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Mozart In 1788

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With over two pages of compositions finished in 1788 you would figure that this year was an extremely busy and prosperous one for Mozart, when in fact his "situation both publicly and privately became critical" (unknown).

Up until this year the information revealed in Mozart's personal letters has provided great insight about his private life. A peculiar thing about letters from this year is that there appears to be none written after August (Keys 210). One possible reason for this could be that Mozart was again living at home and thus he was living with the person that he would normally be writing to. Of these letters only one of them is written to Nanarel; the rest are to a dear friend of Mozart's, Micheal Puchberg. Interestingly enough Mozart begins all of his letters to Micheal delicately and affectionately with "brother", "Brother of Order", or "beloved friend" which we know from the past is Mozart's way of getting on somebody's good side before asking for something. After the greeting, the body of all of these letters appears to follow a basic format: starting out with a high feeling of dignity or self-confidence, and ending with pleas for financial backing or help. The letters, amounting to twenty between 1788 and Mozart's death (Keys 206), only afforded Mozart an estimated 1415 florins. This can be compared to the near 3000 gulden that he had borrowed from many people by his death in 1791.

Mozart met Micheal back in his freemason days; they worked together for the same company. Micheal became very wealthy when he inherited the textile manufacturing business that he was working for. Mozart's near constant pleas for money were sometimes granted, but not all of the time. Unfortunately, Mozart never made enough money before his death to be able to fully pay Micheal back for all of his help. However, as a small form of compensation, Mozart would occasionally send Micheal compositions and even dedicated one of his piano symphonies to him. Micheal was such a good friend of the family, that it has been said that he continued to help Costanze out with family and financial problems after Mozart's death.

Eventually, it becomes rather obvious that Mozart can barely support his family, let alone pay back anyone who lends him money. Because of this, he loses nearly all of the financial credibility that he once had. He reaches an economic low point and runs into a great crisis when his landlord demandes immediate payment of arrears in June of 1788. Mozart turns to Puchberg, asking him for the money and promising a return payment within "a year or two with one or two thousand gulden, at a suitable rate". Micheal realizes that Mozart needs to work through this problem on his own and therefore refuses to lend him the money. Because of this, Mozart winds up having to pack up both his family and belongings and move to a suburb in Wahring. Here, Mozart lives in a much smaller house than the one in Vienna. During these next few months it can be said that Mozart suffers an air of withdrawal from Vienna and its music life.

Not only was Mozart facing an economic hardship at this time, but there was also quite a bit of commotion going on in his family life too. Taking a look at the past few years of Mozart's life it can be seen that in 1786 his wife gave birth to and lost a son and in 1787 he lost 3 of his close friends and his father. This year does not turn out much better; the first daughter that was born to this couple, Theresia Konstanzia, passes away in June. This was less than a year after the child was born. The baby girl was buried in the Wahring cemetery, right near the family's new home. On top of all of this, Mozart's health was still declining from his re-infection of what doctors assumed to be SHS (Schonlein-Henoch Syndrome) in mid April if 1787. It seems that nothing here could really pull him out of his rut enough to get better. Eventually though, he got his life back together enough that he moved back to Vienna in late 1788 to early 1789 in hopes of again finding better luck.

Moving on, Mozart's professional life seems to be quite uneventful during 1787. Mozart seems to withdraw himself from society. One author even stated that in the autumn and winter "so little appears to be happening that one begins to wonder how Mozart spends his days"(unknown). Looking at the list of works that he finished in 1788 it can pretty much be inferred that he is spending most of his time at home composing. This raises the question of who Mozart was doing all of this composing for. Looking at commissions, it can be seen that there really are not any; along the lines



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