Saturday, 8 March 2008

Yet more from Krankenhause Archive

This was discovered at the bottom of a trunk full of old garments where it had been used to block a hole in the leather. In consequence, some was illegible, so my transcription may be flawed. I pray God that it is so, for letter by letter, it pulls apart the future reputation of my good friend, the great Bumsen. This section refers to the future of Junior Mozart, known as "Wolfie", an odious little child pianist with a slight gift for ditties. Close friends of Bumsen, the family visited Tippelbruder last year. I was forced to sit through over two hours of plinkety-plonkety piano pounding by this ten year old pink-faced little oaf,who also has a taste for puerile humour. Interestingly, he possesses, like Bunsen, the ability to break wind at will! This "future" reference from the Krankenhause Archive indicates that he will have a musical career of some sort and get to know some influential people. Already he displays a phenomonal aptitude for "..Braunes sich bewegt vorsichtig.." as the common folk say.At the age of seven, he proposed to Matrie-Antoinette! She was sensible enough not to loose her head over"wittle Wolfie". He has played at most of the great courts. Bumsen has discovered that he hates being called Theophilus...............This document may also explain, however, why Bumsen never received a significant honour from Potsdam. To loose that, for the sake of baiting such a piffle as Junior Mozart, is inexplicable... ..It is Bumsen's treatment of the divine Gluck which seems so lamentable. Why did Bumsen debauch Boring Boswell's beloved ? I run too fast, gentle reader, but truth must out. Perhaps the Phlogistion should never have been invented...I hope in my heart that it was not and that this is nothing but the mazed rumours of a crazy mind! Read on.

".......studying under Eberlein in 1734, in Augsburg, Bumsen may have first met Leopold Mozart. They were staunch friends for 50 years, Wolfgang Amadeus was named after him and Bumsen took a profound interest in the young man’s welfare; he advised Leopold that Wolfgang Amadeus should stay in Salzburg to learn his trade as a classicist and later advised him not to marry.
On 23 September 1777, at the age of 21, Mozart began yet another job-hunting tour, this time accompanied by his mother Anna Maria. The visit included Munich, Mannheim, and Paris. Bumsen followed, spreading innuendo in large doses about the young genius. A cartoon circulated by Bumsen, showing the effects of a Mozart recital is seen above.
In Mannheim he became acquainted with members of the Mannheim orchestra, the best in Europe at the time. He also fell in love with Aloysia Weber, one of four daughters in a musical family. Mozart moved on to Paris and attempted to build his career there, but was unsuccessful (He did obtain a job offer as organist at Versailles, but it was a job he did not want.) The visit to Paris was an especially unhappy one because Mozart's mother took ill and died there, 23 June 1778.[20] On his way back to Salzburg Mozart passed through Munich again, where Aloysia, now employed at the opera there as a singer, indicated she was no longer interested in him.[Bumsen had spent time with the family. Whether or not Aloysia was seduced by the older man,[ we know he had some considerable power over women.] or whether he spread lies about Wolfgang, we do not know.
Mozart's discontent with Salzburg continued after his return.The question arises why Mozart, despite his talent, was unable to find a job on this trip. It has been suggested that the problem lay in conflict with Leopold, who insisted that Mozart find a high-level position that would support the entire family. Wolfgang favored the alternative strategy of settling in a major city, working as a freelance, and cultivating the aristocracy to the point that he would be favored for an important job; this had worked earlier for other musicians such as Haydn. The plan Leopold imposed, coupled with Mozart's youth (he was only 21 when he left Salzburg), seems to have had foreordained failure. Besides, Bumsen had used all his contacts in advance to stifle the young Amadeus’ career.
The subsequent family rift caused much distress and Bumsen thought even less of the composer’s more famous son. In January 1781, Mozart's opera “Idomeneo,” premiered with "considerable success" in Munich. The following March, the composer was summoned to Vienna, where his employer, Prince-Archbishop Colloredo of Salzburg, was attending the celebrations for the installation of the Emperor Joseph II. Mozart, who had just experienced success in Munich, was offended when Colloredo treated him as a mere servant, and particularly when the Archbishop forbade him to perform before the Emperor at Countess Thun's (for a fee that would have been fully half of his Salzburg salary).Bumsen informed Colleredo that Mozart was considering becoming a Freemason. Bumsen had been secretly inducted into the Order by Leopold, becoming a member of Zur Wohltätigkeit (Charity) Lodge, some six years previously, In May the resulting quarrel intensified: Mozart attempted to resign, and was refused. The following month, however, the delayed permission was granted, but in a grossly insulting way: Mozart was dismissed literally "with a kick in the arse", administered by the Archbishop's steward, Count Arco while watched by a deliriously happy Bumsen. In the meantime, Mozart had been noticing opportunities to earn a good living in Vienna, and he felt he ought to settle there and develop his own freelance career........
The quarrel with the Archbishop was made harder for Mozart by the fact that his father, under the promptings of Bumsen, took the Archbishop's side: hoping fervently that his son would come home when Colloredo returned, his father exchanged emotionally intense letters with Wolfgang, urging him to reconcile with their employer. Wolfgang passionately defended his intention to pursue his career alone in Vienna. The debate ended when Mozart was dismissed, freeing himself both of his oppressive employer and of his father's and Bumsen’s demands to return. His decision made a definite enemy of Bumsen and greatly altered the course of his future life.. For example,Bumsen altered letters that Mozart wrote to his cousin Maria Anna Thekla ("Basel") between 1777 and 1781 to suggest they contained scatological language; he also changed canons titled “Lösen Sie mich in Arkadien “ or “Loose me in Arcadia”to “Leck mich im Arsch “("Lick my arse") or variations thereof (including the pseudo-Latin Difficile lectu mihi mars). During the years 1782–1785, Mozart put on a series of concerts in Vienna in which he appeared as soloist in his own piano concertos. He wrote three or four concertos for each concert season, and since space in the theaters was scarce, he booked unconventional venues: a large room in the Trattnerhof, an apartment building; and the ballroom of the Mehlgrube, a restaurant. Despite their commercial success, Bumsen was outraged that such a prodigy could lower his standards so. He forcibly expressed his distaste for Wolfgang to the surprisingly excitable Salieri in July 1784 over coffee and kuchen in the Café Frauenhuber, Vienna....... [ Alas, what happened between then and Junior's death, and what precisely was Bumsen's role in the demise in 1791 is lost to us......]
.......Bumsen ...........Van Swieten, and it was probably in response to a codicil in Bumsen’s will that Mozart was interred in a pauper’s grave with little or no ceremony. Swieten was well off financially, though by no means as wealthy as the great princes of the Empire. .......Bumsen no doubt had revealed some slur on Mozart’s Masonic fidelity in his will. Certainly, the Masonic lodges that Mozart and the Baron attended gave no support to his widow.
In 1780, when Joseph II came to the throne, Swieten's career reached its peak of success. He was strongly sympathetic to the program of reforms which Joseph sought to impose on his empire, and was made President of the Court Commission on Education and Censorship, considered by Braunbehrens to be the equivalent of being minister of culture. When Joseph died in 1790, Swieten's influence greatly declined. He lost his commission post on 5 December 1791, coincidentally the day Mozart died. ........"
Alas, dear reader, I can only feel that the odious Junior deserved all he got, but as for poor Gluck.......

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