The Requiem has a complex history, riddled with deception and manipulation of public opinion. The work was commissioned by Count Walsegg in July 1791 who wanted to pass off the work as his own, so the circumstances of the commission were kept secret. Upon Mozart's death, Constanze (Mozart's wife) had the work completed by other composers, but to receive final payment, their assistance had to remain a secret. When it became known that others besides Mozart had a hand in writing the Requiem , Constanze insisted that Mozart left explicit instructions for the work's completion.
With all of these levels of deceptions and secrets, it is inevitable that many myths would emerge with respect to the circumstances of the work's completion. One series of myths surrounding the Requiem involves the role Antonio Salieri played in the commissioning and completion of the Requiem and in Mozart's death generally.