Mozart ‘was not re­ally an al­co­holic’, says doc­tor

Irish Independent - - News -

IN the fi­nal por­trait of Mozart from 1790, a year be­fore his death, he is painted as puffy and bloated, his face rav­aged by al­co­holism.

But a new book by a re­tired Bri­tish sur­geon sug­gests the Aus­trian sym­phon­ist has been un­fairly ma­ligned and did not have a se­ri­ous drink­ing prob­lem.

Jonathan No­ble, a fel­low of the Royal Col­lege of Sur­geons and for­mer Manch­ester United club sur­geon, be­gan his re­search hop­ing to delve into the ill­nesses which may have sparked works of ge­nius in great com­posers.

Yet af­ter study­ing post-mortem re­ports and med­i­cal notes, he found that many did not suf­fer from the con­di­tions at­trib­uted to them. And he con­cluded that claims of Mozart’s al­co­holism have “lit­tle foun­da­tion”.

“Al­co­holism is in­con­sis­tent with se­ri­ous, sus­tained mu­si­cal com­po­si­tion. If you’re a true al­co­holic, there’s no way you can go around com­pos­ing op­eras, sym­phonies or string quar­tets,” he said.

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