An Affair with Mozart
A blistering cold wind blew through the city of Vienna that early December morning. The church bells in the distance ran seven times before there was bustling about in the city. Gossip was stirring about Herr Mozart coming with his five-year-old son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, to play for His Holiness—Emperor Joseph II of Austria. He would be performing in front of the Emperor, the few court musicians and Marie Antoinette, the Dauphine of France. The young Amadeus skipped along the cobbled roads with Leopold to the palace in Vienna.
Amadeus had always admired his father…he looked so elegant with his white, powdered wig and navy blue coat. Frau Mozart had recently made Leopold a brand new white shirt just for this occasion to be with His Holiness. Amadeus wore something in resemblance to Leopold—only his little coat was fashioned in a sky blue colour and his buttons were yellow. The wig on Amadeus' head made him itch constantly. With his free hand, he would scratch his forehead—and then receive a hard look from Leopold.
It had not been a long walk to the palace. Once their arrival, they were lead to the music room where the Emperor sat waiting for Herr Mozart and Wolfgang Amadeus. The two gentlemen bowed to one another before Herr Mozart placed his son on the pianoforte. It was an elegant instrument. Amadeus had never seen anything quite so beautiful and exquisite. Behind the king, he saw three men—the Kapellmeister, the Herr Director of the opera house and Antonio Salieri—the king's personal court musician. They were whispering nonchalantly; possibly placing bets on the young musical savant…and often to receive cold, menacing looks from Herr Mozart.
"Amadeus, why do you not play that little minuet that you composed?" Leopold suggested. Just as Amadeus was going to place his fingers on the black keys, the doorman announced the arrival of Marie Antoinette, the dauphine of France. Amadeus sat on the stool of the pianoforte as the young dauphine entered the music room. Leopold stood next to his son as they all bowed for the Emperor's beautiful young sister. As Amadeus bowed, Marie Antoinette curtsied and took her place by the pianoforte. Amadeus bent too far low and toppled off the little brown stool right by her feet. He looked up—his usually pale cheeks flustered in embarrassment. Marie Antoinette gave him a small smile before helping the little boy up.
He came up onto her lap and held her hands before asking,
"My dear Dauphine, will you marry me?"
Everyone in the room burst into laughter and chuckles. Marie smiled and laughed gaily before placing a sweet kiss on his cheek. Leopold chuckled at his son's accident and urged him to return to the pianoforte. Leopold handed Amadeus a blindfold for his eyes, to show just how wonderful and magnificent he truly was.
"Now, Amadeus," said he, "play us your minuet blindfolded."
There was one man in the room was completely befuddled by the young musician's skill—Antonio Salieri. He wreathed in envy. He looked at the little boy with a face of disgust and sent the emperor an urgent look of fury. Everyone had been bewitched by the little boy. The emperor gave a loud, robust laugh and cheer at the end once Amadeus had finished. The laughter and cheering rang in Salieri's ear. Pure hatred boiled in his blood that moment…to know that a five-year-old German boy had more talent than twenty musicians in Vienna combined! Everyone in court was completely oblivious that in a dozen or so years, Amadeus would be the popular gossip of all Europe and perhaps the new court musician for the Holy Roman Emperor.
An anxious, young musician ran down the foyer of the Salzburg Palace. He had been performing for His Grace, the Archbishop of Salzburg. Amadeus was furious when he could not find his score—Serenade in No. 9 in D Major "Posthorn-Serenade"—and his piece's debut was shortly coming up. The archbishop would be furious and possibly throw him out of court. Then were would Herr Mozart be? As he searched frantically for his score, Aloysia Weber leaned against the doorway; watching her long-time friend.
"Where is it?" he snapped. "Damn it!"
Aloysia sighed and placed a hand on his shoulder. He jumped at her sudden gesture and sent her a fierce glare before he realized who she was. His light grey eyes softened and Amadeus took hold of her hands and kissed them.
"Not now, my love," he murmured. "I must find my serenade or the archbishop will be furious with me once more and I will be a laughingstock."
"I came to wish you the best of luck, Amadeus." Aloysia commented, with a small, playful smile forming at the corners of her mouth. He chuckled and smiled at her.
"I shall most certainly need the luck," said Mozart. Amadeus picked her up and kissed her full on the mouth. Aloysia pulled away abruptly, placing a hand on his chest. Amadeus looked at her earnestly.
"What ails you, Aloysia?" he inquired.
"Is it true you are traveling to France?" she asked, sadly. Amadeus sighed irritably and placed two hands firmly on her shoulders.
"I would not go anywhere without you, my love. I have been asked to write a magnificent opera and there will be a lead soprano for you." Amadeus answered. Colour flushed to Aloysia's cheeks at his words. "You and I shall leave for France and be court musicians for the King. But, now, I must go and conduct my serenade for my audience. Until my return,"
Aloysia could not help but smile and kiss him passionately once more. As they kissed, Amadeus twirled one of her dark curls with his fingers. Just as soon as their kiss ended, he took off down the foyer to the music room of the Archbishop. Aloysia followed him shortly after; her cheeks reddened from heat and flirting with Herr Mozart. She listened as the first few measures came to play. It was a truly sublime serenade. Aloysia had to admit that the finale was her favourite movement. If one were to have heard it while Herr Mozart conducted his piece, it was as though he himself could be laughing. The serenade was a musical joke…perhaps on said Antonio Salieri, Aloysia wondered.
Much to her displeasure, Amadeus left shortly after the performance; he had not remembered to spend more time with her. She walked to her apartments alone, stone-faced. Constanze and Sophia both greeted her.
"Where is Herr Mozart? Was he not to join us for tea after the Archbishop's—"
"He left as soon as the little performance was over." Aloysia interrupted Sophia. "Did the two of you know he was to leave for France?"
Constanze and Sophia looked at their elder sister guiltily. Aloysia was nearly about to burst into tears of anger towards her younger sisters when their mother Caecilia called them in. Aloysia shoved between her younger sisters as she entered the flats.
"Mama!" she cried, "How dare you fail to tell me that my darling Mozart is to leave for France in a few days?"
Tears were nearly falling down her rosy, pink cheeks. Caecilia placed her hands tenderly upon Aloysia's cheeks and kissed her forehead as the young woman sobbed—heartbroken.
"He loves me no more! He—he is not going to take me with him!" Aloysia broke down, nearly collapsing on her knees.
"Amadeus loves you, Aloysia, you must remember that!" Caecilia exclaimed, wiping her daughter's tears away. "He shall return and when he does; you are to marry!"
"I do not know if I can wait so long." Aloysia said, bitterly.
Meanwhile, Constanze and Sophia were standing behind the staircase, listening to Aloysia yell and argue with their mother. Sophia looked up at her sister and sighed.
"Stanzi," she said, "this is your fault! You should have told her that Amadeus was here and he gave her the message."
"Hush, Sophia," Constanze said, whispering. "She needn't know of that."
"If you are not going to tell Aloysia the truth, I will!" Sophia snapped, standing up quickly. As she ran down the stairs, Constanze tried grabbing her dress.
"Sophia, no!" she cried. Constanze got up and ran after her. "You can't tell—"
"Aloysia, Stanzi forced me to keep this from you; but, Herr Mozart came here the other day and told us to tell you that he would not be taking you to France with him. I feel awful, Aloysia! I should have told you. I am so sorry, Aly," Sophia exclaimed. She, too, broke into tears before hugging Aloysia.
"How could you keep something like this from me, Stanzi?" Aloysia demanded, harshly. Constanze looked at her feet.
"I am so sorry, Aloysia," she whispered, "I…I was jealous because he was giving you all the attention!"
"My sisters ruined my chances, Mama! Now I might as well be an old, wrinkled maid!"
"Oh, hush, Aloysia," Caecilia said. "They are still young! They do not know how it is to be in love."
"Do not be ridiculous! There are plenty handsome young men that have doted on Constanze recently. She has a secret admirer!"
"That is a lie, Aly!" Constanze shrieked. "You know nothing of the sort!"
"Girls," exclaimed Caecilia, "No more bickering now. Aloysia, please would you be an angel and prepare some tea for us?"
"Yes, mama," she nodded and went into the kitchen.
"GEORGIANA JANE PHILLIPS! YOU WILL MARRY MR. EATON IF IT IS THE LAST THING YOU DO!" an angry Mrs. Phillips screamed. This had been the third gentleman that Katherine had refused a marriage offer to. Mrs. Phillips, her mother, swore that she would end an old, destitute, miserable maid.
"If you wish to be rich, Mama," began Georgiana, "then I suggest you marry Mr. Eaton if money is the one prize you want to possess."
"How dare you speak to me in such an ill-tempered manner? Have I taught you nothing?" Mrs. Phillips wailed. "Because of your inanity, I might as well live on the streets begging for any sorts of spare money!"
Mrs. Phillips continued to sorely sob into her handkerchief. Georgiana sighed irritated and sat down beside her mother.
"I shall go to Vienna…think of it! If I can go to Vienna to make a fortune on music then—"
"No!" Mrs. Phillips shrieked, smacking Georgiana with her handkerchief. "You are not to go to Vienna; unless, you marry Mr. Eaton!"
"Why do you give me such ultimatums when you know I shan't follow through?" Georgiana demanded. "I love him not!"
"You disappoint me, Georgiana. If only I would have had sons!"
Lily-Rose, Georgiana's younger sister, stepped into their drawing room and sat on the futon, fanning herself.
"I would be happy to marry Mr. Eaton, Mama." Lily-Rose offered. Mrs. Phillips burst into more tears and Georgiana went to sit with Lily-Rose.
"Do not upset Mama more, Lily. She is in a delicate state." Georgiana whispered.
"Why can you do her justice and marry?" Lily whined. "You are mentally torturing our mother! All she wants is for you to be happy!"
"Lily, please, you have no concept of marriage. You are only four and ten." Georgiana scoffed.
"And you are nine and ten, not yet married! What will you do if I marry before you?" Lily demanded, coldly.
"Hush, Lily, you have had no suitors yet. You have no say in this! I will go to Vienna and find fortune in music. Perhaps meet Herr Mozart and show him my written scores! If I go, I need you to look after Mama. If you must, I desire for you to marry Mr. Eaton on my behalf." Georgiana murmured, as Mrs. Phillips walked over to the window sobbing still.
"Mama will not allow you to go to Vienna unaccompanied with someone." Lily hissed.
"Then I shall go when she does not know," concluded Georgiana, "I will leave in the night."
"Good luck then, sister," Lily said, "for you will need it greatly in Vienna. I heard that the Austrians are cold-hearted people…proud and fierce the lot of them. Even the French do not like their new young queen—Marie Antoinette."
"Yes, well, they favour us English women." Georgiana chuckled. "Perhaps, Herr Mozart can have a taste of what we are like."
"Oh, you and your fantasies," Lily teased. Georgiana looked at her mother.
"Shall I call for some tea, Mama?" she inquired. Mrs. Phillips nodded, wiping her tears with her handkerchief.
"You shame me, Georgiana," she sobbed. "I thought you would marry Mr. Eaton."
"Mama, he loves me not. We would be strangers for the rest of our married life and we would make one another miserable. I could never make him happy." Georgiana explained.
"Allow me to marry Mr. Eaton," said Lily. "I do enjoy the pleasure of his company and find him very amusing!"
"I shall see what I can do." Mrs. Phillips sighed.