The Paris Journey

(1777 - 1779) W. A. Mozart travelled to Paris alone with his mother since the court had not given his father permission to leave Salzburg.

The trip's primary goal was to secure employment at one of the European courts. This wish was not fulfilled. Neither in Munich nor in Mannheim, although Mozart had a great deal of fun in Augsburg, where he met his cousin, Maria Anna Thekla, and became very good friends with her. Apart from his lack of money, Mozart had a wonderful time in Mannheim: he enjoyed the inspiring music played by the Mannheim Orchestra which was currently at its peak. The Archduke's refusal came six weeks later. They were delayed in continuing on to Paris since Mozart preferred to travel with the Webers, leaving his mother behind. He fell in love with Aloysia Weber at this time. The family was planning a journey to Italy and Mozart would have loved to join them. But his strict father in Salzburg was raging. He finally left for Paris with his mother at the end of March as a sacrifice to his father. His sojourn in Paris was unsuccessful. His mother became seriously ill during their stay and died. Mozart left Paris in September, returning to Salzburg via Mannheim and Munich.

In August 1777, Mozart resigned his Salzburg position and on 23 September ventured out once more in search of employment, with visits to Augsburg, Mannheim, Paris, and Munich. Since Archbishop Colloredo would not give Leopold leave to travel, Mozart's mother Anna Maria was assigned to accompany him.

Mozart became acquainted with members of the famous orchestra in Mannheim, the best in Europe at the time. He also fell in love with Aloysia Weber, one of four daughters in a musical family. There were some prospects of employment in Mannheim, but they came to nothing; and Mozart left for Paris on 14 March 1778 to continue his search. He fell into debt and took to pawning valuables. The nadir of the visit occurred when Mozart's mother took ill, and died on 3 July 1778.

While Wolfgang was in Paris, Leopold was energetically pursuing opportunities for him back in Salzburg, and with the support of local nobility secured him a better post as court organist and concertmaster. The yearly salary was 450 florins; but Wolfgang was reluctant to accept, and after leaving Paris on 26 September 1778 he tarried in Mannheim and Munich, still hoping to obtain an appointment outside Salzburg.

Mozart finally reached home on 15 January 1779 and took up the new position, but his discontent with Salzburg was undiminished.

The A minor piano sonata K. 310/300d and the "Paris" Symphony (no. 31) are among several well-known works from Mozart's time in Paris, where they were performed on 12 June and 18 June 1778.