Mozart Diary: 20 November 1791

As our performance of Mozart’s Requiem at St John’s Smith Square draws ever closer, we release the third installment of our Mozart diary. In November 1791, Mozart was forced to take to his bed. Experiencing building anxiety and frustrated over his health, he tried to continue with his Requiem…

Things have taken a turn for the worst. My fever has become more aggressive and, since the beginning of last week, I have been confined to my bed. Things can’t go on like this for much longer; I am sure I’ve been poisoned.

And I am not alone in my thoughts. Although my friends attempt to shield me from gossip, I have heard rumors in Vienna of foul play. They say someone has given me Aqua Toffana and has calculated the precise time of my death! And that’s not all – some men have been bold enough to suggest that I have been poisoned by one of my own friends.

My Requiem is still unfinished and I am finding it increasingly difficult to find the strength to continue. Last night I told Constanze my greatest fear – that I am writing this Requiem for my own funeral. She has begged me to stop composing and put the manuscript away until I am feeling better. But there are still many parts of the Requiem I haven’t finished and the completion of this piece will ensure financial security for my wife and children.

Mozart Requiem
Wednesday 14 November, 7.30pm
St John’s Smith Square

Tickets from £15
Box Office: 020 7222 1061 /sjss.org.uk

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