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Classical 101

Mozart Minute Podcast: Mozart, Clotheshorse

In the fall of 1782 the recently married Mozart was struggling to make a living in Vienna as a freelance musician and composer.  But as a letter to the Baroness von Waldstätten tells us, Mozart’s money problems didn’t subvert his eye for finery. Here’s a portion of Mozart’s letter from Emily Anderson’s translation, The Letters of Mozart and His Family: “As for the beautiful red coat, which attracts me enormously, please, please let me know where it is to be had and how much it costs – for that I have completely forgotten, as I was so captivated by its splendor that I did not take note of its price.  I must have a coat like that, for it is one that will really do justice to certain buttons which I have long been hankering after.  I saw them once when I was choosing some for a suit.  […] They were mother-of-pearl with a few white stones around the edge and a fine yellow stone in the center.  Why is it, I wonder, that those who cannot afford it would like to spend a fortune on such articles, and those who can, do not do so?â€?