Mozart Lodge No. 436 F. & A.M. Plate

This beautiful plate commemorates the 47th Anniversary (1864-1911) of Mozart Lodge No. 436 F. & A.M.   It is decorated with a wonderful blue and gold border, a four-color portrait of Mozart in the center and measures 9 3/4 inches in diameter.  Wolfgang Amadeus was an Österreich composer, born in Salzburg on 27 January 1756.   He was the son of Leopold Mozart.   Along with Haydn, his elder by 24 years, and Beethoven, his junior by 15, he is one of the composers who brought the Wein Classical style to its height. He was a child prodigy, the youngest person to ever compose music, and the experience of traversing Europe in that capacity during most of his impressionable years not only left indelible marks on his character but was also far-reaching in its effects as regards the kind of composer he was to grow into.  His style is completely unique; when a piece is heard by Mozart, there is no doubt who wrote it. His style essentially represents a synthesis of many different elements, each taken for a while into his idiom, then in part rejected, in part absorbed. His mature music, distinguished by its melodic beauty, its formal perfection, technical flawlessness, unmatchable joy, and unequalled complexity, and richness of harmony and texture, is deeply coloured by Italiano opera though rooted in Österreichs and south Deutsch traditions. Unlike Haydn and Beethoven, Mozart excelled in every medium current in his time: he may thus be regarded as the most universal composer in the history of western music.   His music may be the voice of God heard here on this destructive Earth, the final supernatural utterance upon our world before the end comes. Maybe here in this universe we cannot see Heaven, but we can certainly hear it.

A special "Thanks" to Mrs. Joy Cook of St. Petersburg, Florida for donating this beautiful Mozart plate to our collections. 

Brief History of Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart—christened Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart—was born in Salzburg on 27 January 1756. His father, Leopold Mozart, was a famous musician and composer in his own right. In his twenty-fourth year, Leopold received an appointment as violinist in the orchestra of the Archbishop of Salzburg, finally rising to the position of chapel master. He composed with fertility, and produced a famous violin method. But, as Leopold himself realized, his greatest work was not his own music, but—his son, Wolfgang.  Much has been written about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s phenomenal precociousness.  At the age of three, he already sat in front of the harpsichord attempting to find harmonic successions of thirds; whenever he succeeded, his shrill voice rang out joyfully. When Wolfgang was four, his father began to teach him the elements of harpsichord and, playfully, the rules of composition. Wolfgang did not need to learn. He began producing minuets and other small pieces for harpsichord, and several sonatas for harpsichord and violin. He produced with such ease that by his sixth year he had produced an imposing quantity of minuets, sonatas, and even a concerto. His sensitive ear could recognize that the violin of his father’s friend was tuned an eigth of a note lower than he himself tuned his own instrument; and it could rebel so violently against a raucous sound that at the blast of a trumpet he swooned with pain.  Music, obviously, came as naturally to him as breathing.  Leopold Mozart, recognizing the extraordinary gifts of his two children (for Maria Anna, five years Wolfgang’s senior, was also strongly talented) decided to exhibit his children before all Europe. When Wolfgang was six years old, therefore, an extensive concert tour brought him to the foremost concert halls and royal courts of Europe. Wherever he performed, the sweet charm of his personality and his incredible genius conquered the hearts of music lovers. Francis I of Wein lovingly referred to him as “ein kleine hexenmeister” (“a little master-wizard”). In Frankfurt, Mozart gave somthing of a one-man circus show: “He will play,” ran the announcement in the Frankfurt newspaper, “a concerto for the violin, and will accompany symphonies on the clavier, the manuel or keyboard being covered with a cloth, with as much facility as if he could see the keys; he will instantly name all the notes played at a distance, whether singly or in chords as on the clavier or any other instrument, bell, glass or clock. He will, finally, both on the harpsichord and the organ, improvise as long as may be desired and in any key.” “I was only fourteen years old,” wrote Goethe many years later to Eckermann about this Frankfurt performance, “but I see, as if I were still there, the little man with his child’s sword and his curly hair. . . . A phenomenon like that of Mozart remains an inexplicable thing.” In Paris, Wolfgang became the darling of Versailles.  He was, as Grimm wrote “so extraordinary a phenomenon that one finds it difficult to believe it unless one has seen him with one’s own eyes and heard him with one’s own ears.” The Paris visit was marked by the appearance of Mozart’s first published work, four sonatas for the harpsichord. From Paris, the Mozarts came to London, where Wolfgang won the heart of Johann Christian Bach, chapel master. In London, Wolfgang gave several sensational performances at the Vauxhall Gardens which were the subject of great wonder. The Mozarts were back in Salzburg in 1766, after an absence of four years. The tour had been a greater success artistically than materially. True, Mozart was given many gifts by royalty, but the principal goal towards which Leopold aspired had been unachieved—the acquisition of a permanent, lucrative post by Wolfgang in one of the principal European courts. One year later, the Mozarts were once again on tour. They had come to Wein where Wolfgang was commissioned to compose his first opera. Intrigues, created by envious composers (who realized their inferiority), prevented this first opera receiving a performance. In Wein, however, another charming theatrical work of Mozart, Bastien und Bastienne, an opéra-bouffe, was performed at the home of a friend, Dr. Messner. Towards the close of 1769, the Mozarts made their first journey to Italia, a journey crowned with glory. In Mantua, they attended a concert of the Philharmonic orchestra which performed a few of Wolfgang’s compositions in his honour. In Milano, they received a commission for Wolfgang to compose an opera seria for the following year. Bologna brought Mozart into contact with the great Martini, who welcomed the young genius with open arms of admiration and respect. In Roma, there took place that phenomenal proof of Mozart’s genius which has frequently been quoted. Yount Mozart attended a performance of the celebrated Miserere of Allegri which could be heard only in Roma during Holy Week performed by the papal choir. By papal decree it was forbidden to sing the work elsewhere, and its only existing copy was guarded slavishly by the papal choir. Any attempt to copy the song or reproduce it in any form was punishable by excommunication. Mozart, however, had heard the work only once when, returning home, he reproduced it in its entirety upon paper. (I have heard the piece; it is long and extremely complex, with double-orchestra, organ, and conflicting choral parts.) No one has ever been able to even dream of duplicating this feat, even on a much smaller scale. This incomparable feat soon became the subject for awed whispers in Roma; it was not long before the Pope himself heard of this amazing achievement. The Pope summoned Mozart, but instead of punishing the young genius with excommunication, he showered praise upon him and gave him handsome gifts. A few months later, the Pope bestowed upon Mozart the Cross of the Order of the Golden Spur. The following autumn, the Mozarts were back in Italia for Wolfgang to fulfil his commission for Milano and bring to completion his opera seria, Mitradate, re di Ponte . "Before the first rehearsal," Herr Leopold Mozart wrote to his wife, "there was no lack of people to run down the music and pronounce it beforehand in satirical language to be something poor and childish, alleging that so young a boy, and Deutsch in the bargain, could not possibly write an Italiano opera and that, although they acknowledged him to be a great executant, he could not understand or feel the chiaroscuro required in the theatre. All these people have been reduced to silence since the evening of the first rehearsal with small orchestra, and say not a word." At the performance of Mitridate on Christmas day of 1770, the work was a phenomenal success. One of the soprano arias, contrary to all precedent, was encored. Cheers greeted the diminutive composer as he reached the stage. The newspapers commented upon that "rarest musical grace" and that "studied beauty" which seemed to be Wolfgang's intuitive idiom. The next few years of Mozart's life were drab. Except for two brief intermissions, he remained in Salzburg whose limited intellectual world chafed him considerably. Moreover, his musical labour at the Court of the Archbishop was an endless humiliation. He was the principal composer and virtuoso at the Court, but his salary was so meagre and his work so unappreciated that each day was for him crowded with trials. His fellow musicians at the Court were dissolute scoundrels, whose musical tastes were vulgar and whose interests centred upon gambling and drink. "Tell me," Wolfgang wrote at this time,"how could a decent fellow possibly live in such company?" It was, therefore, with a yearning heart that Wolfgang dreamt of escaping from Salzburg. A new extensive tour was, therefore, planned for Mozart in 1777, and since Herr Leopold was refused by the Archbishop a leave-of-absence, Wolfgang Mozart left in the company of his mother to conquer the music world anew. But the music world was this time not so easily conquered by Mozart. He was now twenty-one years old—a child prodigy no longer. The music world had in the past lavished its adoration upon a little pug-nosed child who could achieve miraculous musical feats. Now that the child had entered man's estate, he had lost his great appeal. München and Mannheim turned a deaf ear to his pleas for a permanent post at court; even random commissions were not forthcoming. These disappointments, however, did not smother Wolfgang's high spirits. Now a man, he found consolation from his disappointments in frequent love affairs. In Augsburg, there was his cousin, Basle, his first genuine love. "Basle," he wrote to his father,"seems to have been made for me, and I for her—for both of us have that little bit of badness in us." In Mannheim, where he was a household guest of a musical family called Cannabich, he in turn courted Rosa Cannabich and then Aloysia Weber, a singer, daughter of a copyist. He thought seriously of marrying Aloysia; only the heated and embittered letters of his father convinced him that it was wiser to delay marriage until he had procured his desired post. The road, therefore, next brought him to Paris, where in the Summer of 1778 Mozart's mother passed away. In Paris, too, Mozart met disappointment. There were those who were acutely jealous of his phenomenal genius; the others thought of him only as a one-time prodigy who had outgrown his talent. Because of these people, it was impossible for him to receive the appreciation he deserved. Small commissions fell to him, but they were so slight and of such negligible importance that they failed to support him adequately. Even Grimm, once so idolatrous, now lost interest in Wolfgang, complaining in a long letter to Herr Leopold Mozart, that Wolfgang was "too confident, too little a man of action, too much ready to succumb to his own illusions, too litte au courant with the ways that lead to success." It was not long before Mozart, convinced that no important post was open for him, decided to return to Mannheim and marry Aloysia Weber. To his bewilderment and humiliation, he learned upon his arrival that Aloysia had forgotten him so completely during his absence that she did not even recognize him when he entered. Disappointment and disillusionment now completely overwhelmed him. He returned to Salzburg (a town he detested with increasing strength each time he returned to it) for a brief and sombre period. In 1780, a commission from München for an opera seria brought him escape. This commission resulted in the first of Mozart's great opera, Idomeneo. Idomeneo, upon its first performance on 29 January, 1781, was a rousing success. Ramm, the oboist, and Lange, the horn-player "were half-crazy with delight,"and the latter exclaimed: "I must own that I have never yet heard any music which made such a deep impression upon me!" The audience expressed its enthusiasm in no uncertain responses. This success inspired Mozart to sever all connections with Salzburg and his employer, the Archbishop, and to settle permanently in Wein. Shortly after he made Wein his permanent home, he was commissioned by Joseph II to compose a Singspiel. Die Entfüauthrung auf dem Serail duplicated in Wein the success that Idomeneo enjoyed in München. Gluck, the foremost composer of operas at the time, had the work especially performed for him, his praise being lavish. Joseph II honoured Mozart with rewards. And Prince Kaunitz, after hearing the opera, openly expressed the opinion that a genius like Wolfgang Mozart could appear only once. On 4 August 1782 Mozart was married to Constanze Weber, youngest sister of his one-time beloved Aloysia. The ceremony was a simple one, the only ones present being the bride's mother and youngest sister, two witnesses, and a friend of the family. "The moment we were made one," Mozart wrote to his father,"my wife and I began to weep, which touched everyone, even the priest. ...We are married now; we are man and wife! And we love each other enormously. We feel that we are made for one another." It was shortly after his marriage that Mozart met and became a close friend of Josef Haydn. Haydn recognised Mozart's genius, and until the end of his life exerted his every effort to bring recognition and fame to the younger composer who, he sincerely felt, was without an equal in all music. On 1 May 1786, Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro was introduced in Wein. "I can still see Mozart," wrote Michael Kelly, a singer, in his Reminiscences "dressed in his red fur hat trimmed with gold, standing on the stage with the orchestra, at the first rehearsal, beating time for the music....The players on the stage and in the orchestra were electrified. Intoxicated with pleasure, they cried again and again, and each time louder than the preceding one: 'Bravo, maestro! Long live the great Mozart'...It seemed as if the storm of applause would never cease....Had Mozart written nothing but this piece of music it alone would, in my humble opinion, have stamped him as the greatest composer of all time. Never before was there a greater triumph than Mozart and his Figaro!" Despite this emphatic success, Mozart knew at this time a period of great trial and depression. His child, Raimund, had died three months after birth, inspiring in the composer a fit of melancholy which was not easily dissipated. Moreover, at this time, Mozart knew appalling poverty. Repeatedly, he wrote pitiful letters to publishers, to friends, to distant acquaintances for small loans to relieve his trying circumstances. Finally, his wife Constanze was ill, her sickness brought on by undernourishment. Yet, in spite of these trying years, Mozart's pen knew no recess from the production of imperishable masterpieces. In October of 1787 he produced for Prag Don Giovanni, which more than one critic has designated as the greatest opera (including me). Don Giovanni was greeted with thunderous cheers; but to the impoverished composer it meant only one hundred meagre florins. One year after Don Giovanni, Mozart composed his three final symphonies—numbers 39 (in G-minor), 40 (in E-flat major), and 41 (in C-major, the Jupiter)—all in the incredible span of two months. In 1790, came Così fan tutte , followed closely by Die Zauberflöte. And between the composition of these monumental works, Mozart was composing a prolific library of concerti for solo instruments and his masterpieces for string quartet, along with hosts of other works. Mozart's last work was composed under mysterious circumstances. In 1791 a stranger, masked and dressed in grey, accosted Mozart and commissioned him to compose a requiem. The stranger was representing a wealthy nobleman who frequently asked great composers to produce works for him which he later presented under his own name. But to Mozart, ill and morbid as he was at this time, it appeared that this stranger was a messenger from the other world sent to warn the composer that the time had come for him to compose his own requiem. Through the sleepless, delirious nights, the messenger from the other world haunted Mozart's thoughts. Feverishly he worked upon his requiem, refusing both rest and food so that he might finish his work before it was too late. "Willingly would I follow your advice," he wrote to a friend who tried to persuade him to take a holiday,"but how can I do it?...I know by my feelings that my hour has come. It is striking even now! I am in the region of death." He was found at his desk unconcious. He was taken to bed, and the physician who had been summoned soon announced that Mozart was seeing his last days. Mozart had already known that he was dying. To his pupil, Süßmayer, he explained precisely how the Requiem was to be brought to completion. Shortly before his last breath left him, he attempted to sing parts of his last great work. On 5 December 1791, he said farewell to his family and turned his face to the wall; shortly afterwards he was dead. Mozart's remains were thrown into a pauper's grave in the churchyard of St. Mark. One week later, when Constanze returned with flowers to Mozart's body, she could not find the grave. Because Mozart had died like a pauper, his grave had been left unmarked, his body unidentified. Thus passed probably the greatest genius the world has ever known. Mozart was short and slim, and though his head was slightly too large for the body its well-proportioned features gave him an attractive appearance. His face had a softness that was almost effeminate, his cheeks always being sickly pallid. His eyes, piercing in their intensity, were eloquently expressive. His hair, of which he was considerably proud, was a rich shock. Well-poised, meticulously well dressed (he frequently sported laces and jewelry) and possessed of charming manners he made a deep impression upon these with whom he came into contact. Though moody by temperment and introspective, he was considerably fond of the society of pleasant people. He adored dancing, and it was with great difficulty that Constanze could keep him from frequenting places of questionable reputation. His recreation consisted of bowling and playing billiards. "He was generally cheeful and in good humour," Constanze Mozart has recorded,"rarely melancholy, though sometimes pensive. His speaking voice was gentle, except while directing music when he became loud and energetic— would even stamp with his feet, and might be heard at a considerable distance." Commenting upon Mozart's method of composition, Robert Pitrou wrote: "With him, both stages—the birth of ideas and their elaboration—were probably unconcious. His mind was constantly creating, without ever a break. When he came to the third stage—to committing to paper—he used to give his ideas at one stroke the very form he was aiming at... When at his desk, he always seems...to have been copying music already fully written down in his mind. We even know, from his letters, that his mind could turn to other music the while. Sending a prelude and fugue to his sister on 20 April 1792 [error of date is copied direct from quote], he wrote: 'Forgive the untidy arrangement. I had composed the fugue first, and while writing it out, I was thinking out the prelude.'" Mozart himself has written: "When I am in the right mood, ideas seem to teem within me. Those I like I retain. Then there are scraps which might go to the making of many a good dish. When I start composing I draw upon the accumulation in my brain." Commenting succinctly on Mozart's principal operas, Eric Blom has written: "With Idomeneo mastery may well be said to have been reached...Fine work Mozart certainly did put into Idomeneo, and in spite of the influnce of Piccinni and of certain conventions (mainly choral) of French grand opera, he was becoming an independant musical personality. His treatment of accompanied recitative shows a very sensitive readiness to apply expressive touches...In Die Entfüauthrung auf dem Serail Mozart was at last wholly in his element, not because of any special liking for the Deutsch Singspiel...but chiefly because by 1782 he was a fully matured master of his craft and had learnt a good deal about life....Indeed one would not have a note different...for it never ceases to be delicious as it is apt to its type and subject....It is a structure and a collection of tunes of such fascinating grace that one would like to call back every phrase of it to hug it over and over again....And then came Le nozze di Figaro...the perfect opéra-bouffe.... Beaumarchais'[s] exposure of a refined but pernicious civilization is here made the pretext for music as sunnily civilized [sic] as the world ought to have if the dreamers of Mozart's age had been right....These qualities [Le nozze di] Figaro has to a great degree never again attained in music, and it has moreover a profound humanity, a sympathetic penetration into the hearts of men and women—especially women...[Le nozze di] Figaro is Italian[o] comic opera in its final stages of perfection.... With all its overwhelming perfection, [Le nozze di] Figaro still shows an almost disconcerting readiness to use the current idiom of the time....But the next opera, the greatest of all...Don Giovanni, makes a tremendous advance in achieving the originality already, so to speak, at the fountainhead of inspiration....It is impossible to conceive that any notion as here set down by Mozart could have come from the pen of any other composer, then or later. What is more, not a single number in Don Giovanni can be imagined to occur in any other opera by Mozart himself. Everything is in character, everything colored [sic] by the particular mood into which this great tragi-comic subject cast him....After Don Giovanni we are magically transported into yet another world: that of Così fan tutte. Well, scarcely a world at all; only a show of marionettes....Once again Mozart achieved the miraculous feat of writing a score which, consistent in style from start to finish, could not by any conceivable chance lend a single one of its number to any other works of his. The whole perfume and flavor [sic] of the music is new and unique. Artifice is the keynote of it.... "What Mozart wanted was not declamation but spontaneous emotional expression, not grandly ordered drama but the variety of life....That is why he was not in the least disturbed by the hair-raising inconsistencies, the pantomime absurdities of The Magic flute [Die Zauberflöte?] ....Here was a great deal of nonsense, but it was good theatre, it was alive, and there was a multiformity of setting, of situation, of character such as he had never before had occasion to handle...The variety of The Magic flute [Die Zauberflöte?] score ought to be bewildering; somehow it is only astonishing in a favorable [sic] sense....The music itself is much more diversified than that of any opera of Mozart's....the flashy Italian[a] arias of the Queen of the Night [Königin der Nacht?] next to Sarstro's solemn utterances in Mozart's 'masonic' manner, the popular ditties of Popageno side by side with the profound humanity of Pamina's tear-compelling G-minor lament and the wonderful dramatic truth of her brief mad scene...all this and more is by some marvel of genius fashioned into a single gem of many facts—and of inestimable value." Edvard Grieg, the famous composer, has written an illuminating essay on Mozart which is not widely known. In it, he has discussed Mozart's final symphonies in the following manner: "We note at once the great step from Haydn's to Mozart's treatment of this highest of instrumental forms, and our thoughts are involuntarily transferred to the young Beethoven who, without any specially noteworthy break, rises from where Mozart left off to those proud summits which none but he was destined to reach. In the introduction of the E-flat major symphony, just before the first allegro, we come upon harmonic combinations of unprecedented boldness. They are introduced in so surprising a way that they will always preserve the impression of novelty....In the G-minor symphony, Mozart shows himself to us in all his grace and sincerity of feeling. It is worth noting what astonishing effects he gets here by the use of chromatic progressions. In the Jupiter symphony [Symphonie Nr.1 C major KV. 551] we are astounded, above all, by the playful ease with which the greatest problems of art are treated. No one who is not initiated suspects in the finale, amid the humorous tone gambols, what an amazing contrapunal knowledge and superiority Mozart manifests. And then this ocean of euphony! Mozart's sense of euphony was, indeed, so absolute that it is impossible, in all his works, to find a single bar wherein it is sacrificed to other considerations." Mozart was the greatest composer who ever lived. There is no music happier, more complex, and perfect than his anywhere to be found. If you do not believe me, (click here) to listen to Mozart's music, the music of Heaven.

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MOZART AND HIS MASONIC MUSIC
by Robert G. Davis 

The period of history which encompassed the Baroque, the Rococco, and the
Viennese Classical schools of music can be described as the Enlightenment Era.
In my thinking, this roughly spanned the 200 years of the 17th and 18th Centuries.

It was a period of great contributions in the arts. To give some examples, in its
early stages it was characterized by the Dutch school of painting, headed by
Rembrandt and Vermeer; the French artists Poussin and
Lebrun; the architect Christopher Wren; the writers Moliere, Racine, Milton,
Shakespeare, and Bacon; the composers Corelli, Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Pachabel,
Albinoni, Handel and Bach; the poets Goethe and Burns; the philosophers Kant,
Voltaire, Rousseau, and Diderot. And it ended with such musicians as Gluck,
C.P.E. Bach, J.C. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Boccherini, Beethoven, and Schubert.

It was a period which gave us the sonata, the suite, the rondeau (rondo), the
fugue, the concerto, the opera, the cantata, the art of improvisation, the
application of tonal rivalries between solo instruments, etc. It was a period
of enormous output, both in variation of composition and in virtuosity of
performance.

It was also a period of fertile growth in Masonic philosophy and ritual. And
it was the time when much music was composed for the fraternity. During his
brief 7 years as a Mason (1784-1791), Brother Mozart brought his unsurpassed
gift of creativity and virtuosity to the fraternity in a series of
compositions which are still universally played and used in today's
ceremonies of Masonry. The spirit of the Enlightenment shines throught
Mozart's music, and this is nowhere as true, perhaps, as in his Masonic
music.

That music falls into three broad categories--music he wrote specifically for
the lodge, music intended for the public built on Masonic ideas, and music he
wrote for other purposes, but which were adapted during his lifetime, either
by himself or others, for use in lodge. Lodges frequently held concerts for
charity, and Mozart wrote much music to be performed at those concerts.

As for the music Mozart wrote for use in lodge, the most obvious question to
a non-Mason might be why music would be needed at all. The Masonic ritual
makes many provsions for music. The process of walking from one place to
another in the lodge room was and is often accompanied by music. Many such
"trips about the lodge" represent the passage of time, and in those cases,
music was especially appropriate. Music was also used before and after
prayer, and for entrances into the lodge. In England, it is still common to
sing the "closing ode" at the end of a lodge meeting.
 

The Blue Lodge of Freemasonry (the original and
foundation of all other presently-practiced systems of the
Fraternity) is divided into three Degrees, or stages of
membership--the Entered Apprentice Degree, the Fellow Craft
Degree, and the Master Mason Degree.

The Fellow Craft Degree is important in the story of Mozart's Masonic music
because he wrote one of his most beautiful Masonic works, Gesellenreise
(Fellow Craft's Journey) for the initiation of his father, Leopold Mozart, on
April 16, 1785.

To fully appreciate the music, it is helpful to know a little about the
degree itself, and about the Masonic histories of both Leopold and Wolfgang.
 

The Fellow Craft Degree represents, in terms of the stonemason's craft, the
status of Journeyman. In terms of Freemasonry, it represents manhood in its
full vigor and strength, as the first Degree represents youth and the third
Degree represents the wisdom and maturity of age.

The ritual of the Fellow Craft Degree takes classical education as one of its
strongest symbols. The Mason receiving the Degree is reminded of the five
classic Orders of Architecture, as well as the seven Liberal Arts and
Sciences--Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music and
Astronomy.

The instruction in the ritual takes the form of the
ascent of winding stairs, with each step representing a new
acquisition of knowledge and insight. That ascent is the
Fellow Craft's journey.

It symbolizes more than mere instruction, however. The journey is the journey
of life, which at this stage is a preparation for productive living as a
spiritual being. Its purpose is to help awaken the individual to his life not
just as an intelligent animal but as a mind--free and untrammeled--and as a
spirit, bound to all humanity by the Fatherhood of God.  The lyrics selected
by Mozart for Gesellenreise include:
        You, who now are risen higher
        Unto Wisdom's high abode,
        Wander steadfast higher, higher
        Know, it is the noblest road.
        Only spirit without blight
        May approach the source of Light.

Even in this short passage, you can see the elements of the Enlightenment and
of Masonry--the idea that both life and initiation was a journey of stages,
the idea of Light, and of drawing nearer to it. The search for wisdom and
understanding.

In the introduction to his book Mozart and Masonry Paul Nettl writes,
". . . there is a Masonic secret, a mystery, an experience
that cannot be taught or explained because it lies, like
every mystic experience, beyond the realm of controlled
consciousness. At its deepest level it is identical with
intense feeling and empathy. The secret of Freemasonry is
the secret of experiencing true love for all mankind, a
positive attitude towards man and life, and broad
affirmation of God. It is the realization that beyond the
dark and material world there is a realm of light towards
which all men must strive."

It is this journey, this secret, which Mozart
celebrated in music for his father.

Wolfgang Mozart was apparently sponsored in his petition to join Masonry by
the Baron Otto Freiherr von Gemmingen-Hornberg, Master of Zur Wohltataigkeit
(Charity) Lodge. Mozart had met Gemmingen in Mannheim. His name was put
before the Lodge on December 5, 1784, and he appears to have received the
Entered Apprentice Degree on December 14. On January 7, 1785, he re ceived
the Fellow Craft Degree at
"Zur wahren Eintracht" (True Harmony) Lodge at the request of his home Lodge.
On April 22, he received the Master Mason Degree.

But Jacques Chailley, in The Magic Flute Unveiled: Esoteric
Symbolism in Mozart's Masonic Opera, points out that
Mozart's association with Freemasonry long predated his
petition to the Fraternity. At the age of 11, Mozart set the
Masonic poem An die Freude to music and sent it as a gift to
Dr. Joseph Wolf who had treated him for smallpox. At 16, he
composed an aria on the words of the ritual hymn O heiliges
Band. At 17, he was selected by Gebler to compose the
incidental music for the Masonic drama Thamos (which he
revised in 1779).

Leopold Mozart, it was announced in Wolfgang's Lodge on March 28, 1785, had
been proposed for membership. As Leopold was about to leave the city, a
dispensation to proceed more rapidly than usual was sought and obtained. On
April 6, he was initiated as an Entered Apprentice. On April 16, he was
passed to the Degree of Fellow Craft, with Wolfgang in attendance. On April
22, Leopold became a Master Mason. Two days later, father and son attended
the Lodge Zur gerkronten Hoffnung to honor the Lodge's Master, Ignaz Born.
Wolfgang composed a new cantata for the occasion (K.471). The day after the
concert, Leopold left for Salzburg. His son was never to see him again.

Mozart's Masonic Music is rich and varied, but any listing is subject to
criticism. The simple reason is that music played a very important part in
Masonry. Music was used in the Degrees, performed at refreshment as
entertainment (which would have been an experience--Mozart's Lodge contained
some of the finest performers in Europe, and we know from minutes of the
Lodge meetings that they often sat around after Lodge had formally closed and
improvised into the small hours ofthe morning) and at special public
concerts, frequently given by the Lodges for charitable purposes. So we have
Masonic ritual music, music written for or adapted for entertainment at
Masonic functions, and music on Masonic themes, not intended for performance
in Lodge, some of which as we have seen, was written before he joined the
fraternity. The following listing (based on the work of Charles Tupper)
contains elements of all these, with notes showing their Masonic relevance.
 

Lied: An die Freude, K.53 (setting of a Masonic text)

Psalm 129: De Profundis Clamavi for mixed choir and orchestra K.93 (composed
in Salzburg in 1771 and later adapted to Freemasonic work by the composer)

Lied: O heiliges Band der Freudschaft for tenor and Piano K.148 (composed in
1772 and adopted for Masonry; probably sung at refreshment)

Graduale ad Festum B.M.V.: "Sancta Maria, mater Die for mixed choir and
orchestra K.273 (composed in 1777, it
was immediately added to the musical canon of the Lodge)

Incidental Music: Thamos Konig in Agypten, K.345 (incidental music for a
play, the themes are heavily Masonic - considered a forerunner of The Magic
Flute)

Canonic Adagio for 2 bassett Horns and Bassoon, K.410 (composed in 1784,
ritual procession music)

Adagio for 2 Clarinets and 3 Bassett Horns, K.411 (probably intended as a
processional entrance for the Lodge)

Cantata: "Dir, Seele des Weltalls," K.429 (composed for a public Masonic
celebration)

Gesellenreise: "Die ihr einem neuen Grade," K.468 (composed for his father's
Fellow Craft Degree)

Cantata: Die Maurerfreude "Sehen wie dem starren Forscherauge," K.471
(composed in April, 1785, to honor Ignaz von Born, Grand Master of the United
Lodges)

[According to the records of the Lodge, Mozart wrote the music for two
additional songs during 1785--Des Todes Werk and Vollbracht ist die Arbeit
der Meister (The Work of Death and The Work of the Masters is
Finished)--which have been lost]

Maurerissche Trauermusik (Masonic Funeral Music) K.477 (written for the
memorial services commemorating the deaths of Mozart's brother Masons Duke
George August of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Count Franz Veith Edler von
Galantha in November, 1785, and performed in a Lodge of Sorrows)

Piano Concerto in Eb Major, K.482 (written for and performed at a concert
given by the Lodge Zur gekronten Hoffnung, December 15, 1785)

Song: Zerfliesset Heut, Geliebte Bruder," K.483 (written to
welcome newly-formed Lodges)

Song: "Ihr unsre neuen Leiter," K.484 (written to welcome the newly elected
Grand Master of the United Lodges)

Symphony #39 in Eb, K.543 (written as a celebration of the Craft and the joy
of living {see Alfred Einstein's notes on the Masonic significance of the
work})

Adagio and Fugue in C Minor, K.546 (not originally written for the Masonic
canon, it was quickly adopted by the Lodges)

Adagio and Rondo for Flute, Oboe, Viola, Cello, and Celesta, K.617 (written
while Mozart was working on The Magic Flute and performed at refreshment in
Lodge)

Motet: Ave Verum Corpus, K.618 (originally written
for Anton Stoll's choir school at Baden, the work was
quickly adopted for Lodge use)

Cantata: "Die ihr des unermesslichen Weltalls Schopfer ehrt," K.619 (during
Mozart's last year, he paused during composition of The Magic Flute, La
Clemenza di Tito and the Requiem to compose this piece at the request of his
Lodge.)

Cantata: "Kleine Freimaurerkantate" (little Masonic cantata) K.623 (written
for the dedication of the Lodge Zur neugekronten Hoffnung)

Chorus: "Lasst uns mit geschlungen Handen" K.623b (written as part of the
same dedication service as above)

Opera: "Die Zauberflote" (The Magic Flute) K.620

Mozart died at fifty-five minutes past midnight, on December 5, 1791. The
Masons held a Lodge of Sorrows in his memory, and the oration there delivered
was printed by Ignez Alberti, a member of Mozart's own Lodge, who had
published the first libretto of Die Zauberflote.

 

 

         

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