Klett-Cotta-Verlag Psychology

Mozarts Filmdébut als Endspiel: La Mort de Mozart (1909)

April 2017, 21. Jahrgang, Heft 82, pp 39-50

Mozart’s Film Debut as an Endgame: La Mort de Mozart (1909) – The earliest Mozart film, until now usually ascribed to Louis Feuillade, which Étienne Arnaud made in 1909 for Gaumond, deals with what later became a typical subject: Mozart’s final, incomplete Requiem. The decisive aspect here is that the music for this film, arranged and recorded by Paul Fosse (duration: 12-13 minutes) can be completely reconstructed. Paul Fosse’s choice of music gives the story of Mozart’s requiem and death, filmed in a conventionally linear fashion, a dramaturgical structure through the music. Pointing beyond the film itself, this indicates that the time of the silent film featured widely varied approaches to musical accompaniment (»adaptations«). They can be researched and constructed using the recordings of music for over 1600 silent films for which Paul Fosse »adapted« the music at the Gaumont Palace.

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