Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Kohlmarkt, Vienna, Austria
While living in Vienna, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed some of his most famous and most loved operas and symphonies. And it was also in Vienna that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died. And died mysteriously. In 1789, a whole two years before his death. Mozart confided to his wife, Constanze, that, ‘my end will not be long in coming, for sure someone has poisoned me’. Later, he’d confide the same fear to his son, this time only six months before the end. Finally, on 20 November 1791, Mozart fell ill quite suddenly. At first he had a fever, and then a headache, and then sweats, and then his limbs started to swell. Then came the nausea and vomiting the rash and the diarrhoea. Fifteen days on, he was dead. It seemed to those around him, he’d suffered the symptoms of some kind of poisoning. And his murder wouldn’t have been exactly motiveless. Could Mozart, the most famous composer of the time, have been done away with by a jealous musical rival? Could Mozart, a well-known womanizer, have been done away with by a jealous love rival? Or could his end have been much more commonplace, much more unpoetic? It may have been rheumatic fever. It may have been uremia, or endocarditis, or many other diseases or conditions. Sadly, the fact remains he died. And at 35 years old, that was a tragedy. As is, perhaps, the fact his face is now used to sell chocolate balls.