Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart27 jan 1756 (Salzburg) - 5 dec 1791 (Vienna)
List of compositions by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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The composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart went by many different names in his lifetime. This resulted partly from the church traditions of the day, and partly from the fact that Mozart was multilingual and freely adapted his name to other languages.
Mozart was baptized on 28 January 1756, the day after his birth, at St. Rupert's Cathedral in Salzburg as Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. The baptismal register of the cathedral parish contains the entry shown below, written down in Latin by city chaplain Leopold Lamprecht. The parallel five-column format of the original document, seen in the figure, is transcribed below in five consecutive paragraphs. Material in brackets represents editorial additions by Otto Erich Deutsch (see below), intended for clarification.
Mozart's first two baptismal names, "Joannes Chrysostomus," represent his saint's name, following the custom of the Catholic Church. They result from the fact that his birthday, 27 January, was the feast day of St. John Chrysostom. The document also records that Mozart was of legitimate birth and gives the names of his parents and his father Leopold's occupation as court musician. The first paragraph indicates that the baptism took place at 10:30 in the morning, and that Mozart had been born at 8:00 the night before.
Here are the details of the various names given on the register:
Mozart's father Leopold announced the birth of his son in a letter to the publisher Johann Jakob Lotter with the words "...the boy is called Joannes Chrisostomus, Wolfgang, Gottlieb", in German: "der Bub heißt Joannes Chrisostomus, Wolfgang, Gottlieb" [sic] – "Gottlieb" being yet another translation (German) of "Theophilus".
The baptismal names "Joannes" and "Chrysostomus" have German equivalents, namely "Johann" and "Chrysostomos" (or less frequently "Chrystostom"). The widely-used Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians employs these versions in the heading name for its Mozart article, which parenthesizes the little-used baptismal names: "(Johann Chrystostom) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart."
Austrian musicologist Otto Erich Deutsch, who studied all available letters and documents about the composer, arrived at the following conclusion about what the composer called himself: "In Italy, from 1770, Mozart called himself 'Wolfgango Amadeo', and from about 1777, 'Wolfgang Amadè'."
The use of multiple language versions of the same name was perhaps common in Mozart's day. Joseph Haydn went by "Joseph" (German, English and French), "Josef" (German), and "Giuseppe" (Italian); and Ludwig van Beethoven likewise published as "Luigi" (Italian) and as "Louis" (French).
Mozart's preference for "Wolfgang Amadè" can be seen on the wedding contract for his marriage to Constanze Weber, dated August 3, 1782, where the composer's signature is "Wolfgang Amade Mozart". In the parish register entry for the marriage, dated August 4, Mozart is referred to as "Herr Wolfgang Adam Mozart".
Mozart's preference for "Amadè" was not in general respected by others. Frequently, he was called either "Wolfgang Amadeus" or "Wolfgang Gottlieb". Here are examples:
Posthumous usage of Amadeus
The 19th century saw the gradual victory of "Amadeus" over alternative middle names when referring to Mozart. Braunbehrens (1988) observes that early (18th century) biographers of Mozart, such as Friedrich Schlichtegroll and Franz Niemetschek, used "Gottlieb". However, in 1798 the publishing firm of Breitkopf & Härtel began to issue a (partial) Complete Works edition under the name "Amadeus". The dominance of "Amadeus" began around about 1810; Romanticism, notably in the person of E. T. A. Hoffmann, "seized upon this name to proclaim its veneration for Mozart." Although various scholars since that time have made use of "Amadè" or "Gottlieb", "Amadeus" remains by far the most familiar term for the general public.
In the frequently playful letters of his youth Mozart sometimes would spell his name backwards, viz., Mozart Wolfgang or Trazom.
'Amadeus' may have originated as a facetious name; Mozart never used the name except in jest, when he signed himself in mock Latin in three letters as "Wolfgangus Amadeus Mozartus"; this was certainly no accident as in one letter he did the same to the date of the letter as well: adding "-us" to the end of each word.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Allthough most Wikipedia articles provide accurate information accuracy can not be guaranteed.
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Fantasia in C minor KV475
Sancta Maria, mater Dei
Concerto for Clarinet in A major
Eine kleine Nachtmusik (serenade no. 13)
Orchestre Nationale de France
Concerto for Flute & Harp
Mary Angelina Mei