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Article: On the Road with Mozart

לטייל עם מוצרט

On the Road with Mozart

Yehuda Romem

In the autumn of 1790, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–91) undertook a journey to Frankfurt am Main to participate in the coronation of Leopold II as Holy Roman Emperor. According to an early biographer, Mozart, who was accompanied by his brother-in-law, Franz de Paula Hofer, had to pawn some of his wife’s valuables to finance the trip; he was not a part of the official group of court musicians, which included, among others, the composers Antonio Salieri and Ignaz Umlauf.

In a letter preserved in the National Library, Mozart describes his six-day journey to his wife, Constanze (née Weber). He mentions the cities visited en route to Frankfurt and then asks for reassuring news from his wife:

In Regensburg, we dined magnificently at midday, had divine table music, angelic service, and a magnificent Mosel wine . . . We had breakfast in Nuremberg — an ugly town . . . In Würzburg, we strengthened our precious stomachs with coffee, a beautiful, magnificent town.
I am waiting longingly for news from you, about your health, about our circumstances, etc. Now I am firmly resolved to carry out my business here as well as possible and then I look forward with all my heart to being with you again . . . What a wonderful life we are going to lead!

Yet, despite Mozart’s great anticipation, the visit to Frankfurt proved barely profitable; after his concert, which took place on September 15, Mozart wrote to Constanze that it “turned out magnificently from the point of view of honor, but lean as far as money is concerned.”