Mozart Family Travels

Shortly after Austria, Prussia, Britain, France, Spain, and Portugal had finally made peace with each other, Wolfgang and his family ventured out on their first Great Adventure.  They traveled between June, 1763, (also shortly after Leopold had  been passed over for kapellmeister and Michael Haydn had been brought in at a lesser position but at the same salary as Leopold, who had been laboring in Salzburg for twenty years) and March, 1766, from Salzburg to Munich, Ulm, Ludwigsburg, Bruchsal, Schwetzingen, Frankfurt am Main, Coblenz, Bonn, Cologne, Aix-au-Chapelle, Brussels, Paris, Versailles, London, Canterbury, The Hague, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Antwerp, Brussels, Paris, Versailles, Dijon, Lyon, Geneva, Lausanne, Berne, Zurich, Donaueschingen, Munich,  and back to Salzburg.  I can’t think of any composer he might have encountered in any of those cities writing cantata masses.  He formed a close bond with Johann Christian Bach in London, who had moved there the year before, but the influence was all in secular forms and there is no evidence that Christian had a copy of his father’s “B minor mass” in his back pocket at any time.

A shorter trip from September, 1767, to December, 1768, from Salzburg to Vienna, Olomouc, Brno, and back to Vienna brought him into direct contact with Hasse and potentially Reutter, Hofmann, and Vaňhal as noted above, since concerted masses are known to have been sung in many churches every Sunday, typically with the “proper” scoring of organ and strings.  I can find no clear mention of a cantata mass written in Vienna during his formative years.

By the time he returned to Salzburg and employment, along with his father, by Prince-Archbishop Schrattenbach, Mozart had written two masses in two months and would have two more within the following year.  Before he was ultimately fired in 1781, he would write sixteen masses in all, interspersed with a half-dozen or so unsuccessful trips out of town seeking more prestigious employment.

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