Mozart Minute: Mozart's May Day
As spring springs and nature emerges fresh and fragrant, even Mozart can't resist a posy - or, in this case, two.
Musicologist Daniel Heartz has painted a portrait of Mozart the nature lover who found refreshment in trips to the countryside and even from looking through a window at a beautiful view. And like many, Mozart also once in a while captured a bit of the great outdoors.
In May 1784, Mozart seems to have celebrated the arrival of spring by buying a bouquet. On May 1, he noted in his expenses book having bought two mayflowers for the bargain-basement price of a single kreuzer.
John Rosselli, author of The Life of Mozart (Cambridge University Press, 1998), has estimated Mozart's income in his most profitable years leading up to 1787 to have been 2,000 to 3,000 florins - or 120,000 to 180,000 kreuzer - per year. Even if 1784, still in the early years of Mozart's marriage with Constanze Weber, was a lean year for Mozart, a kreuzer for a couple of flowers certainly counted among Mozart's less extravagant indulgences.
It's not known what Mozart did with the flowers he bought. But it's tempting to imagine that, Constanze, then uncomfortably pregnant with their second child, might have been surprised that day with a little spring pick-me-up.