Another Mozart Year
Of the many composers who have anniversaries in 2011, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is at the top of the list (he passed away in 1791). A prominent commemoration has already begun in Britain with BBC Radio 3 airing every single one of his known compositions—over 600—during the first half of January.
Although we can’t imagine a world without an exalted view of Mozart, Nicholas Kenyon reminds us that it may only be a recent phenomenon.
…Mozart’s place as the greatest of composers has not always been so secure. We have had a love-hate relationship with his music, and it is not so long since Maria Callas declared that “Mozart’s music is dull” and Glenn Gould complained that “Mozart was a bad composer who died too late rather than too early”. It was probably overexposure to some of the simpler, emptier arias and piano sonatas that provoked those remarks: harder to forgive is Delius’s jibe that “if a man tells me he likes Mozart, I know in advance that he is a bad musician”.
Read More: How Mozart got his groove back (The Telegraph)
(Mozart drawing by Doris Stock, 1789; photo: Wikimedia Commons)