Mozart’s favorite destination was Italy
Mozart and Italy
Mozart’s favorite destination was Italy, on December 13, 1769, father and son, who had yet to turn 14, mounted in a carriage, left Salzburg in Austria. They had begun the first of three Italian journeys. They stayed in Italy for two years, covering 3300 km. From the Brenner Pass, crossed the Republic of Venice. And then the Duchy of Milan, the Kingdom of Sardinia, the Duchy of Parma. Finally Piacenza, and Guastalla, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the State of the Church, the Kingdom of Naples.
The Italy of those years was not a united nation. But a puzzle of states and dukedoms. and yet exerted an irresistible attraction for artists and poets.
From Bressanone to Verona, from Milan to Bologna. Then Florence, Rome, Naples and back, Turin and Venice. Receptions, awards, concerts, earnings, fatigue, illnesses, the ‘meeting in Rome with the Pope. Who named him Knight of the Golden Spur. He was so young that to get up to kiss the foot of the statue of St. Peter they raised him by the arms.
Leopold Mozart, a respected violinist and Wolfgang’s father. Understood soon that his son was a musical genius, when he was still a child. Realizing his economic potential, he became his agent. He took him around Europe, having him perform in theatres, which were sold out.
His Italian journey
The first trip lasted until March 28 1771. The second from August 13 to December 15, 1771; the third from October 24, 1772, to March 13 1773. In Milan, Wolfgang – who at that time loved to sign Amadeo de Mozartini. Wrote three operas: Mithridate, King of Ponto, Ascanio in Alba, and Lucio Silla.
He met Giuseppe Parini and the Enlightenment circles, then learned our language. It was this familiarity with Italian that allowed him to explore the meaning of the librettos that the Venetian Lorenzo Da Ponte wrote for him. Three immortal masterpieces, including the Don Giovanni.
In Italy, he would have remained forever. But, like a thunder, Empress Maria Theresa of Austria sent from Vienna a letter to her son, Ferdinand, Archduke, in Milan. She told him to be careful to keep at his service these useless people who travel the world like scroungers. They sent him back to Vienna.
Shortly before, the composer Johann Adolph Hasse, a bit like the Salieri imagined by Puskin. Had formulated the most exact of the prophecies: “This boy is going to condemn to oblivion all of us!”.
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