“Amadeus” and Mozart: Setting the Record Straight By A. Peter Brown “For the respect his works have commanded of musicians, and the popularity they have enjoyed among wider audiences, he Is probably the most admired composer In the history of Western music. ” With this appraisal the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, published in 1980, begins its magisterial article on Beethoven. More than a decade later one might not apply this statement to the Teutonic Goliath but to the David of Mozart.

Not only is this year (1991) the bicentennial of Mozart death, it also comes at a time when his pristine classical image has become the preferred taste over Beethoven’s more extroverted expression. Turn your channel to PBS, where Hugh Downs or Peter Sustain is narrating a Mozart special. Turn to one of the commercial channels, and Mozart Piano Concerto K. 466 and “Little” G Minor Symphony K. 183/17th are selling Macintosh computers, Don Giovanni gives class to Cheer laundry detergent, The Marriage of Figaro hawks the Sirocco automobile, the Requiem’s Lachrymose seemingly sanctifies Lee Jeans, and another piano concerto (K. 82) perks Maxwell House coffee. The recovery of a Mozart symphony, even If lavender, receives front-page coverage from The New York Times. Dealers and collectors will go to any extreme for a piece of the action; Mozart autographs sell at the same prices as fine paintings, and dealers in one case dismembered the “Entreated” Serenade K. 185, retailing it piecemeal for greater profit. The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni now rival the box-office receipts of La Bohemia and Madame Butterfly.

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This popularization of Mozart did not come from the opera houses or concert halls its most direct beneficiaries but from the stage and screen. More than any other factor, the Mozart mania of the sass was Initiated by Peter Shaffer play Amadeus. It and the subsequent film directed by Mills Forman did more for Mozart case than anything else in the two hundred years since the composer’s death. Amadeus ran In London, Washington, and New York and was translated Into German and Hungarian, among other languages, as It entered the repertoire of the Breather in Vienna and the Minimize Zinnias in Budapest.

Shaffer continually revised the stage version with, in his words, “a nearly obsessive pursuit of clarity, structural order, and drama…. One of the faults which I [Shaffer] believe existed in the London version was simply that Saltier has too little to do with Mozart ruin. ” For the film version, Shaffer and Forman again revised the script, not only for the new medium but also for a larger and less-sophisticated audience. Both men agreed that we were not making an objective “Life of Wolfgang Mozart. ” This cannot be stressed too strongly.

Obviously, Amadeus on the stage was never Intended to be a documentary biography of the composer and the film Is even less of one.. . But we are also blatantly claiming the grand license of the storyteller to embellish his tale tit fictional ornament, and above all to supply It with a climax whose sole allocations need be that It enthrall his audience and emblazons his theme. Even more so than on the stage, the film translated what could be accepted as compelling ere caveats published with the stage play were never imprinted on celluloid; fiction Nas never segregated from truth.

Amadeus centers on the deep me. Y of the imperial court composer Antonio Saltier of Mozart godlike gifts as a composer. Despite Mozart uncouthness and immaturity, he produced one work after another that seemed divinely sponsored as they transcended his own personality. He was beloved of God truly befitting the name “Amadeus. ” Both the play and the film concern themselves with the most significant decade in the composer’s life, beginning with his dismissal from the service of the Archbishop of Salisbury in 1781 until his death ten years later.

During this time Mozart resided in Vienna and became a composer free from the daily obligations of court appointments, but encumbered by the quest for financial stability. In this decade Mozart composed a large number of works astonishing for their quality. Amadeus sets much of its action at the Viennese court in order to focus on Galleries rivalry with Mozart. Though some of its situations might be plausible, much of it is an almost surrealistic distortion of court life and the life of Knolling Amadeus Mozart.

Today, more than seven years after the film’s release, musicologists are still asked about Wolfgang, Constance, and Leopold Mozart, the Emperor Joseph II, and Antonio Saltier. Were they really like that? In this “the Mozart Hear” of 1991, it is time to review this portrayal of a cultural icon in order to begin setting the record straight. “Fictional ornament” understates the gulf between what Nas the invention of the authors and historical truth. No doubt both Shaffer and Forman knew the facts of Mozart biography and were even familiar with some of the historical controversies.

Their metamorphosis of Mozart life was analogous to Dad Pone’s transformation of Benchmark’s play The Marriage of Figaro into an operatic libretto: the length was made to fit the time frame of the medium, the number of characters was reduced, and the situations streamlined and combined. Ret, the settings and motivations of the characters might still be recreations of eighteenth-century life. If Shaffer and Forman had accomplished or even intended his goal, much of the power of their film would have been diminished for today’s audience.

Motivations, goals, and feelings, or at least the way they were expressed and retained by men and women of Mozart day, would have been decidedly different from ours. For example, Wolfgang and Constance Mozart had six children brought to full term, and only two survived into adulthood, a ratio common for the time. If their reaction to the death of each child were on the same scale as the reaction to a child’s death in the sass, they would have been in an almost perpetual state of mourning during the decade of their marriage.

Obsessively Jealous resonantly Though titled Amadeus, it is the character of Antonio Saltier (1750-1825) “ho remains at the center of Shaffer work. Saltier held high posts in the Viennese Imperial musical establishment from 1774 until 1824. In his last years he suffered from senility. Among the rumors circulating in Vienna around 1824 was one saying that Saltier had said he poisoned Mozart. The tale reached Beethoven and many others.

In 1825 Galleries two attendants attested that they had never heard such Norms from their charge, and a friend of Mozart physician reported that Wolfgang had died of a fever that was epidemic at that time in Vienna. From an unproved premise Shaffer developed this, the central character in Amadeus, as one obsessed the rumors flame by endorsing it; she also believed that Saltier had plotted against her husband. But it is more likely, if any hot hostility even existed, that Saltier was protecting his own turf within the imperial establishment.

If a court cabal had been so powerful and Saltier so maniacal about preventing Mozart success, neither The Abduction from the Seraglio, nor The Marriage of Figaro and Coos fan tutee would have been composed for or performed in the court theaters. In addition, Saltier Mould certainly not have shared a double operatic bill at the Suchöunborn palace with Mozart in February 1786 if such bad blood existed between them. Furthermore, Mozart did receive a court appointment as Ecumenicists in December 1787 and at the time of his death was to be appointed Experimentalist at SST. Stephens Cathedral.

Saltier even attended a performance of The Magic Flute on October 13, 1791, reportedly visited Mozart the day before he died, and, according to one account was mourner at the funeral on December 6. If Saltier had been an obsessively Jealous personality, as shown in Amadeus, there would have been many opportunities to Observe it. As court composer and later imperial Experimentalist he taught many gifted students. Beethoven studied with him the setting of Italian texts, and Saltier early on recognized Schubert special gifts: “That one knows everything; he composes operas, songs, quartets, symphonies and whatever you will. In June 1816 the revered Experimentalist celebrated fifty years in the service of the emperor, which prompted Schubert to enter a private and honest tribute in his diary: It must be fine and inspiring for a musician to have all his pupils gathered about him, to see how each trivets to give of his best in honor of the master’s Jubilee, to hear in all their compositions the simple expressions of Nature, free from all that eccentricity which tends to govern most composers nowadays, and for which we are indebted almost Unholy to one of our greatest German musicians [Beethoven].

That eccentricity confuses and confounds, without distinguishing between them, tragic and comic, sacred and profane, pleasant and unpleasant, heroic strains and mere noise; it engenders in people not love but madness; it rouses them to scornful laughter instead of lifting up their thoughts to God. To have banned these extravagances from the circle of his pupils, and to have kept them, instead, at the pure source of Nature must be the greatest satisfaction to a musician who, following in Cluck’s steps, seeks his inspiration in Nature alone, despite the unnatural influences of the present day.

Ansell Wattenberg reported that Saltier always spoke of Mozart “with exceptional respect,” and the two composers were on friendly enough terms so that Saltier would loan Mozart scores from the court library. Apart from Constancy’s remark, there exists no independent evidence to conclude that Saltier and Mozart were on bad arms. On the contrary, their relationship may have been a healthy professional one.

According to the film, the basis of Galleries Jealousy was his desire, while still a boy in Italy, to become “a great composer like Mozart. ” That Saltier in old age doubts his confessor’s aphorism that “all men are equal in God’s eyes,” by comparing himself again to Mozart is a stroke of dramatic brilliance. But the idea, postulated around 1760 by an Italian youth, of a “great composer” is a concept nearly a half-century ahead of its time and almost entirely a nineteenth-century Teutonic idea. In

Amadeus, all that remains of the historical Saltier are his posts as court composer never achieved historical greatness, he was rightfully a highly respected and successful composer whose ability to provide operas for the court and to administer its musical establishment cannot be questioned. In contrast, Galleries music performed in Amadeus is simpleminded and unworthy of his true abilities. There is no question that Mozart improvisational and performance skills were exceptional; Galleries remain unknown.

However, by showing Saltier as a barely competent musician, the disparity of musical talent is deepened, thereby furthering Shaffer aromatic plan. Galleries music may never have achieved immortality, but it was always correct, skillful, and appropriate. Characters on the periphery Galleries employer, the Emperor Joseph II, also receives condescending treatment at odds with what we know of him. Shaffer and Forman portray the emperor as naive and as a poorly trained musician; his struggle through Galleries easy little march drives this point home.

If anything, Joseph II was a musical sophisticate and practitioner of a rather high order. The emperor attended to and participated in the management of his theaters and made time nearly every evening for chamber music n which he often took an active part either on the cello or at the keyboard. During his punier years, he was a student of Wendell Uranium Brick (1718-63), and in 1762 he played the organ for a litany by Johann Atoll Hawse that was composed expressly to be performed by the imperial family. Josephs reaction to Mozart Abduction from the Seraglio was “too many notes. Today, we regard this opinion as inappropriate, but it was widely shared during the eighteenth century by both connoisseurs and amateurs. Mozart six string quartets dedicated to Haydn were regarded by many as unfathomable and unplayable, for there were “too many wrong notes. Some dissatisfied customers returned the parts to Mozart publisher Arterial. Shaffer archbishop of Salisbury, Hieronymus Colored, is Joseph Sis’s political and philosophical antipode; in Amadeus Joseph wanted to infuriate the archbishop.

In fact, the election of Colored after the death of Sigmund Christopher Scratching Nas a marked change toward Josephine ideals in Salisbury. Charlatanism’s reputation as benevolent and Coldness’s as imperious and difficult have stemmed mainly from the Mozart family correspondence. Judging the archbishop or anyone else on the basis of the Mozart family’s opinions is to Judge them from a heavily eased source, whose central interest was to have both secure employment and the freedom to travel. Colored demonstrated enlightenment views and actions during his term of office, and Scratching showed benevolence toward the Mozart.

He has been described by Palomar Brashness as a “crotchety, capricious bigot who professed great piety and would have been better as a children’s priest than as bishop. ” Mozart mother had died in Paris in 1778, and his wife’s father died in Vienna in 1779. Shaffer and Forman cleverly focus the personalities of the surviving parents with parallels from Don Giovanni and Die JabbererГ¶et: Leopold Mozart comes the Commendatory, accompanied by that figure’s dark harmonies, and Maria Cecilia Weber becomes the Queen of the Night.

Mozart described Frau Weber to his father as a very difficult person, so the analogy to the Queen of the Night becomes a highly suggestive characterization. Thus, Amadeus presents Constancy’s mother, as far as we know, in generally accurate terms, even though in the film she In contrast, Leopold Mozart completes with Saltier, Wolfgang, and Constance the quartet of Shaffer main characters. His relationship to the Commendatory is one based on the surface meaning of the title and bears little other resemblance to the hearted in Don Giovanni, who dies preserving his daughter’s honor.

Leopold is also protective, but in the sense of a meddler and harsh Judge of his son. Shaffer Introduction of Leopold as an unexpected visitor to Vienna is not the actual setting in Inch he first met Constance; the couple had, in fact, traveled to Salisbury in late 1783 for a family reunion that many have supposed to have not been the most pleasant of visits. In fact, Amadeus collocates the spirit of the 1783 stay in Salisbury Ninth Loophole’s 1785 visit to Vienna and with the circumstances of Mozart economic problems of the later sass.

Loophole’s entry into the Viennese apartment, his observation of wine glasses and dishes from the previous night, his discovery of Constance still in bed, and his accusatory questions don’t you have a maid, how is {Our financial situation, they say you have debts, do you have students, and, to Constance, are you expecting signal more today’s folkways of upright living than those of a successful eighteenth-century free-lance musician in Vienna. If the questions are not quite right, the message they send to twentieth-century men and Omen about Leopold is clear enough.

No doubt a letter Leopold sent to the earners von Halogenated in Vienna was a central source for the Amadeus character: ‘When I was a young fellow I used to think that philosophers were people who said little, seldom laughed and turned a sulky face upon the world in general. But my own experiences have completely persuaded me that without knowing it I must be a philosopher. ” In contrast, when Leopold actually did visit his son from February 11 to April 25, 1785, Wolfgang was in the midst of high popularity and was financially successful. During the period of Loophole’s visit, Mozart gave six subscription concerts

February 11, 18, 25, March 4, 11, and 18); Joseph Haydn visited on February 12 for a reading of the first three of the six quartets that Wolfgang dedicated to him and told Leopold that his son was the greatest composer he knew in person or by reputation. On February 13, Mozart played his Piano Concerto K. 456 at the Breather; February 15 again another Concerto K. 466 at the same house; February 21 performed for Count Chichi; March 10 gave another concert at the Breather; March 13 and 1 5 the Musicians Society (Tone;nestle SocietyГt) performed Mozart oratorio

Divide Penitent at the Breather; March 20 Mozart was probably booked for Anna Storage’s concert; April 2 performed all six of the “Haydn” Quartets at the residence of Baron Weather von Plastering; and April 24 the Freemason Cantata K. 471 was heard at the lodge “Cur Interact. ” All this was heady stuff for his father. Not even the tours the family made during the sass and sass could compare with such activity, and the money Mozart earned in this time was several times Loophole’s yearly salary.

His father’s reaction was, for this old trouper, uncharacteristic: “We never get o bed before one o’clock and I never get up before nine. We lunch at two or half past. The weather is horrible. Every day there are concerts; and the whole time is given up to teaching, music, composing and so forth. I feel rather out of it all. If only the concerts were over! It is impossible for me to describe the rush and bustle. Since my arrival your brother’s appropriate has been taken at least a dozen times to the stands under the instrument and is about two feet longer and extremely heavy.

It is taken to the Mulberry every Friday and has also been taken to Count Chichi’s and to Prince Sanity’s. After Leopold departed from Vienna, he never saw his son again. Mozart relationship with his father was more ambivalent than Amadeus ever allows. Wolfgang view of his parent was trifocal, with distinctly different and conflicting feelings. There was the father of his early years, who viewed his son as a ‘god-given miracle” and devoted himself to his education in music (violin, keyboard, and composition) and other branches of learning.

Leopold not only fathered him, but also nurtured him in every other way. These early years must have fostered Analog’s fondest feelings. But the young Wolfgang was a pliable person, and Leopold was always in control as he directed tours to Paris, London, twice to Vienna, and three times to Italy. During Wolfgang early twenties, this relationship was affected in two ways: Leopold could no longer leave Salisbury for extended tours with his son, due to the archbishop’s requirements for his residency, and Wolfgang was becoming less of the accommodating youth and more the headstrong adult.

If Leopold could no longer share the glory, perhaps Wolfgang was no longer so glorious. Leopold hardly trusted his son, and while Wolfgang was in Paris and other locations, spies reported to him on his son’s activities. The goal of this Parisian tour was to find an appointment for Wolfgang, which was never forthcoming. But the trip revealed Analog’s weakness for women and an inability to manage his money. The supreme blow was the death of his mother, from which the father-son relationship never recovered; Leopold blamed Wolfgang for her death.

After this taste of freedom from his parents and Salisbury, it became Wolfgang overriding desire to make the break from the home turf. Being literally kicked out the door from the employ of the archbishop may have liberated Wolfgang, but at the same time it further isolated Leopold, who wanted Wolfgang to return to Salisbury, for he did not believe him capable of independence and self-management. Leopold viewed Wolfgang not having a court appointment as a recipe for personal disaster, since he felt that the Viennese public would eventually tire of him and that Wolfgang was incapable of managing himself.

In addition, more than Leopold, the archbishop and the local musicians drove Mozart from Salisbury; the city also lacked a venue for a composer disposed toward opera. Lastly, there was the wunderkind factor, from which Knolling could certainly never escape as long as he remained in his birth city; everyone recognized him as “the little miracle” and not the young gifted man he was by the mid-sass. Even though “next to God was Papa,” after Wolfgang had established himself in Vienna and married Constance, the struggle for total independence was essentially won.

Wolfgang was certainly not as clever as Leopold in controlling others for one’s own purposes; but Loophole’s management style left its residue and may have made it more difficult for Wolfgang to gain the sort of appointment Leopold desired for him. Already in 1769, Johann Adolph Hawse raised a flag: “The said Gig. Mozart is a very polished and civil man, and the children are very Nell brought up. The boy is moreover handsome, vivacious, graceful and full of good manners; and knowing him, it is difficult to avoid loving him.

I am sure that if his development keeps due pace with his years, he will be a prodigy, provided that his eulogies; that is the only thing I fear. ” And again in 1771: “Young Mozart is certainly marvelous for his age, and I do love him infinitely. The father, as far as I can see, is equally discontented everywhere, since here too he uttered the same lamentations. He dollies his son a little too much, and thus does all he can to spoil him; but I have such a high opinion of the boy’s natural good sense that I hope he will not be spoilt in spite of the father’s adulation, but will grow into an honest fellow. In December of the same year the Empress Maria Theresa advised her son Ferdinand, governor of Milan, and underlined further concerns: “You ask me to take the young Sulzberger onto your service. I do not know why, not believing that you have need of a composer or of useless people. If however it would give you pleasure, I have no wish to hinder HOLD. What I say is intended only to prevent your burdening yourself with useless people and giving titles to people of that sort. If they are in service it degrades that service when these people go about the world like beggars. The name Mozart may Nell have already acquired its own unenviable reputation when Wolfgang was searching for a new post in 1777-78. To have cast Loophole’s Janis-faced black carnival mask as both the Commendatory and the messenger who commissioned the Requiem is another example of Shaffer theatrical brilliance; however, there is no basis for believing that at any time Mozart thought of this composition for his father’s memory. It was ordered by Count Wallets-Chutzpah for his wife, and he pawned it if as his own composition, a common practice of his. L love her and she loves me” If Leopold was “next to God” in Wolfgang world, his wife Constance must have been somewhere in the same constellation; she was the mechanism by which he was able to display and enforce his independence, a point well made in Amadeus. At the same time, the portrait of her as an “air-head” willing to participate in Wolfgang Juvenile dermal games involving coprolite, saprophytic, and sexual overtures in the Salisbury archbishop’s Vienna residence prior to a musical academy and reception seems beyond imagination.

Again the chronology is adjusted for Shaffer and Formant’s purposes; he could not have been cavorting with Constance until after his break with the archbishop and certainly not under the eye of Saltier. If we can believe Mozart own words, he presents a different sequence of events to his father: “One thing more must tell you, which is that when I resigned the Archbishop’s service, our love had not yet begun. It was born of her tender care and attentions when I was living in their house. ” In the end, we know little about Constance.

The negative aspects of her character probably derive from Leopold and Mozart sister, Manner. From her conduct as a widow, Constance must have had considerable musical and business acumen; she did much to further her deceased husband’s as well as her own reputation. The accusation in premising literature that she was neither worthy of her husband’s genius nor understood it is patently unfair; this charge could have been leveled at any person Wolfgang might have married. Arthur Securing, in the only book devoted to her, said she was “petty, narrow-minded, vain, greedy, superstitious, and gossipy. To anyone who has read the Mozart family correspondence, all of these adjectives could Just as well be applied to her in-laws. The most complete description of Constance comes from a not unbiased source: Wolfgang himself, who before their marriage was trying to persuade Leopold of her attributes: “But before I cease to Constance. She is not ugly, but at the same time far from beautiful. Her whole beauty consists in two little black eyes and a pretty fugue. She has no wit, but she has enough common sense to enable her to fulfill her duties as a wife and mother.

It is a downright lie that she is inclined to be extravagant. On the contrary, she is accustomed to be shabbily dressed, for the little that her mother has been able to do or her children, she has done for the two others, but never for Constance. True, she Mould like to be neatly and cleanly dressed, but not smartly, and most things that a Oman needs she is able to make for herself; and she dresses her own hair every day. Moreover she understands housekeeping and has the kindest heart in the Nor. I love her and she loves me with all her heart. Tell me whether I could wish myself a better wife? Finally, Shaffer and Forman imply that Constance may have been unfaithful while she was in Baden for extended cures. It has been proposed elsewhere that she had an affair with Mozart purported pupil and copyist, Franz Caver S;smart, who was also in Baden during some of this time. As part of the argument some writers have pointed out that after Mozart death her health seems to have returned and remained good. But it should be noted that she was never again pregnant. It has also been suggested that their son, born on July 26, 1791, named Franz Xavier Wolfgang, may have been S;summary’s.

This hypothesis is also untenable, for Franz Xavier Wolfgang carried his legitimate father’s most distinctive genetic mark: a misshapen left ear. In the end, the evidence does not support a negative view of Constance. Criticism comes chiefly from those not well disposed to her and from a male-biased musicological community. Granted, Constancy’s alteration of family letters has certainly irritated scholars and raised suspicions about her motivations, but that is applying twentieth-century views of biography to the more protective one of earlier times.

Perhaps Constance is best compared to another woman in Mozart life, his mother, Anna Maria Walrus Pertly. We know little about her, but from what we do know, both in ability and proclivity, she might be he most viable parallel. Both women were able to act with propriety for the circumstances, yet maintain a great degree of anonymity. An ordinary mind and silly ;ekes Amadeus’ most controversial portrait is that of Wolfgang himself. How does one characterize an unexplainable phenomenon?

While the problem for many lesser composers of Heyday’s and Mozart age is a lack of personal documentation, for Mozart and his family there is a plethora, including diaries, extended letters, notices and reviews in the press, and memoirs, as well as catalogs and autographs of the music itself. Yet, in a perceptive essay Alan Tyson asks: “What do we really know of Mozart or what can we know of Mozart? ” Just how much does this bountiful documentation open to us the mind of a musical savant? Does the biography support the music, or is there no relationship between the man and the art?

To the last question Shaffer would give a resounding “No. ” Shaffer Wolfgang, in the words of his Saltier, was “a giggling dirty-minded creature. ” And as Shaffer Saltier wonders about the “miraculous” nature and “sublimity” of the music, the dichotomy of the man and his music deepens. Thus, an implied but central question in Amadeus is: a relationship of Mozart personality to his artistic products exist? Such a time the prerequisites for a composer were neither genius nor the assertion of an individual artistic personality.

Rather, it was a question of craftsmanship and the ability to provide new music appropriate to an occasion. A lexicon of musical ideas existed, designed and accepted for certain types of expression. A composer could select from this bank and create a musical product fully comprehensible to his audience. Mozart was able to manipulate this vocabulary both technically and effectively so as to create new depths of expression. It is within the essential style of the eighteenth century’s last decades that Mozart operated. Thus, one should not be surprised that the man and the music may not have been congruent.

Caroline Richer, a Epidermis woman of letters, observed: “Mozart and Haydn, whom I knew Nell, were men in whose personal intercourse there was absolutely no other sign of unusual power of intellect and almost no trace of intellectual culture, nor of any scholarly or other higher interests. A rather ordinary turn of mind, silly Jokes and in he case of the former, an irresponsible way of life, were all that distinguished them n society; and yet what depths, what worlds of fantasy, harmony, melody and feeling lay concealed behind this unpromising exterior. The Saltier of Amadeus, when confronted with Mozart autographs, remarked on seeing no corrections in the scores: “It is miraculous. ” Such an observation is also not quite correct. While Mozart, like any composer of his time, had the craft to produce works with unusual rapidity, there were a number of false starts and compositions left in progress over a period of one or two years. For some compositions sketches survive, and one must believe that these were more common than the number of extant examples indicates.

Regarding the six quartets dedicated to Haydn, Mozart acknowledged in the letter that prefaced their publication: “They are, indeed, the fruit of a long and laborious study. ” When Shaffer Wolfgang tells Schneider that The Magic Flute is all in his ‘noodle” and Just needs to be written down, this is something less than a half-truth. Certainly, the concept and much of the composition may have already been formulated; the act of setting the notes on paper certainly engenders changes.

For operas, once the rehearsals began, all sorts of revisions might occur to accommodate both the drama and the cast. The ideas about eighteenth-century opera that Shaffer presents in Amadeus in some cases are accurate and in others are miscarriages of history. For example, the creation of an opera began with the selection of a subject. Rhine a poet was commissioned to prepare the text, and lastly a composer was hired Ninth the expectation that he would tailor the arias to the already engaged singers. To present the court with an already completed opera was not correct protocol.

Thus, in Amadeus the director of the Imperial Opera, Franz Xavier Rossini-Rosenberg, was only expecting the normal practice when he expressed wonderment at Mozart presumptuousness in selecting a libretto, particularly of a drama in this case Figaro already forbidden to appear on the stage. Amadeus also makes the point that The Abduction from the Seraglio is special because it is Turkish and takes place in a harem; such a setting was not unusual, and in fact Mozart had previously worked on fragment known to us as Aside with a similar location.

When Mozart tries to make the case for The Marriage of Figaro as an opera, he is arguing for the genre of the pear buffo as opposed to opera series, as if opera buffo were something totally the Viennese theaters with great success. When he compares the stiffness of a ‘Hercules” (that is, an opera-series-type character) to the comic lightness of a ‘Hairdresser” (that is, Figaro himself), he finds the “Hairdresser” much more appealing. This had already been acknowledged by Viennese audiences through the success of Paisley’s Barber of Seville, to which The Marriage of Figaro was a sequel.

Opera series is portrayed as a dead genre in the sass; according to words placed in Mozart mouth, it “chits marble. Such an idea about opera series was fostered by German musicologists needlessly trying to elevate further Mozart position on the historical horizon as the first German master of a new genre, opera buffo. Mozart last opera, The Clemency of Titus, also was an opera series; it continued to breathe Nell into the nineteenth century, as testified by the popularity not only of Titus but of later representatives of the genre by such Italian composers as Marry, Rossini, Tendonitis, Beeline, and Verdi.

In Amadeus, Mozart speech to the emperor on the great finales in Figaro, pointing to their length, absence of recitative, and the accumulation f characters from a duet to the entire cast, is purported to be a new idea. In fact, it comes from his librettist Lorenz dad Point. However, dad Point wrote this as a description of what the audience demanded, and, regardless of its dramatic viability, it had to be. Even the reception of Figaro is altered for dramatic purposes; Amadeus views it as a failure.

In truth, the emperor had to forbid encores so that performances of an already lengthy opera would not continue without end. Lastly, one must take issue with the way the operatic performances themselves were led. In Amadeus both Saltier and Mozart conducted their operas in the manner to which today’s audiences are accustomed. Such was not the case in the eighteenth century; conductor responsibilities were divided between the concertmaster, who was responsible for the orchestra, and the keyboardist, who was in charge of the vocal forces and played supporting role for the orchestral music.

For the first several performances of an opera, the composer directed from the harpsichord or appropriate with a few leading gestures aimed at the singers. “Young and clean-minded Mozart” A primary issue in both stage and screen versions is Mozart behavior: his cavorting Ninth Constance in a public room of a noble residence, his use of inappropriate language, his excessive drinking, his lack of respect for the emperor and archbishop, his public parody of Saltier, his high self-opinion, and his general insensitivity to propriety.

That which took place in view of the Salisbury archbishop and the emperor Mould have resulted in banishment from court or worse. Even though protocol had been loosened during the reign of the “people’s” emperor, it is almost unimaginable that anyone would tell Joseph II that something he said was “absurd. ” Again, the exult would have meant that none of the Viennese operas would have been commissioned or composed and that no venue for them would have existed.