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Classical 101

Mozart Minute: Dear Old Mom

Though much has been written about Mozart's father, Leopold, Mozart's mother has received far less press. Anna Maria Pertl came from a poor family near Salzburg. When Anna Maria married Leopold Mozart in November 1747, she scarcely improved her financial circumstances by marrying a poorly compensated court valet and aspiring musician. During her 31-year marriage, Anna Maria gave birth to seven children, only Nannerl and Wolfgang surviving beyond infancy. She features in the Mozart family correspondence mainly as the recipient of letters from the traveling Leopold, Wolfgang and Nannerl. And judging from the scatological jokes and references that occasionally spice Wolfgang's letters, Anna Maria Mozart apparently didn't blush easily. Anna Maria Pertl Mozart died in Paris in 1778 while accompanying Wolfgang, then 22 years old and looking for a job, on a trip to some German cities and the French capital.