Stöger, Maximilian; Mischitz, Felix; Steffens, David; Kobow, Jan; Salzburger Hofmusik; Brunner, Wolfgang; Schneider, Wolfgang; Kiener, Maximilian; Schneider, Thomas; Eibensteiner, Klaus
Did Mozart have any friends? The word Freund (friend) occurs most frequently in his letters to his fellow Freemason Michael Puchberg. ''Dearest, best of friends'' he often writes in the salutation, or ''I rely entirely on your genuine friendship''. Today we know of 21 letters written between 1788 and 1791 in which Mozart asked Puchberg for financial assistance, amounting altogether to some 400 gulden - roughly, €120,000 in today's currency. Indeed, in the final seven years of his life Mozart seems to have found a sort of ''friendship'' in Vienna's Masonic circles that offered him emotional ties and intellectual stimuli. As far as we can tell from the surviving minutes and attendance lists of the Viennese lodges, his Masonic life was extremely active: a mere ten days after his own induction, and two weeks later he was promoted to journeyman. This album contains all of Mozart's Masonic compositions with the sole exception of The Magic Flute. One of his final works altogether was the cantata Laut verkunde unsre Freude. Written down 19 days before his death, it is the final entry in his autograph thematic catalogue and the last work he ever completed.