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~RAMOPHONE

MAKING A MINT FROM MOZART Forget the nlusic, buy the nlerchandise

Mozart confectionary is big business in Austria and beyond (not to mention T-shirts, greetings-cards or mugs). One hundred years after the composer left Salzburg, master-confectioner Paul Furst coated balls of marzipan in a praline cream and dipped them in warm chocolate. Thus was born the Mozartkugel.

Mirabell, one of the leading manufacturers of Mozart bon-bons, in 2004 produced around 90 million Mozartkugeln. I f all the Mozartkugeln ever created by that company (some 1.5 billion) were linked, they would circle the earth. Would Mozart have approved of such blatant commercialisation of his name and talent? Who knows? But he certainly wasn't averse to chocolate, which takes centre-stage in Cosi fan tutte when Fiordiligi and Dorabella's maid, the headstrong Despina, serves cups of hot chocolate to her abandoned mistresses. 'Per Bacco, vo ' assaggiarlo', she rebelliously declares - 'By Bacchus, I'm going to taste it '!

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