This January saw the 250th anniversary of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Numerous tomes have been written on Mozart’s music. His creative life has been well looked into by hordes of critics. However, the private life of the music genius still has plenty of gaps to fill. The death of Mozart is arguably the biggest mystery of all. There are a lot of versions of Mozart’s demise. Some look pretty preposterous, others seem plausible enough. Chances are slim that historians will eventually agree on a story that will be acceptable to all parties involved in the longstanding debate. Below are some of the versions that seem to be the most logical ones.
Version No1: Mozart was poisoned by Salieri
The suspicions emerged shortly before Salieri passed away. His confessor was said to have heard the composer repent of poisoning Mozart. The confession was entered in the church book. Then Salieri’s seven daughters took him to a mental asylum. The relatives and friends of Salieri did their best to keep the rumors about his confession from circulating but all their efforts ended in failure. The rumors became a sort of hot gossip by the early 1830s, they even reached Russia and inspired Alexander Pushkin to pen his Mozart and Salieri.
Version N2: Mozart fell victim to a medical error
Mozart had a high fever, it first hit him five days before his death. Doctors administered ice to him, then he had a stroke, and fell into a coma from which he never recovered. Mozart died one day later. Legend has it that Mozart had a STD and was taking mercury as a medicine. Mercury was slowly killing him. The legend is likely to remain a legend.
Version No3: Murdered by his wife’s lover
Mozart’s wife Constance gave birth to six children, four of them died in infancy. The last child was born July 26, 1791, six months before Mozart’s death. Constance was accompanied by Franz Xavier Zyusmeir, Mozart’s apprentice. The last son of Mozart was also named Franz Xavier. Many a present-day Western scholars built their versions on the coincidence of the names. Franz Zyusmeir has been portrayed as a murderer of Mozart. No one knew for a long time that Zyusmeir was the one who had finished Mozart’s Requiem.
Version No4: beaten to death by a cuckold
Mozart gave music lessons to noble women whose husbands paid him handsomely for services rendered. According to a version by Western scholars, Mozart seduced one of his students, a woman called Maria Magdalena. Having found out of the adultery, her husband broke into Mozart’s house and beat up the composer who was gravely ill at a time. As a result, Mozart suffered another fit of his disease and died.
Version No5: Free masons put Mozart to death
According to Mozart’s contemporaries, the composer codified the history of a confrontation between the free Masons and Christianity in his The Magic Flute. The opera was ordered by a successful actor Schikaneder who had been allegedly instructed by the Masons. Some researchers indicate that Mozart might have depicted a secret ritual of the lodge in his opera and thus provoked anger of the Masons. Those guilty of disclosing sacred Masonic secrets could be punished by death.