Friday, January 27, 2006

Happy Mozart 250

Mozart's birthday came and went. On the way to London this morning to play a very un-Mozartian all-Schubert recital, I listened to part of the Mozart-Canada Timeline program on CBC Radio 2, juxtaposing Mozart's biography with Canadian events that happened at the same time.

Last night Wendy and I went to see the TSO's
Mozart: A Life in Letters, featuring Colm Feore, Karina Gauvin, Michael Schade (who created and developed the show), and Russell Braun, conducted by Peter Oundjian and directed by Donna Feore.

So far, this Mozart anniversary seems be much more low-key than the 1991 bicentennial. Here are some tidbits from the recent hoopla:

William Kristol in the Weekly Standard says

Norman Lebrecht in La Scena Musicale says

canadienne is
making a year of it.

The CBC is
making a meal of it.

Festivities in
Salzburg, Vienna, Prague.

Mozart is also an avid blogger.

Not to mention his sister, Nannerl.

Finally, from Herr Mozart himself, a selection from his letter of July 3, 1778 on the occasion of the successful premiere of his symphony K.297 at the Concerts Spirituels in Paris:

I had heard that final Allegros, here, must begin in the same way as the first ones, all the instruments playing together, mostly in unison. I began mine with nothing but the first and second violins playing softly for eight bars--then there is a sudden forte. Consequently, the listeners (just as I had anticipated) all went "Sh!" in the soft passage--then came the sudden forte--and no sooner did they hear the forte than they all clapped their hands. I was so glad that the minute the Symphony was finished, I went to the Palais Royal, ordered a good ice cream, said my Rosary as I had vowed to do, and went home.

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