Photo via singforyoursupperblog.com
Mozart has been a constant throughout my life. As a kid, I mirthlessly mangled his piano sonatas (much to my family’s distress). And as a teen, I backpacked through Mozart’s old haunts in Salzburg and Vienna.
I remember slumping limply in my chair as the closing credits scrolled, and sitting motionless until the theater’s house lights came on. I couldn’t believe that such a brilliant composer—such an extraordinary human being—could die penniless at 35 and be dumped like trash into a communal grave.
The film awakened in me a fascination for Mozart’s enigmatic nature: a rebel, a romantic, a prankster, a gifted teacher, a devoted son, a prodigy and a spendthrift … all of these coexisted inside one complicated (and oft-misunderstood) man.
I’ve watched Amadeus several times since that first screening, and each time my appreciation for the film has deepened. But now my reaction to the ending is different: Mozart isn’t dead. He’s immortal.
Happy 256th birthday, Wolfie.