This is Part II of the ongoing guest post series, Solo in Salzburg. You can read Part I here.

Chapter III: Mickey Mozart

“Concerning the targets, if it is not too late, please do this for me. A small man with light hair, stooped over, revealing his bare arse. From his mouth come the words, good appetite for the feast. The other man should be shown with boots and spurs, a red cloak and a splendid, fashionable wig. He must be of medium height, and precisely in the position that he can lick the other man’s arse. From his mouth come the words: oh, there’s nothing to top that. So, please, if it can’t be this time, another time.”

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

These words were etched on a plaque below the Bölzlschiessen target depicting each of Mozart’s requests. Yes. All of them.
(Bölzlschiessen is a sport played indoors where decorated targets are shot at with darts using an air gun)

The Mozart monument at Mozartplatz

This facet always fascinated me about Mozart. He was a prodigy, a genius, an inventive mind unseen by mankind before, and since, his time. Yet here he was, using his creative juices to conjure up the perfect target to shoot darts at home. I appreciate that tales of his eccentricity and mischief weren’t lost through the years. He wasn’t just an assiduous composer. He had a sense of humour and personality I could relate to. A mad genius who cared for the minute details of his own entertainment as much as he did of his splendid compositions. It also comes as no surprise that his humour leaked into his compositions with the famous Leck mich im Arsch (literally, ‘Lick me in the arse’).

Anna Chromy’s Pieta inspired by Mozart’s Don Giovanni located outside Salzburg Cathedral

I snapped out of these thoughts as I caught myself staring at the unusual painted target for too long. The target was one of the many artefacts colouring the talents and personalities of all the members of the Mozart family. The Mozart Wohnhaus (‘Mozart Residence’), where I now stood was one of the two museums, the other being Mozart’s Geburtshaus (his birthplace), dedicated to Salzburg’s most famous family. Both museums house instruments, books, sheet music, personal belongings, clothes, jewellery, medicines, etc that guide you through the lives and work of all the members of the Mozart family. It gives a panoramic insight into the time of the Mozart family in Europe through the eighteenth century. In keeping with the theme of this blogpost, it was interesting to learn young Mozart spent a total of more than ten years on the road while travelling all over the continent for his famous concerts. How much do you bet he cursed his wanderlust at times?

Thankfully, photography is strictly prohibited inside both museums. Something I am an enthusiastic proponent for as it promotes patience and appreciation when looking at art, artefacts and architecture instead of taking a million quick photos of the same thing before moving on.

Once I left the museums, I never did really escape the omnipresence of Wolfgang. As I continued exploring the city, I kept crossing stores selling Mozart themed perfumes, pretzels, coffee, and of course, Mozartkugel, a popular chocolate candy. It slowly dawned on me how ingrained in Salzburg’s culture and economy the composer is. If Salzburg was Disneyland, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is its’ Mickey Mouse. And you cannot escape the Mouse when you’re in Disneyland.

A Mozartkugel store
Mozartkugel displays like this are a common sight throughout the city
Perfumes, pretzel, coffee make up some of the many Mozart themed goods you’ll find for sale around Salzburg

Funny then, once you are enlightened that Mozart spent most of his life trying to escape his birthplace for better opportunities and life in Vienna. I, now in a similar predicament, still had another eight hours before my train back to the Austrian capital and my cosy bed. The fatigue was catching up with me after touring both museums. I sat down with a rice bowl and a beer at Uncle Van, a popular Vietnamese joint. As I downed my brew, I empathised with Wolfgang, I’d rather be in Vienna too. What more could Salzburg offer?

Dipali_Bhasin

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