Many know Mozart through his music: serene, organized, ingenious, beautiful. But did his real life persona personality match the character in Amadeus?
1. Mozart was a prankster. TRUE.
A famous example occurred during a performance of The Magic Flute. A character is required to pretend to play a glockenspiel. At one performance, Mozart sneaked backstage to actually play a glockenspiel, later writing: "As a joke, I played music when he was speaking. … He was forced to hit the glockenspiel, mumbling 'Stop it!' Everybody laughed."
2. Mozart conducted his pieces from the podium. FALSE.
The movie shows Mozart conducting several of his pieces from the podium in front of his orchestra. The concept of a conductor leading an orchestra didn’t really take off until the nineteenth century. In Mozart’s day, tempo and volume decisions were primarily decided by the concertmaster and keyboardist.
3. Salieri killed Mozart. FALSE
Mozart’s death is still mysterious. His death record listed "severe military fever," but dozens of theories have been proposed, including influenza, mercury poisoning, a kidney ailment, and acute rheumatic fever. The movie inferred that another composer, Salieri, did him in. Salieri did “confess” to killing Mozart while out of his mind later in life, but musicologists consider this unlikely.