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