I was first introduced to the wonderful music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at a very young age, by way of the film Amadeus, starring Tom Hulce and F. Murray Abraham. Though years later, I found out that most of the film was fiction, it still gave a decent portrayal into the turbulent life of the child prodigy, and how his drinking and lifestyle led to an untimely death, thus leaving us all to wonder how much more music he could have written. No composer ever wrote such depth and such beauty, and even though he is not quite my all-time favorite (Tchaikovsky still holds that title), he is no doubt that greatest composer to ever live, hands-down. Because he celebrated his 256th birthday on Friday (personally, I don’t think he looks a day over 200), I decided to devote this first Musical Monday of 2012 to his honor.
The hardest part of this simple article was picking which of his pieces I would like to feature. My absolutely favorite work of his is Requiem, which has been for years and will no doubt remain, unless scholars and historians dig up some sort of long-long composition. This music is like no other ever written—it goes up and down through so many emotions. It is fiery and angry at times, then calm and tranquil the next; and we can all agree that it invigorates your soul like no other sound. My second favorite piece would be the music featured in the Don Giovanni scene of Amadeus (I do not know the exact part of the opera), which is one of the best in the film. However, I did not think it was very fitting of a celebration to play such dark, gloomy music. Instead, we will go with one of his most well-known pieces, the lighthearted overture to The Marriage of Figaro.
In addition to that, I also wanted to post a compilation of Mozart’s music (albeit set to a disco-like theme) from Hooked on Classics, which were big in the 1980’s and 90’s, and really stirred up an interest in classical music once again, because people never realized just how much they already knew. I guarantee that if you listen to this one, and explore all the others, which go through hundreds of different works and composers, you will have a smile on your face because of all the music you will recognize. These albums have really done wonders for music appreciation, and I probably should write an article solely about them, and the work of Louis Clark and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Enjoy!
So, once again, a very happy birthday to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart! He was a man who came into the world at the right time and left his mark, leaving it a much better place for all of us. Just think: what would the world of music be like today if it wasn’t for him?