Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mozart , The Great Communicator!

Countless books have been written about Mozart, of course. His music pervades the civilized world, and has so for over two centuries.
It might also be enlightening to delve into letters written to and by him; to and from friends, family and countless others relating to the business of music, etc. The best compilation, in my view, was one put together by Emily Anderson, who also worked on Beethoven's letters.
What comes to my mind at this particular point in time were two letters written by Mozart; one in 1770; the other, in 1772 (which made him 14 and 16, respectively).
In the 1770 letter, written to his mother and sister (written from Rome): "Praise and thanks be to God, I am well and kiss Mama's hand and my sister's face, nose, mouth, neck and my bad pen and a___(3-letter word!), if it is clean."
The letter in 1772, written to his sister, is quite lengthy, and was written from Milan; the end of the letter contains "Farewell, my little lung. I kiss you my liver, and remain as always, my stomach, your unworthy brother Wolfgang.
Please, please, my dear sister, something is biting me. Do come and scratch me."
There are many letters written in this vein by the young genius, and what comes to mind is the movie Amadeus, released in the 80's, purportedly the story of Mozart, and loaded with fiction (by the way, the performers of his music in that film were magnificent). Perhaps, one of the few aspects which carried the truth was the superb characterization by the actor Tom Hulce, who portrayed him as a truly weird character, with decided antisocial proclivities.
We certainly know of the tragedy of Mozart, who could not hold onto any employment for long, and was impoverished almost all of his brief experience.It seems that the Wunderkind had not experienced growing into manhood successfully, and paid the price.

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