Friday, July 1, 2011

Mozart - The Beauty and Dangers of the Written Word...

As a child, I was a voracious reader, and at a rather early age, I stumbled across the famous book on Mozart by the brilliant authoress Marcia Davenport called, simply - "Mozart."
I must have read the book four or five times (I remember being of elementary school age), falling more and more into the world of Mozart painted so exquisitely by Davenport, and for a long time Davenport's world of Mozart was my world whenever I thought about this genius, or whenever I played his music.
However, this world was, if not shattered, certainly taken down a few sturdy pegs, as I delved, as a young adult and aspiring musician, more deeply into Mozart's time, and found that Davenport's information about Mozart was, at times, either incomplete, - or simply inaccurate.
This kind of of discovery transmogrified my thinking of and approach to the dangers that are inherently endemic to the relating of Man's history, not only in music, but also in all other aspects of Man's world. As an example - did Hitler actually get elected to power (I've seen this statement more than once in books read), or was he appointed to power? or, "Did Mussolini's trains always run on time?"
Think of David Irving, once a most powerful historical voice, stating that "the survivors of the Holocaust are liars" -
Or Schindler, who followed Beethoven around like a Spaniel, and who became a well-known voice of the life of Beethoven in his writings - sadly, Schindler has been found lacking, let alone inaccurate; even false, on more than one occasion. One can, by going into ensuing research projects on the life of the Beethoven, discover the corrective revising of Schindler and his work.
And yet, when I think of Marcia Davenport, her magnificent color-portrayal of Mozart through her words has not changed my mind about her being one of the great story-tellers of my youth.
I probably will go back one day and read her book once again - and enjoy it.

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