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Mozart the infant prodigy was also a child of the Enlightenment

‘My dear young man: don’t take it too hard,’ Joseph II counsels a puppyish Mozart, the colour of his hair unknown in nature. ‘Your work is ingenious. It’s quality work. And there are simply too many notes, that’s all. Just cut a few and it will be perfect.’ ‘Which few did you have in mind, your majesty?’, Mozart enquires, the sinisterly oleaginous F. Murray Abraham as Salieri quietly registering the subtle brilliance of Mozart’s grinning lèse-majesté. Those interested in the subject of Miloš Forman’s 1984 film Amadeus are today faced with a not dissimilar predicament: which of the millions of words written about Mozart should we cut? And would they