Like so many of my generation, the image that I have of Mozart is from this movie. Mozart is portrayed here as a lustful, playful eternally young prick that is the shame of his father and the bane of his wife. Then there is the animosity of his teacher Salieri. If you believe the movie, the two hated each other’s guts.

Part of all that might be true, but most of it is rubbish. And even though sometimes works by Salieri are performed, his reputation as Mozart hater stopped orchestras and ensembles from even mentioning his name.

Then there is the requiem. The film made it more popular, sure, but also added a lot of mystifying details Mozart’s widow Constanze actually made up. No, Mozart didn’t write a requiem for his own death, no it was not commissioned by a hooded stranger knocking on the door.

I also remember much of the text of the opera’s was translated into English. But now that I’m listening again: it is not. The music is actually better than I remember.

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