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Amadeus February 27, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Music & Dance, People, Spirit & Ego.

Last night, we watched Amadeus (1984) ~ a fascinating film about my favorite classical composer (Mozart) and his jealous rival (Salieri).

As I contemplated the beautiful set, elaborate costumes, amazing music, and intriguing storyline, what struck me most:

How differently I viewed the actors’ actions now vs. when I saw Amadeus the first time in 1984.

Obviously, the music hadn’t changed, the characters hadn’t changed, the dialogue hadn’t changed, the setting hadn’t changed ~ only one thing had changed since its release in 1984 . . . my interpretation of the scenes unfolding before me. 

My interpretation of the film changed over time because I changed over time ~ the experiences I’ve had over the past 26 years have shaped both me and how I perceive the world around me. 

Instead of viewing Salieri as inherently evil, I saw him as wholly human ~ albeit flawed.  He reminded me of many people I’ve known over the years who view life competitively, not cooperatively: 

*Individuals who rush to the front of the line, not worrying about who they trample in the process. 

* Individuals who grab another (or bigger) piece of the pie, without concern for whether everyone else has eaten.

* Individuals who are more focused on feeding their egos than nurturing their spirits. 

As Mozart died last night, I wondered . . . how would the story have ended if Salieri had been guided by the spirit of coöperation?   

 Quote to ponder:  We see the world behind our eyes. 

No rules.  Just write!


1. Richard W Scott - February 27, 2010

An excellent take on change, both internal and cultural. I haven’t watched that movie in years, despite being moved and fascinated by it.

I still find myself quoting Emperor Joseph, “…there it is, then.”

2. nrhatch - February 27, 2010

Thanks, rik

All the characters had wonderful idiosynchrocies ~ just like the characters we meet in our daily lives.

“. . . there it is, then.”

3. nrhatch - February 27, 2010

Rik ~ name and address edits allowed, but not the avatar. : )

4. trishothinks - February 27, 2010

I loved that movie…..and still do. I too used to view Salieri as evil, but now I believe that yes, he was just human with flaws…..and his main flaw was his overwhelming jealousy of Mozart.

I suppose in those days, there wasn’t “room” for shared popularity or fame. Salieri did what he thought was his only choice…..get rid of the competition. But didn’t he end up dying without any great notoriety during his life?

Yes, it is too bad, he couldn’t just leave Mozart alone….what other great music would he have written if he hadn’t died an untimely death?



5. nrhatch - February 27, 2010

Mozart has always astonished me ~ starting to compose before most children are even attempting to read.

Writing his first symphony when most children would be playing in little league tournaments.

I expect that there was room for both Salieri and Mozart in Vienna ~ while one presented at the Royal Opera House, the other could be rehearsing the next opera, etc.

But the green-eyed monster is a powerful being. ; )

Thanks for your comments!

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