2 January 1792

pages 146-147

Addio Amadé…

I half expect you to walk in with Lange & laugh at me for being so serious. But the only sound I can hear is the scratching of my quill & your unfinished Requiem haunting my ears: I’ll tell you – Amadé, you should know the strength of your Stanzi. I’ve never seen anything like it. She made sure it was finished – your Requiem. She had Süssmayr do it. It’s not your work, of course, but they did the best they could. Without you. Oh God, Amadé, she had it performed today…& everyone came, even Salieri. On the way I passed the market where a man was selling black tulips. I don’t know where they came from–a hot house maybe or some place in the south where there’s still warmth & happiness in the world. I bought all of them! They were surprisingly alive & darkly beautiful in my arms. Stanzi gathered all her sadness together like this bunch of flowers & made something sublime out of it. She made your music.

She didn’t know what to do with all the tulips. She said they were more flowers than she’d had at her wedding & then I just had to hold her for a long time before the music started, & when it did, Sophie asked me if I’d seen a ghost. I had, but I couldn’t tell her it was the ghost of the aria you’d written for me so long ago…

Addio, Amadé,
addio per sempre,
per sempre…


(Exerpts from Letters to Mozart © 2006 Kristin Serafini.)