Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Australia. His father, Leopold, a musician at the Archbishop’s court, was a well-known composer. By the age of five, Wolfgang was writing little minuets and playing the harpsichord. His father taught him composition, counterpoint, and harmony. Because both Wolfgang and his sister were talented musicians, their father decided to take his two prodigies on a tour that included Paris, London, and Munich.
During their tour Mozart played at the Imperial Court and was called “ a little magician” by the Emperor (, p.1). A year later the Mozart family toured Germany, France, and England. Wolfgang, who at the age of eight wrote his first symphony, was admired by many. Four years later he wrote his first two operas at the age of twelve, and in 1769 the Archbishop of Salzburg appointed Wolfgang concertmaster at his court.
In the same year, Leopold and his son took several trips to Italy, where Wolfgang was able to “study opera in the place of its origin” (, p.1). There he wrote many concertos, sonatas, symphonies, serenades, as well as music for the church and chamber. After a few years of unhappiness at his position in Salzburg, Wolfgang returned to Vienna. While his stay in Vienna, Wolfgang fell in love and later married Constanze Weber.
His years in Vienna were considered his happiest. It was there that he composed The Abduction from the Seraglio, The Marriage of Figaro, and Cosi fan tutte, and wrote his famous last three symphonies, his finest piano concertos, and many other masterpieces. The beginning of his debt in 1788 affected his compositions, for many people found his latest music difficult and began to avoid his concerts.
In the summer of 1791 Mozart began suffering from fevers and severe headaches. However, he still managed to complete an opera called The Magic Flute. His last work, the Requiem (mass for the dead) was left unfinished. On December 4, 1791, “Mozart fell into a coma and died the following day” at the age of thirty-five ( p.149).
The movie Amadeus directed by Milos Forman was a very entertaining tale about the composer’s life. The film measures the life of the protagonist, Antonio Salieri, who has desired, since a child, to be a great composer. Salieri is very envious of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, for he realizes that “God has truly blessed Mozart” with the talent that he has always wanted (, p.4). Salieri becomes very obsessed with Mozart’s talent and soon begins to plot against Mozart in order to kill him.
Did Salieri actually murder Mozart as portrayed in the movie? No, he did not. Salieri’s involvement in Mozart’s death is a myth that followed after the death of Mozart. According to books written about the composer, it is prevalent that Mozart suffered from health problems ever since he was a child. Unfortunately Salieri, for a time, was actually believed to have killed Mozart. Salieri’s confession might have been a determining fact to many people, but his confession came years later in which he was in an insane asylum.
Many historians and physicians believe that Mozart did from a “sudden attack of rheumatic fever” which he suffered from as a child (, p.4). While working on Requiem, Mozart’s health greatly began to deteriorate. It was believed that on his final days, Mozart spoke about death to his wife Constanze. He believed that he was writing this “mass of the dead” for himself ( p.152). When his wife tried to talk him out of this fatal depression, Mozart said “no, no, I feel it too strongly, I won’t last much longer: surely I have been poisoned! I can’t free myself of these thoughts” ( p. 152). Constanze believed the work on the Requiem was too fatiguing for him, and “consulted a doctor” to take the “Requiem away from him” ( ,p. 152). His condition soon improved, yet this betterment did not last long. Shortly after “he sank into his previous depression, he became fainter and weaker, until he was obliged to take to his bed, from which, alas, he never rose again….” ( p. 152).
Mozart was completely conscious pending his illness. He was believed to have died