loneliness: 1 post

In Tribute to Lviv: Lonely Mozart in Lemberg and Reflections on Solitude

On Thursday, Russia launched a missile attack on Lviv, a city in western Ukraine, about 60 km from the Polish border. A jewel of Renaissance art, Lviv has a long history. Today it stands in mourning, grieving over the lives lost in the bombardment. Some of its beautiful buildings are in ruin. A few years ago, I spent a memorable time in Lviv with my mother and fell in love with the city. Below is my tribute to its fin-de-siècle allure–and the nostalgic beauty that unities Lviv with another gorgeous city on the other side of the border, Kraków.

In 1808 Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart, the youngest son of the famous composer, traveled to Lemberg. Today it’s Lviv, a city in western Ukraine, but when the eighteen year old pianist was packing his sheet music and books and setting off on his journey, it was located in Galicia, an entity created by Joseph II after the partition of Poland in 1772. (It was the same Joseph that commented about the Marriage of Figaro, “too many notes, Mozart.”) While young Mozart was aware that he was trading Vienna for the provinces, he was in dire straits. Lemberg seemed like a promising place for a pianist to build his career and return to the capital. Mozart ended up staying for more than two decades.

Young Mozart’s early letters to his family were filled with mentions of his “loneliness [Einsamkeit].” He acutely felt the Galician isolation and complained that his inspiration was deserting him. He envisioned all of the brilliant conversations he could have experienced in Vienna society, the music, the books, the arts, and despaired of finding anything similar in Lemberg. Franz Mozart’s output over his lifetime was indeed small, yet, what becomes obvious is how much he drew on the local surroundings and how creatively he interpreted them.

Continue reading →

Latest Comments

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2024 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy