Mozart: The Face of a New Era of Music

Mozart was an extremely influential composer who significantly impacted the musical culture and was the face of the classical era of music.

Mozart had many influences which affected his musical style. Mozart's father was a huge influence on this budding musician. He forced him to play piano from an early age and, at age 3, Mozart was playing with a perfect pitch. By the age of 5, Mozart already wrote a miniature allegro and andante. When he was 6, Leopold, his father, decided to take him and his sister, Maria Anna on tour throughout Europe. Mozart preformed royal courts where queens, emperors, and other prestigious guests were in attendance. The Mozarts' popularity grew and soon they were traveling to perform in France, England, and Germany between 1763 and 1772.

Mozart was also influenced by Franz Joseph Hayden, who wrote 104 symphonies. In 1785, he published six quartets, all of which he dedicated to Hayden. Mozart was interested with Johann Sebatian Bach and George Frederich Handel and studied and became farmiliar with their work which inspired and influence his music during the mid 1830s. In his later years, Mozart was also influenced by the concept of his own death as his health began to fail and he felt that he was not finished with his life. It was during this time that he wrote one of his last pieces, Requiem, which he started writing in 1791, the year of his death. Mozart was also influenced by the Catholic Church as he was employed as a Court Organist from 1774 to 1781. He was given an environment where he could write, practice and play all he wanted. Eventually, the Archbishop, Hieronymus Colloredo, stifled Mozart’s creativity as his goal was to reduce the court’s expenditures and the use of instrumental music in mass. This forced Mozart to venture outside the church to explore his musical creativity.

In 1782, Mozart met the Italian poet and opera writer, Lorenzo da Ponte, who had an intimate knowledge of Italian literature, theater and tradition. Da Ponte felt that opera should have frequent changes in emotion, a concept which Mozart incorporated when he produced Lenozzi di Figaro, Don Giavanni and Cosi fan Tutte, which are considered to be his greatest Italian operas. Amongst the influences on this music was the Baroque music that Mozart had become acquainted with, probably for the first time, at the house of his patron Baron Gottfried van Swieten, a music collector and antiquarian. The Baroque influence is noticeable especially in the spare textures and austere lines of certain of his solo numbers. Mozart had several influences which shaped his music and its popularity today.

Mozart had a big influence on today’s music culture with his music style and controversy. Piano concertos, symphonies, and many other compositional forms inspired and influenced Mozart’s music. An example of an influence is from a symphony Giovanni Battista Sammartini which was F major and significantly impacted him. This is a wonderful symphony with complexity and drama. The development of the first movement uses incredibly thoughtful counterpoint which was a new and exciting compositional technique which he utilized.

Mozart was an unrecognized genius at the time with revolutionary music. He has had significant influence over the development and evolution of many aspects of music, but two of the most important areas he has influenced are piano concertos and symphonies. Mozart used his piano concertos; he brought a new underlying emotion throughout the works of his later years especially shown in his symphonies. Mozart begins a new era of music, with hints at pain and heartbreak leading to a more romantic tone, hence the name of the approaching “Romantic Period” which laid the ground work for the future composer like Beethoven. Controversy in music can signify the music’s uniqueness which people don’t like or isn’t the natural sound of songs as people have different view if its songs good of its uniqueness. The Marriage of Figaro is a very controversial song as it is very unique to his songs and change sounds throughout the piece. I also can be taken from different point of views and triggers different feelings for different people. This significantly affected the current musical culture with his legacy is still remembered today.

There was some controversy around Mozart’s death. It has been intensely discussed for a long time whether Mozart was poisoned, whether he died from a certain illness or by self-medication. Consequently, his death caused wild speculations and erroneous assertions. Mozart was assumed to be a chronically ill man all his life. His death still remains a mystery. There was never enough evidence gathered to conclude and exact cause of death whether it be murder or a health issue it will remain undetermined.

Mozart had a unique personality. Mozart was described as having many mood swings switching from serious to joyful repeatably. That said, Hueguelet and Perroud conclude with certainty that Mozart suffered from depression in his last year of life. In his letters he talks about his experiences that include: depressed mood, sadness, tearfulness, and increasingly loosing composing interests. He demonstrated some traits of Dependent Personality Disorder, as he always needed to be nurtured and supported by others. For instance, his wife or his father, frequently needed to reassure him that his friends really cared about him and he found it hard to tolerate solitude. Overall, we can conclude from that the ingenious composer suffered from Major Depressive Disorder and had traits of Dependent and Borderline Personality Disorder, something we would currently likely diagnose as Personality Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

Overall, Mozart has had a great influence on today’s music which has made him one of the most well-known composers and a legend of his time.  

07 July 2022
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