Who said: "The silence between the notes is as important as the notes themselves."

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

"The silence between the notes is as important as the notes themselves." - Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed over 600 works during his ridiculously short 35-year life (1756-1791). While you will almost certainly be familiar with his work, you may not know why he is known as Wolfgang Amadeus, when the baptismal records show he was christened as Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus!

This is why...

Joannes Chrysostomus is his saints name - given because he was born on January 27, which is the feast day of St John Chrysostom (a 4th century Archbishop of Constantinople).

Wolfgang was the name of Mozart's maternal grandfather. Like Chrysostom, it was adapted to Latin for the parish register.

Theophilus was the name of Mozart's godfather. It is Greek and translates either as "lover of God" or "loved by God". The equivalent in Latin is Amadeus, and in German Gottlieb. Mozart's father referred to his son as Gottlieb when writing to his publisher about Mozart's baptism; and there are many records of him being referred to by others as Wolfgang Gottlieb during his life, and by some early biographers after his death.

During his life his contemporaries appear to have referred to him as either "Wolfgang Amadeus" or "Wolfgang Gottlieb". Mozart himself was multilingual and used many variations on his name during his life, but his personal preference seems to be clear as Italian records from around 1770 indicate that he called himself "Wolfgango Amadeo"; and later in the 1770s, "Wolfgang Amadè". Perhaps most tellingly, on his wedding contract in 1782 he signed himself "Wolfgang Amadè Mozart".

It was after his death that the name "Wolfgang Amadeus" stuck. It was the name used to record his death in Vienna, and was also the name used by his widow in correspondence with the Emperor when petitioning for a pension. Some early biographers referred to him as "Wolfgang Gottlieb", but before long he had become firmly "Wolfgang Amadeus", despite the fact that during his life there is no record of him ever referring to himself as Amadeus, except in jest.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...
  • Book Jacket: Toms River
    Toms River
    by Dan Fagin
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction

    In Toms River, investigative journalist Dan Fagin ...
  • Book Jacket: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
    The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
    by Gabrielle Zevin
    I feel like Gabrielle Zevin wrote this wonderful book, about a lonely New England bookstore owner ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  170The Weight of Blood:
    Laura McHugh
  2.  143Happier at Home:
    Gretchen Rubin

All Discussions

Who Said...

A truly good book teaches me better than to read it...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.