Wolf was surrounded by people who were attempting to deceive him. Some were family, some were ‘friends’, some were colleagues. They flattered him. They tried to gain access to his inner circle. They tried to gain his trust. Why? Let me explain.
Wolf had been given an unusual gift, one that none of them had. It was a gift of perfection in music. To make a musical analogy — his gift was like a perfect fourth or fifth, whereas there gifts were like major or minor intervals. That is what made Wolf’s music incomparable. They hated that, and they hated him for that.
None of this is really new — it was alluded to in the movie “Amadeus”. Salieri was, in essence, symbolic of all the treachery and deceit that surrounded Wolf. But Salieri may have known a secret that he tried to use to gain an advantage — that Wolf had been a victim of being caused bodily harm through the administering of small doses of toxic substances. This may have started when Wolf was living with his birth family. Perhaps it was the jealous Nannerl who was secretly doing this. Wolf’s mother, Maria Anna, was unable to protect him. She died in his arms in Paris. Leopold and Nannerl tried to blame her death on Wolf. This added a terrible burden to Wolf’s own grief.
The ongoing administration of toxic substances without Wolf’s knowledge or permission could have been done as a means of controlling both him and his extraordinary gift. As a result, Wolf was supposed to be little more than a mind-controlled zombie. When Wolf married Constanze, the same thing could have happened by her hand. The antipathy between Constanze and Nannerl, in fact, led to them being buried at opposite ends of Vienna.
Were Wolf’s continual moving from one place to another, as well as his being supposedly ‘not good with money’ in fact connected to this ongoing pogram against him? If so, was he supposed to believe that it was God’s will that he suffer the possibility of bodily harm by those who broke bread with him? If this were to be the case, would that not account for perhaps some of his frantic activity to compose as many pieces as possible as quickly as possible?
But, in a worse-case-scenario, surrounded by a brood of vipers, a vortex of the evil eye, in fact, is it possible that Wolf never believed this lie?
I offer to you Wolf’s last major opera, Die Zauberflote, which defines with some clarity this great gift that he was allowed to be steward of during his life on earth. If so, he knew this gift better than anyone. He believed in the power of this great gift — a gift of brilliance never again seen in music — and a gift of shalom, no matter how trying his earthly circumstances were.