Mozart, Johann Carysostomus Wolfgang Amadeus
A celebrated German composer and musician, born January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, and died December 5, 1791, in Vienna. Mozart's father, Leopold, was a violinist of repute and gave his son early and splendid trainings so much so, in fact, that at the age of five the young Mozart wrote an extremely difficult concerto for the harpsichord.
At six he made his musical debut in Vienna; published his first sonatas for the harpsichord at seven years of age in Paris and at eight performed before the Court of England difficult compositions of Bach and Handel. In 1767 he received his first commission from the Emperor Joseph II at Vienna to write the music of a comic opera. This-was written, but unfortunately was suppressed and never performed owing to the opposition of the court musicians. In 1769 Mozart went to Milan--then fourteen Years of age--with the idea of finishing his education. Here he heard the Miserere (usually meaning Psalm 51, but sometimes any penitential chant) once at Sistine Chapel and then wrote it down from memory, note for note. At that time even the singers were forbidden to transcribe the music of the Miserere on pain of excommunication by the Pope, so this feat created a sensation and was so mighty an accomplishment that the Pope, cl on the return of Mozart to Rome, invested him with the Order of the Golden Spur, which honor had also been conferred upon Gluck not many years before. Mozart's first opera was written during his twentieth year, called Mithridates, and performed more than twenty times in succession. Following this he was appointed Composer to the Court. At the age of twenty-five he married Constance Weber.
All through Mozart's life he was harassed and handicapped by extreme poverty and his hardships and difficulties were greatly increased by Hieronymus, Count of Colloredo, a Roman Catholic Archbishop of Salzburg, to which office he was appointed at the death of a previous Archbishop who had rendered the young Mozart much assistance in the way of interest and help to Mozart's father during the earlier years of his training of his son. When Mozart was sixteen vears old, Hieronvmus summoned him and kept him in Salzburg without funds, refusing him permission to leave on a concert tour for the purpose of gaining some income to relieve the extreme financial stress which Mozart was suffering. This in spite of the fact that the position he held with Hieronymus was a purely honorary one without income.
At twenty-one Mozart again sued for permission to resign this appointment and after much vituperation Hieronymus finally permitted him to leave. Mozart's art naturally gave him immediate success when performing independently but unfortunately, as soon as Hieronymus found that he had successfully established himself, he was prompted by his petty vanity and a desire to retain a celebrated artist in his service to summon poor Mozart back into his domain and provided a small salary, although he did not permit Mozart to add to this by performing anywhere except at the archiepiscopal palace. Here he used every opportunity of mistreating Mozart, who stood for these indignities as long as was humanly possible and then sent in his formal resignation, for which action he was insulted by the Archbishop "in terms too vulgar for translation." Mozart was buried in a pauper's grave. Xan Swieten, Sussmayer and only three other friends planned to accompany him to the cemetery but even these turned back "because it rained." Sussmayer it was who finished the last composition written in part while on Mozart's death-bed, the Requiem, it being probable that he did so at Mozart's specific request
Brother Herbert Bradley, Transactions, of Quatuor Coronati Lodge, volume Levi, 1913, states that Mozart is said to have been initiated in Lodge Zur Wohlttigkeit, meaning Charity, in the autumn of 1784 and that other authorities state that he was initiated in the Lodge Zur Hoffnung or a Lodge Zur Gekronten Hoffnung, meaning Crowned Hope. As a matter of fact all these statements are in a measure true. Under the decree of the Emperor, of December 1, 1785, these Lodges were united into one Lodge. The words of Mozart's opening ode for the Lodge clearly illustrate these changes.
Opening Ode, Opus 483 Sing vestal lays to heav'n ascending Fraternal voices blending sing our Protector's praise. For in our brethren's hearts a triple fire he found, And all our hope aIlew is crown'd Chorus: Then loud let our chorus be swelling his praises forever forthtelling Who knitted more closely our band, Who finding our zeal warmly glowing For merit this honor bestowed Has crown'd us with generous hand. These, two, we praise, who watching o'er us, Held virtues torch before us So walk we in their ways For flowing from their path, where'er their steps have stood Our brother finds a souree of good. Chorus: Far better than mere acclamation To heed them by bold emulation And honor like theirs to attain. Threefold is the labor before us So hush'd be the strains of our chorus till called to refreshment again. Closing Ode, Opus 484 Our thanks are yours for ever, Who are the badge of Office wearing Let virtue be your sole endeavor; So everyone will joy in bearing The chains that bind such brothers true Sweetening the cup of life anew. Chorus: And this obligation We swear to fulfill Upon your foundation To build with a will. Then raise us ever higher Upon the wings of truth ascending To wisdom's throne we may aspire. That so our wearv labors ending We may be worthy of her crown, And rest where envy is unknown. Chorus: And this obligation We swear to fulfill, Upon your foundation To build with a will.
The above translation is by Brother Orton Bradle. Transactions, Quatuor Coronati Lodge (page 241 al;;i page 263, volume xxvi, 1913).
Richard Koch in his treatise on Brother Mozart Freimaurer und Illuminaten, 1911, says that Mozart s Mother Lodge had a library of 1,900 volumes, that it was a legally constituted Lodge, and that it had a laboratory in which lectures were given. The list of 1788 shows that the members of the united Lodge Zur Neugekronten Hoffnung consisted of one Ruling Prince, thirty-six Counts, one Marquis, fourteen Barons and forty-two Nobles, officers, Ambassadors Chamberlains Prebendaries, Officials, etc.
Brother Bradley gives the following as the principal blasomc compositions of Brother Mozart: Die Gesellenreise. Opus 468, a Masonic song, composed March 26, 1785.
The Opening and Closing of the Lodge. Opus 483 and 484. These were probably composed for the first meetings of the Lodge Neugekronten Hoffnung.
A short Cantata. Maurerfreude, Opus 471, for tenor and chorus, dated April 20, 1785, performed on the 24th of April, in honor of the metallurgist Von Born, at a special Lodge held on that day to celebrate his discovery of the method of working ores by amalgamation.
The success of this discovery was celebrated by a Lodge Zur wahren Eintracht, meaning True Harmony , by a banquet, at Which the Cantata was performed.
A short Masonic Cantata, words said to have been written by Schikaneder, for two tenors and a bass, with orchestral accompaniment, Opus 623. This was written for the consecration of a Masonic Temple on November 15. 1791. It was the last finished composition of which Mozart conducted the performance. This contains as an appendix, a Hymn for closing of the Lodge, which was probably Mozart's farewell to the Craft. The words of the Cantata, and this Hymn, clearly refer to the consecration ceremony: "Today we consecrate this habitation for our temple, for the first time we gather within this new seat of knowledge and of virtue, and look, the consecration is completed, O ! that the work were finished also that consecrates our hearts. " This Cantata was published about 1902 under the title Praize of Friendship, with English words by Brother George C. Dusart, describing the Three Degrees, Davis & Co., London and Brighton, England. A Cantata, Die ihr des unernesslichen Weltalls Schopfer ehrt, Opus 619, words by Ziegenhagen. Maurerisehe Trauernmusik, an orchestral piece, an elegy on the death of the Duke Georg August of WIeeklenhurg Strelitz, and Prince Franz Esterhazy, Opus 4v ,. Composed July, 1785. The Magie Flute. Brother Hubert W. Hunt on pages 265 and 266 of the above volume of the Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge says " It is impossible to describe the numbers of Mozart's works as Opus numbers." Like Bach, Mozart did not number his compositors, the numbers refer to the catalog compiled by Kochel and should he indicated K, KY, or Koehel, thus Die Zauberflote, KV 620. Kochel endeavored to enumerate the works in chronological order, and the list of Masonic music should follow this plan, and run one, four, seven, two and three, six, eight, five. Three other works are supposed to have been intended for Masonic use: they are, an adagio, in Canon form, for wind instruments, KV 411, and Adagio, also for wind instruments KV 412, and a short Cantata, a hymn to the sun Die Seele des Weltalls, KV 429. Libretto was by Schikaneder.
Brother Herbert Bradley on page 252 of the above Transactions of Quatuor Coronati Lodge says "The plot of the Magic Flute is now generally believed to be a book published in 1731 by the Abbe Terrasson named Sethos, described as a history of life drawn from the monuments of ancient Egypt. It contains a description of the initiation of Sethos, an Egyptian priest, into the mysteries of Egypt."
Brother Hubert W. Hunt on page 267 says in part, "A Masonic friend of Mozart of whom more might brave been said is Franz Joseph Haydn, 1732 to 1809 the composer of the Creation, and of over one hundred and fifty Symphonies and the father of the stringed quartet." The setting of the words "And there was light" in the opening chorus is worthy of remark. The Creation was composed 1796 to 1798.
Brother Bradley quotes the following translation from the oration made at the Lodge of Mourning held by the Freemasons in honor of Mozart. This oration was published in 1792 and sold for the benefit of Mozart's family--
It has pleased the everlasting Master Builder to tear our beloved Brother from the chain of our brotherhood. Who did not know him? Who did not value him? Who did not love him, our worthy Brother, Mozart? Only a few weeks ago he stood in our midst and with the magic tones added such beauty to the dedication of our Masonic Temple. Mozart's death brings irreparable loss to his art; his talents which were apparent in his earliest youth made him even then the greatest marvel of his time. Half Europe valued him. The creat called him their favorite, Liebling, and we caned him Brother. But while we must of necessity recall his powers in Art we must not forget the praise due to his great heart. He was a most enthusiastic follower of our Order. Love for his Brethren, sociability, enthusiasm for the good cause, charity, the true and deep feeling of pleasure when he was able by means of his talents to help one of his Brethren, these were the chief features of his charater. He was husband, father, friend to his friends, Brother to his Brethren. Only the wherewithal was wanted to hinder him from making hundreds happy, as his heart bade him." What more could be said of any Freemason? See also Mozart and his Masonic Circle, Brother Dudley Wright, New England Craftsman, July, 1922, and Mozart and Masonry, Brother Sir John A. Cockburn, Masonic Record, December, 1922.
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