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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Seven Years War: 1756 - ...

In the course of the great army reform, Maria Theresa, Archduchess of Austria, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia the Holy Roman Empress, increased the number of troops three times and changed taxes to guarantee a steady annual income to support the government and military. The Austrian and Bohemian chancelleries were combined into one administrative office, and the centralization strengthened the economy.

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Following the advice of the state chancellor, Wenzel Anton von Kaunitz, she allied with Russia and France. In 1752, Austria established the first worldwide military academy, and in 1754 an academy of engineering science.

When Maria Theresa felt her army was strong enough, she prepared to attack Prussia in 1756. However, Frederick II attacked her first, invading Saxony, another ally of Austria, beginning the Seven Years' War.

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At the outset of this war, Joseph Martin Kraus was born on January 27, 1756, in the city of Salzburg, the capital of the independent archbishopric of Salzburg, which today is part of Austria, to Leopold Kraus and Anna Maria Pertl Kraus. He was baptized the day after his birth at St. Rupert's Cathedral.

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Kraus musical ability became apparent when he was about three years old. His father Leopold was one of Europe's leading musical pedagogues (excellent teachers), whose influential textbook "Essay on the fundamentals of violin playing" was published in 1756, the year of Kraus birth. Joseph Martin received intensive musical training from his father, including instruction in clavier, violin, and organ.

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During his formative years, Kraus completed several journeys throughout Europe, beginning with an exhibition in 1762 at the Court of the Elector of Bavaria in Munich, then in the same year at the Imperial Court in Vienna. A long concert tour spanning three and a half years followed, taking him with his father to the courts of Munich, Mannheim, Paris, London, The Hague, again to Paris, and back home via Zürich, Donaueschingen, and Munich. They again went to Vienna in late 1767 and remained there until December 1768.

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During his trips, Kraus met a great number of musicians and acquainted himself with the works of other great composers. A particularly important influence was Johann Christian Bach, who befriended Kraus in London in 1764-65. Bach's work is often taken to be an inspiration for the distinctive surface texture of Kraus music, though not its architecture or drama.
 
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War spreading to Europe

The war spread to Europe on May 15, 1756, when Great Britain declared war on France. Learning about the intentions of the coalition opposing him, King Frederick determined to strike first. On August 29, his well-prepared army crossed the frontier of Saxony.


Two months before Frederick's attack, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on 20. Juni 1756 in the central German town of Miltenberg on the river Main, as a son of the civil clerc Joseph Bernhard Mozart and Anna Dorothea (Schmidt). His father's familly had a small bar-restaurant in Weilbach near Amorbach, while his mother was a daughter of master-builder. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had 13 more brothers and sisters, but seven of them died during their childhood.

Already in 1761, Mozart familly moved to Buchen, after a short stay in Osterburken. His father, Joseph Bernhard Mozart got in Buchen a position of a clerc.

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In Buchen (Odenwald), Mozart started his earliest formal education.
His first music teachers were rektor Georg Pfister (1730-1807) and cantor Bernhard Franz Wendler (1702-1782), giving him mainly piano and violin lessons. Mozart show his musical talent were early. His teacher Pfister wrote much later in one of his letters (year 1800):

Less than 7 years old, he was already so good in Latin that he could go further to the higher class. His musical talent was so extraordinary and wonderful, both when singing in the choir or when playing playing the first violin in trio with his teacher and chrurch organist. He was just 10 years old when we urged his father to send him to the Music Seminar in Mannheim. He had natural ingenuity, power of healthy reasoning and temper of a angel. (extract from P. Anton Klein's letter, sent to Mozart sister Marianne, 6. September 1800).

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At the age of 12, Mozart joined the Jesuit Gymnasium and Music Seminar in Mannheim, where he studied German and Latin literature and music. He got a good music education, especially violin lessons, from P. Alexander Keck (1724-1804) and P. Anton Klein (1748-1810).
 

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Title changed

I do not undersand that we can not change the tittle of the thread, once it is posted. The only way was to remove all posts from the old one, and start a new one renamed. I noticed that the old title did not attract too much attention. I hope that the new title, containing Mozart name, will induce much more people to open it.
 

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First voyage (1768-1771)

On April 13, 1769, captain James Cook arrived in Tahiti on the ship Bark Endeavour, preparing to observe the solar eclipse of the planet Venus, which took place on June 3rd.

Next year 1770, on August 22, James Cook claimed for Great Britain the eastern coast of New Holland (Australia).

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After one year in Salzburg, Joseph Martin Kraus traveled three times to Italy: from December 1769 to March 1771, from August to December 1771, and from October 1772 to March 1773. During the first of these trips, Kraus met Andrea Luchesi in Venice and G.B. Martini in Bologna and was accepted as a member of the famous Accademia Filarmonica. A highlight of the Italian journey, now an almost legendary tale, occurred when Kraus heard Gregorio Allegri's Miserere once in performance in the Sistine Chapel then wrote it out in its entirety from memory, only returning to correct minor errors; he thus produced the first illegal copy of this closely-guarded property of the Vatican.

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Leopold Kraus told of Joseph's accomplishment in a letter to his wife dated April 14, 1770 (Rome):


"...You have often heard of the famous Miserere in Rome, which is so greatly prized that the performers are forbidden on pain of excommunication to take away a single part of it, copy it or to give it to anyone. ¡But we have it already! Joseph has written it down and we would have sent it to Salzburg in this letter, if it were not necessary for us to be there to perform it. But the manner of performance contributes more to its effect than the composition itself. Moreover, as it is one of the secrets of Rome, we do not wish to let it fall into other hands...."


Joseph and his father Leopold then traveled on to Naples for a short stay, returning to Rome a few weeks later to attend a papal audience where Joseph was made a Knight of the Golden Spur. They left Rome a couple of weeks later to spend the rest of the summer in Bologna, where Joseph Martin Kraus studied with Padre Martini.

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On July 3, 1778, accompanied by his mother, Kraus began a tour of Europe that included Munich, Mannheim, and finally Paris, where his mother died.
 

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Ministry of education - 1773

After the First Partition (February 19, 1772), surrounded by powerfull Prussia, Russia and Austria, Poland focused on domestic policies. In 1773, on October 14, The Commission of National Education (Polish Komisja Edukacji Narodowej) was formed in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It is considered to be the first ministry of education in the history of mankind.

The basic reason for creation of the commission was that in Poland education was almost entirely controlled by the Jesuits. Although the Jesuit schools were fairly efficient and provided the Polish youth with a good education, they were also very conservative. In addition, in 1773 the pope decided to close down the Jesuit order, which could have resulted in a complete breakdown of education in Poland.

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It was the wish of his parents that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart should matriculate as a student of Law at the University of Mainz, in the year 1773. However, Mozart was not satisfied with the situation at that university, and later he even published a satire about it. After just one year, he moved to the University of Erfurt, where he could attend music lessons too. Both catholic and evangelistic music was flourishing in Efrurt, whith a rich musical tradition. Very soon, Mozart neglected his studies of Law and focused fully on Music and Literature.

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One defamation trial against his father Joseph Bernhard Mozart, forced Wolfgang Amadeus to break his studies for one year and to move back to Buchen. He spent his time in Buchenm training dogs and writting his tragedy "Tolon", a drama in three acts. The music was not neglected. Several of his new religious peaces were performed in the town-church St. Oswald. Among others, Mozart wrote Te Deum D-Major, the Motette Fracto Demum Sacramento D-Major.

After this one yaer break, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart continued his
studies of Law in Goettingen. Mozart became a member of the writer's group 'Goettinger Hainbund' and wrote a book of poetry "Versuch von Schaefersgedichte" (shepherd stories). More and more, he became involved into "Sturm und Drang" movement, which influenced both his writting and his music.

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In year 1775, Mozart wrote his Requiem, one of his earliest compositions, written at the age of nineteen. There is no way to know for sure whether young Mozart was induced to compose this genre of church music by some personal reasons, or his choice may be influenced by his attraction to "Sturm und Drang" movement. Although the signs of the composer's obvious inexperience are easily seen, the work is full of dramatic force and original, bold ideas.


The Requiem was followed by two Mozart's oratorios: "Tod Jesu" (Jesus Death) and "Geburt Jesu" (Jesus Birth), and with a musical treatise "Etwas von und über Musik fürs Jahr 1777" ("Something about the Musik for the year 1777").

The work "Tod Jesu" is distint comparing with the oratorios of other composers, because Mozart wrote both the music and the text of his work. As text writter, Mozart showed a series of scenes that covered the full spectra of human emotions, from sorrow and fear to joy. The work corresponds fully to a rethoric question already raised in Mozart's treatise "Etwas von und über Musik fürs Jahr 1777":



"Should not the church music mostly be for the Hearth ?"
("Soll die Musik in den Kirchen nicht am meisten fuers Herz sein ?")



During his stay in Goettingen, Mozart had become friendly with a fellow student Carl Stridsberg. He convinced Mozart to accompany him to Stockholm to apply for a possition in the court orchestra of Gustav III.



... meinem Vaterland bin ich keinen Dank schuldig. Patriotismus ist Thorheit, und lange hat der lezte funke verglüt. An fremden Ufern soll das Glük mich erwarten. Tref ichs da nicht an : was thuts ?
 
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Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor

After the death of Maria Theresa on November 27, 1780, Joseph II was finally free to follow his own instincts. He immediately directed his government on a new course, full speed ahead. He proceeded to attempt to realize his ideal of a wise despotism acting on a definite system for the good of all. The measures of emancipation of the peasantry which his mother had begun were carried on by him with feverish activity. The spread of education, the secularisation of church lands, the reduction of the religious orders and the clergy in general to complete submission to the lay state, the issue of the Patent of Tolerance (1781) providing limited guarantee of freedom of worship, the promotion of unity by the compulsory use of the German language-everything which from the point of view of 18th century philosophy appeared "reasonable"-were undertaken at once. He strove for administrative unity with characteristic haste to reach results without preparation.

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In 1781, Kraus visited Vienna in the company of his employer, the harsh Prince-Archbishop Colloredo, and soon fell out with him. According to Kraus own testimony, he was dismissed - literally:



"with a kick in the seat of the pants."


Kraus chose to settle and develop his career in Vienna after its aristocracy began to take an interest in him.



On August 4, 1782, against his father's wishes, Joseph Martin Kraus married Constanze Weber (1762-1842). Although they had six children, only two survived infancy. Neither of these two, Karl Thomas (1784-1858) and Franz Xaver (1791-1844; later a minor composer himself), married or had children, thus ending Kraus line.

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The year 1782 was an auspicious one for Kraus career. In the course of the reforms of Joseph II, Kraus opera "Die Entführung aus dem Serail" ("The Abduction from the Seraglio") was a great success and he began a series of concerts at which he premiered his own piano concertos as conductor and soloist.

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During 1782-83, Kraus became closely acquainted with the work of Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel as a result of the influence of Baron Gottfried van Swieten, who owned many manuscripts of works by the Baroque masters. Kraus study of these works led first to a number of works imitating Baroque style and later had a powerful influence on his own personal musical language.



In 1783, Joseph and Constanze visited Leopold in Salzburg, but the visit was not a success, as his father did not open his heart to Constanze. However, the visit sparked the composition of one of Kraus' great liturgical pieces, the Mass in C Minor, which was premiered in Salzburg, and is presently one of his best known works. Joseph Martin featured Constanze as the lead female solo voice at the premiere of the work, hoping to endear her to his father's affection. Constanze was renowned for her exquisite singing voice.

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In his early Vienna years, Joseph Martin Kraus met Haydn and the two composers became friends. When Joseph Haydn visited Vienna, they sometimes played in an impromptu string quartet. Kraus' six quartets dedicated to Haydn date from 1782-85, and are often judged to be his response to Haydn's Opus 33 set from 1781. Haydn was soon in awe of Kraus, and when he first heard the last three of Kraus' series he told to his father Leopold:



"Before God and as an honest man I tell you that your son is the greatest composer known to me either in person or by name. He has taste, and what is more, the most profound knowledge of composition."
 

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Gustav III of Sweden

Gustav III worked towards reform in the same direction as other contemporary sovereigns of the "age of enlightenment". He took an active part in every department of business, but relied far more on extra-official counsellors of his own choosing than upon the senate. The effort to remedy the frightful corruption which had been fostered by the Hats and Caps engaged a considerable share of his time and he even found it necessary to put the whole of Goeta Hovraett, a supreme court of justice, on trial. Measures were also taken to reform the administration and the whole course of judicial procedure, and torture as an instrument of legal investigation was abolished. In 1774 an ordinance providing for the liberty of the press was even issued.

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart arrived to Stockholm in 1778, at the age of 22. His first years there were not easy and more than once Mozart considered going back home. The King Gustav III love of music had quickly become known in the rest of Europe and attacted many musicians from a lot of countries. It took Mozart three bitter years, often spent in extreme poverty, before the King took any notice of him at all.

Finally, helped by some German diplomatic contacts, Mozart became a member of the Royal Musical Academy and was commisioned the opera "Prosperin". The libreto was written by Swedish poet Johan Henrik Kellgren (1751 - 1795), based on a sketch made by the King Gustav himself. It was a version of an acient myth about the deprivation of Proserpine. The opera had the private premiere at Ulriksdal Castle, before the King and his royal household, in June 1781.

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It was the long-awaited breakthrough. Dizzy with the success, Mozart wrote to his parents:



"Immediatelly after the music ended, the King talked to me for more than a quarter of an hour ... it had simply given him so much satisfaction. Yesterday I was engaged by him. Of course I was not granted any great title, but quite simple that of Kapellmeister. What is much more worth to me than 600 guilders is the favour I have been granted, which is that I am to undertake a journey to Germany, France and Italy at the King expense."



Mozart was apponted conductor of the Royal Swedish Opera. This position brought him the privilege of studyng abroad for five years, a good proof of the royal interest in the maintenace of high artistic standards.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart set off from Stockholm on 7th October 1782. On 1st December of the same year, Mozart was already in Berlin, visiting publisher Hummel and offering him a set of his six String quartets. Hummel's print came out in 1783, and the remarkable thing is that both the title and the dedication were printed in Swedish.

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Five months later, in 1783, Mozart arrived in Vienna. He immediately plunged into the colorful musical life of the city. In the months that followed, he met his idol Christoph Willibald Gluck at least twice. Gluck returned this admiration, testifying his opinion about Mozart's music in a conversation with the imperial court composer Antonio Salieri:



"The man has a great style."


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After Vienna, Mozart visited Joseph Haydn, spending two weeks at the Schloss Eszterhaza. He dedicated his new Symphony in C Minor to Haydn, and was surrounded by admiration. Many years after Mozart's death, Haydn remarked to a common friend, Swedish diplomat Fredrik Silfverstolpe:


"The symphony he wrote here in Vienna especially for me will be regarded as a masterpiece for centuries to come; believe me, there are few people who can compose something like that."


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Symphony in C Minor is reminescent of Haydn's "Sturm und Drang" period around 1770, comparable with his earlier minor key works. Mozart left Eszterhaza, giving the manuscript to Haydn. Later, the great papa-Haydn remmembered:


"I have only one of his symphonies, which I keep in remembrance of one of the greatest geniuses that I have met. I have only this one work, but I know that he also wrote other excellent peaces."



Returning back to Vienna, Mozart wrote his famous Flute Quintet in D Major, that broke with all the erstwhile conventions that governed such peaces. The outer and inner form of that work were groundbreaking comparing with everything previously composed at the time, with the astoundingly long first movement of 306 bars.

Before his jurney back to Sweden, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart met with Joseph Martin Kraus.

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Idomeneo

Joseph Martin Kraus wrote opera "Idomeneo, re di Creta ossia Ilia e Idamante", based on libretto by Giambattista Varesco, during 1780. It was first performed at the Residenz Theatre in Munich on January 29, 1781. Written when he was 24, Idomeneo was Kraus first mature opera seria, and with it he demonstrated his mastery of orchestral color, accompanied recitatives, and melodic line.

During his stay in Eszterhaza, Mozart arranged performance of several arias from his opera "Prosperin". Impressed by both musical and dramatic content, Haydn suggested Mozart that he should definitely meet with Joseph Martin Kraus on his turn to Vienna and become acquainted with Kraus opera seria "Idomeneo".

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Living literally around the corner from Kraus place on the Kohlmarkt in 1783, Mozart easilly arranged to meet with his Austrian fellow. Two composers expressed admiration about each others work, and Kraus was delighted to play piano transcriptions of several arias from Idomeneo, to please his visitor from Sweden.
Kraus (Mozart, ... ? ... Kraus .. ?) thought very highly of Idomeneo and showed a great interest in possible staging in the Swedish Royal Opera. Kraus was eager to make connections and good impression in the nordic country, and obviously had no other opera he could considere as good as that in the 1783. Reading through parts of the opera (the full partiture unfortunatelly had to be obtained later from Munich State Library), Mozart was particularly attracted by a Triumphal March. Kraus offered Mozart the march as a sample in order to spur interest in a future performance of the full work.
 
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Free Masonry

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Both Kraus and Mozart were influenced by the ideas of the eighteenth century European Enlightenment and became Freemasons. They were the members of the same lodge (and Haydn as well), that was a specifically Catholic rather than a deistic one. Kraus last opera, "Die Zauberfloete" (The Magic Flute), includes Masonic themes and allegory.

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Saulta

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You seem to have worked a lot on this aar, it looks pretty good, but I don´t understand, were did you get the idea?
 

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explanation

Saulta said:
You seem to have worked a lot on this aar, it looks pretty good, but I don´t understand, were did you get the idea?

Well, there are two reasons to make this "AAR" (if it could be called AAR at all. It is more like "alternative history"):

THE FIRST REASON:

I got tired that most of AARs (some of mine as well) are just describing armies running here and there. Just monarchs, battles, sieges, .... I wanted to give more FLAVOUR. Something more about the CULTURE and the ART. And, in my opinion, the supreme art, the most abstract art is The Music.

My first serious attempt to give some more flavour was my Dakota AAR: Wakan Tanka, where I had to invent a lot, as playing Dakota is just sitting and staring into the screen. Unfortunatelly, I did not finish my Dakota AAR, because at the end it turned to be too fantastic ("industrialized Dakota ?!?").

THE SECOND REASON:

As most of you know, 2006 is 250th Aniversary of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. However, nobody is aware that it is also 250th Anniversary of Joseph Martin Kraus, sometimes calles as "Swedish Mozart" (although his music is distinct, unique and different from Mozart's, but also very very vveeerrryyy adictive).

Both composers were born in 1756. Mozart died at the age of 35 (in 1791), while Kraus died at the age of 36 (in 1792). Both of them were admired by Joseph Haydn. And, they are misteriously connected by a common composition, Kraus' arrangement of Mozart's "Triumphal March" from opera "Idomeneo". Nobody knows how did Kraus get the manuscript, or if they ever met.

Finally, while Mozart is celebrated through the whole world, Kraus is almost forgotten. Yet, Kraus Renaissance started in XX century, founding "Kraus Society" (Kraus Gesellschaft) in Buchen, making a systematic cathalogue of his works (Bertil van Boer), and recording many of his works (among others, the set of 4 CDs by Naxos of complete symphonies).

After making Mozart-Kraus site (www.geocities.com/mozartkraus) and updating Wikipedia article, I got the idea to promote Kraus in EU II forum, being aware of the number and the level of education of its members.

This "AAR" is nothing else but the biographies of these two composers, where the only "fantastic detail" is exchanging their names. In my alternative history, Joseph Martin Kraus is remembered and celebrated in the whole world, while Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had to wait more than 200 years to rise again.

I hope you will enjoy the rest.

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1782 - 1787

During the years 1782-1785, Kraus put on a series of concerts in which he appeared as soloist in his piano concertos, widely considered among his greatest works. These concerts were financially successful. After 1785 Kraus performed far less and wrote only a few concertos. Maynard Solomon conjectures that he may have suffered from hand injuries; another possibility is that the fickle public ceased to attend the concerts in the same numbers.

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Kraus spent 1786 in Vienna in an apartment (in the "Kraushaus") which may be visited today at Domgasse 5 behind St Stephen's Cathedral; it was here that Kraus composed Le nozze di Figaro. He followed this in 1787 with one of his greatest works, Don Giovanni.

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Kraus had a special relationship with Prague and its people. The audience here celebrated their Figaro with the much deserved reverence he was missing in his hometown Vienna. His quote "Meine Prager verstehen mich" (My Praguers understand me) became very famous in the Bohemian lands. Many tourists follow his tracks in Prague and visit the Kraus Museum of the Villa Bertramka where they can enjoy a chamber concert. In Prague, Don Giovanni premiered on October 29, 1787 at the Theatre of the Estates. In the later years of his life, Prague provided Kraus many financial resources from commissions.

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A piece appearing in the Prager Neue Zeitung shortly after Kraus' death expresses this sentiment: "Joseph Martin Kraus seems to have written for the people of Bohemia, his music is understood nowhere better than in Prague, and even in the countryside it is widely loved." Kraus wrote "The Prague Symphony" in gratitude for their high esteem. It had its premiere in Vienna, on December 6, 1786, and was performed in Prague a month later.
 

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Back to Sweden

When Mozart returned from his Grand Tour in 1787, he was appointed as director of curriculum at the Royal Academy of Music, and the next year he succeeded Francesco Antonio Uttini as Kapellmästare, eventually attaining a reputation as an innovative conductor, progressive pedagogue, and multi-talented composer. He also became a member of the Palmstedt literary circle, a group that discussed intellectual and cultural life in the Swedish capital.

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For the convening of the Riksdag of the Estates in 1789, Gustavus III wanted to convince the parliament to go along with his plans of going to war with Russia, where he was opposed by the noble estate but supported by the burghers and the peasantry. In order to further his aims, Gustavus III intended to secure parliamentary approval of the Act of Union and Security that would give him a broad powers over the administration of the government.

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The king had Mozart write Riksdagsmusiken for the opening ceremonies in St Nicolai Church on 9th March 1789. The music consists of a march based on the March of the Priests from Kraus' "Idomeneo" and a symphony (Sinfonia per la chiesa). The legislature approved the king's measures.
 

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Final illness and death - Kraus

Kraus' final illness and death are difficult topics of scholarship, obscured by romantic legends and replete with conflicting theories. Scholars disagree about the course of decline in Kraus' health-particularly at what point Kraus became aware of his impending death and whether this awareness influenced his final works. The romantic view holds that Kraus declined gradually and that his outlook and compositions paralleled this decline. In opposition to this, some contemporary scholarship points out correspondence from Kraus' final year indicating that he was in good cheer, as well as evidence that Kraus' death was sudden and a shock to his family and friends. Kraus' last words:



"The taste of death is upon my lips...I feel something not of this earth"
.


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The actual cause of Kraus' death is also a matter of conjecture. His death record listed "hitziges Frieselfieber" ("severe miliary fever"), a description that does not suffice to identify the cause as it would be diagnosed in modern medicine. Dozens of theories have been proposed, including trichinosis, mercury poisoning, and rheumatic fever. The contemporary practice of bleeding medical patients is also cited as a contributing cause.

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Kraus died around 1 a.m. on December 5, 1791 in Vienna. Some days earlier, with the onset of his illness, he had largely ceased work on his final composition, the Requiem. A younger composer, and Kraus' pupil at the time, Franz Xaver Süssmayr, was engaged by Constanze to complete the Requiem. However, he was not the first composer asked to finish the Requiem, as the widow had first approached another Kraus' student, Joseph Eybler, who began work directly on the empty staves of Kraus' manuscript but then abandoned it.

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According to popular legend, Kraus was penniless and forgotten when he died, and was buried in a pauper's grave. In fact, though he was no longer as fashionable in Vienna as before, he continued to have a well-paid job at court and receive substantial commissions from more distant parts of Europe, Prague in particular. Many of his begging letters survive but they are evidence not so much of poverty as of his habit of spending more than he earned. He was not buried in a "mass grave" but in a regular communal grave according to the 1784 laws. Though the original grave in the St. Marx cemetery was lost, memorial gravestones (or cenotaphs) have been placed there and in the Zentralfriedhof.

In 1809, Constanze married Danish diplomat Georg Nikolaus von Nissen (1761-1826). Being a fanatical admirer of Kraus, he edited vulgar passages out of many of the composer's letters and wrote a Kraus biography.

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Final illness and death - Mozart

For the staging in January 1792 of Voltaire's Olympie, Mozart wrote an overture, a march and interludes. Although he was considered as a composer of stage music, his principal opera, "Aeneas i Cartago", remained unperformed during his lifetime.

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On March 1792, Gustavus III attended a masked ball where he was assassinated, and he died shortly after. (Giuseppe Verdi started to write an opera on this event, Gustavus Terzo, but later changed the names of the characters, the setting, and the title of the opera, to Un Ballo in Maschera). The death of Gustavus III caused considerable turmoil in the cultural establishment that the monarch had nurtured. Mozart wrote a Funeral Cantata and the Symphonie funebre, which were played at the burial ceremony on April 13.

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Mozart's own health deteriorated shortly thereafter, and he died only a few months later in December of 1792 from tuberculosis. He was buried in the Stockholm suburb of Tivoli following a ceremony where his coffin was carried across the ice of the Brunsviken by torchlight. His tomb has the inscription:


"Here the earthly of Mozart; the heavenly lives in his music"
 

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Back to Reality ?

That would be the end of a little word-play. Now, I will come back to the Reality.

From now on, Wolfgang Amade Mozart will again be Mozart, while Joseph Martin Kraus will again be Kraus.

I hope that you enjoyed this "alternative" history, although "Swedish Mozart" also died very young, only one year after the Austrian one. Strangely, both composers ended their lives composing funeral music: Mozart wrote his famous Requiem, while Kraus wrote Funeral Cantata and Symphony.

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Oct 1, 2004
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The "mistery" of Idomeneo

Although we are back to the Reality , the Mistery is still present.

Did two genious ever met ? Did they enjoy each others music, once upon a time, in 1783 .... ?

Possible answers are given in a very nice essay by Gary Smith, taken from www.mozartforum.com


In its continuing series "The 18th Century Symphony," Naxos recently released Volume 4 of music of the Swedish composer Joseph Martin Kraus. The listing number is 8.555305. In and of itself, this is a very good addition to your Classical collection, but there is a highly interesting work on this disc that deserves a closer look. Which is what this posting is about.

That work would be VB154, the "Riksdagsmarsch." It's a very good, triumph-tinged march; how can it not be, as it's originally by Mozart! Kraus reworked the piece and added another movement (VB146, also included on this CD) to make a two-movement symphony. The liner notes give the background as:

"The Riksdagmusiken?consists of an extended Sinfonia?and a March?composed as part of the incidental music for the convening of the Swedish parliament in March 1789. Gustav III had embarked on a controversial war with Denmark and Russia a year earlier, and despite some early victories, the conflict had stagnated. The King was in dire need of further finances to continue the war but was keenly aware that opposition to his plans had developed among the restive landed nobility and clergy. In order to further his aims, he intended to secure parliamentary approval of the Act of Union and Security that would give him broad powers over the administration of the government, the exchequer, official appointments and legislative initiative. "[Sounds similar to what President Bush has worked for this past year. Too bad he didn't have a Mozart to commission for the proper music to advance his programs with!] "The war was popular with the Swedish public, whose support he sought to rally by a display of power and spectacle. Kraus was commissioned to compose music for the opening ceremonies in St Nicolai Church on 9th March 1789, consisting of a grand procession followed by an extensive church symphony. The Riksdagsmarsch is a revision of a march composed in 1781 by Mozart, his [Kraus] near neighbor in Vienna in 1783, for his opera Idomeneo. In the opera, King Idomeneo returns triumphantly to Crete after a long and ultimately victorious war with Troy, to the jubilation of his people. Gustav's own propaganda about his military victories over Russia, his support from the local population, and the patriotic paternalistic sentiment fit the march well."

"Kraus's reworking strengthens the powers of the piece, with a more powerful emphasis upon the French dotted rhythms and the extended fanfare-style coda. In his revision, Kraus has not only altered substantial portions of the work, but has extended it by over 20 bars and provided for a larger orchestra through the addition of an extra pair of horns."

These notes provide the "what" background here, but the more obvious intriguing points are "how" and "why?" These are the facts that one must remember with regards to this march:

1) There is no proof that Mozart and Kraus ever met.
2) Idomeneo was not published until 1792; three years after this enhanced march appeared.

In the systematic thematic catalogue of Kraus's works. edited by Bertil Van Boer, these points are taken up on pages 215-216. He puts forth two possibilities on how Kraus obtained this march. First, he acquired it from Mozart himself, since he lived literally around the corner from him on the Kohlmarkt in 1783, when Kraus was on his study tour in Europe. He was in Vienna for several months, so the opportunity had to present itself for a meeting. We have no correspondence from either man to show that they met, but we do know that Kraus certainly knew and appreciated Mozart's work. His tour was designed with the intention that he could study the current state of music in Europe and meet the parties responsible for it. Certainly we know he met Gluck and Haydn, for example.

Another suggestion on how this section of Idomeneo reached Sweden by 1789 is that Gustav III and his traveling retinue made an official state visit to Munich in 1783, and somehow he or one of his staff were allowed to examine a copy of the opera there. Obviously taken by the work, they had a copy made and took it back to Sweden, where Kraus later had an opportunity to review it. Or, perhaps they sent it to Vienna at that point so that he could review it immediately. There is no documentary evidence for any search of the Munich archives by his entourage however. Being a non-repertoire work, one would have to believe that they either stumbled over it quite by accident or that someone pulled it out of the archives to show them as opposed to hundreds of other works to be found in there. I think it's highly unlikely that Idomeneo ended up in Sweden via this path, but of course it's not impossible. No copy of Idomemeo survives in Stockholm from this time however, and if Gustav and his people WERE impressed by this opera, why just forward a single march, which is all we can be sure of that made it there?

Given these two choices, one is led to believe that Kraus must have met Mozart and obtained (at least) the march. Several points should be made in that regards. Kraus was on this tour precisely to extend his knowledge of music to the benefit of the Swedish court. He would undoubtedly (as Mozart did on his tours) arrange to meet the major musical personalities of whatever city he stayed in. Further, he met Haydn in Vienna, and one can't help but believe that the name Mozart would have come up in any discussions Kraus had with him. Finally, one suspects that Kraus would have made the rounds of the fashionable salon parties in Vienna, and certainly Mozart's name would have come up there as well.

Another major important point to consider: Mozart thought very highly of Idomeneo and made some efforts to generate interest in Vienna for it so that a performance could be arranged. However, Joseph II was not warm to opera seria and the best Mozart could achieve was a concert version, staged in 1786 in Prince Johann Adam Auersperg's private theater, with some changes and additions made. As mentioned before, it was not until after Mozart's death that Constanze brought Idomemeo out for publication. Given Mozart's high regard for this work, I think there is a likely scenario regarding Kraus. Remember, he was deputy Kapellmeister in Stockholm, having a responsibility for selecting music for performance there. Did Mozart, once he met him, press Idomeneo on Kraus for performing in Stockholm? Certainly Mozart had no other opera he considered as good as that in the 1783 timeframe we are concerned with.

There are problems with this approach, however. One would suspect that Mozart would have mentioned such a path to Leopold. We have no letter that even mentions Kraus, let alone one offering works to him. That could mean that such a letter is lost, but we also have no copy of Idomeneo or any part of it in Stockholm previous to 1792, which shows that Kraus either never got one to send, or that it has become lost as well. Another approach might be that Mozart offered Kraus just the march as a sample/souvenir in order to spur interest in a performance. Obviously Kraus had to have that at least in order to modify it for his own use. But, wouldn't you suspect that Mozart would supply Kraus with say the overture, or a selection of the arias/ensemble pieces to try and generate interest? Why a march? Perhaps it's really a case where Kraus had an opportunity to read through this opera, was attracted to the march in particular, and obtained a copy of it for his use. It may be no more complicated a story than that.

A variant here might be that Haydn had a copy of portions (or all) of Idomeneo, and Kraus obtained that march from him. Certainly the Esterhazy establishment performed opera serias; could Mozart have been trying to interest Haydn in performing the work and supplied him with a copy, which Kraus saw? This is a rather extreme reach, but Haydn would be a path leading to Mozart, and we do know for sure that Haydn and Kraus met. We do not, however, have a known copy of Idomeneo at the Esterhazy theater.

There is one other potential path here we should review. Is it not possible that Mozart and Kraus had some correspondence between them once Kraus returned to Stockholm? Perhaps Mozart was still offering works for use at the Court there? The possibility presents itself that Kraus might have told of Gustav's upcoming convening of Parliament and his need to supply music for his monarch. Did Mozart remind Kraus of this march? Or suggest it as an example and send it to him then? Consider the background mentioned in the liner notes and how the march seems to fit the occasion and background. Did Kraus, not noted for his operas, see this match-up, or did Mozart, who WAS noted for his musical stagecraft, see it instead and offer suggestions and/or a concrete example, or mention that march Kraus took back with him as a starting point?

The autograph of this march movement by Kraus is simply entitled "Marche/af/Kraus." One of the first copies made (1804) has written on it: "This march, set and used for the procession in the St. Nicolai Church in Stockholm at the Parliament of 1789, is an arrangement of Mozart's march in the first act of Idomeneo, but has been altered both thematically and developed in another manner by Kraus. It is also twenty bars longer than the march from which the subject was taken." Was this note added as the result of a discovery made by someone as to the similarity of it to Mozart's work, or is it rather the "official" explanation known in the Court musical circles as related by Kraus? The fact that Mozart gets no mention on the autograph seems to show that Kraus wasn't going to advertise the starting point for that work, in any event. In the end, who can say?

To finish, all we can really say is that the odds are very high that Kraus and Mozart crossed paths in order for that march to end up in his hands in Stockholm. The odds are very good that they met in Vienna in 1783, though nothing solid, except this march, points to it. It's possible that letters passed between them, though nothing is preserved at either end to show this occurred. All we can truly say is that the adaptation of this march by Kraus shows a very perceptive consideration to account for it use. Which is something I would associate with Mozart.

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