Requiem for Mozart – part 2

by 5:4

Part 2 of Requiem for Mozart, “I will no longer be a fiddler!”, was broadcast on 26 November 1991. It picks up the story in 1777, with Mozart’s decision to relinquish his post in Salzburg, his eye set on securing a more notable position in Paris. Thus begins a fairly tempestuous time in Mozart’s life, including the beginnings of his infatuation with singer Aloysia Weber (while in Mannheim, a visit en route that ultimately came to nothing) and the death of his mother. Leopold positively explodes with anger at his son’s over-blown assessment of Fräulein Weber, while in Paris Mozart suffers unhelpful, even obstructive treatment at the hands of a motley collection of establishment figures. We also hear Mozart’s oft-quoted account of the reaction to the last movement of his Symphony No. 31 (nicknamed “Paris”); opting for an atypically quiet opening for the finale, he recalls how “everybody said ‘hush’, and then, at the forte, everyone clapped their hands!”

However, everything pales in the wake of his mother’s death, although it’s Leopold’s reaction, stoic but clearly racked with grief, that finds the most eloquent expression. Ultimately, Mozart comes full circle, returning, somewhat resigned, to Salzburg—pausing rather too long in Mannheim once again (provoking another explosion from Leopold)—but to a more worthwhile role, as both court organist and konzertmeister. The episode concludes recalling the composition and performance of arguably Mozart’s first mature opera, Idomeneo, which took place in Munich; this time, his tarrying away from home provokes the wrath of his boss, Archbishop Colloredo, whose relationship with Mozart was frosty at the best of times.

Requiem for Mozart – 2. I will no longer be a fiddler!

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