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Classical 101

Mozart Minute: Waiting for Baby Mozart

Mozart in a red coat

If you’ve ever known an expectant father, then you’ve probably witnessed that unique mixture of masculine responsibility, fear and uncontainable excitement that soon-to-be first-time dads seem to embody.

Wolfgang Mozart was no different during his wife, Constanze’s, first pregnancy, and the closer Constaze’s due date came, the greater Mozart’s obvious anticipation of the birth.

Between announcing Constanze’s pregnancy in a letter to his father of November 13, 1782 and the child’s birth on June 17, scarcely does Mozart write a letter that fails to mention Constanze’s “condition,” or her health, or her due date, or the baby itself – all bubbling over in that happily manic, new-dad kind of way.

On Jan. 8, 1783, Mozart closed a letter to his father with “My little wife who is quite plump (but only about the belly) and I both kiss your hands a thousand times.”

On Feb. 15, he wrote the Baroness von Waldstätten that his “poor little wife is slightly indisposed” and that he cannot leave her.

On April 3, Mozart wrote Leopold that he foresees “many expenses in connexion with my wife’s confinement.”

A little more than a week later, on April 12, Mozart wrote his father that Constanze was “in such excellent health and has become so robust that all women should thank God if they are so fortunate in their pregnancy.”

And on June 7, in perhaps his keenest grasp of the obvious, Mozart mentioned to Leopold that Constanze hoped the delivery would happen “as soon as possible.” (The Letters of Mozart and His Family, trans. Emily Anderson. Houndmills and London: Macmillan, 1985).

But Constanze had to bide her time. And you will have to wait for the next episode of The Mozart Minute to meet Baby Mozart.

Jennifer Hambrick unites her extensive backgrounds in the arts and media and her deep roots in Columbus to bring inspiring music to central Ohio as Classical 101’s midday host. Jennifer performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago before earning a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.