Friday, January 27, 2006

Happy 250th Birthday Wolfgang

As someone devoted to early music, I have to confess that sometimes I find Mozart's music a bit...well, frilly. As the Hapsburg emperor says to the maestro in the film Amadeus, one feels at times that there are a few too many notes.

Nonetheless, it seems impossible to disregard a genius of his order, and indeed, his mass settings, while elaborate, are heartbreakingly beautiful. I am listening to the Kyrie of the Mass in D minor (K.427) as I write this. It succeeds in uplifting one's soul to contemplate heaven, and to offer thanksgiving to God for placing on earth a composer of so many extraordinary pieces of music. The Swiss theologian Karl Barth began each day with a little Mozart before setting forth into the depths of his dogmatics. Perhaps it was because to write about God one needed to feel joy, if even for a moment, and Mozart is the quintessential composer of joy. Even his Requiem cannot constrain the undercurrent of joy which inhabits all of Mozart's music. Joy dances through his measures like a thoroughbred colt, shaking its head in amazement that it is alive and so gifted.


Blogger Steve said...

Hey Scott, I'd say it took all those notes to evoke the exuberant joy you laud. I just listened to the Magic Flute overture lately - great stuff!

11:04 AM  
Blogger Scribe said...

Yeah, I was really just kidding about that. I like your Spurgeon photo, by the way!

12:30 PM  

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