W. A. Mozart visited Prague five times, where he was
deeply loved and appreciated. Join our guide and see
where Mozart stayed, and where he composed and
conducted his masterpieces. Learn how he created his
famous Don Giovanni opera, and how he influenced Prague.
4 HOUR TOUR
GUIDE & VEHICLE
Tickets to attractions are not included in the tour price.
In the year 2006 the whole cultural world will remember 250 years from the birth of W. A. Mozart whose life and work are essentially connected, among other places, to Prague.
To commemorate this anniversary the project MOZART PRAGUE 2006 is being prepared. A great number of cultural events held within the regular programmes of the individual organizers as well as unique cultural and social projects will take place during 2006 in Prague.
W. A. Mozart was attracted to secret societies even when he lived in Salzburg, he used to visit a cave near the town where Illuminati met. After Mozartīs death, his wife Constance revealed that they had planned on founding a secter association there, called Grotto (The Cave).
Mozart, who was happiest among people where social status did not play a role, a man of honest character and heart, searched-out hidden groups in Vienna, and became a freemason at the age of twenty-eight under the urging of Count von Gemmingen. He was accepted by the Viennese lodge Zur Wohltatigkeit in 1784. According to lodge records, Mozart and his father Leopold were members who visited Masonic meetings.
Soon after his acceptance as a mason, Mozart began to compose occasional pieces on "Masonic" themes. On 7 January 1785 he was promoted to the second degree of Masonry in the lodge True Harmony, founded by Ignac von Born where Joseph Haydn was also a memebr. That year Mozart wrote Mason Funeral Music, and in 1791 The Little Masonic Cantata. Among his most famous Masonic pieces is the Masonīs Joy for solo, male choir, and orchestra, with accompanying text by Czech mason Petran.
After Mozartīs first visit to Prague in 1787, he visited several palaces belonging to the Prague Masonic aristocracy including Count Canal de Malabaile. His next steps were guided by the masons. f.i. the librarian Karl Ungar, who showed him the Clementinum, and the Abbot Mayer, who showed him the Strahov monastery. Both men were well-known for their contacts with the elite of the time.
During his first stay Mozart lived in Thunovska street in the palace of Count Josef Thun, the head of a respected family whose members were designated masons. Thanks to him Mozart received such an outstanding welcome in Prague, since Thun was the head of a large lobby group, with wide ideas of influence. The Freemasons worked hard and with purpose long before Mozart arrived, so that the group would be appropriately set. The composerīs work was a lot punlicied, and Mr. Thunīs involvement gave Mozart social advantages few other composers could have dreamed of.
After the death of Mozartīs father in 1787, W.A. Mozartīs health began to deteriorate. His wife Constanceīs numerous pragnancies, Salieriīs intrigues, poor pay in the emperorīs service, all left mark of axhaustion and poverty on Mozart which not even lodge brothers could remedy.
"During his first visit in 1787 Mozart promised his Masonic patron, Count Pachta of Rajov, that he would compose some new dance pieces for him. As his stay lengthened, Mozart kept putting it off till the count began to lose hope, towards the end of Mozartīs stay, the count resorted to trickery. During one of his visits Mozart was led into a chamber, where instead of finding his expected host, Mozart found a piano, some paper, ink , and a pen, as well as a note from the count. The note explained that teonly way Mozart would free himslef from te chamber was by completing the promised composition. The pieces Mozart wrote was Six German Dances, which belong to the composerīs greatest compositions for dance. It � likely that the scene took place on the spot where Jan Joseph Pachtīs palace once stood."
"The inspiration for "The Magic Flute" came from a story called Lullu, by German novelist and freemason Christopher Martin Wieland. Mozart, together with librettist Emanuel Schikaneder ( his descendent Jakub Schikaneder was a famous Prague painter in the 19th century, his paintings inspired to film in Prague the movie "Amadeus") , disguised many of the storyīs Masonic motifs behind comic elements accessible to the Viennese public, making "The Magic Flute" into something of a fairy tale, a playful pastiche, with meanings that go deeper than meet the eye, and are more profound than any might guess."
The 29 October 1787 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart premiered one of his most famous operas at the Estates Theatre in Prague, it was a triumphant musical event and it brought instant recognition to its composer, who conducted the first performance himself.
Prague had never seen anything like this. The premiere of Don Giovanni is shrouded in legend and mystery, but one thing is certain: the opening performance was originally postponed for two weeks because Mozart purposely forgot to compose the operaīs overture. It is said that he wrote it on the eve of the premiere, and that srcibes completed parts for the brass section a mere hour before the opening night.
According to legend, it was Giacomo Casaova, the famous lover and adventurer, whi inspired the character of Don Giovanni. Mozart knew him personally and the two met again during the operaīs Prague premiere. It is curious that the story in the libretto, appropriate as it was for the period, was actually cleverly plagiarised, atypical for the otherwise original Mozart. Together with Lorenzo da Ponte, the composer more or less copied the main plot from a libretto called The Stone Guest, by Giovanni Bertati. The work had played for a short time in Venice in January 1787, and was set to music composed by Giuseppe Gazzaniga.
All the same, it does not rule out the fact that Don Giovanni may have been honestly inspired by elements from Casanovaīs life, Casanova was renowned for his exploits throughout the noble courts of Europe. He set down many adventures in the book Historie de Ma Fuite des Prisons de la Republique de Venise, which he finished writing in 1787.
A year later, during his stay in Bohemia, the book was published in Leipzig. The frontispiece in the book illustrates the arrest of Casanova during the Venetian Inquisition in 1755, his famous escape and various legends concerning his remarkable sexual escapades were talk of Europe at the end of the 18th century. It is believed that the composer immortalised his meetings with Casanova in the scene in Don Giovanni where the character meets the commander.
Mozart was passionate about serial numbers, and his view of music was similar to his view on mathematics, in both he saw the great symphony of Godīs Creation. Mozart commissioned librettist Lorenza da Ponte for the writing of Don Giovanni opera, and had him incorporate numbers representing different symbolic meanings.