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date: 27 January 2020

Mozart, (Johann Chrysostom) Wolfgang Amadeuslocked

  • Cliff Eisen
  •  and Stanley Sadie


Member of Mozart family

(b Salzburg, Jan 27, 1756; d Vienna, Dec 5, 1791). Austrian composer, son of (1) Leopold Mozart. His style essentially represents a synthesis of many different elements, which coalesced in his Viennese years, from 1781 on, into an idiom now regarded as a peak of Viennese Classicism. The mature music, distinguished by its melodic beauty, its formal elegance and its richness of harmony and texture, is deeply coloured by Italian opera though also rooted in Austrian and south German instrumental traditions. Unlike Haydn, his senior by 24 years, and Beethoven, his junior by 15, he attempted most of the art-music forms of his time and excelled at them all.

Mozart was baptized on the day after his birth at St Rupert's Cathedral as Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus. The first two names record that 27 January was the feast day of St John Chrysostom, while Wolfgangus was the name of his maternal grandfather and Theophilus a name of his godfather, the merchant Joannes Theophilus Pergmayr; Mozart sometimes preferred the Latin form, Amadeus, but more frequently Amadè, Amadé or the German form Gottlieb. He was the seventh and last child born to Leopold Mozart and his wife Maria Anna, née Pertl (...

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The New Oxford History of Music (Oxford, 1954-90)
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