Mozart Minute Podcast: Mozart Is Bored
1790 was a lean year for Mozart.Â After finishing CosÃ¬ fan tutte in January, Mozart spent the rest of the year seeking court patronage and fulfilling commissions for smaller works, including the Adagio and Allegro for mechanical organ.Â In a letter from October 1790, Mozart tells his wife that composing this piece was scarcely more than drudgery. Â Hereâs Emily Andersonâs translation of Mozartâs words from The Letters of Mozart and His Family: "I have now made up my mind to compose at once the Adagio for the clockmaker, and then to slip a few ducats into the hand of my dear little wife. And this I have done; but as it is a kind of composition which I detest, I have unfortunately not been able to finish it. I compose a bit of it every day, but I have to break it off now and then, as I get bored." "And indeed, I would give the whole thing up if I had not such an important reason to go on with it.Â But I still hope that I shall be able to force myself gradually to finish it.Â If it were for a large instrument, and the work would sound like an organ piece, then I might get some fun out of it.Â But as it is, the works consist solely of little pipes, which sound too high pitched and too childish for my taste."