The night has come, Mozart… 6 December 1791.

The papers of divorce 

between the world and the genius

were deposited

in the common grave of the Vienna cemetery

on 6 December

1791,

there where,

to its glory,

the World

threw Mozart

under the  septic lime

of final oblivion.

And since then

the scene

has kept repeating. 

The night has come, 

Mozart…   

mozart-1783-lange.jpg

He drew his last breath on the day of 5 December, at one in the morning, watched by his wife’s sister. His body was washed by loyal friends. They accompanied him when he left his house for the last time. It was them again who brought him to the Saint Stephen Cathedral, in a chapel in which he would wait for the religious ceremony – a simple one, according to the low fee of the third class funeral paid for by Baron Van Swieten. His wife had left the house a few hours after his death, “out of too much pain”, and would stay with friends for the next days. She didn’t keep vigil over his dead body, she didn’t follow him on his last journey. It was winter in Vienna, it was cold, it was almost night… God, what a terrible night of mankind!… One by one, the living abandoned the funeral convoy, and so by the time the hearse had passed the Stubenthor and reached the graveyard of St Marx, Mozart‘s lifeless body was being attended only by the driver of the carriage. By that time, in St Marx there had already been two pauper funerals. Mozart was the third. His body was deposited in the common grave, uppermost, by the gravedigger’s assistant and the driver of the hearst. Then came the night. 

Mozart left alone. He remained alone. His wife, “dearest, most beloved little wife”, as he would address  her in his letters, didn’t look for his grave for eleven years (some biographers say seventeen). Although her state of health seemed to have quickly improved, since only a few weeks after his demise she was already corresponding with a few well-known editors with a view of selling his manuscripts. And never again, after his death, was she in need to go to Baden for cures; she capitalized his musical inheritance, she remarried, she rewrote his life together with her second husband, and she outlived her first husband fifty years. 

None of his close friends, none of those who knew and loved his music and being, no one looked for his grave, not after one day, not after one month, not after one year. It was the “custom” of the time. Relatives and friends paid homage and said goodbye at home, at the church, then the body was taken to the cemetery and buried. Visiting a grave was not customary – there were no Sunday mornings at the cemetery, with flowers and candles. The regulations of the time indicated the deposition in a “common” grave according to the amount of money paid (by the Baron in Mozart’s case), but they did not forbid the placing of a funeral stone on the cemetery wall. Neither Constanze Mozart nor his friends, or the nobles he had ennobled with his feeling and creation, or the Viennese who would hum his melodies in cafes, no one felt the need to mark his resting place, no one searched for him in all those years, no one felt the need to prove their respect and affection by remembering the place where, on top of other bodies, he found his rest… 

Ten years after, the common grave was opened, the bones taken out, to make space for other mortals. This was what the third class funeral meant: a grave which confined more bodies together for ten years, and that was all. After ten years, a pile of bones, taken out to be deposited where?… we will never know. A higher class funeral would have (possibly) meant a grave in the family’s property in the St Marx Cemetery. But it would have cost more. And none of those who knew him, who were close to him, none of those whom he had honored with the divine touch of his being, no one felt that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart deserved a funeral of a higher class. 

The papers of divorce 

between the world and the genius

were deposited

in the common grave of the Vienna cemetery

on 6 December

1791,

there where,

to its glory,

the World

threw Mozart

under the  septic lime

of final oblivion.

And since then

the scene

has kept repeating. 

The night has come, 

Mozart…   

Rest in peace, beloved friend! 

Mozart-Grab

“The night has come, Mozart…” © Claudiu Iordache – published with the author’s permission. 

Mozart. An endless sorrow.

Mozart painted by Lange in 1783

It is 5 December. For 222 years humanity has been waiting for you to come back. Your music has survived and will go on. But we miss your living heart, your soul enlightened by a divine feeling of harmony! For you have been His gift, and few of us have understood… 

You, Mozart, harrowing light in the darkness that surrounds us! In your park clad in mourning dress, the leaves of winter are whispering your name. It is 5 December. A serene calm overtaken by the night until the world abandoned itself to the despair of understanding it had lost you forever! If only we could, through our love, resurrect your fragile being, so you could smile to us again, you, Mozart, majestically  sleeping in our soul! If only you could feel our hurt, knowing you were summoned forever there where only angels listen to you, shivering in the divine beauty of your music! Oh, Mozart, it is night, a neverending night in a day of 5 December! A day in which both you and us died a little… 

Mozart… Mozart… Mozart… celestial echo of humanity’s child… 

Mozart-Grab

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