Rare Stories about Wolfgang Mozart

Besides having a very cool name, Mozart was one of the most influential and enduring classical composer who lived a short life and died at the age of 35. He composed over 600 compositions in this time.

Mozart Anecdotes
Mozart Anecdotes
Playing with Your Nose

One day, Mozart taunted Haydn that the latter would never be able to play a piece which Mozart had just written. Haydn sat at the harpsichord, began to play from the manuscript, then stopped abruptly. There was a note in the center of the keyboard while the right hand was playing in high treble and the left hand in low bass.

"Nobody can play this with only two hands," Haydn exclaimed.

"I can," Mozart said quietly. When he reached the debated portion of his composition, he bent over and struck the central note wih his nose.

"With a nose like yours," Haydn conceded, "it becomes easier."
(Slonimsky's Book of Musical Anecdotes, written by Nicolas Slonimsky)

Young Mozart Anecdote

Once I went with your father after the Thursday service to your house, where we found Wolfgang, then four years old, busy with his pen.
Father: What are you doing?
Wolfgang: Writing a concerto for the clavier; it will soon be done.
Father: Let me see it.
Wolfgang: It’s not finished yet.
Father: Never mind; let me see it. It must be something very fine.
Your father took it from him and showed me a daub of notes, for the most part written over ink-blots. (The little fellow dipped his pen every time down to the very bottom of the ink-bottle, so that as soon as it reached the paper, down fell a blot; but that did not disturb him in the least, he rubbed the palm of his hand over it, wiped it off, and went on with his writing.) We laughed at first at this apparent nonsense, but then your father began to note the theme, the notes, the composition; his contemplation of the page became more earnest, and at last tears of wonder and delight fell from his eyes.
“Look, Herr Schachtner,” sad he, “how correct and how orderly it is; only it could never be of any use, for it is so extraordinarily difficult that no one in the world could play it. “
Then Wolfgang struck in, “That is why it is a concerto; it must be practiced till it is perfect; look, this is how it goes.”
He began to play, but could only bring out enough to show us what he meant by it. He had at that time a firm conviction that playing concertos and working miracles were the same thing.
(Letter to Mozart’s sister, Maria Anna, from Johann Andre Schanchtner, April 1792)

Mozart's Passion

His barber used to relate in after-years how difficult it was to dress his hair, since he would never sit still; every moment an idea would occur to him, and he would run to the clavier, the barber after him, hair-ribbon in hand.
(The Book of Musical Anecdotes by Norman Lebrecht)

Mozart and Beethoven

Beethoven arrived in Vienna in the spring of 1787 as a youth of great promise and was taken to play before Mozart. Assuming that his music was a showpiece specially prepared for the occasion, Mozart responded coolly. Beethoven begged him to state a theme on which he could improvise and began playing as if inspired by the Master’s presence, Mozart became engrossed. Finally he rejoined his friends in the next room and pronounced emphatically, “Keep your eyes on that young man. Some day he will give the world something to talk about.”
(Alexander Wheelock Thayer: Life of Ludwig van Beethoven (Thayer: Life); transl. Henry E. Krenhbiel. Berlin, 1866-1879 (rev. Leipzig, 1910-1917); NY, 1921.