Since there’s a couple of lectures coming up, I’m brushing up on my Mozart. And I came across a little detail surrounding the Requiem I wasn’t aware of before and that just begs to be shared.
So, you all know that Mozart never finished his Requiem, a work “secretly” commissioned by Count Walsegg-Stuppach who wanted to pass it off as his own composition (something he was known to do, so he never fooled anyone but himself…). After Mozart’s death, his widow Constanze, in dire need of money, sought to fulfill the contract and had the Requiem completed from sketches, word of mouth and conjecture by Franz Xaver Süßmayer, one of Mozart’s pupils/assistants. To fool the Count into believing that Mozart had completed the Requiem himself, he copied out the finished parts, added his parts, all while attempting to mimick Mozart’s handwriting. He even faked his signature on the cover with “di me W:A: Mozart”, and here comes the juicy tidbit I want to share with you: he committed the blunder of blunders by continuing with “mpr/792“. Completly forgetting the small, but not unimportant detail that Mozart had died the previous year, in 1791…
Even so, the Count either didn’t spot it, or he didn’t care.
And some more unconnected Requiem-trivia:
Constanze sold the Requiem five times: to the Count, to King Friedrich Wilhelm II. of Prussia, one for an “official” first performance, and two to publishers. Quite the businesswoman, and not the flighty airhead some earlier biographies would have us believe!
To round things off, a “Curse of the Requiem” story: the Viennese composer Joseph Leopold Eybler, who was asked first by Konstanze to complete the Requiem, but who gave up after some attempts, suffered a (non-fatal) stroke while conducting the Requiem in 1833…
This is a little outside our usual line of work as Auers’ Flutery, but some of you might like to know: Walter is heading a masterclass and summercamp for almost all levels and ages from July 5-12. We have a great team of dedicated teachers and flutists that offers classes to kids and teens from age 8 on, to students and also to adult amateurs flutists! This is of course no Road Scholar tour, but Walter has been asked for lessons by tour participants in the past, so this is your chance!!! – if not to have a lesson with him personally, but to listen in on his teaching and to spend a week immersed in flute playing and flute related topics, and all that in a spectacular former monastery on of the most beautiful Carinthian lakes.
Participation is on a first come, first served basis, with no auditions necessary at the course itself. You might not want to hesitate too long though if you are thinking of joining us.
More information: CMA / Walter’s Website / Event-poster
As you know, we work almost exclusively for Road Scholar. This company seems to unfailingly attract the kindest, nicest, most interested and interesting people – we love meeting you and are always almost sad to see you go. This is especially true of the music groups that we see thrice during their time in Vienna. We’re really looking forward to the Salzburg Festival groups that will start in 2015 because it will give us another opportunity to get to know „our“ groups more closely.
Just as an example, here’s an email that a former Road Scholar participant sent to Walter during his tour to the US in March:
„I want to tell you how much I enjoyed the VPO at Weill Hall in Cotati, California, on Tuesday March 11. I was so happy to see you and to hear you, after having met you and your lovely wife in October, 2012, when you hosted our Road Scholar group to a private recital. That evening, the rehearsal in the Musikverein [of Das Paradis und die Peri], and the chat our group had with you in the Vienna State Opera House, are among the most precious memories I have of that trip.
Also to tell you: The woman sitting next to me Tuesday evening—a stranger to me—also recognized you, because she took the Road Scholar tour in the autumn of 2013. You have fans here in northern California!
Thank you for the enjoyment you give to your audience.“
What an incredible coincidence! Thank you for sharing!
And if the incredibly enthusiastic feedback is anything to go by, it was pretty good! We weren’t quite sure if our usual mode of concert communication was going to work out in a) German and b) outside of the study-tour context, but it went beautifully. So many smiling faces in the audience, thanks to everybody who came and contributed to the great, positive atmosphere of the evening! Audience members often don’t realize and appreciate enough how important they are to an event, especially in a format that communicates on multiple levels. Music is a team effort, and it takes the composer, the musicians and the listener – and boy, where you good at listening the other night! Thank you again! And a tremendous shout out is due to our fellow Flutees: Joanna Lewis, Anne Harvey-Nagl, Johannes Flieder, Martin Rummel, Jurek Dybal and Monica „Momo“ Melcova: you were beyond amazing. Working with you was a pleasure we hope to repeat! Ming Wang’s newly commissioned piece somehow deservedly became the focal point of the whole evening, which would have been impossible without our brilliant, ever calm and supportive conductor Gottfried Rabl.
Wow – we have a big one coming up!
On Thursday is a big day for us – we have a whole evening for Auers’ Flutery at the Musikverein in Vienna. One of the rare occasions where we perform “in public”. The week has been and is rather full as it is with four other Flutery dates (our babysitters are making good money… ). The program is pretty interesting, we have a new piece we specifically commissioned for the occasion by Ming Wang, a couple of all time flute favorites and even a first performance of the recently rediscovered flute concerto “Il Gran Mogol” by Vivaldi. Our ensemble is hand-picked, not only terrific musicians, but a bunch of really great people too – we’re definitely looking forward to rehearsing, playing and hanging out!