Saturday, October 19, 2013

Mozart's mean archbishop

Pursuant to my post the other day about Paul Johnson's book on Mozart, I am still hardly into it but there are a few things that I did not know. Here is one.

The Archbishop who was famously mean to Mozart, Hieronymus Colloredo, disliked the old Latin liturgy and used to push for the vernacular. Who knew that? I did not.

You can tell a bad apple by that, you know? I am not saying everyone has to love the Latin liturgy the way I do but when someone is an enemy of it, watch out for that person. Anyway, I never knew that about that old Archbishop, and it makes sense, seeing that he was a baddie.

I continue to appreciate Paul Johnson's understanding of the Catholic Church. He writes himself that most biographers do not get this, and he is right. Fiction writers do not get it either and that can be even more annoying. A while back I read, or attempted to read, this novel called "Mozart's Last Aria." There were things about it I liked but the book was ruined for me by the author's dim grasp of the Catholic Church. It also seemed as if he were going to pin something on it. I don't know for sure because I ran out of gas with that book about 20 pages from the end. Here it was this whodunit and I never found out whodunit!

Back to Colloredo. His petty nastiness to Mozart will resonate with anyone who has ever had a bad boss. And because of it he has achieved a strange kind of immortality. He was a pain to this musician, Wolfgang Mozart, and to the whole family. For that reason, and only that reason, he is remembered. You can do a Google Images search on him, as I just did, and pictures come up. Along with pictures of Mozart.

When you are immortal, like Mozart, you are not immortal alone. You take a whole host of people with you into the history books.

Nobodies who would otherwise be forgotten.


  1. Colloredo was neither mean nor nasty. Please don't repeat old nonsense.

  2. Dr. Lorenz, thank you for your input and I am sorry if I got this wrong! I think I am suffering from reading all kinds of stuff since when I was little and now I have to sort it all out and separate what's true from what's not. I am going to look into this more closely ... maybe by searching through your site ... Thank you again and I promise I will follow up!