Whilst plotting Mozart's death, the scheming Salieri helps a dying Mozart compose his own requiem mass
Salieri: I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint.
Salieri: I didn't. That was Mozart. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Priest: The man you accuse yourself of killing.
Salieri: He was my idol. Mozart... I can't think of a time when I didn't know his name.
Salieri: They showed no corrections of any kind. Not one. He had simply written down music already finished in his head. Page after page of it as if he were just taking dictation. And music, finished as no music is ever finished. Displace one note and there would be diminishment. Displace one phrase and the structure would fall.
Salieri: On the page it looked nothing. The beginning simple, almost comic. Just a pulse - bassoons and basset horns - like a rusty squeezebox. Then suddenly - high above it - an oboe, a single note, hanging there unwavering, till a clarinet took over and sweetened it into a phrase of such delight! This was no composition by a performing monkey! This was a music I'd never heard. Filled with such longing, such unfulfillable longing, it had me trembling. It seemed to me that I was hearing the very voice of God.
Salieri: All I wanted was to sing to God. He gave me that longing...and then made me mute. Why? Tell me that. If He didn't want me to praise him with music, why implant the desire? Like a lust in my body! And then deny me the talent?
Salieri: I heard the music of true forgiveness filling the theater, conferring on all who sat there, perfect absolution. God was singing through this little man to all the world, unstoppable, making my defeat more bitter with every passing bar.
Salieri: That was not Mozart laughing, Father... that was God!
Salieri (addressing a crucifix): From now on we are enemies, You and I. Because You choose for Your instrument a boastful, lustful, smutty, infantile boy and give me for reward only the ability to recognize the incarnation. Because You are unjust, unfair, unkind, I will block You, I swear it. I will hinder and harm Your creature on earth as far as I am able.
Mozart: Which few did you have in mind, Majesty?
Count: Mozart, you are not the only composer in Vienna.
Mozart: No. But I'm the best!
Mozart: It's unbelievable, the director has actually torn up a huge section of my music. They say I have to rewrite the opera. But it's perfect as it is! I can't rewrite what's perfect!
Mozart: Sire, only opera can do this. In a play if more than one person speaks at the same time, it's just noise, no one can understand a word. But with opera, with music - with music you can have twenty individuals all talking at the same time, and it's not noise, it's a perfect harmony!
Mozart: I am fed up to the teeth with elevated themes! Old dead legends! Why must we go on forever writing about gods and legends?
Mozart: It's killing me.
Salieri: Consigned to flames of woe.
Mozart: Do you believe in it?
Mozart: A fire which never dies, burning you forever?
Salieri: Oh yes.