Sunday, September 9, 2007

Mozart's Style and Small Renown

[To the Archduke Franz, Vienna]

May 1790,

Your Royal Highness,

I make so bold as very respectfully to beg your Royal Highness to be so gracious as to speak to his Majesty the King touching my most humble petition to his Majesty. Prompted by a desire for fame, by a love of my work and by a conviction of my own talents, I venture to apply for the post of second kapellmeister, the more particularly that Salieri, the very able kapellmeister, has never devoted himself to the ecclesiastical style in music, whereas I have made myself completely familiar with this style from my youth up. Some small renown accorded me by the world for my performances on the piano-forte encourages me also to beg for the favour of being entrusted with the musical instruction of the Royal Family.

In the sure conviction that I have applied to the best possible intermediary, and to one who is particularly gracious to me, I feel the utmost confidence. . . .

[Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart]

-from Letters of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart selected and edited by Hans Mersmann; translated by M. M. Bozman (New York: Dover, 1972) p. 248.

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