I'm walking across the bridge, going through the middle ages. I came to this city for Kafka, but I was going to find Mozart too. Sometimes the roads prepare surprises for you, this was one of them. I had to walk for nearly an hour for the villa where Mozart stayed when he came to Prague. Prague is such a small city that you can go everywhere on foot, and the road view is a bonus. I'm standing in front of a door, a closed door. Saying I guess it's lunch break, I go to the nearby park to wait. I take a walk in the park, listen to music and read about Mozart and Prague on my phone. Learning by living so well… This time I walk from the opposite side and circumambulate around the villa. The villa is still closed, there is no one coming and going, so I can't ask why it is closed. I don't want to go back, I want to go inside, at least into the garden, and I gather all my courage and knock on the door.
My door is being knocked. “Who at this hour?” I go towards the door. As soon as he opens the door, he comes in and asks, 'Aren't you ready? 'Can we not go out today, the plane shook me, I want to rest a bit.' I say it doesn't convince him. 'We'll come over for a coffee.' He says and convinces me. We say 'OK, let me get something on me' and rush out the door. On a cool Vienna evening, we take the subway and get off after three stops. I can't quite grasp what. When I see Cafe Mozart around the corner, I realize that I am in for a pleasant surprise. My heart is pounding but I can't understand why. Why, hadn't I already been to his city? I will find him the most, listen to the city. What was unexpected?
Having a coffee is a serious event in Vienna, I'm sitting and wanting a coffee. I can't help but look at the Albertina Museum standing in front of me. I take a breath and try to remember the words of the first aria that Mozart composed for Aloisa. Someone else wrote the lyrics, I'm not dwelling on the fact that you can't remember it. His words;
Non so d'onde viene Quel tenero forgiveto, Quel moto che ignoto Mi nasce nel peto, Quel gel che le vene Scorrendo mi va.
“I don't know where it came from
These pleasant feelings to my heart
This unknown feeling
covering my whole chest
This cold shudder
Spreading all through my veins"
The door opens, the cold shiver that permeates me on a hot afternoon in Prague. And an old man in front of me says 'here'. It's like my voice is escaping from excitement. I do not know what to say. 'Mozart,' I can say. The man laughs at me, wants to make a sweet joke that 'Mozart doesn't live here,' but I get upset. 'Can I walk inside,' I ask him. 'No, it's closed to visitors,' he says. I say 'if I only look at the garden from the door'. My insistence does not understand why and again I say 'Mozart'. As soon as the word 'Okay' comes out, I take a few steps into his mouth. A garden where he walks, a land on which he sets foot.
Mozart was running around the garden with shoes in his hand. Anna's shoes. “This is not a nice joke,” Anna said. Mozart had admired Anna all night and there was nothing he wouldn't do to get a kiss. On the other hand, Anna, the poor guy who was running after this thief he didn't know, to get his shoes, had to come in soon and look good. Mozart reached his goal and got his kiss. Heading in, Anna will soon meet him again, even if she doesn't want to. Anna first met the wife of Mozart, whom she admired. When I said I would like to get to know your wife, Mozart approached him, he realized that the thief who had just stolen his shoes was Mozart and…
I finished the book before I got here, but I brought it with me anyway.
“Wolfgang Mozart, in his thirties, young English soprano Anna Storace is born something forbidden to live. Because they are both married to other people. For them, the only place in the world where they can meet is the arias Mozart wrote for Anna to sing.”* he writes on the back cover of the book 'Vienna Waltz'. A voice intervenes. The waiter came and said 'your coffees'.
Our coffees and Vienna.
Mozart in Vienna.
What if there is no Mozart...
*Vienna Waltz, excerpt from Vivien Shotwell.