THE MUSIC: Mozart by Madame de Pompadour

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Title: Mozart by Madame de Pompadour Painting by M. V. de Parédès Taken from "Monde illustré" 1857 and 1905 Fonds du Conservatoire, Legs Imbert.


Medal for the bicentenary of the musician’s death
Modern medal in nickel or nickeled steel, 26 mm diameter
On the front there’s a scene representing Mozart that kisses Mme de Pompadour’s hand. On the high border you can read "Mozart et la Marquise de Pompadour", on the low border "1763, d'après Vicente de Parédès".
On the reverse there’s a portrait of Mozart with two dates, 1791 and 1991.


Mozart by Madame de Pompadour

The Mozarts arrived in Paris on the 18th November 1763, during their European tour (1763-1766).

A visit to Versailles:
Upon reaching Paris, Leopold wasted no time in making connections. One of his first acquaintances was Baron Friedrich Melchior Grimm, a German national who had resided in Paris since 1749. Grimm, an acquaintance of many of the Encyclopédistes and publisher of the Correspondance littéraire, arranged concerts at which Wolfgang and Nannerl performed, and also arranged the children's appearance at the French court.

Grimm became the family's best friend and most effective publicist. In his Correspondance, which circulated in handwritten manuscript to an elite group of subscribers throughout Europe, he effusively praised the accomplishments and talents of Leopold's children: "His daughter, eleven years of age, plays the harpsichord in the most brilliant manner; she performs the longest and most difficult pieces with an astonishing precision. Her brother, who will be seven years old next February, is such an extraordinary phenomenon that one is hard put to it to believe what one sees with one's eyes and hears with one's ears."

On Christmas Eve the Mozarts moved to Versailles for two weeks, long enough to give them taste of life in that most famous of all European courts. Leopold was predictably pragmatic, mostly making note of how expensive everything was. But he had time for gossip too: "Madame de Pompadour is still a handsome woman. . . . She is extremely haughty and still rules over everything."

The royal couple invited the Mozarts to court dinner on New Year's Day, and then insisted that the family stand behind them during the meal. "My Wolfgang was graciously privileged to stand beside the Queen the whole time, to talk constantly to her, entertain her and kiss her hands repeatedly, besides partaking of the dishes which she handed him from the table," Leopold wrote. "I stood beside him, and on the other side of the King . . . stood my wife and daughter."
On that occasion, Mozart performed in the presence of the Royal Family and Louis Xvgave him a prize of one hundred and twenty Livres.

In February, Wolfgang became ill again. Leopold's description lends itself to a diagnosis of tonsillitis (streptococcal angina). He treated his son with a mixture called "pulvis antispasmodicus Hallensis" (saltpeter, potassium sulfate and cinnabar) and, after only four days, made him get up and be active again.

That month Leopold published two harpsichord sonatas with violin accompaniment (K. 6 and 7), (Opus 1). They were dedicated to Louis XV's second daughter, Louise-Marie-Thérèse de Bourbon (Madame Victoire). In April two more sonatas (K. 8 and 9) were published with a dedication to Madame la Comtesse de Tessé, lady-in-waiting to the wife of the Dauphin. These little pieces, which Leopold probably had a hand in crafting, were Wolfgang's first published works.

  • Between the 1st and the 3rd of February Mozart visited Mme de Pompadour in her hotel hotel di Faubourg Saint Honoré (Elysée)
  • 10th March 1764 First public concert in Paris.
  • 9th April 1764 Second concert in Paris.
  • 10th April 1764 Mozart and his familu left Paris to London.
  • 15th April 1764 Mme de Pompadour died.