Friday, January 27, 2006

In which David Remembers Mozart

Yeah, today is Mozart's Quarter-Millennium. It's a really big media deal. So here's my big reverent obeisance to the master. Can't someone be honest about it and just start a Mozart Religion? Call it Mozartism.

Or maybe someone could be REALLY honest about it. An LA Times editorial today said "More nonsense has been written about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart than almost any historical figure except Jesus Christ."

When I was a college student I was part of a group who made Mozart's birthday a private holiday. Usually it was celebrated by smoking something we should not have possessed in a location where we should not have been. Like in a concert hall.

After college I decorated my first apartment with a large lithograph of Mozart that I had rescued from a scrap heap. It had a heavy wooden frame in very bad condition. Later my mother spent a lot of money on fixing the frame - refinishing the wood and adding new glass and matting. She hung it in her home proudly. Now Mozart hangs in my office, watching my every move from beyond.

Years ago I attended an LA Philharmonic concert which included a Mozart piano concerto. I sat through it, the critical professional musician cataloging problems: too fast, too slow, out of tune - whatever. I was not happy. When it finished, a woman sitting next to me, a complete stranger, turned and said: "Isn't that the most beautiful thing you've ever heard?" I learned an awful lot about music from her, mostly about not thinking too much about music.


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