Composers Datebook®

with host John Zech

Saturday, August 4

Mozart gets married

Synopsis

As a public service, here’s a reminder for those of you who tend to forget your wedding anniversary. If you’re not sure when it is, maybe now would be a good time to check… before it’s too late!

Chances are that Wolfgang Mozart didn’t forget his wedding anniversary, since it was over his father’s strenuous and repeated objections that he finally married Constanza Weber at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna on today’s date in 1782.

Having decided on a date, Mozart had written to his obstinate father back in Salzburg asking for his blessing. As luck would have it, the letter from Papa didn’t arrive until two days after the wedding. The elder Mozart remained unimpressed with his son’s choice, but, bowing to the inevitable, gave his grudging consent.

“I knew I could count on you,” wrote Mozart in reply. “Now my dear Constanza is looking forward to traveling to Salzburg, and I wager you’ll rejoice in my happiness once you get to know her!”

Well, that might have been a bit of exaggeration… In any case, Mozart’s unfinished Mass in c minor was written as a thanks offering to both Almighty God in heaven and as a peace offering to Papa Leopold back in Salzburg. Portions of it were performed in Salzburg during the young couple’s first visit the following year, with soprano Constanza singing the florid soprano part and Mozart himself conducting.

Music Played in Today's Program

Wolfgang Mozart (1756 - 1791) Mass in c Kathleen Battle, soprano; Vienna Philharmonic; James Levine, cond. DG 423 664

Additional Information

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