I can tell you those
people from Augsburg are so beautiful and so generous.«
(Excerpt from a letter Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote to
his father on October 14, 1777.)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – an infant
prodigy on his way to Augsburg
When traveling, Wolfgang
Amadeus Mozart would often
stop in his father's hometown or the 'hometown of my daddy' (1763,
1766, 1777, 1781, 1790) as he expressed it. After a long journey
he came to stay in Augsburg from October 11 to October 26, 1777.
Only his mother was accompanying him on this trip.
From what the
traveler wrote to his father Leopold, we can learn quite a bit
about what he experienced in Augsburg. Mother and son stayed at
the hotel called 'Weisses Lamm' at that time, a bed and breakfast
place not to far away from where Wolfgang Amadeus' cousin lived.
During that stay Wolfgang met relatives and old friends. Piano
maker Johann Andreas Stein was the one who led him to the organs
in two churches, Barfuesserkirche and Ulrichskirche.
Amadeus Mozart could also demonstrate his talents as an organ
player. A special reception was organised for him at the Heilig
Kreuz Monastery. Together
with the orchestra he played a symphony before he was asked to
spontaneously play some fugues on the themes singers of the choir
would give him. Shortly after that a concert was to be held which
Mozart would conduct.
The rehearsals took place at Stein's home.
Wolfgang would always wear his 'Orden vom goldenen Sporn' for
special occasions. He was decorated with this medal by the Pope
in 1770. The decoration led to a discussion between Wolfgang Amadeus
Mozart and the son of Augsburg's influential conservator called
Langenmantel. The boy thought the medal to be of no value. Mozart
told him, 'You do not need a decoration, there is already a skid
in your head.' Mozart was so displeased that he wanted to leave
Augsburg, but his friends convinced him to stay, so that the concert
was carried out as planned. Uncle Alois sold the tickets and Stein
arranged for three pianos to be carried on to the stage of the
Fugger Hall, where one of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's compositions
of the Augsburg audience was expressed in a letter Mozart sent
to his father. 'Stein does not do anything apart from make funny
faces and sometimes he is so astonished that he starts grinning.
Demler, the organ player, could not stop laughing. He is one of
a kind. Everytime he likes something he has to laugh out loud…'.
On October 26, 1777, Mozart
went on to Mannheim together with his mother.