The film puts its focus on Antonio Salieri’s relationship/obsession with Mozart. Salieri, the narrator of the film, is a composer who becomes jealous and infatuated with Mozart and his works. Mozart does not show much of an appreciation for Salieri’s work, but Salieri still attends all of Mozart’s performances and believes that Mozart has been blessed with a gift from God. Salieri’s obsession with Mozart increases throughout the movie. When Salieri gets a chance to see some of Mozart’s original scores he seems to have an unhealthy fixation on them. .
A plan is eventually devised by Salieri to kill Mozart and achieve more fame and fortune for himself. Disguised in a mask, Salieri goes to Mozart’s house and commissions a death requiem. The mask Salieri wears was the same mask that Mozart’s dead father used to wear. Salieri’s plan was to murder Mozart and then take credit for the Requiem. Mozart became ill while still working on the Requiem, and was under pressure to finish it because of his financial situation. Salieri came to visit Mozart and ends up helping him with the Requiem by doing the writing while Mozart sings the music to him. Mozart died shortly after his collaboration with Salieri with the Requiem still unfinished. .
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According to my research, the events dealing with the composition of the Requiem did not actually happen as they did in the movie. The Requiem was not commissioned by Salieri in disguise and any murder plot by Salier is just rumor. Count Walsegg-Stuppach commissioned The Requiem for his wife who had died in February of 1971. The work was commissioned in secrecy, but Mozart most likely knew that it was Walsegg because of a friend he had that lived in Walsegg’s villa in Vienna. Mozart didn’t work on the Requiem until months after it was commissioned. The Requiem was postponed while Mozart finished La clemeza di Tito and Die ZauberflA-te. On the day before Mozart died he was visited by friends that came to sing over parts of the Requiem.