A man of superior talent will go to pieces
if he remains forever in the same place!
– Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozart was a man of many facets. Obviously, he was profoundly musically gifted. He composed more than 600 works, of all contemporary styles, and is considered among the greatest classical composers of all time. But did you know he was also quite the traveler?
Thanks in no small part to his talent, Mozart had seen most of Europe by the time most of us were just getting into grade school. Along with his sister Maria Anna, the young Mozart made several tours of Europe, performing as a child prodigies. Mozart visited the Court of Maximilian II of Bavaria by age six, and didn’t stop touring until he accepted a Court position in Salzburg, his hometown, eleven years later. Even then, his work often took him throughout Europe, eventually settling in Vienna.
We’ve read the advice of Roman philosopher Seneca that travel invigorates the mind, and it certainly seemed to have that effect on Mozart. Of course, he was not the most modest man, and suggested that travel might not have that effect on everyone, saying:
“A man of ordinary talent will always be ordinary, whether he travels or not; but a man of superior talent will go to pieces if he remains forever in the same place!”
About the Photo
Though not a native, Vienna is immensely proud of its adopted son. You’ll find Mozart markers (and souevenirs!) all over town. But none are so grand as the Mozart Monument in Burggarten Park. Fun fact: The statue was erected in 1953, but the fundraising was completed 75 years earlier! It took a very long time to decide on the perfect design and just the right location. And then along came WWII, when the nearly-completed statue was damaged during the bombing of Vienna in 1945. Eight years later, the monument was finally erected.
Photo by Roman Babakin.
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