In the Grove of Honor in Vienna's Central Cemetery, marble angels seem to listen to the music of the masters. They are surrounded by monuments to Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Wolf, Gluck and the Strausses.
But Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is not buried here with the others.
Despite a career in which he composed more than 800 pieces, including masses, operas and symphonies, he died penniless and his body was placed in an unmarked grave in St. Marx Cemetery.
There is a touching monument to him in St. Marx. An angel with a sorrowing face leans against a pillar with a broken top in a field of flowers where two paths intersect.
Two other composers, Schubert and Beethoven, were originally buried elsewhere, but their bodies were exhumed and moved to the Grove of Honor in Central Cemetery. However, the location of Mozart's grave in St. Marx is unknown, so his body could not be moved.
In 1991, the 200th anniversary of the composer's death, the hills of Austria will be "alive with the sound of music," to quote Oscar Hammerstein, as the nation pays tribute to the man who was a pet of emperors and kings as a child and a creative genius as an adult but died a pauper.
Amid the music planned for the occasion, visitors can discover the composer and the country's rich cultural history in the glittering surroundings of the cities in which he worked.
One can succumb to the magic of Salzburg, which straddles the banks of the Salzach ("Salt") River in the shadow of the fortress Hohensalzburg. And taste a bit of Vienna, home of the Sachertorte, that splendid layered chocolate creation guaranteed to make one put aside for the moment any thought of the calories it contains.
Travelers can soak in the spa at Baden, where Beethoven, Mozart and Johann Strauss soothed bodies tired from work at the keyboard, and visit Esterhazy and the house of Haydn, plus the church that holds his tomb.
There is much of Mozart in Salzburg. He was born Jan. 27, 1756, at Getreidegasse 9, where his family rented the third floor of the 15th century building. A clavicord he used in composing, a children's violin he may have played at age 4 and a Viennese-made grand piano are among the exhibits. There also are family pictures and a diorama of his operas.
The family then moved to larger quarters, now on Makartplatz. The building was damaged in a World War II air raid, but the music room has been restored and concerts are held there.
Mozart was christened Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus in the Cathedral of Salzburg; at home he usually was called Wolfgang. In later years he translated Theophilus into the Latin Amadeus and began signing his letters Wolfgang Amade.
At 5 he was composing little pieces, at 7 violin sonatas and at 8 his first symphonies. He conducted his compositions in the Residenz, home of Salzburg's archbishops, and performed with his father and sister in Mirabell Palace.
His father, Leopold, was a violinist and teacher who also composed music. His sister, Maria Anna, called Nannerl by the family and 4 years older than young Mozart, was a gifted clavier player who traveled with her prodigal brother on concerts through Europe. Mozart played the piano, violin and organ.
The Mozarteum, or Salzburg Music Academy, with its two large concert halls, will be one of the major sites for presentations of "1991 Mozart Live in Salzburg." In its garden is the restored summer house where Mozart is believed to have written "The Magic Flute." The building was moved to Salzburg from Vienna.
A statue of Mozart dominates Mozartplatz in Salzburg. Mozart busts are sold throughout the city. A specialty is Mozartkugeln, a pistachio-flavored marzipan dipped in bitter chocolate and wrapped in shiny foil printed with Mozart's picture.
Vienna, also brimming with Mozart bicentennial events, is a showplace of Gothic and Baroque splendor with its Schonbrunn, Belvedere and Hofburg palaces and churches such as St. Stephan's, Karlskirche and St. Michael's. It is a city of fine restaurants, antique shops, pastry and heuriger (or new wine gardens).
Schonbrunn is one of Vienna's finest showplaces. The "Versailles of the Hapsburgs" is 1,400 rooms of rococo extravagance, created by J.F. Fischer von Erlach as the summer residence of the imperial family.
When Wolfgang was 6, he and his sister performed there for Empress Maria Theresa and her family. Legend reports that the boy climbed onto the empress' lap and kissed her, then told one of her daughters that he would marry her when he grew up. Alas, she didn't wait or she might have been spared an infamous end. She was Marie Antoinette.
Although Mozart performed for royalty as a child, early in his adult life he was relegated to the role of a musical servant in the court of the Archbishop of Salzburg. He was fired in 1781 and moved to Vienna, where he blossomed as a teacher, conductor and composer.
He lived in the parish of St. Michael's Church when he came to the city. He married Konstanze Weber, the sister of an earlier flame and a young woman with a flirtatious eye and spendthrift ways.
They had several children, but only two lived past infancy. His first children were baptized in St. Michael's, situated opposite the Hofburg.
The Hofburg, which was the seat of government for the Austrian Empire, is a complex of buildings that houses the treasury and crown jewels of the Holy Roman and Austrian empires, apartments of Emperor Franz Josef and Empress Elizabeth, the cradle of Napoleon's son, plus a variety of jewel-encrusted relics. It also is the home of the Spanish Riding School with the performing Lipizzaner stallions.
Mozart died five minutes after midnight on Dec. 5, 1791, just seven weeks short of his 36th birthday. The next day, two men carried his plain coffin on their shoulders to St. Stephan's Cathedral for a funeral service, and from there a small procession headed for St. Marx Cemetery.
Because of the weather, only the bearers arrived at the cemetery and left the coffin in the mortuary chapel. The next day it was lowered into a common grave.
According to historical research, the widow Konstanze did not visit the cemetery until 1808, with the intention of placing a cross over the grave, but no one could say where it was.
There is a skull in the Mozart museum in Salzburg, presented to it in 1842 as the skull of the master, but there is a question concerning its authenticity.
The nation that buried Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in a pauper's grave has planned an extravagant musical tribute commemorating the 200th anniversary of his death. The 1991 events include:
In cooperation with the Mozarteum Orchestra, the Salzburg Landestheater will stage five Mozart operas from January to June and November to December. The Landestheater also will stage "Amadeus" during January, last performance Feb. 2.
Mozart Week events, Jan. 25 to Feb. 5, will include recitals, orchestral concerts and choir performances featuring international groups.
Six major Mozart operas are on the 1991 schedule for the famous Salzburg Music Festival July 26 to Aug. 31. Other special events include two ballets based on work by Mozart.
Hellbrunn Castle and park will be the setting for an Amadeus festival in June and a Hellbrunn festival in August. Concerts also will be held daily from April to October and occasionally from November to March in the Marble Hall of Mirabell Palace, where Mozart and his sister performed as children.
The 900-year-old Fortress Hohensalzburg overlooking the city will celebrate Mozart during July and August. Five of his operas will be performed in the charming Marionette Theater in January and from May to September.
"Mozart 1991 Live in Vienna" is the name of the tribute in the city where Mozart wrote his greatest operas, finest chamber music and symphonies. From May 10 to June 8 and Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, the Vienna State Opera will be host to performances of his major operas in the original languages: "The Abduction From the Seraglio" and "The Magic Flute" in German, the others in Italian.
In Vienna, which Mozart described to his father as "the best place in the world for my metier," one can cruise the Danube on boats named for Mozart or Strauss and take walking tours with professional city guides to places where Mozart lived and performed. At some of the places trios or quartets will play his music for visitors.
The Vienna Volksoper is offering his principal operas in German all year, usually on Thursdays except for a two-month break in the summer.
Vienna's Musikverien and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra will inaugurate Mozart 1991 in its Golden Hall on Jan. 13. A festival in the Musikverien, Jan. 23 to March 3, will present an overview of the composer's work.
The Konzerthaus in Vienna will stage its Mozart festival Nov. 24 to Dec. 21 with the rarely performed "Ascandio in Alba" and "Thamos in Egypt." An exhibition reflecting life during Mozart's years in Vienna will run until Sept. 15, 1991. A priceless collection of his handwritten scores will be displayed from Nov. 19, 1991, to Jan. 4, 1992.
All of Mozart's string quartets and piano sonatas will be performed during the summer in Schonbrunn Palace. Placido Domingo will sing there June 10 and Luciano Pavarotti on July 3. Five free open-air performances of "Don Giovanni" and "The Marriage of Figaro" will take place in front of Schonbrunn's Palace Theater.
Nineteen orchestral concerts and all 20 piano concertos Mozart wrote in Vienna will be presented June 27 to Aug. 31 at the Hofburg, residence of Austrian rulers since the 13th century.
Opposite the Hofburg, in St. Michael's Church, there will be a Catholic service with music by Mozart each Sunday at 10 a.m.
On Dec. 5, 1991, the 200th anniversary of Mozart's death, his last work, the Requiem, will be performed in St. Stephan's Cathedral with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
A listing of Mozart events, with ticket and tour information, can be requested from the Austrian National Tourist Office, 500 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y. 10110.