Tuesday, October 21, 2008

If Mozart Had had Better Healthcare...

POOR Mozart, who died at 35, must have inherited at least the potential for longevity from his parental gene pool.His father, Leopold Mozart, died at 67, a ripe old age in an era when rampant illnesses claimed the majority of European children in infancy. Sadly, Mozart’s indomitable mother, Anna Maria, died at 58 while in Paris, having contracted viral infections and a severe fever during an arduous trip with her rambunctious, opportunity-seeking 22-year-old son. Mozart’s sister, Nannerl, who had also been a musical prodigy, died in 1829 in Salzburg at the impressive age of 78, having well outlived her husband, an officious Austrian prefect and two-time widower with five children, who resented their stepmother.
Mozart’s death in 1791 was probably caused by streptococcal infection, renal failure, terminal bronchial pneumonia and a matrix of other illnesses, some dating from his childhood, when the Mozart family spent years touring Europe to show off the boy genius and, to a lesser extent, his sister.

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