Mozart and Salieri
"Salieri kills Mozart to eliminate ambiguity from the world and to establish the monopoly of that rational law in which [Salieri] has believed from the start and to which he owes everything...."
Pushkin's "Mozart and Salieri."
Mozart is God's error in the natural order of things. In killing Mozart, Salieri is righting the universe.
On the Factual Side
- In the 1780s, Mozart wrote to his father that seveal “cabals” of Italians led by Salieri were putting obstacles in Mozart’s way.
- December 1781, Mozart wrote: "the only one who counts in [the Emperor's] eyes is Salieri".
- Mozart could have resented Salieri for his high regard and position in he German court and not even being German.
- Mozart wrote to his father in May 1783 about Salieri and Lorenzo Da Ponte, the court poet: "You know those Italian gentlemen; they are very nice to your face! Enough, we all know about them. And if [Da Ponte] is in league with Salieri, I'll never get a text from him, and I would love to show here what I can really do with an Italian opera."
- Mozart frequently accused Salieri of trickery
- Rumor that Salieri had poisoned Mozart surfaced decades after Mozart’s death, but bit did not help Salieri’s career.
- Biographer Alexander Wheelock Thayer believes the rivalry between MOzart and Salieri could have originiated in 1781, when Salieri was selected over Mozart to be the music teacher of Princess Elizabeth of Wurttemberg.
- Salieri and Mozart’s rivalry may not have been this intense at all, they co-composed music together, Salieri revived Fiagro when he was appointed Kappelmeister, and Salieri taught Mozart’s younger son.