Sunday, May 28, 2006

Postscript by Franz Xaver Mozart

Salzburg, 29th October, 1829
My beloved Aunt Nannerl died some time after midnight. It seemed she would never let go but wept in her bed and swallowed cups of water to replace the tears she had shed. Unable to see the walls of her room, she mumbled about the clouds on the tops of Nonnberg, Capuzinerberg and the Devil’s Horn. She described that point in the river Salzach where it curves beyond the bridge and where the water runs so fast. I kept waiting for the moment in the process of dying when the suffering is so great that the fear of death dissolves and both the mind and the body stop clinging to life. It happened in the earliest hours of the morning, which is when, the doctor told me, that most people slip away.
‘Wolfie,’ she began.
‘Yes, Auntie.’
‘You’re still there.’
‘I’m still here.’
She fell deeply asleep and never awoke. According to her wishes, she will be buried in a colonnaded vault in Saint Peter’s here in Salzburg. As soon as it can be arranged, I shall conduct my father's Requiem to celebrate her life.
Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart - henceforth known as W.A.M.
P.P.S. Am burning all her compositions in the stove, again according to her wishes, but have decided to keep her diaries from this willful pyre - will read them tomorrow from the beginning. Rest in peace, dear Auntie...


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