Appreciation.
126. ^ Churgin 1987, pp. 457–458.
127. ^ Churgin 1987, p. 458.
128. ^ March, Greenfield & Layton 2005.
129. ^
Wiley, Roland John (2001). “Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Il′yich”. Grove Music Online. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.51766. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
b. Abert, Hermann (2007). W.A. Mozart.
Translated by Spencer, Stewart. Cliff Eisen (ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-07223-5. OCLC 70401564.
c. Barry, Barbara R. (2000). The Philosopher’s Stone: Essays in the Transformation of Musical Structure. Hillsdale, New
York: Pendragon Press. ISBN 978-1-57647-010-7. OCLC 466918491.
d. Buch, David (2017). “Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart”. Oxford Bibliographies: Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/OBO/9780199757824-0193. (subscription required)
e. Churgin,
Bathia (Autumn 1987). “Beethoven and Mozart’s Requiem: A New Connection” (PDF). The Journal of Musicology. 5 (4): 457–477. doi:10.2307/763840. JSTOR 763840.
f. Deutsch, Otto Erich (1965). Mozart: A Documentary Biography. Peter Branscombe, Eric
Blom, Jeremy Noble (trans.). Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-0233-1. OCLC 8991008.
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Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-304-92483-7. OCLC 456644858.
h. Eisen, Cliff; Keefe, Simon P., eds. (2006). The Cambridge Mozart Encyclopedia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-85659-1.
i. Eisen, Cliff; Sadie, Stanley (2001).
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j. Fradkin, Robert A (1996). The Well-Tempered Announcer:
A Pronunciation Guide to Classical Music. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-21064-7.
k. Freeman, Daniel E. (2021). Mozart in Prague. Minneapolis: Calumet Editions. ISBN 978-1-950743-50-6.
l. Grove’s Dictionary of Music and
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Photo credit:’]