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Mozart

Mozart’s Letters and Prague

in Culture
Mozart letter
Reproduced with permission of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek. © Österreichische Nationalbibliothek

Mozart’s letters are unique. Like those of any composer, we are given a rare insight into the man behind the music, in his own words. We are so used to ‘hearing’ Mozart regarding a symphony or an aria; far less do we listen to him outside of the realm of music, to hear what he…

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A Little Known Plaque to Mozart in Czechia

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Medallion bust of Mozart
Medallion bust of Mozart at the House of the Three Golden Lions (By Ondřej Kořínek (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

A plaque exists to Mozart in Czechia, which is little known and whose location is unusual. It is not to be found in Prague, but en route to the city instead, again underlining the importance of Mozart’s peripatetic lifestyle as a freelance composer; the plaque is to be found in the small town of Caslav…

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Mozart in Olomouc

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Olomouc Dolni Namesti
Dolni Namesti, Olomouc (By Pudelek (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Olomouc’s connections with the childhood of W. A. Mozart are both rich and poignant, resulting in musical composition, and a lasting legacy – although at first glance, it is a legacy less visible than that for example, he left in Brno and of course, Prague. The Moravian city became a place of residence for the…

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Prague’s Café Mozart

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Café Mozart with a view of Astronomical Clock

Most probably, we think first of the legendary historical café on Vienna’s Albertinaplatz, when we hear the words ‘Café Mozart’, or perhaps of the café of the same name on Salzburg’s Getreidegasse, the same street as the Mozart Geburtshaus, where W. A Mozart was born in 1756. Yet there are other much lesser known cafés…

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Mozart’s Visit to the Klementinum

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Clementinum library
Klementinum's Baroque Library Hall (By Bruno Delzant via Wikimedia Commons)

On 15 January 1787, W. A Mozart began a letter in Prague; unusually for him, especially in times of constant creativity, he finished it on the same day. The letter was addressed to one Gottfried von Jacquin (1767-92) back in Vienna. Jacquin worked at the Court Chancellery and had been one of Mozart’s closest friends…

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Revisiting Don Giovanni

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Interior Estates Theatre

On 29 September 1787, Mozart wrote a letter to his brother-in-law, Johann Baptist Franz Berchtold zu Sonnenburg to say he would be leaving early for Prague. This casual remark makes no mention of the fact that Mozart was travelling with his wife Constanze to direct the world premiere of the opera Don Giovanni (K527) which…

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Where did Mozart live in Prague?

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Villa Bertramka
Villa Bertramka, Prague-Smichov (By cs:User:Ludek (cs:Soubor:Bertramka vila.jpg) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons)

While Vienna was undoubtedly Mozart’s creative home, the city of Prague opened its arms to him in the 1780s and received him as the composer of ‘Figaro’, which was given its Czech premiere in the Estates Theatre in 1786, to overwhelming success. This particular appreciation for Mozart’s music was peculiar to a late eighteenth century…

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Where Mozart drank in Prague?

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U Krale Brabantskeho
U krále Brabantského, Lesser Town, Prague (By Matěj Baťha (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Cafés and historic pubs remain fascinating experiences for the curious. Rich in tradition and local legends, they have invariably become interlinked with a variety of personalities who have in their own way, helped to shape a city’s cultural identity. Like an intellectual life-blood to the city’s artistic mind, some have attracted leading philosophers and writers,…

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What Mozart played on in Prague

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The Church of St Simon and Jude in the Old Town Prague
The Church of St. Simon and Jude in the Old Town, Prague, Photo By Michal Km [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Whilst most original instruments associated with Mozart now reside in Salzburg, owned by the International Mozarteum Foundation, other instruments on which he played are also of historical interest, not least because they offer an insight into his improvisational process at a particular point in his musical creativity. Some of these instruments were invariably cathedral or…

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As well as Don Giovanni: Tracing Mozart in Czechia

in Travel
Mozart plaque Olomouc
Mozart plaque in Olomouc via Wikimedia Commons [CC BY 4.0]

The names of Mozart and Prague will be forever linked by the most famous work that he wrote for Prague, his opera Don Giovanni. Mozart, Don Giovanni’s musical father, wrote the monumental opera in 1787. Composed with a Prague audience specifically in mind, Mozart is reputed to have remarked “my Praguers understand me” – something…

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