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…


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