AMADEUS FILM. During his lifetime, was Mozart as exuberant as depicted in the film Amadeus?
[Mis à jour le 31 Janvier 2022 à 20h45] Film at the eight Oscars, Amadeus invites you to discover the life of the famous composer Mozart through the eyes of his great rival, Salieri. If this biopic takes several liberties with historical reality, the portrait he paints of the brilliant musician seems very faithful to what he was. According to his own sister, he had “remained a child”, very happy and not very serious, while Grimm described him as an undiplomatic, playful, and party animal. The very particular laughter that we hear in Amadeus seems to come very close to that of Mozart. In several letters about the composer, he is described as “a contagious dizziness”, or “metal scratching from the glass”. It is thanks to these descriptions that actor Tom Hulce nurtured his unforgettable interpretation of the Austrian composer.
The film Amadeus has several major differences from historical reality. First of all, Salieri and Mozart were only six years apart, and not as much as the biopic shows. Contrary to what we can discover in the film, Mozart did not lose the support of Emperor Joseph II after The Marriage of Figaro, since this piece met with great success and the Austrian Emperor, just like his successor, said they were satisfied with Mozart’s services. Moreover, it was not Salieri who commissioned his Requiem from the composer, but a servant of Count Franz de Walsegg. Salieri never helped Mozart to write his requiem, unlike the scene, largely improvised, which closes the film. It would indeed seem that the rivalry between Salieri and Mozart was exaggerated for dramatic reasons.
Synopsis – 1823. Feeling responsible for Mozart’s death thirty years earlier, Antonio Salieri tries to commit suicide. Imprisoned, he confides in a priest. It all started when Salieri first heard of Mozart. He was then the official composer of the court of Vienna and decided to meet him in Salzburg. Salieri discovered this young musician, a bawdy and scatological teenager, whose behavior, which he considered highly revolting, contrasted sharply with his music and his undeniable artistic talent. Salieri quickly realized that this arrogant gifted youngster posed a real threat.