Most everyone who knew Wolf during his lifetime, as well as many people since his untimely death, have at one point or another compared themselves to Wolfgang Mozart, and may have even decided they would do a better job with his gifts than he did. Or have less turmoil in their life than Wolf did. Or are just plain more deserving than Wolf was.
Well, you just might want to find out what his life was really like. No, most of the biographies that you read about him are intentionally misleading. They leave a lot out — and for good reason. For one, they are attempting to cover up the fact that he was not as bad a human being as he tends to be portrayed. (Nore was he a nice guy. Just not as bad as they say.) For another, they are attempting to keep control of a number of secrets about him — things the insiders don’t want the general public to know.
Why? Because some of our most revered musical establishments juar might end up going dark for good. Oh, and a monarchy or two might be turned upside-down. Little things such as that.
So what was a day in the life of Wolf really like? Well, musically-speaking we have a pretty good idea, from his letters and scores, and from the excellent documentation that accompanies them. But I think the quality of his personal life was another matter altogether.
For one, he was never able to just be a child. He didn’t grow up gradually as most people do. He was thrust into the limelight at a very early age. All of his relationships were based on his phenomenal gifts. He was not protected. He was exploited. He did not know whom to trust. In fact, there was no-one he could trust. Even his family members had agreed not to tell him about the fact that there was something truly unusual about his gift — something beyond their comprehension. Instead, they tried to pretend that he was just like them.
Somehow, I think they developed a way to maintain that illusion — and that was to systematically poison him from a fairly young age. I don’t know just how it started, but I do know his sister Nannerl became increasingly jealous of him as his fame climbed and hers diminished. I don’t know how far his Father Leopold was willing to go to keep Wolf under control. But I do think that his Mother, ignorant as she probably was of these terrible shenanigans, failed to protect him.
I also think that when he married Constanze she continued to do this, also in order to control him and make him vulnerable. Wolf said himself at one point that he felt as though he was being poisoned — I just don’t think he understood the subtlety with which it may have been done. When he died, there was no autopsy and no burial. This might explain why.
So, following my hypothesis, at every turn Wolf was accompanied by a controller, so to speak. An assassin, a Judas, pretending to be his friend. I don’t think he put things together until late in his life. Everything he wrote, everything he performed or conducted I think he did under a threat of imminent death.
Wolf did his best. Always. And he never complained.
Now, if I am correct, would you even want to spend one hour in his shoes?