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Tuesday, July 10, 2012


When Wolferl was nearly six his father took him and Nannerl on a concert tour. Everybody wanted to hear them play and they gave many concerts.  Wolferl spent all his boyhood with his music. He went to many places to play, even as far from Salzburg, in Austria (where he was born), as to Paris and London.  Everywhere he went people were happy to see him and his sister and to hear them play. And they, too, were happy to play because they loved the music so much.  When they reached Vienna they played for the Emperor and Empress.  When Wolferl was presented to the Empress he jumped up into her lap and kissed her.

Wolferl was always busy composing music. But he played games and had a good time just like any other boy. When he was busy with his music, however, he never let his thoughts go to anything else.  But we must not go too fast, for we want to see how Wolferl is growing up.
Here is his picture when he was five years old, and beside it, another when he was eight years old. Do you see his wig and sword?



Everybody in Paris wanted to hear Wolferl play when they knew that he had come, so they asked him to read at sight; to play the bass part to a melody and to accompany a song without seeing the music.  People also took great delight in asking him to play on the harpsichord with a cloth stretched over the keyboard so that he could not see the keys.  They all went to London to play for the King. The King wanted to see for himself how skilful little Mozart was, so he gave him pieces by Bach and Handel to play at sight. Mozart read them off at once. Here is a fine picture of the Mozart children when they played for the King and the Queen.


It must have been very fine for a little boy of seven to play for kings and queens. But Wolferl was not spoiled by it all. He was just a happy hearted boy all the time.  He always made it a rule to put his mind on what he was doing and do it the very best he knew how.  It is just as good a rule now as it was when he was alive.

It is time now that we learned the birthday of Mozart. If we think of it every year on the 27th of January, it will be easy to remember it.
Here is another picture of Mozart in 1766.  (Beethoven was born four years afterward.)


When anyone is always busy at one thing, he soon gets a lot done. As Wolferl grew and kept on writing music all the time, he made a great many pieces. Some were short like a song, others were long like an opera. He wrote for the piano, the violin and the voice. And he composed operas, symphonies and ever so many other kinds of music.

Mozart liked to be alone when he was working upon his compositions. He used to go to a little house on the edge of Vienna and lock himself in. The people of the city of Salzburg, in Austria, took this house long after Mozart's death and moved it to a park where all may go to see it, just as we in America go to see the houses of William Penn, Lincoln and Washington.


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