Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Constanze Weber  

“In my eyes a single man only leads half a life. …”

Constanze Mozart

Oil painting by Joseph Lange (1751–1831) 1782 (The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow) Source: Wikimedia
1781-1782
Salzburg
Plaque commemorating the wedding of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Constanze Weber in their parish church St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna on 4 August 1782

Plaque commemorating the wedding of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Constanze Weber in their parish church St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna on 4 August 1782

Source: Wikimedia

Leopold Mozart made no secret of it: Constanze Weber was not the good match he had intended for his son Wolfgang Amadeus. But there was not a lot he could do from Salzburg, far away from Vienna. In any case, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was unwilling to put up with meddlers. He was in love with Constanze and wanted to marry her at all costs. But the twenty-five-year-old had to face further difficulties.

On one hand, he did not dare to confide in his father how serious the affair between himself and Constanze Weber was. Until shortly before his marriage, he left his father in the dark, which left Leopold deeply worried. On the other hand, Wolfgang Amadeus found himself under a lot of pressure from Cäcilia Weber, Constanze’s mother, who had high hopes for the financial benefits the liaison would bring for herself.

An Abduction in Meagre Times

In 1781 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart worked on his opera “The Abduction from the Seraglio”, which sported a heroine, incidentally called Constanze. He worked all his feelings for his great love into his music. At the same time Wolfgang Amadeus intensely occupied himself with the church music of Johann Sebastian Bach – a passion he shared with Constanze Weber. In the meantime he had moved out from his lodgings with the Weber family and found a room at the “Graben” boulevard in Vienna. He barely made a living instructing music students and giving house concerts. He was still looking for a permanent position.

The “Abduction from the Seraglio” was a tremendous success; yet Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart only made the usual musician’s fee of 100 guilders. This did not stop him from marrying Constanze Weber three weeks later at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. A lifetime of ups and downs was about to start…