The "royal privy council", consisting of counts and barons, used to gather in the Conference Hall, then also known as the Council Chamber. Here decisions were taken concerning the welfare of the population, with the sovereign as sole authority and head of a modern administrative system. The Conference Hall was the political heart of the Residenz. Art, too, was at the service of the repraesentatio majestatis, and music was present everywhere, as an integral part of the festive culture and court ceremonial. Musical soirées, held almost daily, could last for several hours. So not only musicians were necessary, but also composers, since new music had to be written for every festive occasion. They worked under high pressure – and one of these court composers was a certain Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Two archbishops are associated with him: Sigismund Schrattenbach, his patron as a child prodigy, and Hieronymus Colloredo, with whom he played chamber music. Here, at the age of six, Mozart gave his first concert at court, and many of his works – for instance his A major Violin Concerto K219 – were first performed here.
In those days, the music of this now esteemed, world-famous genius served as entertainment at all manner of festive occasions, and was regarded as extremely modern – though at the time probably often perceived merely as background music or fringe programme. For this reason, among others, he felt his position at the archiepiscopal court as servitude, and at the age of 25 he resigned his post in Salzburg and went to Vienna.
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