A Publication Concerning Mozart's Death/Requiem
The foundations for this publication were laid down some ten years ago during a casual study of the lives of the great operatic composers when the question of Mozart's mysterious death and burial proved intrusive. The more material which was studied, the more divisive the opinion appereared to be about what had happened. Out of more than fifty biographies consulted, no two seemed to be in total agreement with one another. Thus did the investigation commence.
More than once during the following years I felt that the task was complete, only to then discover some important new details coming to light. Although new information concerning Mozart will always keep being unearthed, I feel that the present offering will go as close as possible towards settling some of the more contentious issues.
The opening chapters give a brief biographical glimpse of the man and his times and then proceeds to discuss many of the murder theories and the respective suspects. There are items that will be new to Mozartians and the eighth chapter deals specifically with how many of the allegations came into being, not least the myths in the film 'Amadeus'. There will be many hitherto unknown aspects revealed in the chapters dealing with Mozart's death and burial. There were visits to Salzburg, Vienna, Prague, London, Schottwein, Gloggnitz, Baden, Karlov Vary, Wiener-Neustadt, Kremsmunster, Dublin, Glasgow and Leeds. For research the medical thesis in Latin of the two doctors who administered to Mozart during his final illness, the burial records at St.Stephens Cathedral and the original Requiem score in the Austrian National Library were a few of the important original documents studied.
The final chapter is on the Requiem itself and was not easy to write. Opinions on the subject will remain divided for evermore but this does provide a comprehensive study of the characters and events in the story which will hopefully lay a number of ghosts to rest. There are numerous new facts and especially notable is that this book is the first ever, since the event two hundred years ago, to record the proper family name of the lady whose death sparked off the commission for the Mozart Requiem.
The book attempts to solve the main Mozart riddles, hopefully in an informative yet readable manner so that those without any prior background knowledge can follow the story to the end without undue stress.