The city of Nuremberg owes its importance partly to its geographical position, which made it a significant centre for trade. In spite of considerable war damage, its old medieval city, now restored, remains as a monument to its importance in the late Middle Ages. By the 16th century Nuremberg had become a centre of trade and of artistic activity. In art it could boast the presence of Albrecht Dürer and in poetry Hans Sachs and the Guild of Mastersingers, later to be celebrated by Wagner.
The son of Leopold Mozart, the Deputy Kapellmeister at the court of the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had grown up at the archiepiscopal court, to be employed there, like his father, in a childhood and early adolescence interrupted by long concert tours as an infant prodigy. He excelled as a pianist, but was also a proficient violinist, and two of the three Violin Sonatas included here date from years in which he tried briefly to escape from Salzburg and find employment elsewhere, with the third written in 1781, when he was first establishing himself in independence in Vienna, where he was to die ten years later.
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