Zell im Wiesental

Germany

Zell im Wiesental and Constanze Weber

© The Hunterian, University of Glasgow 2011

Mozart never visited Zell im Wiesental. However, his name is linked very closely to the music-loving family Weber which made exhausting contributions to the history of Zell during two generations.

On the 12th of December 1763, the bailiff of Zell, Fridolin Weber (1733) was forced to flee from Zell with his family due to enduring quarrels with his employer, the baron of Schönau-Zell. Finally, this tragedy led to a story of great importance:
On the 4th of August 1782, Constanze Weber, Fridolin Weber’s daughter, was married to the composer W. A. Mozart at the St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. She was born on the 5th of January 1762 in Zell that was part of Further Austria.

Mozart did not only marry a music-loving woman that supported his work but also a music-loving family.
After the escape from Zell, Weber was employed as a bass player, prompter and sheet music copyist at the Mannheim court theater of elector Carl Theodor. He was also employed at his court band, one of the most important European orchestras with outstanding musicians.

It was here that Mozart knocked on Fridolin Weber’s door in search for a good sheet music copyist. At first glance he was enthusiastic for his talented daughters. Since those days, the fate of Mozart and the Weber family were linked intimately since then until his death.

Fridolin Weber, Constanze and her sisters, which were also born in Zell, influenced him and his opus: Josepha Hofer, née Weber (1757) was the first interpreter of “The Queen of the Night” with very challenging coloratura parts. Aloysia Lange, née Weber (1760) was Mozart’s first love, he composed a large number of aria for her. Due to her lyrical and soulful soprano she became one of the most important interpreters of his opus. Sophie Haibl, née Weber (1763), Constanze’s youger sister, was an actress, mostly at the Vienna castle theater. It was in her arms that the music genius died on 4th of December 1791. Wolfgang Amadeus mother-in-law Cäcilia Weber, née Stamm (1727) was pictured by his father Leopold as an excellent cook in a letter to his daughter Nannerl even though he had abused her as a procuress for years. Mozart’s mother-in-law is told to have served as role model for the “Queen of the Night”.

Like Constanze reported herself, Mozart brought every finished opera to Constanze and asked her to study it. She gave him the inspiration that he needed for his compositions – some of which he wrote for her.

After Mozart’s death, Constanze acted out as singer on a concert tour with large audience to increase his glory. As his widow she became the administrator of his opus. She published Mozart’s biography that was written by her second husband Georg Nikolaus Nissen. From her marriage with Wolfgang Amadé she got six children from which the two sons Carl Thomas and Franz Xaver survived.

Constanze Mozart and her sisters were cousins of Carl Maria von Weber whose father Franz Anton was born in Zell, like Constanze’s father. Also, Carl Maria von Weber had right of residence in Zell.

Zell im Wiesental

Birth Place of Constanze Mozart (née Weber)
The picturesque village Zell im Wiesental in the Southern Black Forest, surrounded by fir and mixed forests as well as vast fields, is located in the immediate vicinity of the Black Forest’s highest mountains Feldberg and Belchen. On bright days, a breathtaking panorama of the Alps appears on the horizon. The village with a total of 6.100 inhabitants, close to the French and Swiss border, was an important manufacturing site of the textile industry with the well known “Irisette” brand.
 
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Following Mozart

  • Constanze-Mozart Library, Hotel „Löwen“
  • Constanze-Mozart Parlour, Hotel „Löwen“
  • Constanze-Mozart-Boulevard
  • „Zauberflöten-Pavillon“, city park
  • Rose ‘Constanze Mozart®‘, city park