About the exhibition


Thoughts and Remarks about the exhibition

'Mozart in Vienna –
selected scenes of his life' by Christian Vranek

“P.S.: I assure you that here is a wonderful place – and for my profession the best place in the world. – everyone will tell you that. -  and I enjoy being here, whereby I am doing my best to make good use of it. Be assured, that my main purpose is to earn as much money as possible; because after good health that is the best thing.” – wrote Wolfgang Amadè Mozart on 8. April 1781 to his father Leopold Mozart in Salzburg.

If one takes a look of Wolfgang Amadè Mozart’s time in Vienna, one discovers a world brimming over with life and at the same time extremely intellectually – the Age of Enlightenment. In Joseph II, Mozart met a monarch in Vienna whose political intentions complimented Mozart’s own. But in spite of all the artistic and financial success which Mozart enjoyed in Vienna, his further social advance was undermined by historical developments, gambling and private problems.
Mozart started to compose for the Kaiser’s court and landed on the periphery. That was the tragically career of Mozart in Vienna. Was Mozart playing a game against himself? Was the genius destroying the human?

Mozart was aware of his genius – he was accustomed from childhood to special attention as a prodigy. How painful must an “Ah Mozart” have sounded in Mozart’s ears when, following the success of his opera "Idomeneo" in Munich, he was received in Vienna’s House of the Teutonic Order (Wiener Deutschordenshaus) by the servants of Archbishop Colloredo.

About the exhibition

The exhibition opens with the scene – 'Mozart and the Cooks' – Image 1 – historically derived from the spring of 1781, to show the discrepancy between our image of Mozart and his reality. Mozart found it humiliating to eat with the servants of the Salzburg Archbishop Colloredo, he felt he was poorly paid and constrained in his artistic expression. Seduced by the artistic as well as the private opportunities available in Vienna, he wrote a petition for release. His 'struggle for survival' ended with his provoking of a – 'Confrontation with Count Arco' – Image 2.

Mozart lived as freelance artist in Vienna from May 1781. Mozart the nature-lover was able to enjoy his freedom, for example, at an invitation of Count Cobenzl to his manor at Reisenberg - 'Mozart on Reisenberg' – Image 3. In the 'Pianoland' Vienna – 'Mozart as Pianist' – Image 4 – Mozart was very successful, both as soloist and as tutor. So for example Joseph II invited Mozart for Christmas 1781 to a contest with Muzio Clementi, and years later Joseph II spoke glowingly about that evening.

Mozart and the politics

The political intentions of the Emporer were easily compatible with Mozart’s enlightened disposition – 'Mozart and Le Figaro' - Image 5. Joseph II stood behind the opera project 'The Marriage of Figaro' – 'Joseph II & Mozart' - Image 6 – the opera quasi a 'revolution'. The soprano Nancy Storace sang the part of 'Susanna' at the premiere in Vienna in 1786. She was the great competitor of Aloisa Lange (nee Weber). - 'Mozart and Nancy Storace at rehearsal ' – Image 7 for 'The Marriage of Figaro'. Mozart dedicated the concert aria KV 505 „Non temer, amato bene“(among others) to Nancy Storace and noted in his catalogue “for Miss Storace and me”….. .

Mozart authentic?

Elegant clothing, which was very important to Mozart, allowed him to appear as an important member of society. – 'Mozart in the Light of his Mirror' – Image 8 – shows the conceited composer. The premieres of his operas were led by – 'Mozart as Conductor' – Image 9 – personally. The diversity of Mozart’s worlds are illustrated by – 'Mozart playing with a Canary' – Image 10. 

Mozart and the Viennese society

Along with his artistic work as pianist, violinist, organist, composer, teacher, and conductor, Mozart and his wife Constance participated intensely in society. – 'Mozart Partying' - Images 11-15 – was well-known for his fun-loving exuberance. The scenes show us his piano student - Therese von Trattnern, the librettist - Lorenzo Da Ponte, his friend und patron- Johann Michael Puchberg, his friend - Karl Fürst Lichnowsky and his wife Constance.

But how long were the Mozarts welcome in Viennese society? Gradually the interest in his work and the number of private contacts and invitations appears to have declined. Viennese society, especially the nobility, never forgave Mozart the opera 'The Marriage of Figaro'. After 'Figaro', Prague was because of political reasons a more fruitful ground for Mozart than Vienna.

Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte

Lorenzo Da Ponte had met Mozart in the salon of Count Wetzlar. Da Ponte wrote the Libretti for Mozart’s Operas 'The Marriage of Figaro', 'Don Giovanni' and 'Così fan tutte'. In this regard – 'Mozart and Da Ponte' – Image 16 – can surely be described as a congenial pair. – ‘The Genius versus the Man 'Mozart playing billiard' – Image 17. When there were no partners, Mozart played the occasional game of billiards against himself – a metaphor for his life – the genius versus the man.

Mozart privately

'Carl Thomas Mozart and Wolfgang Amadè Mozart' –  Image 18 – with his son Mozart visited the Piarists in Vienna, to facilitate through personal contact the admission of his son to their educational institution. Mozart with his wife Constance Mozart and son Carl Thomas - Image 19 – a 'Family portrait' with only one son, since the paternity of Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart, born on 26 July 1791, is attributable to Franz Xaver Süßmeyer, rather than to Wolfgang Amadè Mozart. But equally – 'Mozart smoking' – Image 20 – belongs among images of the real Mozart no less than the daily ride on doctor’s orders – 'Mozart on a Horse' – Image 21 – or – 'Mozart playing Cards' – Image 22 – by which he gambled away the fortune he had earned. Mozart had also to pay the costs of medical treatment for his wife Constance but his strange financial situation depends on gambling.

Mozart says good bye!

Mozart applied for the position of the St.Stephan´s Vice-Kapellmeister in April 1791. But – 'Mozart at the Organ in St. Stephan’s' – Image 23 – stands as a metaphor for an artistic genius, far a man between the earthly and the heavenly. Much of Mozart’s message was created in the spirit of the enlightenment and is more current today than ever. – 'Mozart outrageous' – Image 24 – and – 'Mozart in Euro-Fighter' – Image 25 – are impressions of our days, although in the last picture one doesn’t know if Mozart wants to keep global appointments, give a statement on the occasion of Mozart Year 2006, or simply says good bye to this world…


Thanks to

Hans Diglas who showed the exhibition by the support of Uniqa in the legendary Café Diglas near the Mozart house Vienna, the photographer of the exhibition - Philipp Horak, Oliver Werani (Wolfgang Amadè Mozart), Jady Marinovic (Constance Mozart), Emil Werani (Carl Thomas Mozart), Andreas Rath (Joseph II.), Christian Coreth (Lorenzo Da Ponte), Paul Schmitzberger (Karl Graf Arco), Niko Pylarinos (Johann Michael Puchberg), Tea Gerlanc (Nancy Storace), Maja Movssissian (Therese von Trattnern), Arrigo Wunschheim (Karl Fürst Lichnowsky), David Heidschuster & Astrid Wendelin (archbishop’s cooks).


further thanks to: Gut Sonnenhof, Café Weidinger, Fiaker & GESPANNE - Martin Stelzel, tier&wir Sänger - Tierfachgeschäft, Restaurant Neu Wien, Art for Art - Kostümverleih, Österreichische Präsidentschaftskanzlei, Klavierhaus Rudolf Reisinger G.m.b.H., Musikhaus DOBLINGER, Pfarre St. Stephan.


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