Mozart and the Keyboard Culture of His Time

Mozart in Verona
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This oil painting by Saverio dalla Rosa was created in 1770 for the receiver-general of Venice, Pietro Legiato. Mozart is 14 and wearing his favorite crimson coat. He is seated at a harpsichord made by Giovanni Celestius in Venice, 1583. The music on the stand, marked "molto allegro," is all that is known of the piano sonata K. 72a.

The close-up of Mozart’s hand, if an accurate depiction of his playing style, reveals a piano technique quite different from that which modern performers use today. Note how high his hand is above the keys, playing with the tip of his fingers.

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[top] Wolfgang at Verona. Oil painting by Saverio della Rosa, Verona, 6-7 January 1770. [bottom] detail. Private Collection (Alfred Cortot, Lausanne).
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From Sketch to Completed Work
From Print to CD
How did Mozart Compose?
The Mozart Myth: Tales of a Forgery
Mozart's Images
Mozart's Images Imagined
What the Score Doesn't Tell Us
The Piano Lesson
The Cult of Mozart
Commodification & Kitsch
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