Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

After Mozartís Death, an Endless Coda
New York Times ^ | August 24, 2010 | Daniel Wakin

Posted on 08/25/2010 10:46:04 AM PDT by La Lydia

Direct medical evidence? None. Autopsy? Not performed. Medical records? Nowhere to be found. Corpse? Disappeared. Yet according to a recent article in an academic journal, researchers have posited at least 118 causes of death for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. A modest industry of medical speculation has grown up around the subject, evidence of our fascination with what cut down great creative artists in history. In Mozart’s case published speculation began within a month of his death in 1791, and musicologists, physicians and medical scholars have regularly joined the fray ever since.

Dr. William J. Dawson, a retired orthopedic surgeon...bibliographer for the Performing Arts Medical Association, decided to organize the theories. He examined most of the 136 entries in the association’s database about Mozart’s death, a list by no means comprehensive....

With direct evidence lacking, researchers have had to rely mainly on accounts by Mozart’s widow, Constanze Mozart, and her sister...given some decades later. Evidence also comes from an undated document by Mozart’s son Karl Thomas and from a description — again, decades later — by a Viennese doctor who spoke to the physicians who treated Mozart in his final days.

Scholars have also examined accounts of Mozart’s ailments in letters written by family members, especially his father, Leopold, to uncover signposts regarding his final sickness. Speculation about an abnormality in the shape of his ear has even led some to suggest that kidney failure was likely, since urinary tract deformities are sometimes related to ear abnormalities....

All this gives rise to a question: Why does the subject arouse such intense interest? ... Part of the reason may lie in the close overlay between music and medicine. A high proportion of doctors seem to play instruments; in fact, Dr. Dawson is an accomplished and active bassoonist...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: classicalmusic; mystery
A change of topic...
1 posted on 08/25/2010 10:46:05 AM PDT by La Lydia
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: La Lydia

Let the Mozart sighting reports begin!


2 posted on 08/25/2010 10:52:09 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

3 posted on 08/25/2010 10:52:50 AM PDT by dfwgator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: La Lydia
Part of the reason may lie in the close overlay between music and medicine. A high proportion of doctors seem to play instruments

OTOH, a high proportion of musicians aren't doctors.

But he divides the causes into five groups: poisoning, infection, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and miscellaneous.

At least he's covering his bases with that miscellaneous.

4 posted on 08/25/2010 10:54:06 AM PDT by bgill (K Parliament- how could a young man born in Kenya who is not even a native American become the POTUS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

He’s working with Elvis and Michael at a Dairy Queen in Iowa.


5 posted on 08/25/2010 10:55:23 AM PDT by bgill (K Parliament- how could a young man born in Kenya who is not even a native American become the POTUS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: bgill

and Antonio Salieri wasn’t there!


6 posted on 08/25/2010 10:55:53 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: bgill

and Antonio Salieri wasn’t there!


7 posted on 08/25/2010 10:56:07 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: bgill

Hmmm...don’t order the soft serve.


8 posted on 08/25/2010 10:56:40 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: La Lydia; .30Carbine; 1rudeboy; 2nd Bn, 11th Mar; 31R1O; ADemocratNoMore; afraidfortherepublic; ...

This may be of interest to the folks on the Classical Music Ping List, so... PING!

If you want on or off this list, let me know via FR e-mail.

Thanks!


9 posted on 08/25/2010 11:00:28 AM PDT by sitetest ( If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: massgopguy

Tony is down the street at Olive Garden.


10 posted on 08/25/2010 11:03:17 AM PDT by bgill (K Parliament- how could a young man born in Kenya who is not even a native American become the POTUS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: sitetest

I am waiting for the anti-Masons to chime in.


11 posted on 08/25/2010 11:04:49 AM PDT by Redleg Duke (RAT Hunting Season started the evening of March 21st, 2010!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: La Lydia

Actually, Mozart’s body was exhumed (this is how they know all this stuff) but, when his coffin was opened, they found Mozart erasing his music scores.

“Amadeus,” they cried, “what are you doing?”

“Decomposing,” he replied.

Old joke, but I couldn’t resist!

Hope it brought everyone a smile.


12 posted on 08/25/2010 11:07:05 AM PDT by DustyMoment
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bgill

I notice that “medical malpractice” wasn’t included!


13 posted on 08/25/2010 11:07:20 AM PDT by catman67
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: La Lydia

Didn’t they watch the movie?


14 posted on 08/25/2010 11:07:43 AM PDT by Hattie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: La Lydia

He died because Antonio Solieri killed him. Wasn’t anyone
paying attention? (I’ll betcha can’t keep Tom Hulce’s laugh
out of your head the rest of the day.)


15 posted on 08/25/2010 11:10:22 AM PDT by righttackle44 (I may not be much, but I raised a United States Marine.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DustyMoment

Old joke, but still a good one.


16 posted on 08/25/2010 11:11:45 AM PDT by righttackle44 (I may not be much, but I raised a United States Marine.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: righttackle44; Hattie

That was a great movie. (Lapsing into geezer mode) I don’t know why they don’t make ‘em like that any more.


17 posted on 08/25/2010 11:17:02 AM PDT by La Lydia
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: La Lydia; sitetest

La Lydia thank you for posting this.
sitetest thank you for the ping to the classical music ping list.

Frankly though I blame Bush.


18 posted on 08/25/2010 11:17:51 AM PDT by Artemis Webb (DeMint 2012...Barbour2012....I would be happy either way.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Artemis Webb

You’re welcome!

“Frankly though I blame Bush.”

LOL!!


19 posted on 08/25/2010 11:21:55 AM PDT by sitetest ( If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: La Lydia
Why does the subject arouse such intense interest?

Um, he was only 35 years old and he was the greatest compsoer of all time. . Can someone come up with a stupider question?

20 posted on 08/25/2010 11:32:20 AM PDT by Nonstatist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bgill

Mozart, Jim Morrison, and Elvis will be sighted somewhere making music.


21 posted on 08/25/2010 11:40:13 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (I aspire to a large carbon footprint; just like Al Gore's)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin

Elvis and Bigfoot ain’t talkin’...

Colonel, USAFR


22 posted on 08/25/2010 11:59:06 AM PDT by jagusafr ("We hold these truths to be self-evident...")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: La Lydia

I love Mozart.

I get my Students interested in Mozart IMMEDIATELY with One of His Early Piano Variations on a Theme, Otherwise Known as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!”

We Do it with a rolling Alberti-Style Left Hand, and it sounds AWESOME!


23 posted on 08/25/2010 12:06:34 PM PDT by left that other site
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: La Lydia

” That was a great movie. (Lapsing into geezer mode) I don’t know why they don’t make ‘em like that any more. “

They don’t make a Mozart anymore either ;-)


24 posted on 08/25/2010 12:37:10 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker ((.Go troops! " Vote out RINOS. They screw you EVERY time" Jim Robinson))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: DustyMoment

¨The Decomposing Composers¨


25 posted on 08/25/2010 12:43:25 PM PDT by onedoug
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Nonstatist
Um, he was only 35 years old

True

and he was the greatest compsoer of all time.

Very subjective claim. I like Mozart, but he is a little shallow for my taste. Mozart learned quite a bit from Bach, and his music was the better better for it. If I could take music from only one composer to a desert island, I would get tired of Mozart after a while. I never get tired of Bach.

I can instantly identify most major Mozart works. If I hear a random piece from The Well Tempered Clavier, I can identify maybe 25% of them.

26 posted on 08/27/2010 11:10:13 PM PDT by ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas (Lt. Col. Ralph Peters: Obama is the dog who caught the fire truck!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas
But Mozart was evolving rapidly near the end of his life, thus the extreme interest in the cause of death. His last 3 symphonies were superb and innovative, as well as his last seveal operas. I would argue that Beethoven derived from Mozart, or at the very least completed a progression Mozart surely would have rivaled.

A shame he died so young.

27 posted on 08/28/2010 11:46:10 PM PDT by Nonstatist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Nonstatist
But Mozart was evolving rapidly near the end of his life

True. Bach also wrote amazing music before the age of 35. Mozart's father shepherded him, whereas Bach was an orphan.

I would argue that Beethoven derived from Mozart, or at the very least completed a progression Mozart surely would have rivaled.

Yes, Beethoven learned from Mozart, but also from Haydn and Bach. In Haydn's symphony 82, "The Bear" (1786) I hear very striking similarities to Beethoven's Eroica symphony (1805).

Beethoven wrote that Bach was "the very father of musical harmony." He also said, "Bach sollte nicht Bach, sondern Meer heissen" (Bach should not be called Bach (brook) but Meer (sea).

Mozart was very excited when he heard Bach's motets; in fact on that occasion, he insisted that the scores be produced immediately so he could study them.

28 posted on 08/29/2010 12:48:11 AM PDT by ding_dong_daddy_from_dumas (Lt. Col. Ralph Peters: Obama is the dog who caught the fire truck!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson