Friday, October 12, 2007

Award of the Papal Equestrian Order to Mozart

From the Papal archives:
On the 10th April 1770, he arrived in Rome together with his father and, as guest of many noble and ecclesiastic salons, the “infant prodigy” showed his mastery. He also went to a liturgical celebration in the Sistine Chapel, where he could listen to the Miserere by Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652) for two nine-part choirs; already knowing that he could not get the music score because it was strictly prohibited, he transcribed the piece by heart at the end of the liturgy, almost without any mistakes. Mozart so highly impressed the scholars of the Curia that Pope Clement XIV decided to honour the artistic talent of the this boy from Saltsburg by granting him a private audience (together with father Giovanni Battista Martini, another famous musician who Mozart had already met in Bologna), thus conferring him the high honour of the golden army or the “Golden Spur”.

te, quem in suavissimo cymbali sonitu a prima adolescentia tua excellentem esse intelleximus

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