31st Mozart Festival in Warsaw
Royal Castle in Warsaw
Mozart Family & MACV Orchestra
Leopold Mozart (1719 – 1787)
Symfonia D-dur (Eisen D12)
Adagio sempre piano
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)
1. Molto allegro
8. Coro (Molto adagio) Eitelkeit!
11. Molto allegro
Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart (1791 – 1844)
Koncert fortepianowy C dur Op.14
I: Allegro maestoso
III: Rondo: Allegretto
Ancient Instruments Ensemble of Warsaw Chamber Opera
Musicae Antiquae Collegium Varsoviense
Grzegorz Lalek – concertmaster
Solo: Katarzyna Drogosz
In the history of music, the Mozart name is written in golden letters and there will probably be only few bold people who would be ready to doubt the genius of the famous Salzburg inhabitant. However, the knowledge of his musically gifted family is much less common. Father Leopold was a very well-known and respected bandleader and the author of one of the most popular violin textbooks in the 18th century. The son of Wolfgang Amadeus – Franz Xaver, who was born in the year of his father’s death in 1791, was in turn an extremely gifted pianist. Touring all over Europe, he presented both his works and the work of his phenomenal father.
Leopold Mozart (1719-1787) is known mainly as the father and mentor of his son Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, which does not change the fact that he was an important composer himself. His work was enormous, as evidenced by numerous, i.a., symphonies, concertos, cantatas, oratorios, masses, a rich chamber heritage, songs and sonatas. Unfortunately, a significant part of his oeuvres has not survived to our times. It is estimated that the preserved legacy accounts for only 30-40 percent of the total output. His most famous work, performed to this day, is the Cassation in G major for orchestra and … children’s toys, also known as the Toy Symphony. It is a witty piece that appeared on many recordings, outclassing his other works with popularity. Interestingly, there are still disputes as to whether Wolfgang Amadeus’ early compositions are certainly his authorship or merely attributed to them, and de facto its author is his father. Undoubtedly, there are also compositions that could have been written by his son and were included in his father’s works. This dispute is unlikely to ever be resolved, as well as whether if Leopold had focused more on his composing work than on developing his son’s talent, he would have been a more significant figure in the list of classicist composers today. Leopold Mozart was born in Augsburg, Germany (14 November 1719) and developed his musical talent early, becoming an accomplished violinist and organist. In 1737, he moved to Salzburg to study theology at the university. In 1739, he turned to music, devoted himself to composition while holding several smaller posts at the court of the Salzburg Archbishop. Out of the group of seven children (he married Anna Maria Pertl in 1747), only Wolfgang Amadeus and his older sister, Nannerl, survived. His Sinfonia Burlesca is one of the most frequently performed works, but it has never matched the masterpieces of Master Amadeus and the aforementioned Cassation by Leopold Mozart.
It is difficult to write anything innovative about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the context of the achievements of everyone from the Mozart family musical clan. Although the father was known throughout musical Europe, he went down in history as a mentor to his son and a man who devoted most of his life to his genius son. The same applies to the son of the Salzburg Master – Franz Xaver Wolfgang, who had to accept being in the shadow of his father-genius all his life, even on his tombstone there was an epitaph with the line: May his father’s name may be his epitaph, as honouring him was the essence of his life. Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart was born in Vienna, five months before his father’s death. Although he was baptized as Franz Xaver Mozart, his family always called him Wolfgang. He unquestionably had a great talent, which he perfected under Antonio Salieri and Johann Nepomuk Hummel. In terms of composition, his masters were Johann Georg Albrechtsberger and Sigismund von Neukomm. He played the piano and violin, and at the age of thirteen he made his debut as a composer, right away at the Theater an der Wien. Wolfgang became a professional musician and has had moderate success as both a teacher and a performer. Unlike his father, he was introverted and prone to depreciate himself as an artist. He constantly underestimated his talent and was afraid that everything he produced would be compared to what his father did. For economic reasons, in 1808 he went to Lviv, where he taught music to the daughter of count Wiktor Baworowski, a year later he accepted the proposal of another Polish aristocrat, Count von Janiszewski, the imperial chamberlain, to teach his daughter music at the estate in Bursztyn. At the same time, he gave concerts presenting his father’s works and his own. In 1813, he moved to Lviv, where he spent 25 years teaching and giving concerts. From 1826 to 1829 he conducted the choir of St. Cecilia (it consisted of 400 amateur singers!) and in 1826 he conducted his father’s Requiem during a concert in the Greek Catholic cathedral. From this choir, he created the musical brotherhood of St. Cecilia and thus the first music school in Lviv. At the same time, he gave concerts, among others in Warsaw, Elbląg and Gdańsk, visiting also other European countries. In 1838, he returned (via Vienna) to Salzburg, where he was appointed the Kapellmeister of the Mozarteum. He died in Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad) on 29 July 1844, where he was buried. He left no children. His Piano Concerto No. 2 shows a strong desire to break away from the classical canon, it is full of virtuoso fragments in the solo part. It is also a proof of creating his own style.
We consider Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to be an icon of music, a creator who was fluent in all types of music, from chamber music to symphonies, through concertos, operas to oratorio phrases, but his output includes many works remaining in the shadows, created on the occasion of his subsequent concerto journeys, dedicated to friends on their wedding days or simply as evidence of sympathy. It is significant, that when analysing even the less known pieces, not often found on concert posters, we can never point out to them the lack of artistry or the peculiar note of genius contained in the staves. It is no different with the seventeen-part quodlibet Gallimathias Musicum in D major, which was created during Mozart’s European tour and first sounded on 11 March 1766 at The Hague. Interestingly, the composition repeatedly refers to themes that were not written by Mozart (folk themes or melodies heard during the journey), but in the instrumentation they receive such a characteristic feature that we would never question the “Mozartian style” of this music. Although the composition is dedicated to strings, two oboes, two horns, a bassoon and a harpsichord, it is often supplemented in the same way as Gallimathias Musicum is annexed to the needs of ballet and pantomime. Four manuscripts of the work have survived to our times, interestingly in two different versions. This was probably due to Leopold Mozart, who wanted to keep handy the material in case there was an opportunity for further performances (which took place in Paris and Donauschingen in 1766).
It has always been thought that the Gallimathias Musicum had its premiere on 11 March, the date indicated by Leopold Mozart in his letter of 16 May 1766. Yes, it is known that it was to honour the proclamation of William V, Prince of Orange, regent of the Netherlands. However, there is no absolute certainty on this point. In a book published in 1909, “Het Muziekleven in Nederland in de tweede Helft der 18e Eeuw in Verband met Mozarts Verblijf aldaar”, Daniel Francois Scheurleer, relying on documents found in the Archives of the Royal House and the Court’s accounts, states that on that day there was no festive concert, apart from the ball on the playfield (28 February) and table music (8, 10 and 12 March – with music provided by J. J. Muller). Scheurleer reports that on the evening of 11 March there was no concert involving the prince because the prince went to the opera. It is therefore likely that Mozart’s Gallimathias musicum was played during one of the sessions during the meal or to make the guests’ time more enjoyable. Amadeus’s father noted that: Gallimathias musicum is a work for two violins, two oboes, two horns, obligatory harpsichord, two bassoons, viola and bass. All the instruments have its solo parts and finally there is a fugue with all the instruments, based on a Dutch song called “Prince William”.