In the Schubert Club Museum's Gillman Ordway Manuscript Gallery, you will find a letter
that Mozart sent to his wife, written one year before he died. For most of the letter, Mozart
writes of ordinary, everyday concerns, such as financial woes. But what is striking for us
all, looking back from his future and our past, is the amount of love Mozart had for his wife,
as well as the profound feeling of emptiness her absence inflicted upon him. The letter
allows us a kind of intimacy with Mozart that we usually only experience with close friends,
a kind of intimacy that seems impossible with a personality long lost to us.
This Valentines Day, we are trying to recreate this intimacy within our community. Come to The Schubert Club Museum to participate in "Letters from the Heart," by writing your own Letter from the Heart. By doing so we hope to expose on a deeper level the impact our significant others, friends, neighbors, and even things like our favorite music, have on all our lives. We hope that this endeavor will let us gain an appreciation for others in our community that can only be found in something as personal as a letter from the heart.
View the letter and its translation:
|Mozart Letter, 1790|
The Letter read aloud in German
The Letter read aloud in English
On September 22, 1790, Mozart left for Frankfurt to attend the coronation of Emperor
Leopold II, paying for the trip by selling most of his household silver. He made the journey
using his own coach, by far the most expensive way to travel at the time, further evidence of
Mozart's inability to handle his own finances. Accompanied by his sister-in-law's husband,
Franz Hofer, Mozart hoped to curry favor with the new emperor, possibly gaining a much-
coveted appointment as Kapellmeister, or court composer. At the very least, he hoped to widen
his small circle of admirers abroad.
Mozart performed for Leopold on October 15th, 1790, and played two piano concerts: k. 459 in F, (an older work); and a new composition written especially for the event, K. 537 in D, since known as the Coronation concerto. Unfortunately, the performance was not received especially well; with an inadequate orchestra containing at most five or six violins, his concertos lacked the brilliance and depth with which they are usually performed. Mozart left Frankfurt with less than he expected – none the richer and decidedly dejected.
Mozart's letter mentions several members of his inner circle. "Redcurrant Face" was his nickname for Anton Stadler, a renowned clarinetist and basset-horn player for whom Mozart wrote two of his most famous clarinet pieces. Franz Hoffmeister was Mozart's publisher and himself a prolific composer. Johannes Böhm was the proprietor of a theatrical company that produced two of Mozart's operas later that year, Die Entführung aus dem Serail and La Finta Giardiniear. Franz Hofer was an accomplished violinist and the husband of Mozart's sister-in- law Josepha (Madame Hofer).
Let Mozart's letter inspire you to write your own! Starting on February 14, we'll be asking visitors to the Museum to compose their own letters from the heart. Are you as much of a romantic as Mozart?
To submit your Letter from the Heart from home, download a template and submit to The Schubert Club before March 31, 2013.
All entries will be qualified to win one of three random drawings for Schubert Club tickets and merchandise valued at $150 or more!
Visit The Schubert Club Museum between February 14 and March 31 and use our typewriter to create your own letter. You'll have the opportunity to see Mozart's letter in person, which should ignite your creativity!
Download a template:
Alternatively, you can:
Email your letter: email@example.com
Mail your letter: The Schubert Club | Letters of the Heart | 75 W 5th St #302 | St. Paul, MN 55102
Or Use Social Media!
Tweet your letter: hashtag #lettersfromtheheart
Post your letter on our Facebook Page
Post your letter on instagram with the tag #lettersfromtheheart
Post your letter on pinterest #lettersfromtheheart