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Subject: Salieri in Beethoven's notebooks
From: [log in to unmask]
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Tue, 18 Aug 1998 23:58:01 -0400
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TEXT/PLAIN (41 lines)


On Tue, 18 Aug 1998, Gabriel Kuper wrote:

> I am always suspicious about allusions to the notebooks without
> detailed quotes. After all, Beethoven was deaf, not dumb. So the
> notebooks are mainly records of what people said to him. They are most
> likely to show only that somebody mentioned this rumor to him (unless
> somebody wrote "You said Salieri did WHAT?"...)
>
> So does anybody know what exactly appears in Beethoven's notebooks?
>
What you will find is this :

Schindler and Karl Beethoven are visiting the composer. Schindler reports
tohim that *Salieri is very sick once again. He is very depressed. He is
delirious all the time, saying that he is guilty of Mozart's death and
that he gave some poison to him.*

Gabriel is right - the notebooks only record what people told Beethoven,
and not what he said to them. It would seem that Beethoven expressed some
doubts about what Schindler told him, for both Schindler and Karl have to
insist that they are not making up a story.

SCHINDLER : *I am telling you the truth. It is said that he wants to make
a confession. So there is a justice in this world.*

KARL : *People openly say that Salieri did murder Mozart.*

Unfortunately, I don't have the reference to the Schuenemann edition, only
to the French translation, by Prod'homme (pp.297-298).

BTW, when I said that *Beethoven* was the main source for spreading this
rumour, I was, of course, referring to his notebooks, which contains what
other people were trying to tell him - his sources of information.
Beethoven was always eager for gossip - and that gossip has thus survived,
through the continuing interest that posterity maintained in those
extraordinary documents. Thus did Beethoven indirectly, but decisively,
come to play a role in the making of the Mozart/Salieri *legend*. But
there are other sources.

Pierre M. Bellemare
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