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Mozart and Farting

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Old 31-08-08, 02:21 PM
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This is a family website. The rules state '...members should avoid posting material which they would be unhappy for their own children to see.' That is as it should be. Childhood innocence must be protected. BrightCecilia is a sea of respectability in an internet awash with detritus.

However, minors must not be permitted to deter adults from the fearless Pursuit of Truth, and as scholars have long known, but conspire to hide from the general public, Mozart, boy genius, author of ‘Eine kleine Nachtmusik’ and ‘Requiem Mass in D minor’, was obsessed with farting.

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This may come as a shock to some and cause outrage among Mozart affectionados. If you're viewing this thread at work and a manager may glance over your shoulder, switch to another topic now.

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It gets worse. Mozart was keen not only on all matters flatulent but (a) so was his entire family and (b) their interest extended way beyond mere farting to general scatologia. His mother, Maria Anna Mozart, wrote the following to her husband Leopold -- the archetypal bourgeois -- on Sept. 9th 1777:

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“Keep well, my love. Into your mouth your arse you’ll shove. I wish you good-night, my dear, but first shit in your bed and make it burst.”
On Nov. 5th 1777 Mozart, wrote thus to his cousin, Marie Anne Thekla, a sweet young girl-:

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Composer James McConnel suggests in a Channel 4 documentary for UK television that Mozart had Tourette Syndrome. McConnel, a Tourette’s sufferer himself, has studied Mozart’s excrement-obsessed letters and concludes:

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"There's a very rare condition in Tourette's called coprographia - the need to write down filth. We Touretters have filthy minds! When you write a song, as Mozart did, called Lick Out My Arsehole, that in itself is not so shocking judged by the standards of his day. But what is very odd and Touretty about it is that he set it to the most gorgeous, sublime tune. It's Tourettishly inappropriate. My sense of humor is the same. I never know when to stop."

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Many use music to self-medicate and to a Tourette sufferer it may be a blessed relief. McConnel concludes:

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"I suspect Mozart didn't have physical jerks as much as me. But there is definite evidence of his grimacing and feet-tapping. We also know a lot about his inability to rein in impulses, the sudden boredom, his sense of mischief and his scatological obsession, which all point to Tourette's. He even had a morbid fear of the trumpet until he was nine. Seriously! He would lie down and scream if he heard one."

The only time McConnel doesn't twitch (put a gun to his head and you could make him stop, he says, but only for so long) is when he's at his piano, composing. In the program he argues that Mozart, too, "self-medicated" by writing music.
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Anna Maria Mozart
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Old 31-08-08, 07:32 PM
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Hmmm, yes, I can see why a person with tourette's would want to make an argument for Mozart also having the condition but I am unconvinced. Tourette's causes compulsive behaviour and is a neurological disorder.

A person with the condition might suddenly be compelled to shout something highly inappropriate during the vicar's sermon on a Sunday morning but that is very different from the deliberate collection of actions that would go into writing and sending the charming ditty or letters to which you refer.
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Old 01-09-08, 08:49 PM
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I think that he was a good disciple of Diogenes...

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Old 02-09-08, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Florestan View Post
Hmmm, yes, I can see why a person with tourette's would want to make an argument for Mozart also having the condition but I am unconvinced. Tourette's causes compulsive behaviour and is a neurological disorder.

A person with the condition might suddenly be compelled to shout something highly inappropriate during the vicar's sermon on a Sunday morning but that is very different from the deliberate collection of actions that would go into writing and sending the charming ditty or letters to which you refer.
Hmm.. I don't know about this one... I would be interested to see some other research into the Tourettes theory.. I will say, the man made some valid points, and claimed a rare condition that would have compelled Mozart to write down his outrageous comments..

I am not going to totally write this off.. In fact, I would be very interested to see some additional research.
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Old 02-09-08, 10:00 AM
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the man made some valid points, and claimed a rare condition that would have compelled Mozart to write down his outrageous comments..
Personally, I suspect Mozart was just barking mad.
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Old 03-09-08, 05:31 AM
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Well.. yes, this most likely was the case lol...

Mad with Tourettes??
Possible..
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Old 08-10-08, 01:06 PM
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Hmm.. I don't know about this one... I would be interested to see some other research into the Tourettes theory.. I will say, the man made some valid points, and claimed a rare condition that would have compelled Mozart to write down his outrageous comments..
After Mozart's death, his widow Constanza married the Danish diplomat, Von Nissen. He was somewhat older than her, and was thus much preoccupied as to how he could provide for her in her old age - which, most likely, would be without him.

He hit on the idea of writing the "ultimate" biography of Mozart, in the hope that ongoing sales of the book would bring in a constant income. The achilles's heel of the project was that there were many of the composer's letters extant, that would undermine the reputation he sought to build of a pseudo-saintly and respectable man. So Von Nissen utilised his diplomatic contacts to track down the owners of these letters, buy them back - and burn them*.

This enormous exercise involved messengers being sent all over Europe to snaffle the letters - Nannerl Mozart reported being compelled to hand-over such letters of her brother's as she had in her possession.

One has to assume that the content of these letters was either sufficiently scatalogical - or feared to be - that it was worth the great cost in time and expense involved in this massive censorship exercise?


* I've mentioned this before elsewhere, so excuses if you've already suffered my hobby-horse... it's reasonably well established that the first Susanna, Anna "Nancy" Storace, remained in correspondence with Mozart until his death... as did her composer brother Stephen, who was clearly exchanging scores with Mozart long after the Storaces left Vienna. At the inquest into "Signora Storace's" death, some two decades after Mozart's, her maid testified that "some German men" had come to the house, seeking to obtain "the letters from Vienna". The elderly diva had allegedly "rail'd and shouted" at these men, and threw them out - she subsequently burned the letters, supposedly on the night before her death. We can only presume they were Nissen's men - we shall never know the nature of the letters, regrettably. Nor will we ever know the nature of their relationship - in which the farewell-to-Vienna duet-aria (soprano, obbligato piano "played by Sigr Mozart in person", and orchestra) has the text "no matter where you go, my heart will be only with you, only with you, only with you..."
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Old 09-10-08, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Reiner Torheit View Post
This enormous exercise involved messengers being sent all over Europe to snaffle the letters - Nannerl Mozart reported being compelled to hand-over such letters of her brother's as she had in her possession.

One has to assume that the content of these letters was either sufficiently scatalogical - or feared to be - that it was worth the great cost in time and expense involved in this massive censorship exercise?
Amazing!
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Old 09-10-08, 11:58 AM
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It's extraordinary, isn't it? I first came across this story when I was digging-around in the history of the Storace family, and thought it was an isolated incident.

However, I was later listening to Jane Glover's excellent series on BBC Radio "Mozart's Women" (an unduly provocative title for the series, I thought?), and she came out with the full story of Nissen (also seen spelt "Niessen") and the lengths to which he went to obtain and destroy these letters.

There's a further "Nancy Storace & Mozart" story which more or less proves that there must have been such letters, and also hints at their innocuous content? Sigra Storace (I refer to her that way not out of mockery, but to distinguish her from her composer brother, Stephen, and composer father, Stefano) had participated in the hullaballoo that had welcomed Haydn to Britain. She must (we presume) have known Haydn in Vianna (where she was the prima buffa at the Burg-Teatr for several seasons before blotting her copybook with a sex-scandal that finished her Viennese career). She sang in the performance of THE CREATION that took place at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, when Haydn was made a Doctor Of Music.

Evidently this gave her the idea to do the same for Mozart, with the idea of presenting THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO in London (where it had never been seen, at the time). Most of the rest of the original cast were already in London, as they had been working in France and had fled the Revolution - Da Ponte was there too (nb we should bear in mind that the librettist was expected to stage his own work at this period - so his role was not honorific, he was there to stage the show). Ms Storace pursued the idea of getting-up a Subscription for the project, and sought a patron whose name would bring-in the subscriptions. Her colleague at the Drury Lane Theatre at the time was Mrs Crouch - there was no real rivalry, as Crouch sang the "serious" roles, and Storace sang the "buffa" parts. (Her brother wrote pieces which gave the buffa prominence, in any case). Mrs Crouch was clearly a lady of many attractions, as she managed to hang on to the unknown Mr Crouch (evidently a tolerant man) whilst simultaneously being the mistress of both leading tenor Michael Kelly, and HRH the Prince Of Wales. With this route open to her, La Storace persuaded "Prinny" to lead the Subscriber's List, and a letter was sent to Mozart, inviting him to come and direct the premiere.

But Mozart died in the same week.

The final episode in this strange tale is that two days before Mozart's death, when he was already taken ill, Nancy Storace was siezed with a terrible illness, and fell into a coma. She was given the Last Rites on the same day - coincidentally - as Mozart's death. However, medical expertise saved her and she made a miraculous recovery (living for another thirty years, twenty years of them spent on the stage). She couldn't have faked it, or been stuck-down by the news of Mozart's death, since she only heard the news several weeks after recovering consciousness.
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Old 09-10-08, 04:23 PM
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My head is spinning. Who needs soap opera?

Those things are always called "[Insert name of male 'genius']'s Women", aren't they?
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