Friday, November 14, 2008

Mozart - What Was He Like?

The movie "Amadeus," which supposedly portrayed Mozart, was indeed a brilliant movie as regards the costumes, locations, and musical performances, let alone the superb cinematography; however, the story was pretty much fictionalized, as other movies depicting the lives of great composers had been before this film was released.
But I must say that the actor portraying the great genius, whose name is Tom Hulce, did a really fine job representing the social weakness and immaturity of this supremely gifted composer.
We do know, as Hulce projected in the film, that Mozart, at times, was petulant, silly, insulting, childish, and just plain difficult to get along with a good deal of the time. He was certainly not in the favor of some of the members of the Emperor's court, and Salieri, the Emperor's Composer, probably hated the existence of Mozart, chiefly out of the fear that he realized that Mozart was a far more gifted composer than he was, and probably felt threatened by the young genius' gifts.
Some of the letters written by Mozart tell us of his social make-up. I heartily recommend the great compilation by Emily Anderson, which consists of the letters to and from Mozart, as well as the letters written to and from the Mozart family.
I call your attention to one letter, as an example, written by Mozart, from Milan, in 1772, to his sister. The following is at the end of this letter:
"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."
Just one example of several which demonstrate Mozart's personality structure.
One time, he was literally kicked out of a Count's home, actually bodily removed.
And on it went.
The towering nature of his power as a musician - one thing.
The make-up of his person - another issue.

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