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.

2 Comments:

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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