Mozart: What More Might He Have Done


MOZART: WHAT MORE MIGHT HE HAVE DONE

   DR. MARK FRAVEL, JR., 32°, K■C■C■H■
        OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY 
       DARDEN COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
      NORFOLK, VIRGINIA  23529-0161


WOLFGANG AMADEUS Mozart composed an impressive number and variety
of musical compositions in his brief, troubled life. Had he been
blessed with better health and the financial means to be able to
develop fully his creative genius, one can only imagine the music
he might have written.

   Born in Salzburg, Austria, January 27, 1756, he quickly demon-
strated a musical talent seldom seen before or since.  At the age
of six, he played and composed brilliantly.  His parents arranged
performances in Munich and Vienna so that the world would get to
know Wolfgang, the boy genius. By the time he was eight years old,
he could sing, compose, and play the clavier, organ and violin.

   He performed in Paris and London and was becoming adored by
music lovers throughout Europe. At ten, he wrote his first sym-
phony for orchestra, published a third set of sonatas, these
dedicated to the Queen of England, and studied the Italian style
of melody.

   A year later, Wolfgang was stricken with smallpox and lay blind
for nine days.  After recovering, he returned to Vienna, but now
was confronted by jealous, rather than admiring, musicians.

   Against increasingly difficult odds, Mozart wrote incessantly
during the next ten years.  He was hired to compose the opera
Mitridate, the serenata Ascanio in Alba, the opera Lucio Silla,
and the Italian opera La Finta Giardiniera─all bringing him great
praise and acclaim.

   Although now famous, he was overworked, in poor health, and the
recipient of very little financial compensation for his efforts.
Another tour brought decreased appreciation for his music and
very little money.  Then he was jilted by the love in his life,
Aloysia Weber.  Four years later, however, he married her sister
Constanza.

   During these years, he continued to write prolifically and
eventually composed some 41 symphonies, 43 violin sonatas, 17 organ
sonatas, 26 quartets, 10 quintets, 30 divertiments, 20 operas,
and hundreds of other compositions, including a significant
number of Masonic pieces.  Included in the above were his three
great operas, The Marriage of Figaro, 1786; Don Giovanni, 1787;
and The Magic Flute, 1790.

   At age 28, Brother Mozart became a Mason in the Lodge of
Benevolence (Zur Wohltatigkeit) in Vienna.  On December 1, 1785,
Mozart's mother lodge united with two other lodges to form a new
lodge called New Crowned Hope Lodge (Zur Neugekroentin Hoffnung).
It is reported that Franz Joseph Hayden, a close friend,
recommended Wolfgang, and a year later, Mozart's father was
initiated into the same lodge. He attended a performance of a
cantata by Mozart, "Mason's Joy," just before returning to
Salzburg. Other Masonic music Mozart composed was, "Fellow
Crafts," "Journey," "Opening of the Lodge," "Closing of the
Lodge," and his last work, the "Little Masonic Cantata." Many other
of his Masonic compositions have been lost forever.

   Constanza was apparently a poor manager, and Mozart began to go
into debt from the time he married her.  No matter how hard he
worked, his debts increased and his health grew worse.  By the time
he was 35, he became obsessed with is own death.

   By this time some of his finest work was violently opposed by
jealous plotters, and although he was widely recognized for his
accomplishments, he continued to live in poverty and suffered from
poor health.  Opportunists around him usually ended up with the
financial rewards of his music, while Mozart ended up weaker,
poorer and more depressed.

   At the age of 35 and still in great demand, Mozart continued his
work on the Requiem Mass. Deeply depressed by financial problems
and greatly exhausted, he anticipated his eminent death and said:

       Now I must go, just as I should be able to live, in peace:
   now leave my art when, no longer the slave of fashion nor the
   tool of speculators, I could follow the dictates of my own
   feeling and write whatever my heart prompts.  I must leave my
   family, my poor children, at the very instant in which I should
   be able to provide for their welfare!


   He died on December 5, 1791, only 35 years old.  He left this
world frustrated, and we must wonder what he might have ac-
complished if he could have written "whatever my heart prompts."
What yet greater masterpieces he might have composed?

   Brother Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a one-of-a-kind genius, was so
poor when he died that he was buried in a pauper's, common,
unmarked grave in Vienna.


Dr. Mark Fravel, Jr.,
32°, K■C■C■H■,
a professor at Old
Dominion University
in Norfolk, is a
member of the Scot-
tish Rite Bodies,
Norfolk, Virginia,
and serves as Chair-
man of Education
and Patriotism,
Orient of Virginia. 

   Life is too short for us to waste its moments in deploring bad
luck; we must go after success, since it will not come to us, and
we have no time to spare."

               James Russell Lowell, Ideals Magazine, June 1989

   No psychology of handling people really works unless we are
genuinely and truly interested in other people.  All else is mere
trickery and will sooner or later fail.

                                       Bits & Pieces