You are on page 1of 1

In mid October of last year, I had the wonderful opportunity to

venture to Europe and see many great historical sites and hear many terrific
classical pieces. The first place we travelled to was Prague, the capital city
of the Czech Republic. Mozart is often said to have had a special
relationship with the city of Prague and its people. Mozart biographer,
Maynard Solomon writes of

“an enthusiasm for Mozart that has passed into legend, with Prague
seen as the good city that supported and understood him at a time when he
had allegedly been neglected, even scorned, by Vienna.” (Solomon, 417)

Mozart wrote Don Giovanni in Prague and I visited the house it was
where the opera was written. On January 19, he gave an "academy" (a
concert for his own profit) at which the famous Symphony in D major, K.
504--now called the "Prague" Symphony--was premiered. Mozart also
improvised solo on the piano--including variations on the popular aria "Non
più andrai" from "The Marriage of Figaro.” Afterward, Mozart said he
"counted this day as one of the happiest of his life." (Solomon, 419)

I had the opportunity to hear Mozart’s Requiem in D minor performed

at the Musikverein. This requiem was popularized in the movie, Amadeus,
where at the end Mozart is seen with Salieri who are working on the
Confutatis. This was the last composition that Mozart had written. On the
day of his death he was said to be rehearsing it with a group of string

After travelling to Vienna, Austria I was able to visit Mozart’s

apartment where he wrote many of his greatest works including piano
concertos. I saw a concert where Mozart’s 40th symphony was played. It
was nicknamed the “Great G minor” symphony to distinguish it from the
25th symphony which is referred to as “Little G minor.” I heard an aria sung
by a man and a woman as well as Papagena from The Magic Flute. The
conductor of the orchestra had arranged ‘Rondo alla Turca’ which was
originally for solo piano for his orchestra. They had finished the concert
with The Blue Danube as well as an orchestral piece of Rachmaninoff.

After taking a complete tour through Mozart’s apartment, I was able to walk
through a museum that had information about nearly all of the great
composers in history. Most of the information was on Mozart’s history. I
was able to conduct a virtual orchestra using an infrared machine and a huge
television screen. It wasn’t very accurate and didn’t work very well but it
was still an enjoyable experience.