Mystery of Mozart’s death

19 Jun

Mozart deathWolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the musical wonder-child, began to give speeches for the European aristocracy and compose the first work in six years. After 30 years, at the zenith of popularity, he died after a short illness.

Even after several decades Sophie Hybl, younger sister of Mozart’s wife Constanza, well remembered the ominous prediction. On the first Sunday in December 1791 she was the kitchen preparing coffee for Mom. Before Sophie was in Vienna, visiting a sick brother-and returned home with news that he was better. Now, waiting to boil coffee, Sophie was gazing at the bright flame of the lamps and thought about her husband zanemogshem Constanta. Suddenly, the flame extinguished, “completely, as if the lamp never lit,” she later wrote. “On the wick there was not a spark, although it was not the slightest drafts – for this I can vouch for. Coerced into a terrible foreboding, she ran to her mother, who advised her to return immediately to the house of Mozart.

Constance met his sister was relieved. She said that Mozart spent a restless night, and asked her to stay. “Ah, dear Sophie, I’m glad you came – said the composer. – Stay with us today, to attend ‘for my death. ‚ÄúSince Mozart was his assistant Zussmayer, which the composer gave instructions for the completion of his last works – the requiem mass. They called the priest, and then a doctor, who ordered to put a patient’s forehead pylavschemu cold compresses. About an hour before midnight Mozart lost consciousness, he died on December 5, 1791 at 0.55. A former child prodigy and prolific composer did not live two months before his 36 birthday.

Constantly feeling need of money, most of the year Mozart worked feverishly on the completion of important contracts. Friends and relatives, he seemed nervous and worn too much work. Nevertheless, when he fell ill on Nov. 20, never occurred to me that this disease will be fatal. Her second husband, Georg Nikolaus Constanta Nissho listed the symptoms of malaise in the biography of the composer, published in 1828: “It started with swelling of hands and feet, and almost complete inability to move, followed by vomiting. This is called acute typhus fever. The diagnosis was confirmed in an official register of deaths registered in Vienna.

Mozart himself suspected that the dirty work. A few weeks before his death he said Constance, his poison with poison: “I gave” Aqua Tofani, and calculated the exact time of my death. ” Aqua-Tofana, slow-acting poison, odorless, based on arsenic, named for Julia Tofino, Italian witch XVII century, who devised the structure. Mozart decided that the “Requiem”, commissioned him to a mysterious stranger, is for his own funeral.

December 31, 1791 the Berlin newspaper reported on the composer’s death, putting forward suggestions as to its cause: “Because the body swelled after death, some believe that he was poisoned.” In an undated recording of Mozart’s eldest son Karl-Thomas remembers that his father’s body so swollen and the smell of decomposition was so strong that no autopsy was performed. Unlike most of the corpses, which are cold and lose their flexibility, Mozart’s body remained soft and elastic, like all poisoned.

But who needed the death of Mozart? The widow is not attached much importance to rumors of poisoning, and nobody suspected. Antonio Salieri, who was older than Mozart’s only In five years he was appointed court composer of Emperor Joseph II in 1774. He was 24 years old. When seven years had come to Vienna Mozart, the Italian was the leading musician in the Austrian capital, high tsenivshimsya apistokratami, and a favorite of demanding Viennese music enthusiasts. Salieri wrote a lot and easily. Later, among his pupils were Bethoveya, Schubert and Franz Liszt. But Mozart, he quickly saw a rival and a genius with a talent which he would never be matched. In the musical circles of Vienna, few doubted that Salieri was jealous of Mozart, but Mozart made no secret of his contempt for the court composer.

Salieri lived up to the day when in 1824, Vienna celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of his appointment as court composer. However, the year before he made a startling statement. In October 1823, one of Beethoven’s students named Ignaz Moskeles visited the aged Salieri in one of the suburban clinics.

Salieri, who could speak only fragmentary suggestions and was busy with thoughts of impending death, he swore to honor that, “this absurd rumor is not a word of truth, you know that I was accused of poisoning Mozart.” This is a vile slander, he said, shaken Moskelesu, “tell the world … the old Salieri, who would soon die, he said it to you. A month later, Salieri attempted suicide. Visited his people reported that he had hallucinations, associated with guilt in the death of Mozart, and he wants to confess his sin. A year later, a very esteemed court composer, died.

Italian biographer of Haydn, Giuseppe Carpani tried to save the honor of his compatriot. He found a doctor that has been accessed during the last illness of Mozart, and learned from him the diagnosis: rheumatism. If Mozart was poisoned with proof? – Ask questions Carpani. “It is useless to ask. Evidence was not there and find them impossible. ”

After the death of her husband Constanta sent his youngest son to take lessons from Salieri. When asked about the rumors regarding the fact that the court composer poisoned his father, the boy said that Salieri did not kill Mozart, “but truly poisoned his life intrigue.” Salieri himself was quoted as saying: sorry, that Mozart died so young, although other composers is a difference: he lived longer, “no living soul would not let a crust of bread for our work.”

A second suspect in the alleged murder was Franz Hofdemel, brother of the Masonic lodge, which consisted of the composer. His lovely young wife Magdalena was one of the last students, who took piano lessons from Mozart. A few days after the death of Mozart Hofdemel violently attacked his pregnant wife with a razor, maimed and disfigured her face, neck and hands, and then committed suicide. Magdalena survived and five months later gave birth to a child whose father is rumored, was Mozart.

The elder sister Maria Anna Mozart once remarked that her brother gave lessons to young women just when I was in love with them. A meticulous Ludwig van Beethoven for many years after the death of Mozart refused to play in the presence of Magdalena, because “between her and Mozart there was too close proximity.” However, the observations of contemporaries, and remains of Mozart’s letters indicate that he was deeply committed to Constance, and there was no evidence of his extramarital relationships. Finally, the Empress Marie-Louise has shown personal commitment to the tragedy of the Magdalen, that it hardly would have done if the stories about the paternity of the baby provided a shred of truth.

Soon after the death of Mozart appeared, and another rumor: the composer deserved punishment for having revealed the secrets of the Freemasons in the opera “The Magic Flute”. Premiere allegorical opera in Vienna on Sept. 30, 1791. He conducted himself Mozart, and opera was a huge success with critics and the public. Among the enthusiastic fans to Antonio Salieri, who was accompanied by Mozart for the next show and said – what Mozart wrote with pride of Constance – that He had never seen “a more beautiful setting.”

Despite the fact that “Magic Flute” could strike some members of the Masonic Lodge, the composer and his librettist Johann Emanuel Schikaneder used opera to convey messages of a secret society of courage, love and brotherhood among the general public. This topic is treated with sympathy, respect, and little bit of good humor.

Viennese Freemasons not only not offended by the opera, but also ordered Mozart cantata, which he jotted down a few days between the premiere of “The Magic Flute” and his deadly disease. A few days after the death of Mozart’s Grand Master of his lodge paid tribute to him as “the most beloved and worthy” of its members and called the composer’s death “an irreplaceable loss.” In 1792, the Viennese Freemasons organized setting cantata in favor of Mozart’s widow and his sons.

Because of Constanta on the death of her husband suffered financial difficulties, she chose the cheapest funeral, which cost can be estimated at $ 30. 7 December 1791 at 14.30, the body was taken to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, where a few following it – both believed, Salieri – heard in the side aisle blessing of the priest. It is believed that the rain and snow prevented the audience to hold the hearse to the cemetery of St. Mark, located about an hour’s walk from the cathedral. Why no one pointed out the place where the body was buried in a common grave. In fact, one of his contemporaries wrote in his diary that on 7 December was warm, though cloudy day. Later, referring to the fact that the church should have been put on the grave of her husband’s cross or a slab, Constanza did not raise a monument to Mozart. Only in 1859 the cemetery of St. Mark’s was erected a marble monument, about the accuracy of the location of which could only guess.

Medical investigation, mysterious death and hasty burial of Mozart were the subject of heated debate and speculation for two centuries. In 1966 a Swiss physician named Carl Baer posed by contemporaries of Mozart diagnosis of acute typhoid fever “amateurish and unprofessional. Based on the facts collected by a doctor, Thomas Mozart, Franz Kloss, Baer has suggested that he had rheumatism, acute non-infectious disease, with a painful inflammation of joints. In 1984, another physician, Peter J. Davis, published a more thorough analysis of the medical history of Mozart and his last illness.

In 1762, when six musician prodigy began giving concerts and composing music, he contracted a streptococcal infection of the upper respiratory tract. The consequences of such infections can occur in the months and even years. Later, the boy suffered from bouts of tonsillitis, was ill with typhoid, chicken pox, bronchitis and jaundice, or hepatitis A. In 1784, three years after his arrival in Vienna, the composer became seriously ill. Symptoms include severe vomiting and acute articular rheumatism.

Dr. Davis graduated from the analysis of diseases of Mozart’s conclusion that the death was caused by a combination of streptococcal infection, caught in the epidemic period, renal failure, caused by increased allergic sensitivity, known as Henoch’s syndrome, as well as a brain haemorrhage and fatal pneumonia. Dr. Davis noted that signs of kidney disease include depression, personality changes and delirium. This may explain the belief of Mozart that he was poisoned and that the unfinished “Requiem” is for his funeral.

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Posted by on June 19, 2010 in Historical


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