The violin sonatas recorded here were composed during a pivotal year for Mozart. During a visit to Vienna in May, 1781, Mozart had, according to his version of events, resigned – or more likely was sacked – from his position as court organist and concertmaster to the Prince Archbishop of Salzburg, Hieronymus Colloredo. His father, Leopold, also a Colloredo employee, was none too pleased for many reasons. As a respected servant of the court he was embarrassed by his son’s behaviour and possibly jealous of his new-found freedom. He was especially unhappy that the now homeless Mozart had taken lodgings in Vienna with the Weber family, of which Leopold was endlessly suspicious. Mozart had known the Webers since 1777, when he had fallen in love with their eldest daughter, a coloratura soprano named Aloysia. (Although she turned him down, he went on to compose much wonderful music for Aloysia. In 1780 she married Joseph Lange, the painter who was to leave unfinished one of the most famous, and certainly the most poignant, portraits of Mozart.) With a roof over his head, Mozart could pursue a freelance career in Vienna. Performing, composing and publishing might all further one’s reputation, and Mozart did all three tirelessly, but they did not necessarily generate income. The first performances of Die Entfu?hrung aus dem Serail, for example, were a critical and box-office success but earned the composer himself only one hundred ducats. To put this in perspective, he had been paid fifty ducats by Emperor Joseph II for playing in a competition with Muzio Clementi. (Evidently both the Emperor and Mozart felt the Italian was well beaten: “He doesn’t have a penny’s worth of taste or feeling – he is a mere Mechanicus,” wrote Mozart to his father.) 1 Other high profile concerts, such as for the Wiener Tonku?nstler-Sozietät, a charity that supported the widows and orphans of musicians, raised his profile but no money. And although the list of princes, barons and counts whom Mozart counted amongst his friends and admirers is an impressive one, he was forced to rely primarily on teaching. “I’ve three lady pupils – that brings 18 ducats a month – for I don’t teach [a series of ] 12 lessons any more, but on a monthly basis. – I have learned the hard way that they often skip whole weeks – now, whether they learn or not, each must pay me 6 ducats.”
Total time: 01:11:37
|Original Recording Format|
Robina G. Young
Doopgezinde Church, Haarlem The Netherlands
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
|Release Date||September 8, 2014|
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