Mozart and the Keyboard Culture of His Time

Subscribers to
Mozart's Lenten concerts, 1784

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Mozart and his family left posterity an extraordinary body of correspondence, which provides much of what we know about his life and career. In a letter of March 3, 1784, for instance, he bragged to his father about 22 public and private concerts he was then in the midst of presenting. Some days later he sent his father a list of the subscribers to his own concert series on three successive Wednesdays—a list that reads like a who's who of the Austrian nobility. Mozart's new keyboard concertos, K. 449, 450 and 451, were performed at these three concerts. His father noted that the Viennese piano teacher, Georg Friedrich Richter, had reported the concertos' success. Mozart replied on May 26: "The concerto whose praises Herr Richter sang is the one in B flat… Both concertos [K. 450 and 451], I maintain, will make you sweat, however the one in B flat trumps the one in D in the matter of technical difficulty."

The original list is owned by the Library of the Mozarteum, Salzburg.

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Briefe Wolfgang Amadeus Mozarts mit Originalbriefen in Lichtdruck, ed. Erich H. Müller von Asow. Salzburg: Zentralinstitut für Mozartforschung an Mozarteum, 1942.
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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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