In the current Minnegeddon at the MO, is there a lesson to be learned from Mozart?

Hardly anywhere can one find an instance of any musicians going out of their way to show empathy for Wolfgang Mozart.  More to the contrary — he was considered arrogant and rude, not easy to get along with; perhaps at times even downright obnoxious.  Those around him during his life tended to find him irritating, to say the least.  Little did they care that he was on a mission.  He was the best, and he was doing his best.  And what did most of his colleagues do?  They conspired against him behind his back, stole commissions from him, denigrated his character, and, in short, did just about everything possible to sabotage him.

In short, it is fair to say that Mozart was not usually treated fairly.

Yet how did he respond?  Did he pick up his toys and go home?  Did he refuse to negotiate?  (Well, let’s not count the incident with Count Arco :-0).  Did he demand to be treated in a manner commensurate with his gifts or he would refuse to compose?  Did he scour the music community of Vienna looking for colleagues who would work with him to demonize the forces that were locking him out of commissions?  Did he personally attack the credibility of the Emperor for not doing more to protect him from his adversaries?

Well, no.

But what he did do was to focus on that which he did well and continue to do his best no matter what challenges he faced.  By all reports, he was continuing to compose the day he died.  And he managed to do so without showing  ill will to anyone.  He did so in gentleness.  He continued to give — and even though death swallowed him up, the quiet victory of his childlike trust can be heard in all the music he left behind.

It is a fairly good bet that the MO players will end up faring better than Mozart did, no matter what the outcome.  The public and the legislators will not allow the gross injustices of the current orchestra model to continue, no matter how ignored or dispirited the players may be tempted to feel.

In short, a Mozart doesn’t give up…

The old v the ‘new and improved’ MO…sd reply

The MO players in the old days would probably not have allowed themselves to get backed into a corner. But now they consider themselves ‘the best’. It was even their habit, until recently, to misquote AR’s statement about the MO.

Unfortunately, this attitude seems to have had a detrimental affect on their ability to fight for themselves in the real world, which, as the rest of us know, has its injustices and ups and downs and where people are not always treated with the respect commensurate with their talents. It is almost as though they had been led astray by a false piper.

But hopefully, things are moving forward now…

http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2013/07/what-minnesotas-musicians-are-being-asked-to-decide.html#comment-153861

(Was)So much for having the ‘inside track’, Mr. Lebrecht…Indeed he does after all!

The situation at the MO has progressed beyond demonizing either side. According to a Strib article by Graydon Royce, who has been a voice for the players throughout this difficult lockout, no ultimatum is being given nor voted on at this time.
http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/blogs/216500001.html

It seems fair to say that we too can benefit the players by maintaining as positive and constructive an attitude as possible.

That there are negotiations going on is a tremendous move forward. Anything can be negotiated.

7.26.13

There may be even more to this than meets the eye…Mr. Lebrecht stands by his earlier statements:

http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2013/07/the-nitty-gritty-of-minnesotas-refusable-offer.html

So, although posting details from the MO players point of view may not be helpful to furthering the spirit of negotiation, this may well have been what occurred early on…

9.9.13 update…as it turns out, Mr. Lebrecht, was indeed correct about the offer and anticipated rejection by the players, and unfairly taken to task by those attempting to distract the public from the significance of what he posted.  Our hats are off to him.:-)

$$$ and the current orchestra model…adaptistration reply…

There seem to be (at least) a couple of ironic facts involved in money and the current model for orchestras.

First, the orchestra associations are non-profit, when they really want to make money and need a great deal of it.

Second, the players are put in an Oliver Twist-like position, having, in a worst case scenario, to practically beg for their daily gruel. Even with the union blocking for them, the players are put at a disadvantage by being dependent on non-musicians to find the money to support them — or, in the case of Minnesota, to not…

http://www.adaptistration.com/blog/2013/07/18/does-the-psychology-of-wealth-influence-the-orchestra-field/#comment-32109

When the table is turned…sd reply

It does seem ironic that the players who willingly signed themselves on as, in effect, pampered servants of the MOA, then turned and revolted when times got tough, rather than first saying to themselves, ‘wait a moment, would a revolt amount to cutting our own throats’?  

http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2013/07/just-in-minnesota-cancels-summer.html#comment-149583

Time for the MO players to live in the real world? :-0 …sd reply…

It seems now that in the old days the MO players were a bit more flexible with management. The current group of players has tended to repeatedly misstate Alex Ross’ statement about a MO concert at CH where ‘for that one night’ they played like the best orchestra in the world, and turned it into ‘they are always the best orchestra in the world’. Even Mr. Ross corrected that misconception.

There seems to be a kind of rigidity to their mindset, and, with the greatest of respect for all of the players, having any sort of a chip on one’s shoulder tends to lead one to a dead end. It is almost as though they are being led astray by a false piper.

What in the world (to aspire to)? sd reply…

Especially considering the ongoing angst at the MO, one might be tempted to wonder why any musician with dreams of great success would aspire to be a member of an orchestra, when the big money seems to be in either being a successful soloist, conductor, or part of management…

http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2013/07/what-does-the-head-of-lincoln-center-get-paid.html#comment-147406

America down the tubes? :-0 sd reply…

It is my thinking that there are, in effect, two USA’s — one that is ultimately false, and one that is true, and that they are in conflict. If this is a valid premise, then good may win out. So may it be with music, and the MO.

http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2013/07/its-no-holiday-in-minnesota-thats-because-theres-no-work.html#comment-147058

 

Anyone but (the real) Mozart……

It wasn’t long after Wolfgang Mozart came into the world that the Kingdom of the Night (in other words, the underworld of ‘serious’ music) decided that he had to go.  As a result, wherever he went, he was met with superficial politeness that he tended to misinterpret as the respect he believed he deserved.  In truth, he was usually being flattered to his face while being stabbed in the back.  As a result, a number of commissions that could have been his were withheld from him.  He couldn’t figure out why, when his music was more elegant and exquisite than that of others.  Wherever he went, while his music was promoted, his character was slandered, even during his lifetime.  The play and movie “Amadeus” managed to collect most all of the outrageous lies about Mozart and put them in one place (for convenient reference). It also managed to take a final slap at him for attempting to claim that he had become an embarrassment to his Creator.  (Apparently, Mozart could do nothing right.)

And so, emotionally and spiritually strangled by the enormous gifts Wolf had been given which the KOTN tried to convince him were not that much different than anything they had been given, he succumbed to the nefarious plots against him and left the earth at an early age.

No sooner had that happened, then the KOTN started begging for another Mozart!  Each new protege was tapped as the original’s possible replacement.  Here a Mozart, there a Mozart, everywhere a Mozart! Mozart!

It doesn’t seem to have occurred to any of the ‘professional’ musicians, who perform and promote Mozart’s music as though waving a banner of some sort of shameful victory, that there will probably never be another Mozart.  Oh, and let’s not forget to remind them of the fact that they didn’t like the first one!

So, just about everywhere one goes these days, somebody is trying to apply to themselves attributes that they attribute to Mozart, while at the same time demonstrating almost unbridled scorn at the original.  If one looks below the surface, it becomes evident that there are a multitude, in fact, of those thinking they have profited by his death (which may have been murder), appropriated his music, and gained access to the Mozart g’zillions that his brilliant catalogue of compositions has generated throughout the years.

Shameful…