Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mozart's Dirty Mouth

Hollywood biographies may not be the best source for accurate historical information, but Amadeus seems to get it right, at least in part: Its humorous portrayal of Mozart as a vulgar, sex-crazed genius is supported the composer's own words. In addition to a series of shockingly explicit letters to an early girlfriend, Mozart's description, in a letter to his father, of one of his clavier students is particularly unflattering:

If a painter wanted to portray the devil in the life, he would have to choose her face. She is as fat as a farm-wench, perspires so that you feel inclined to vomit, and goes about so scantily clad that really you can read as plain as print: 'Pray, do look here.' True, there is enough to see, in fact, quite enough to strike one blind; but--one is thoroughly well punished for the rest of the day if one is unlucky enough to let one's eyes wander in that direction. . . . So loathsome, dirty and horrible!


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