Of course there was a beautiful Christmas Market out front, I have learned they are everywhere in the city, and it was here I first tried Glühwein, or mulled red wine with Christmasy spices like cinnamon and nutmeg; this is surely a new tradition for me, it was so delicious! Every market has its own mugs, and I’ve collected one at each location and will continue to throughout my whole trip! It’s a great souvenir for an affordable price, and a great excuse to get more Glühwein!
We took the public transport to the market, the metro. Our stop was in Stadtpark, the city park of Vienna. It’s a beautiful park with a golden statue of the favored composer of the Viennese monarchs in the 19th century, Johann Strauss. On this trip to Schönbrunn I learned everything there is to know about the Habsburgs, the royal family of Austria, and I hope I’ll retain it all and continue to read about it when I go home.
After leaving, we went to the Mozarthaus… the actual apartment W.A. Mozart lived in after 1785 until his death! 5 Domgasse, Wien… the address Mozart’s freelance writings were written at, including The Marriage of Figarro, Don Giovanni, countless sonatas and concertos, and the famous Requiem. This is where his pupils came to be tutored, and where his famous parlor games were played. This was where Haydn told Mozart's father Leopold, “your son is the greatest composer I’ve met or heard of”; HAYDN said that!
Needless to say I fangirled endlessly.
I learned so much here. They had an entire section on disputing the legends of Salieri’s hatred of Mozart, the subject of Milos Foreman’s Amadeus film in the 1980s. I learned that Salieri was actually a fantastic composer, and an accomplished musician, working for the monarchy in every possible musical avenue, as court composer to organizer of music entertainment events. He was just more modest than Mozart, and that is why his fame was not so eternal. They actually had a good relationship, and it was Salieri who had Don Giovanni performed at the Orangery in Schönbrunn for its first performance, to the royal family.
Mozart had a good friend, Antonio Saliman, who was of Nigerian descent.
His co-writer (who wrote the words) for his operas was just as talented as he, and famous for his librettos.
I also learned that Mozart was a member of the Free Masons, and his last finished composition was a cantata for their organization in Vienna.
The mystery of his death was never solved, and the reports of his poisoning came from his sudden falling ill. It is likely he took mercury in an effort to end his illness, which as we know now, is practically suicide. But with his involvement with the Free Masons I wonder if it could not have been… Illuminati… but that’s just me. It broke my heart to hear all about his struggles on his last day. He still sang the parts in Requiem with his assistant and his wife, and it was during Lacrimosa, my favorite part of the Requiem, that he faltered and could not continue. He died 11 hours later.
The lives of Mozart, Salieri, and the Habsburg monarchs were the focus of today, and I couldn’t have been more pleased! This was my favorite day in Vienna, altogether.