Musicologist adds hypnotic scrolling score to the most powerful scene from the film ‘Amadeus’

25 April 2022, 19:05 | Updated: 27 April 2022, 12:40

‘Confutatis’ scene, from Amadeus
‘Confutatis’ scene, from Amadeus. Picture: YouTube / Martin Gonzalez

By Kyle Macdonald

The scrolling music of Mozart’s Requiem reveals just how well acted the final scene from ‘Amadeus’ really is.

The much-loved 1984 film Amadeus is filled with so many unforgettable big-screen moments of music. But this one is made even more special when illuminated by the actual score.

The classic of cinema, from writer Peter Shaffer and director Miloš Forman, tells the dramatic and fictionalised story of a fatal rivalry between Antonio Salieri and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The Italian composer, filled with creative and professional jealousy conspires to bring about Mozart’s physical and emotional end.

Listen to Mozart on our Classic FM Hall of Fame live playlist, exclusively on Global Player

In the iconic clip, Mozart lies bedridden and in terminal decline. He transcribes his last work to the film’s villain. Salieri writes as the ‘Confutatis’ from his Requiem is dictated, first part by part, and note by note. Then, in a moment of spine-tingling magic, it rapidly becomes a torrent of interweaving lines as the work takes shape in the composer’s mind.

It’s a masterpiece of cinema, with an electric connection between the two actors, filled with the fire of creativity, the power of music, and the transcendental genius of Mozart.

However, a new level of magic is found in this inspired rendering, which places a scrolling score of Mozart’s real-life music alongside the scene from the film. It really makes you appreciate the intensity of everything in the moment – watch it below.

Read more: Was Mozart’s sister actually the most talented musician in the family?

The text of the ‘Confutatis’ is an ancient text from the Latin rites. It’s a cry for safeguarding from eternal fires of damnation, and a plea to be called among the blessed – a poignant text for a composer at the end of their life.

Social media users have marvelled about how revealing this juxtaposition of scene and score is.

“I never fully appreciated now well written this scene truly was, and how well the actors had to truly know the music, until I saw this linked with the sheet music,” said Reddit user Maybe123Wow.

“The level of detail and the accuracy of the scene is a marvel to behold,” said another.

In the film, after this Requiem scene, Salieri admits that Mozart is the greatest composer the world has ever known. Just try watching this and thinking otherwise.