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Facts Surrounding The Demise of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was one of the greatest classical musicians of the 18th century, and his music is still beloved throughout the world today. He wrote many operas, such as Don Giovanni, that are performed throughout the world up to now, and his music has been sampled several times for use in movies, television, and other miscellaneous forms of entertainment. Much of his life and its events can be documented: we know that he was born in Salzburg, Austria, began composing by the age of five, worked throughout Europe all though his life, married Constanze Weber against his father’s wishes, and died in 1791. But the question is, how did he die?

No one knows the answer to this question for sure. An autoposy was never performed, as his body was never found, so instead people hypothesize. Some people say that he simply died of illness. However, others believe that it was no regular sickness: they claim that Mozart was poisoned. The most common suspect of his homicide was Antonio Salieri, another composer of his day who was regarded as talented but never earned anywhere near the fame that Mozart earned. He was present during the one of the last operas Mozart ever conducted, The Magic Flute, shouting out praise as every overture ended. Despite his obvious admiration for Mozart’s work, though, he was always somewhat jealous and viewed the other man as a rival. People have speculated that this could have been a motive for his alleged murder of Mozart, a way to exact his final revenge.

The movie Amadeus paints Salieri as Mozart’s killer, though they only explicitly state so once. During the beginning, when Salieri shown in a mental institution, Salieri says, “Mozart, Mozart, forgive your assassin! I confess, I killed you.” The movie also portrays Salieri as being the one who commissioned Mozart to write the Requiem, the last piece of music he wrote before his death. Unlike most theories of poisoning, however, the movie seemed to imply that Mozart fell ill because of all the work he was doing in trying to finish the Requiem. Because Salieri was the one who commissioned the Requiem to him, Salieri was thus his “murderer.” In reality, nobody truly knows if any of this is factual. Antonio Salieri may or may not have killed Mozart, but he may not have been the one who made him write the Requiem. Likewise, he may have been the one who commissioned him to write the Requiem, but he may not have been the killer. It is a mystery that remains unknown and may never be solved.

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Facts Surrounding the Demise of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. (2019, January 03). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 1, 2023, from
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