Mozart


MOZART

From a paper, "The Sixth Liberal Art," prepared by the late Worshipful
Brother Fred W. Mindermann, Past Master of Granite Lodge No. 119 of
Haddam,  Connecticut, for Masonic Research Lodge No. 104, F. & A.M., of
Atlanta, Georgia in 1970.


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg in 1756 and died in Vienna
in 1791 at the age of thirty-five. As a child he was known as a prodigy
and genius for among his accomplishments he played the piano at three,
composed a concerto at five, made his first concert tour of Europe at
six, had his first four violin sonatas published at eight, had his first
symphonies played in London at nine, and at fourteen he had written two
comic operas and one opera seria. Mozart is recognized as the greatest
melodic genius of his time and was a composer whose wide range of works
included symphonies, sonatas, masses, concertos, chamber music, piano
music, and operas among which are "Don Giovanni" and "The Magic Flute."
He is remembered as a composer whose music culminated much of what had
gone on before and led the way for some that was to follow. In addition,
he was a genius in all areas of musical composition, a complete master
of form, and a master in expressing human emotions and spiritual
feelings.

When only thirteen years of age, he was made concert master to the
Archbishop Schwatenbach of Salzburg, who recognized his genius and
encouraged his triumphal tour of Europe, where great honors were heaped
upon him. The churches and theaters where he performed were filled to
overflowing.

The Archbishop's successor, von Collorado, was a man of a different
stripe. Unartistic, unappreciative, disapproved of those tours, and even
refused permission to leave Salzburg. Mozart resigned in 1772, returned
to the service of the Archbishop von Collorado in 1778, and in 1779 was
made Court Organist. However, his relations with the Archbishop
increasingly worsened, and finally he left Salzburg for good and settled
in Vienna. A possible reference to his break with Roman Catholicism and
his belief that the highest possible human happiness could be attained
in a society governed by brotherly love, friendship, beauty, and wisdom
is expressed in the following excerpt from his "Little German Cantata:

   "Oh break the fetters of this folly,
   Oh tear this blinding prejudicial veil,
   Take off the former robe, which long has
   Rendered mankind sectarian."

 and another excerpt from the "Little Masonic Cantata:"

   "Loudly herald our great gladness,
   joyous instrumental sound,
   Let the echoes of these pillars in
   each Brother's heart abound!
   For we dedicate this station by our
   golden chain of Brothers,
   And the truest bond of hearts,
   that it shall our temple be."

In 1784 Mozart joined the Lodge "True Harmony of Spirits" and later the
Lodge "Charity" and finally the Lodge "New Crowned Hope." The
impressions he received were so profound and significant that on the 6th
of April in 1785, his father, Leopold Mozart, when on a visit to Vienna,
became a member of his son's Lodge, "New Crowned Hope." The song called
"Gesellenreise" (Fellowcraft's Journey) was composed at the occasion of
the father being passed to the Fellowcraft Degree. See the Masonic
significance of the Iyrics:

   "You, who now are risen higher
   unto Wisdom's high abode,
   Wander steadfast higher, higher,
   Know, it is the noblest road.
   Only spirit without blight
   May approach the source of Light."

Of all Masonic composers, Mozart appears to be the one who has written
the most on all types of Masonic subjects. Included here is music for
the actual ritual ceremony, music dedicated to the establishment of
Lodges, music depicting personal feelings of the Brotherhood and its
meaning, and the Masonic music for his father mentioned in the previous
paragraph.

"Oh You, Our New Leaders" was a song written for the installation of the
officers of a newly constituted Lodge and was sung at the closing of the
ceremonies. The text of the Lyrics illustrates clearly the significance
of the occasion.

   "Oh you our new leaders,
   We thank you now for all your faith.
   Oh lead us ever on paths of virtue,
   That all rejoice in the chain that ties us,
   The chain that ties us unto better men
   And giveth sweetness to life's chalice,
   Gives sweetness to the cup of life.

   "And on the rungs of truth
   Let us approach the throne of Wisdom,
   That we may reach its holiness,
   And that we of her crown may be worthy,
   Of we with Charity drive out
   The jealousy of the profane.

Choir:

   "The holy adjuration we also vow:
   To strive for perfection of our great temple,
   To strive for perfection of our building great,
   To strive for perfection of the temple, like you."

One of Mozart's noteworthy Masonic compositions was his Masonic Funeral
Music written on the death of the distinguished Freemason, Duke Georg
August of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Count Franz Esterhazy, and played for
the first time on 17th November, 1785, in the Lodge 'Zur Neugekroenten
Hoffnung" (New Crowned Hope). It is felt that the underlying melody
probably stems from "The Lamentations of Jeremiah," a very ancient
melody found in Hebrew ritual.

No doubt one of the greatest Masonic works ever written is Mozart's "The
Magic Flute." It was first performed in Vienna in 1791. Written at age
35 shortly before his death, it is a combination of simple German folk
tunes and classic operatic writing. The plot is one of political satire
set against an Egyptian background. It is said that this is the swan
song of Austrian Freemasonry, for in 1791 Kaiser Leopold prohibited
Freemasonry in Austria. Thus the opera is written as an apology and a
confession of fidelity for Freemasonry, as a last farewell to the
Mason's ideals of freedom and forbearance.

Since it would be literally impossible for us to analyze the complete
Magic Flute for you at this time, we have selected one of the most
popular arias which I am sure you can associate with Masonic ritual.
Behind this aria, "Oh Isis and Osiris" lies the following story:
Sorastro addresses the priests in tones of utmost solemnity, telling
them of the young initiate who waits at the North Gate seeking to throw
off the veil of Night and enter into the realm of Light. He assures them
of Tomino's ample specifications and promises that if the youth dies in
the course of his initiation he will speed to the courts of Isis and
Osiris, there to enjoy divine bliss. As the Orator-Priest and one of his
colleagues go to conduct Tomino within, Sorastro and the rest sing a
solemn prayer to their tutelary dieties.

   "Oh Isis and Osiris, Favor
   This noble pair with Wisdom's light!
   Grant them your aid in their endeavor,
   Lead them to find the path of right !
   Let them be strong against temptation,
   But if they fail in their probation,
   Do not their virtue need deny,
   Take them to your abode on high."

It is interesting to note here that the melody of this song is one that
is found in the initiation rites of a popular American Music fraternity.

Masons in Europe, and especially in Austria, hold the memory of Brother
Mozart in greatest reverence. The foremost Masonic Research Lodge in
Vienna is the "Soroastro Club," taking the name from the principal
character in "The Magic Flute," the High Priest of the Temple of Isis.

Truly "To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is not to die. "

BlBLlOGRAPHY:

1 "Mozart & Masonry" Dr. Paul Nettl

2 "Music & Masonry" Dr. Paul Nettl

3. "The Music" Pietro Berrl

4. "Famous Masons & Masonic Presidents"
      H.L. Haywood

5. "Freemasonry & The Creative Arts"
      Dr. Herman B. Wells
    (The Indiana Freemason-March, 1968)

6. " Brother Wolfgang Mozart, Master
   Mason, and The Magic Flute" Wm. C.
    Blaine (The New Age- June, 1968)

7. A.Q.C. Vol. 4, 1891, "Masonic Musicians"
   Dr. W.A. Barrett

8. A.Q.C. Vol. 16, 1903, "Philo Musicians of
   Architecturos Societas Apollini"
    R.F. Gould

9. A.Q.C. Vol. 26, 1913, "Brother Mozart
   and Some of His Masonic Friends"
    Herbert Brodley

10. A.Q.C. Vol. 40, 1927, "Masonic Songs and
    Verses of the 18th Century" H. Poole

11. A.Q.C. Vol. 65, 1952, "Masonic Songs and
    Verses Books of the Late 18th Century"
     A. Sharp

12. A.Q.C. Vol. 69, 1956, "Mozart's Masonic
      Music" A. Sharp

13. A.Q.C. Vol. 69, 1956, "Mozart and his
    Contemporaries" E. Winterburgh

14. A.Q.C. Vol. 75, 1962, "Sibelius' Masonic
      Ritual Music" A. Sharp

15. M.S.A. Short Talk Bulletin, Vol. 19, No. 8,
      "Small Songs"

16. M.S.A. Short Talk Bulletin, Vol. 24, No. 9
      "Great Songs"

17. M.S.A. Short Talk Bulletin, Vol. 25, No. 9,
      "Masonry & Music"


This Short Talk Bulletin has been adapted from a paper, "The Sixth
Liberal Art," prepared by the late Worshipful Brother Fred W.
Mindermann, Past Master of Granite Lodge No. 119 of Haddam, Connecticut,
for Masonic Research Lodge No. 104, F. & A.M., of Atlanta, Georgia in
1970. It is presented at this time because of the number of recent
inquires M.S.A. has received pertaining to Mozart. (STB for January
1984).