The C Minor Mass
Wolfgang A. Mozart
Presbyterian Church
Eugene Sirotkine
From the Met Chorus
The Hudson Valley Singers
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The Inextricable OppositesA Family Torn AsunderThe C Minor mystery
So much has been written about Wolfgang's life that we won't try to summarize it all here. There are several fine books and websites on the subject, all well worth reading since each biographer approaches our hero from a different perspective. But the most revealing reading of all (and the source material for all of the biographies) comes from the preserved correspondence between Wolfgang and his father Leopold.

Leopold Mozart was mired for 44 years in a go-nowhere job as Deputy Court Composer for the two successive Prince Archbishops of Salzburg. Leopold recognized very early in his son's life that the child prodigy's musical talent far outshone his own. So fostering Wolfgang's success as a professional musician of great fame became Leopold's sole ambition.

Leopold often acted more like Wolfgang's CEO than his dad. His letters were at once both genuinely loving and coldly manipulative. They were, at times, absolutely crushing.

What's important to remember is that throughout their trials and tribulations (and there were a lot of both), Wolfgang revered his father and Leopold adored his son. Yet it was more than familial love and devotion that bound them.

These two personalities could not have been more different — each was everything the other was not. But each needed the other to be complete, even more so after the tragic (and by Leopold's reckoning, entirely preventable) death of Wolfgang's mother. Leopold repeatedly blamed his son for their incalculable loss, yet his determination to engineer his son's fame and fortune was redoubled.

As a young adult, Wolfgang's decisions continually annoyed and enraged his father, who resorted to increasingly desperate measures to maintain control over his son's life. Wolfgang clearly chafed at his father's stern, overbearing demeanor. The friction caused by the son's struggle for independence led to a prolonged and painful estrangement with his father.

Whose life was it anyway? The answer to that depended on who you asked.

During Wolfgang's early- to mid-20s, the rift between father and son was in full roar. Not even Wolfgang's fence-mending trip to visit his father in Salzburg (with his new wife and the Grand Mass in tow) could set things completely right. Leopold longed for the visit and Wolfgang dreaded it. Now his own man, Wolfgang longed for his father's renewed approval, yet it's that very independence that Leopold dreaded most of all.

It's a heart-wrenching story of polar opposites, inextricably bound. And its legacy, the C Minor Mass, is all the more moving because of it.

Get the whole story…it may be worth free tickets

Click on the "Chapter One" button below to find out all the details. And then show off your knowledge in a jocular round of C Minor Mastery. Play well and a pair of front row tickets to our performance on January 19th could be yours.

And don't forget to sign up for our C Minor Mastery email newsletter. It's all part of the fun.

Remember: this is a sole performance and seating is limited, so game or no game, order your advance tickets today before the free tickets are the only two left! Click here or call 914-674-2865.

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