, ,

Dear Baroness


The world’s greatest composer was feeling giddy when he wrote Baroness von Waldstadten with a special request on October 2, 1782:

I can say truthfully that I am a happy and an unhappy man–unhappy since the night when I saw your ladyship at the ball with your hair so beautifully coiffed–because–gone is my peace of mind! Nothing but sighs and groans! During the rest of the time I spent at the hall I did not dance–I skipped. Dinner was all ordered, but I did not eat, I scarfed. During the night, instead of sleeping gently and sweetly, I slept like a dormouse and snored like a bear and, without being too presumptuous, I might go so far as to wager that your ladyship had the same experience in proportion.

You smile, you blush! Ah, yes–I am indeed happy. My fortune is made!

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

But alas, who is this tapping me on the shoulder? Who’s peeking into my letter? Alas! Alas! Alas! My wife! Well, for heaven’s sake, I’ve taken her and so I have to keep her! What can I do? I have to sing her praises–and pretend that what I say is true!

But now, all joking aside, if your ladyship could send me a jug [of beer] this evening, you would be doing me a big favor because my wife is–is–and has longings–but only for beer brewed in the English way!

Well done, little wife! Finally I see that you are good for something. My wife, who is an angel of a woman, and I, who am a model husband, both kiss your Ladyship’s hands a thousand times and are your faithful vassals–Mozart the Great, Small-Bodied and Constanze, most beautiful and prudent of all wives.

One can only hope that the desired beverage was delivered, and only imagine what transpired if it was.