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Friday, January 27, 2006

Happy Birthday, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart!

Mozart's 250th birthday is on Jan 27th. Thanks to the Librarian's Internet Index for pointing that out to me. Also thanks to them for a site on the Mozart effect (increased intelligence from listening to classical music?) (Google is honoring Mozart today with a special adapted logo.)

The film, Amadeus, (adapted from a play of the same name) was loosely based on Mozart's life. It won a number of awards, including the Oscars for best picture, best actor, and best score. The title, Mozart's middle name, which means "beloved of God," gives the theme. Throughout the movie, Antonio Salieri, one of Mozart's contemporaries, asks the question, "Why did God give this youngster so much talent, and not me?" As I recall the film, there really isn't an answer to Salieri's question. I don't have one, either, except that God is sovereign. Each of us have a plan for our life. For a few of us, that includes fame. For most of us, it doesn't. However, like Salieri, and Mozart, each of us is accountable for what we do with what God has given us.

On Jan 26th, KPBS radio broadcast an interview with Eric Bromberger, professional musician and Mozart expert. The interview lasts for several minutes, and includes several excerpts (audio only!) from the movie, including Actor Tom Hulce's laugh, and dialog relating to Mozart's brilliance. Bromberger states that an important part of the plot, namely that Salieri killed Mozart, is a fabrication, but a long-standing one. One bit of dialog, that wherein the Emperor tells Mozart that one of his compositions has "too many notes," and Mozart, carefully, asks which notes His Majesty would like removed, was not included.

A number of quotations from the script of Amadeus are here.

Thanks for reading. Listen to some Mozart. He had God-given talent.


Joy said...

Thanks for the note of support! I hadn't taken the test yet, and I believe I did ok on it.

Michele said...

I took a long time to fall in love with Mozart's work. When I first started listening to classical music regularly, I got sick of hearing about the "boy genius" - it just seemed like so much hype and it seriously put me off his work. However, he gets played such a lot that there was really no escaping him and his work just grew on me ! I can testify to it increasing the power of my concentration and I've heard others say the same thing.

Beethoven will always be my first love, I think, with regard to classical music, but Mozart comes a close second amongst the dead composers.