Idomeneo

“Nevertheless the passions, whether violent or not, should never be so expressed as to reach the point of disgust; and music, even in situations of the greatest horror, should never be painful to the ear but should flatter and charm it, and thereby always remain music.”

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Mozart will forever remain an endless source of joy. But it is not only worth to note this characteristic, which is, I guess, the one which is most fervently and commonly described. His music is a complex, living substance of intermingling forms, which are not only joyful, but also bleak and contemplative, tense and sleek.

What we appreciate is that overwhelming equilibrium of forces, sometimes concluding after an original implosion of doubt. One can see it at times timidly emerging, as in, for example, his Don Giovanni overture or his 39th Symphony, afterwards reaffirming itself, to then delve into new paths of exploration, but remaining always, inventive, perpetually human. It is perhaps this universal quality which has always prevailed when describing his music, an everlasting sense of harmony which derives from an observation of nature, an architectural perfection of a common order.

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When listening to him, one can easily and erroneously picture a man whose talent is but a flowing apparition, the concept of strife in the composer hardly ever comes to mind. A span of more that 626 works in merely 30 years (considering he was 5 when he oficially started his music work) is no feat to take for granted. The fact is he was someone of endless toil, with comissions and performances overlapping the other in his successful period, who then had to recourse to an uncomfortable life of touring as his finances worsened towards his last period. He never stopped working, and the amount of duties were straining. It was only the last year of his life were he was removed of his financial issues, and yet again, through very hard work.

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In spite of the brief glimpse history had of his genius, he will remain…”Immortal Mozart! You to whom I owe everything — to whom I owe it that once again my soul has lost itself in wonder, yes, is thrilled to its depths — you to whom I owe that I have not gone through life without being deeply shaken, that I did not die without having loved…” (Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or, Part I)

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For his 261st birthday celebration, what more fitting than Mozar Torte with coffee? To go along, Clara Haskill’s and Arthur Grumiaux’s splendid performance of the Sonatas for Piano and Violin.

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Mozart was a being so angelical and child-like in his purity, his music is so full of unattainably divine beauty, that if there is someone whom one can mention with the same breath as Christ, then it is he. […] It is my profound conviction that Mozart is the highest, the culminating point which beauty has reached in the sphere of music. Nobody has made me cry and thrill with joy, sensing my proximity to something that we call the ideal, in the way that he has […] In Mozart I love everything because we love everything in a person whom we truly love. Above all I love Don Giovanni, as it was thanks to this work that I found out what music is.

Tchaikovsky’s diary entry for September 20/October 2, 1886.

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