Mozart – some of his words

. . . . Beethoven, Berlioz, Mozart and Wagner are among the noted composers who have experienced these automatisms, or self-creating compositions. In some cases the simple recording of such autonomous and given imagery is the method of composition. E. T. A. Hoffman, for example, often remarked to his friends, “When I compose I sit down at the piano, shut my eyes and play what I hear.” And Mozart remarked of his compositions: “Whence and how do they come? I do not know and have nothing to do with it.” He noted some very interesting alterations of time and imagery that occurred in these states:

All this fires my soul, and, provided I am not disturbed, my subject enlarges itself, becomes methodised and defined, and the whole, though it be long, stands almost complete and finished in my mind, so that I can survey it, like a fine picture or a beautiful statue, at a glance. Nor do I hear in my imagination the parts successively, but I hear them, as it were, all at once (gleich alles zusammen). What a delight this is I cannot tell! All this inventing, this producing, takes place in a pleasing lively dream. Still the actual hearing of the tout ensemble is after all the best. What has been thus produced I do not easily forget, and this is perhaps the best gift I have my Divine Maker to thank for . . . . For this reason the committing to paper is done easily enough, for everything is, as I have said before, already finished; and it rarely differs on paper from what it was in my imagination. At this occupation I can therefore suffer myself to be disturbed; for whatever may be going on around me, I write, and even talk, but only of fowls and geese, or of Greta and Barbel, or some such matters. But why my productions take from my hand that particular form and style that makes them Mozartish, and different from the work of other composers, is probably owing to the same cause which renders my nose so large or so aquiline, or in short, makes it Mozart’s, and different from those of other people. For I really do not study or aim at any originality.14

From Jean Houston, The Possible Human,
J. P. Tarcher, Los Angeles (1982), p. 161.

“People make a mistake who think
that my art has come easily to me.
Nobody has devoted so much time
and thought to composition as I. There
is not a famous master whose music
I have not studied over and over.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

“You know that I become quite
powerless whenever I am obliged to write
for an instrument which I cannot bear.”



“A man of ordinary talent will always be ordinary, whether he travels or not; but a man of superior talent… will go to pieces if he remains for ever in the same place.”



„Das Notwendigste, das härteste und die Hauptsache in der Musik ist das Tempo.“

“The most necessary, the hardest, and the main thing in music is the tempo.”

„Der Geschmack des Todes ist auf meiner Zunge. Ich fühle etwas, das nicht von dieser Welt ist.“

“The taste of death is on my tongue. I feel something that is not of this world.”


“Heute kann ich nichts als weinen – Ich habe gar ein zu empfindsames Herz”

“Today all I can do is cry – I have a heart that is far too sensitive.”


»Ich kann nicht poetisch schreiben, ich bin kein Dichter. Ich kann durchs Deuten und Pantomime meine Gesinnungen und Gedanken nicht ausdrücken. Ich kann es aber durch Töne; ich bin ein Musikus«, sagte Mozart einmal. Das war ein Glück für die Menschheit.

“I cannot write poetically, I am no poet. My attitude and thoughts I can-not express through interpreting and pantomime. But I can through tones – I am a musician,” Mozart once said. That was a stroke of luck for humanity.


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