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John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO A THEATER REVIEW IN THE GUARDIAN

 

While I loved the Miloš Forman movie, I do wish people would stop producing Amadeus.

The story is simply wrong in all its essentials and deserves to die a quiet death.

Salieri was not anything like the man the play portrays, and he most definitely did not kill Mozart or even attempt to do so.

Mozart almost certainly died as the result of poison administered in some food by the husband of a beautiful singer with whom Mozart had had an affair.

That is why his funeral was such a somber and insignificant thing and not Joseph II’s enlightenment rules about funerals.

As for Salieri, he was actually quite a significant composer in opera, although he fell out of favor with the public’s changing taste.

He admired Mozart’s work, and Mozart admired his talents which were widely regarded then as great.

He continued in music after retiring from opera and eventually fell victim to dementia for which he was committed.

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