Mozart Minute: Mozart’s Firstborn
If you followed the previous episode of The Mozart Minute, then you likely wish to know how the birth of Wolfgang and Constanze’s firstborn turned out.
Raimund Leopold Mozart was born on June 17, 1783, prompting Mozart to write his father, “Yesterday … at half past six in the morning my dear wife was safely delivered of a fine sturdy boy, as round as a ball.” Fully in the grip of proud Papa syndrome, Mozart wrote of his brand-new son, “The child … is quite strong and healthy and has a tremendous number of things to do, I mean drinking, sleeping, yelling, pi—–, sh——, dribbling and so forth” (June 21); and “Little Raimund is so like me that everyone immediately remarks on it. It is just as if my face had been copied.” (July 5) (The Letters of Mozart and His family, trans. Emily Anderson)
But as Mozart the great dramatist knew as well as anyone, life’s most joyous moments are sometimes tempered by our darkest days. Wolfgang, Constanze and Raimund Leopold Mozart spent August through October 1783 in Salzburg visiting Leopold and Nannerl Mozart. It was on that visit, and owing to any of countless health risks in an age of high infant mortality, that Raimund Leopold died on Aug. 21, 1783, only two months old.