An Affair with Mozart
The grandfather clock sitting in Madam Schultz' music room struck twelve times that afternoon and Georgiana was ready to teach Henrick and Franz all she knew of music. Georgiana hesitated briefly as she could hear Henrick and Franz running upstairs, laughing and yelling in German. She smiled as the two boys came in. They straightened up and bowed. Georgiana returned the kindness by curtsying and then sat by the pianoforte.
"How much music do you know already?" she inquired. Henrick came up to her and sat down beside her and played a little tune by the French, "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman". Georgiana chuckled and nodded.
"Very good," Georgiana said. Henrick smiled and hopped down so Franz could play something next. "Do you know any Haydn?"
"Yes, the little Sonata Facile in G Major," Franz responded and began to play. As he came over a few notes, he stumbled and groaned in irritation before slouching and stopping his playing. "I am terrible at music!"
"Nonsense! You are doing well! I am here to help you so you may improve your skills." Georgiana explained. "You like Haydn yes?"
Franz nodded and Henrick then pulled out some scores by Haydn. He placed them in front of Georgiana and she began to play, at the constant begging and persistence from the young boys.
"You play as well as Herr Mozart!" cried Henrick. Georgiana shook her head, but smiled.
"No one plays as well as Herr Mozart but himself," Georgiana quickly corrected. Henrick laughed and kissed Georgiana's cheek.
"Franz and I both like you. You are very pretty, Miss Georgiana. Much kinder than our last music instructor! She was old, coarse and stupid!" Henrick exclaimed.
"Well, thank you Master Schultz, but do not say such things. That was not very kind. Promise me you will be good and say nice things?" Georgiana said, sternly.
"I am sorry, Miss Georgiana. And, yes I promise to say nicer things. Mama wants you to call us just Henrick and Franz."
"Alright," Georgiana nodded. "Let's get to your lessons then. We shall spend an hour on music each day. But, when you do not have your lessons, I wish you to be practicing. Can you do that for me?"
The rest of the hour, Georgiana showed the boys different types of music; from Bach and Handel to Salieri and Haydn. There was much laughter and enjoyment. The last few minutes of their lesson was interrupted as Madam Schultz came through the door. She was smiling and almost giggling.
"Miss Georgiana Phillips, there is someone here to see you downstairs. He says you must come as soon as you can."
Georgiana nodded and got up. She made her way down the stairs and saw a small, charming young man standing at the doorway. His smile made her heart beat faster and it brought a smile to her face as she recognized who the man was.
"Herr Mozart!" she exclaimed. "How—what brings you here? I thought you were in Mannheim."
"I was until recently. How are you, Frauline Georgiana?" he greeted her with a kiss on the cheek.
"Are things well there?"
His charming smile faded and he fiddled with his tri-corn hat and shook his head.
"Not as well as I had hoped," he confessed. "But, I am glad to see you again, Miss Phillips. I did not know you would be staying with Madam Schultz. She is a kind woman and very hospitable. I am but a few places down from here so I am sure to see you often?"
"Perhaps," Georgiana responded, shyly. She blushed even more and felt heat rise to her cheeks.
"Of course, Herr Mozart, you must join us for supper this evening. I am sure Miss Phillips will be delighted to have you." Madam Schultz chimed in from behind them. Mozart chuckled and bowed.
"If, of course, you are not preoccupied," Georgiana added.
"No, not at all," Mozart exclaimed. "I should be happy to join you this evening, thank you Madam Schultz and Miss Phillips."
"Come by seven thirty, Herr Mozart. And, Miss Phillips will be most delight to play this evening as well!"
Georgiana looked almost horrified. Mozart chuckled.
"I should look forward to hearing you play. Until then,"
He bowed and left in a hurry. Georgiana could hear her heart pounding in her ears and she turned slowly to Madam Schultz who giggled like a young girl.
"You must dress your best for Herr Mozart. He enjoys your company! I insist you sit with him at supper. Get to know him!"
"Very well, Frau Schultz," Georgiana chuckled and went back upstairs to her bedchamber. Madam Schultz was indeed a silly woman, but was pleasant company and Georgiana much enjoyed being in her household. At her desk, she pulled out her parchment paper and ink set.
I have now been in Vienna for two days and have become a private music instructor. I am staying with a friend of Mr. Eaton's—Madam Schultz (and please, give Mr. Eaton my thanks and gratitude for writing to her. Madam Schultz has been widowed for five years now and has two sons, Henrick and Franz—they are both charming and well behaved. How is Mama? Is she still over exulting herself and mourning over my loss? You must keep her informed of my current situation. I am to be paid fifteen florins a week for music tutoring and it is such delight to have things to do here. Fifteen florins is not much, but I have a roof over my head and I am well-fed.
Herr Mozart is joining us for supper this evening and Madam Schultz has decided to play 'Match-maker, Match-maker' with me and Herr Mozart. She insists I sit beside him and then play for them. Madam Schultz is a humourous lady and enjoys company. You would love her, Lily. I think Mama would too. I had never known that Mozart had a lover in Mannheim. Madam Schultz told me of it. He had been madly in love with a beautiful soprano, Aloysia Weber. (Her father is the composer, Carl Maria von Weber.) But, he received a commission from Paris and left her in Mannheim. She broke his heart and now he has returned to Vienna in search of new love.
Dear God, I hope it is not me. Though, he was surprised when he saw me a few moments ago. His blue-grey eyes glistened and his smile made my knees buckle under me. If only I could paint a perfect image of him for you, Lily, you would fall in love with him. Well, I shall write more when there is more to tell of Vienna. Do not get into trouble, dearest. Tell Mama I love her and I shall marry Mr. Eaton when I return.
With all my love,
She sealed the letter and signed her sister's name on the back. She gave the letter to Astrid, her maid, and it was sent off immediately to England.
That evening, Georgiana pulled out her best evening gown. It was pale blue and white and had lace along the bosom line. Astrid and Annaliese helped Georgiana into her corset and gown. Her hair was brushed and put into another braid. Georgiana smiled as she could hear Madam Schultz talking with Herr Mozart. When she was ready, she sent her maids off and came down the steps. Mozart stopped talking when he looked at her. She was half way down the stairwell when she stopped. She could see Mozart's cheeks turning slightly pink.
"Herr Mozart," she greeted. He came forward and she walked down the rest of the stairs and took his hand as he held it out to her.
"You look beautiful tonight." Mozart complemented. She smiled and blushed.
"Come, dears, let us go to the dining room. The food is about to run cold. Henrick and Franz are waiting already."
"Thank you, Frau Schultz, for having me tonight."
"You are most welcome, Herr Mozart. There is no need for that. Come, sit by Frauline Georgiana."
More colour came to his cheeks and Georgiana as they quickly stole glances.
"Now, is this not lovely? We have such wonderful company. Miss Phillips, I am so glad you could come all the way from London. And now, Herr Mozart has returned from Mannheim! What a delight! Oh, please, Herr Mozart…you must play something for us before Miss Georgiana does. Of course, after supper,"
"I would be happy to, Frau Schultz. Georgiana, do you play any duets?"
"Not very well," she confessed. "I play very poorly on the pianoforte."
"Oh, nonsense, Miss Phillips! I heard you play from downstairs. You play very well." Madam Schultz exclaimed as the first course was brought out. "It is not appropriate that you insult your own playing. Music is music. Am I right, Herr Mozart?"
"Certainly, Frau Schultz," he agreed.
"There! You see, Miss Phillips?" Madam Schultz teased. Georgiana laughed slightly and stole another glance from Mozart.
"If you do not mind my saying this, I am sorry for your loss in Mannheim…Madam Schultz told me of Miss Weber." Georgiana said quietly to Mozart. He let out a long sigh and gave a weak smile.
"I do not mind, thank you Miss Phillips. I suppose it was not meant to be. What exactly did Frau Schultz tell you?"
"Not much," Georgiana responded. "That you left for Paris and did not take Miss Weber with you and she broke your heart."
"She is right on those accounts, Miss Phillips. Since my return to Vienna, I have heard many rumours that Miss Aloysia Weber miscarried my illegitimate child. I swear to you, Miss Phillips, I did not touch her so much as to make her conceive a child. We may have shared a few sweet kisses…but," he paused and his voice trailed off. "You must think I am stupid."
"No, quite the contrary, Herr Mozart," Georgiana exclaimed, with a small, genuine smile.
"You, Miss Phillips, are not like other women. You are quite extraordinary."
"Miss Phillips, what is it you and Herr Mozart are saying? I hardly understand any English, you know." Madam Schultz inquired, with a smile.
"My apologies, Frau Schultz; I was merely explaining to Miss Phillips why Miss Aloysia Weber and I are no longer acquainted." Mozart answered, saving Georgiana from any discomfiture. She gave him a grateful smile and sighed.
"How is Miss Weber?" Madam Schultz asked.
"I believe her soon to be engaged to Joseph Lange."
Madam Schultz remained quiet and did not press him any further—which Herr Mozart was grateful for. The rest of the evening was quiet and after supper, Georgiana brought Henrick and Franz to bed before joining Mozart and Madam Schultz in the music room.
"Miss Phillips, Herr Mozart likes you very much." Henrick exclaimed. "He looks at you and I see he wants to be with you."
"Nonsense, Henrick, do not talk of this anymore. Good night, Henrick. Good night, Franz."
Georgiana quickly left the boy's room and went back downstairs to the music room. She could hear Herr Mozart playing the pianoforte. She came into the room and sat down beside Frau Schultz.
"Is he not divine?" Madam Schultz whispered. Georgiana nodded and continued to listen.
Once the little piano sonata was finished, Madam Schultz clapped loudly and giggled happily. Georgiana smiled and Mozart stood up and bowed.
"Now, Miss Phillips! You play something!" Madam Schultz insisted.
"Why don't we play a duet, Miss Phillips? Perhaps, it will ease your nervousness. I shall play the primo and you may be secondo."
"Very well," Georgiana gave in and strode over to the pianoforte. "Do you have music?"
"Yes, I have with me Sonata in D Major. It is for two pianofortes. But I can manage with one. You read music well?"
"Yes." Georgiana replied.
"Good! Now, let us play for Madam Schultz."
He put up the music and began to play. Georgiana, to his surprise, was better than she said she was. She kept up with his tempo and hardly stumbled over the notes. She must have had a very good classical piano teacher. Not many women he met could play so well. Her performance was indeed, splendid. Once the piece had finished, Mozart saw Georgiana's hands slightly trembling. Was she embarrassed? He took her hand into his and kissed it.
"You play very well, Miss Phillips. Frau Schultz, my apologies but the hour is late and I must retire. I shall call for you tomorrow again, Miss Phillips. I have other duties I must attend to now. It was enchanting to hear you play with me. Until tomorrow,"
Georgiana felt heat rise to her cheeks and she blushed even more as he kissed her cheeks and bowed to Madam Schultz. As he left, Georgiana felt her knees nearly buckle underneath her.
"He admires you, Miss Phillips." Madam Schultz exclaimed.
"Perhaps a little," Georgiana said. "Thank you, Frau Schultz, but I too must retire. I am feeling rather fatigued. Good night,"
"Good night, my dear," Madam Schultz called as Georgiana left the music room.