Mozart In a Minute

From now on, every month Motive Nation will have a quick spotlight (hence In a Minute) on a legend that has passed away but still has an incredible impact on the world.

This month the focus is on Mozart– mostly because during my interview with Jann Arden she mentioned him a number of times. To prepare for writing this piece, I did a bit more digging to get my facts straight about him. Mozart’s full name is Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Mozart, but he is most commonly known as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. If you get the chance, check out the movie Amadeus. When the movie released in 1984, it got a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and it is a pretty accurate portrayal of his life.

At the age of five, Mozart was composing music and toured with his father, Leopold, who was also a composer and even wrote a textbook on the violin. At the age of ten, Mozart travelled all over Europe performing for influential people in the music world. He composed over 600 pieces of music during his lifetime and was in the middle of his genius composition Requiem when he passed away. As I mentioned in the Jann Arden interview, he was obsessed with music and was writing until his last breaths.

When writing music, Mozart claimed he could hear every single instrument in the Orchestra playing at the same time, and he composed his music that way rather than composing for one instrument at a time. He was obviously a genius but also didn’t lack an ego. One thing he would do to display his brilliance is play piano with the keys and his hands covered so he couldn’t see what he was playing. He often competed in “Piano-offs” (Like a dance-off ha-ha! I made this word up, and what he did was probably more accurately described as a duel.) against popular composers to prove his superiority. If you check out Mozart by Darren Henley, it is a twenty-minute audiobook that plays most of Mozart’s most famous works, and it will give you an idea of how influential his work is even today (Although he passed away in 1791, I guarantee you will recognize one of his songs).




Amadeus. Director: Milos Forman. Writers: Peter Shaffer (original stage play), Peter Shaffer (original screenplay). 1984.


Mozart. Darren Henley. Read by Marin Alsop



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