Friday, 14 October 2011

Mozart and the Shouting Lady of Vienna


Organising and labelling my photographs, I came across this one of a shouting lady, taken a couple of years ago in Vienna.   Even if you know the city well, you probably won't recognise her. She's hidden away on a rooftop. 

To me, there are several odd things about her.  Her hands are more like claws.  What are those three things on her chest? Is she wearing something on her head? And what can she be shouting about?  She looks as if she's enjoying herself, and the white stripe down her face (courtesy no doubt of a perching pigeon) gives her the look of a lady in war paint.  A kind of Boadicea.

I've enjoyed revisiting the photos of that Viennese trip. Here are some more - do you notice a common theme? You'd think Mozart was born there, at least.  But he wasn't. He just lived there for a while.



A Mozart mug, and a heap of Mozart chocolates



Mozart Corner


Mozart showing the way upstairs.

Mozart really did like Vienna - they didn't treat him like a servant like the snobs did  in Salzburg, and above all, they cared about music and liked him.   He did well financially there, and had quite a good apartment, near the Cathedral.  When I visited, I realised he'd been quite a party boy  - apparently he'd sit up all night with his friends, playing billiards, and he was very, very good at it.  He loved dancing, too; in fact, his wife thought he should have been a dancer.

And in the apartment, there is a very small room with a very fine decorative ceiling. 




It's in remarkable contrast to the rest of the flat, (which is fairly plain) and apparently it was decorated in this way because a previous tenant to Mozart had been in the business of making fancy ceilings, and this tenant had created the ceiling to show what he could do.  I suppose it was in a small room because he didn't want to spend too much time and money on what was, after all, an advertisement.

The people at the Mozart House don't know what this room had been used for when Mozart had the flat, but I'd lay a fair sum that Mozart quickly bagged it for himself and woite his music in it.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it sold him the apartment in the first place.  There's no proof, but I do believe it!

Come to think of it, although that shouting lady dates from long after Mozart's time, she might actually be singing, not shouting.

Singing very loudly. From a Mozart opera, perhaps.



33 comments:

  1. he played a different form of billiards, right? surely not snooker.

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  2. My first thought when I saw the shouting lady was what are those 3 things on her chest? Very odd.

    The ceiling is beautiful! I learned things I didn't know about Mozart. Thank you.

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  3. If Mozart chocolates were not filled with marzipan, I'd like them. Years ago, I've been to Salzburg on a business trip and was taken to Mozart's birth house, which is - in my opinion - not really worth seeing. I guess Vienna (where I have not been yet) gives much more insight into Mozart's life and times, like with your description of the flat he lived in.

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  4. And another thing about the statue. What's that hanging round her shoulders? Is it a shawl? I like the way she's singing (or shouting). Makes a change from all those lifeless statues of people looking pompous but not actually doing anything.

    The decorative ceiling is astonishing. I can well imagine Mozart writing his music in that room.

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  6. @nick I don't know what's over her shoulders, she's a thoroughly mysterious woman! I too love her liveliness. @Librarian, the Mozarthaus in Vienna has been well renovated. Quite a lot of speculation is needed but I got a real feeling of him there with his family and his dog and his pals dropping in and his music and having to constantly hustle about gigs - a bit like a modern musician really. I LOATHE Mozart chocolates, the chocolate tastes like lard. But they make a wonderful shop display. @-E- You are right, as usual, of course it was not snooker though I always feel he would have been at home in a snooker parlour. A Wii might have been up his street too. @My 2 Pesos, hope you make it to Vienna, don't go in mid winter when it's so cold that your hands stick to anything metal.

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  7. Could the screaming women be from an opera of some sort?

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  8. I always find the statues and ornaments on roof tops particularly interesting. No idea who she might be - a portrait of the mayor's wife maybe?

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  9. I like the special touch of the carved drapey material around the shouting/singing woman's shoulders!

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  10. The sculpture of the woman is so interesting. Obviously someone went to great work to create it. I'd sure like to know the history of the piece.

    Darla

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  11. Beautiful! I've always wanted to go there.

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  12. It was so interesting for me to read this post. I think that Mozart is different for each music lover. No matter how much you learn about him, it's not enough.

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  13. Very fascinating post, love learning new things:)

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  14. I like the shouting lady!
    I adore the ceiling!

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  15. I had not heard about the Website of the Year. I clicked on your link – it looks interesting. Your pictures are pretty – I wish I could have one of those Mozart chocolates.

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  16. An interesting post with lots of ideas and questions.

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  17. A lovely, informative post. I've never been to Vienna but I'd like to. I'm fascinated by the lady.

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  18. Vienna is amazing, particularly its connection to Mozart. Yes, I wonder if the shouting lady (very intriguing, never knew of her before) is belting out the "Queen of the Night" aria to honor Vienna's most illustrious citizen! Great to learn more about him. I knew Mozart was a partier but didnt know snooker was his game!

    http://thefoolishaesthete.blogspot.com

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  19. An unusual portrait of Vienna.

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  20. Thanks for the nice comment on my blog!

    Stunning picture!

    The sculpture of the woman is so beautiful!

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  21. Beautiful! The shouting woman conjures up so many possibilities.

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  22. Thank you for sharing this interesting post.
    Mozart, his music is a part of my life. So beautiful. Mozart mug is lovely!! I will visit your post again.

    Thank you for your kind comment on my blog,Green Tomato.

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  23. Dear Jenny
    Thanks for commenting on my Sunday Tree last week. I’ve posted a new ‘Tree’ and would like to invite you to write something in response to it – or to one of the earlier tress. The post can be found here:
    http://writteninexile.blogspot.com/2011/10/sunday-trees-experimental-tree.html
    Best wishes, Isabel

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  24. well..i guess the shouting lady could be like an opera singer :) singing mozart... even though she was before his times...but who know...or may be mozart took inspiration from her :)
    nice pics and write up ...gained a lot of info from this :) thanks...

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  25. Are those three objects on the shouting lady's chest? It looks to meas though she's standing behind a white shape which is part of the architecture and they are part of that. A particularly intriguing aspect of a fascinating post.

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  26. I love the singing lady (I choose to believe she is singing!). It seems that one must always look up in Vienna too!

    That ceiling is really something, how lovely that it has been preserved. I agree with you - it must have been his music and composition room!

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  27. the shot of Mozart showing the way upstairs looks very familiar to me. was it captured at Hundertwasser village?

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  28. Looks like you are one of the few who heard her shouting from the rooftop. Did you get a chance to try the Mozart chocolates? They were everywhere in Salzburg too.

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  29. ALl sorts of possibilities for the screaming woman, to me she looks rather young. maybe she was modelled on someone's daughter or girlfriend! @The Foolish Aesthete hmm, yes, not sure she is quite nasty looking enough to be Queen of the Night :) and yes, well spotted LifeRamblings, it is Hundertwasser - now that's an amazing place!

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  30. Interesting stucco artwork on the roof of the small room. Thank you for sharing this.

    Apparently Mozart's sister was a fairly capable piano player, but not capable of writing her own.

    I wonder what the history of the shouting Lady is?

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