August 25, 2016 – Completing its three-part Mozart Series, the Austrian Mint releases the final 20 euro coin under the title “Mozart: The Legend”. It focuses on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Magical Flute which is considered to be his most famous work.
Austria / 20 Euros / Silver .900 / 20g / 34mm / Designers: Helmut Andexlinger and Thomas Pesendorfer / Mintage: 50,000
The coin’s reverse shows a scene from the opera, while a profile portrait of a pensive Mozart graces the obverse. Painted by his brother-in-law Joseph Lange, the portrait gives the impression that Mozart is eavesdropping on his inner music. The word “Mozart” lies beneath the portrait so that, when placed alongside the other two coins in the series, the three coins together spell the composer’s full name.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, painting by Joseph Lange.
Larger than life: Not only the most revered composer of all time, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was the prototype musical genius who died far too young and became a legend in the aftermath. Showing no signs of fading more than two centuries since his death, the Mozart legend is celebrated in the third and final coin in the Austrian Mint’s “Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart” series. It consists of three silver issues bearing the titles “Wolfgang”, “Amadé”, and “Mozart”, each of which explores a different phase in Mozart’s short but prolific life, as well as one of his famous stage productions from that phase.
Emanuel Schikaneder, librettist of “Die Zauberflöte”, shown performing in the role of Papageno.
As in the case of some of the latter-day rock stars who died tragically young, the Mozart legend is not only a product of his undoubted creative genius, but also of his larger-than-life personality. Mozart’s phenomenal work ethic, extravagant lifestyle and flamboyant nature have been dramatized on numerous occasions; most famously in the play “Amadeus” by Peter Shaffer, which was later made into a hugely successful movie by Milos Forman, winning eight Oscars. Mozart died at the tender age of 35 in December 1791, just weeks after the premiere of his best-loved opera “The Magic Flute”, which was a popular triumph.
To learn more about this series and other products, please visit the Austrian Mint’s website.
Discovering Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is easy through the BBC radio archives.
Here you can listen to the probably most popular part of the Magical Flute: the Queen of the Night aria.
And here you watch a trailer of the Milos Forman Mozart movie.