Huberman Mozart

  • Issue: December 1991
  • Designer: N. & M. Eshel
  • Sheet size: 30.8 x 30.8 mm
  • Plate no.: 142
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Offset

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27th 1756 at Salzburg in Austria, then the capital of an archiepiscopal principality. His father Leopold, a violinist and composer at the court, took the child prodigy on repeated long tours throughout Europe, at first together with his elder sister, Maria Anna, a gifted pianist. From presenting Wolfgang as a pianist, violinist and composer, the emphasis gradually shifted to obtaining commissions for works and to the search for a post. At fifteen, Wolfgang was given a post at the Salzburg court but the voyages continued. Matters came to a head in 1781. Wolfgang resigned and went to live in Vienna. The following year he married Constanze Weber. Though appreciated by the Emperor and many others, Mozart was given a post at the court only in 1787, and a partial one at that. He supplemented his living through concerts, special commissions for works and teaching. Times of prosperity alternated with times of anxiety. In November 1791, word reached him that admirers in several countries had set up plans to ensure him a steady income. But Mozart was already seriously ill. He died, on December 5th 1791, probably from a kidney ailment. Because of a municipal ordinance for the burial of ordinary citizens, he was interred, with brief rites, in a communal grave. Mozart began composing at the age of four. The number of his works (according to the "Kochel List) comes to more than via hundred: church music, operas and many other vocal compositions; symphonies and other orchestral works; concerti for various instruments; works for piano; and chamber music for diverse instruments and combinations. Most of the works was only printed after his death.

The 19th century's image of Mozart tended to be shaped by the concepts "child-wonder", "sweetness and light", "the boy who never grew up", "early death in dire poverty" and even "a victim of persecution". Where facts seemed too plain. fabrication flourished. Much of this heritage is still with us. But other kinds of understanding came about as well. Nowadays, Mozart speaks to the world as the incarnation of genius in music, uniquely combining technique with beauty, humour, and heights and depths that call to the soul.

The background of the stamp shows a passage from Mozart's manuscript score of Don Giovanni (1787), one of the three Italian operas of his to texts by Lorenzo da Ponte (1749-1838) the others being Le nozze di Figaro (The marriage of Figaro, 1786) and Cosi fan tutte (Thus do they all, 1790). Between foreground and background, the small portrait casts its silhouette as a giant shadow - a multiple metaphor of the man, his life and his work.

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International year of Mozart in Israel