Sunday, December 2, 2007

Mozart at Thirteen - the Candescence of Genius

While in Italy in 1769, the boy Mozart and his father visited the Vatican. The papal choir was singing the Miserere by the papal composer Allegri during their visit, and the Mozarts stopped to listen. It is important to note that this composition was the exclusive property of the Papal choir, and never to be copied or played outside of the papal grounds. The punishment of either or both acts would be automatic excommunication.
After the choir finished, the Mozarts left the Vatican and walked out of the Papal grounds, whereupon the young Amadeus Mozart divulged to his father that he loved the music so much that he would copy it out for his own enjoyment(imagine-upon one hearing Mozart had memorized the entire work!). Leopold, the father, took immediate panic, knowing the punishment that could be inflicted upon the Mozart family. And so he escorted his young son back to the Vatican, and after hearing of this amazing feat on the part of Amadeus, a group of the Pope's aides arranged for an immediate audience with the Pope, who conferred upon the young boy The Order of the Golden Spur in exchange for assurance that the composition would never be written down.
I am not sure as to whether Amadeus was a frightened, cowering boy during this occurrence or simply a kid who enjoyed having so much attention given him; at any rate, the result was that this incredible young boy could now end any letter he wrote with 'Chevalier de Mozart', because of the recognition given him by the Pope.

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