Mozart and the Keyboard Culture of His Time


Constanze Mozart's Romanticization
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Interviewed by Franz Xaver Niemetschek for his Leben des K. K. Kapellmeisters Wolfgang Gottlieb Mozart nach Originalquellen beschreiben (Prague, 1798), Constanze had this to say: "Mozart ... never touched the piano while writing. When he received the libretto for a vocal composition, he went about for some time, concentrating on it until his imagination was fired. Then he proceeded to work out his ideas at the piano; and only then did he sit down and write." When, three decades later, the London music publisher Vincent Novello and his wife Mary visited and interviewed Constanze, she had idealized this to "He seldom went to the instrument when he composed....When some grand conception was working in his brain, he was purely abstracted, ... but when once arranged in his mind, he needed no pianoforte."

It is even possible that, having read the forged letter, Constanze believed it to be genuine.

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Nerina Medici and Rosemary Hughes (eds.), A Mozart Pilgrimage: The Travel Diaries of Vincent & Mary Novello in the Year 1829 (London, 1955).
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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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