Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Mozart's mysterious stranger

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
In 1791, at a time when he was suffering from one of his depressions, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was approached by a tall, dignified stranger who said he represented a gentleman who wished to remain anonymous. The unknown man wanted to commission a requiem for the soul of a recently departed friend, and would pay 100 ducats for the composition.

Mozart accepted the commission, asking for a month to complete the work. After a month, the stranger returned, but Mozart, who had laboured fitfully on it, asked for another month. He said that the work had taken his interest more than he expected, and he needed more time. the stranger gave him the time he needed, and another 50 ducats. Mozart was intrigued by this visitor, and asked a servant to follow him, but the servant lost him in the streets. The composer was convinced that the tall stranger was a messenger from another world, come to warn him of his own impending death. He did indeed fall ill, and when the stranger came to pick up the work, the brilliant composer was already dead. Mozart had died on this day in 1791.

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