May 12, 2016 – The Austrian Mint will issue on 11 May 2016 the second silver coin of the 3 silver coin set entitled “Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, A Life in Three Acts”, celebrating the musical genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The second coin titled “Amade” as he liked to be called, focuses on his adult life.
W. A. Mozart, Detail from a painting by Johann Nepomuk della Croce (c. 1781).
The obverse of the coin depicts a ¾ portrait of Mozart dressed in an elaborately embroidered jacket over one of his signature ruffled shirts. Mozart’s fine hair has been carefully sculpted by the engraver on the coin. The second name of Mozart’s three-part signature, “Amade”, is depicted overlaid on his right shoulder. This side of the coin was based on a portrait painted by Barbara Krafft in 1819, 28 years after his untimely death at the age of 35.
The new Mozart coin: Austria / 20 euro / .900 silver / 20g / 34mm / Design: Helmut Andexlinger, Herbert Wähner / Mintage: 50,000.
The obverse of the coin was designed and engraved by Austrian Mint engraver Herbert Waehner. It also bears the face value of 20 euros and the country of issue, “Republik Österreich”, the Republic of Austria, as well as the year of issue, 2016. The reverse of the coin depicts a scene from the opera, Don Giovanni. This opera is about a young man, a murderer and one who had little respect for the social mores of the time. Don Giovanni, (or Don Juan) refused to admit to his sins and so he ends up in hell. The opera premiered in Prague in 1787. This side was designed and engraved by mint engraver Helmut Andexlinger, and very successfully captures the minute details of the scene.
Mozart travelling through Europe
Mozart travelled a great deal early in his life, and thus was well-known and received in the various imperial courts of Europe. He was known in the cities of Paris, Mannheim, Munich, Prague, Strasbourg to name just a few cities he performed in.
At the court of the Prince-archbishop
He spent several years from 1773 as the music director of the court of the Prince-archbishop Colloredo of Salzburg, during which time he composed some violin as well as piano concertos. He had a very low salary and the prince often treated him very badly, even forbidding him to perform for the Emperor of Austria, which may have led to a better position with a much higher salary.
Between luxury and debts
Mozart was a restless man who lived grandly and well beyond his low salary and was often in debt. He regularly sold valuable items given to him by generous patrons as a means to help support himself and his wife. Deciding to become a freelance composer and performer he settled in Vienna. He undertook solo performances in halls around Vienna and enjoyed excellent returns from these concerts. This allowed him and his wife Constanze to enjoy their taste for an elaborate life style, including private school for their son and employing a household staff. During this time he composed mostly piano concertos. It was not until 1785 that he started a successful and productive collaboration on pieces with Lorenzo da Ponte.
The series of three silver coins is dedicated to his life, in three acts, as follows:
- September 9, 2015 – Wolfgang: The Wunderkind
- May 11, 2016 – Amadeus (Amadeus or Amadé): The Genius
- September 7, 2016 – Mozart: The Legend
The maximum mintage of each coin will be 50,000 and struck in only proof. Each 20 euro silver coin contains 18 grams of fine silver and is 900 fine and will be housed in a capsule and accompanied by an individual box, with a numbered certificate of authenticity.
A three-coin wooden collector case will also be available. Each coin well in the case will have an angled base allowing for an elegant viewing perspective. The wells are positioned so that all the 3 coins in the set will read Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
For more information on this coin please go to the Austrian Mint website.
This nice website gathers information from Wikipedia articles covering Mozart and his life and work.