On this auspicious day I am adding a new blog — the Other Mozart… http://theothermozart.wordpress.com/ On this blog I will be focusing on looking at the life of Wolfgang Mozart from a different perspective…well, mine. I will be exploring the nebulous topic of Wolfgang Mozart as a Christian; something that is rarely tackled. I will be including posts with a Bible slant, and label them so (MFB– Mozart for Believers)…and hopefully I will make some inroads in defining my unique position, which seems, in many instances, to be akin from living inside an opera…well, ahem…yes…
Have you so little curiosity? There seem to be a couple of issues worth debating. Was Mozart, as he said, actually poisoned? What was Salieri’s main concern, guilt over feeling he had contributed (directly or indirectly) to Mozart’s early demise, or concern that the rumours were flying all around Vienna that he was responsible — even to the point of Beethoven’s putting in his two cents worth? How did these rumours (if they were that) contribute to Salieri’s breakdown?
There have been a spate of articles recently on the stalemate of the MOA and the locked-out players. Here is just one:
Unfortunately, all of these articles seem to have been written from a mindset of thinking ‘inside-the-box’. Everyone is fretting and worrying about the “Minnesota Orchestra” and its players. This is all fair and good — however, it seems to be only part of the picture.
As I have stated in other posts, when the MO decided the name “Minneapolis Symphony” no longer suited its needs, despite the fact that it had gained worldwide aclaim under it, everyone involved in making this decision should have done their homework. Especially the now-conductor-emeritus SS, who undoubtedly has a detailed understanding of music and music history. Apparently, nobody bothered to take anything but a superficial, if any, look at a profound mystery that could be impacting itself on this state, as symbolized by the name change of the orchestra.
Why was Wolfgang Mozart’s life cut short in such a dramatic and unexpected way? Did he die a natural death, or was he, perhaps murdered? Why was there always so much conflict around Mozart and everything he did? Why, no matter how hard he tried, was he unable to be treated as anything other than the ‘bad boy’ of classical music — almost universally disliked and disrespected? How could one man be at the center of what seemed to be such a vicious vortex?
Ironically, another product with a connection to Minnesota attempted to explain this — the sardonic, sarcastic and even contemptuous portrayal of Wolfgang Mozart in the 80’s movie “Amadeus”. It was Sir NM, who was, at the time, director of the MO, who was responsible for the sound track for that movie.
One might get the impression from “Amadeus” that Wolfgang Mozart was dead and gone, never to be a bother again. And good riddance, one might add. But again, as I say, that may be a very superficial view.
It is my thesis that the name change from the MSO to the MO heralded a new era, not just in the history of this particular orchestra, but in that of classical music itself. All the angst and apparent death pangs of the last fifteen months, however, may, instead, be indications of a new and exciting time for everyone involved.
Just a thought to consider…
I own those books, of course, as well as just about everything I can find on Mozart, at least in English and German. I am happy to debate any substantive claim you might make.
You have not pointed out any cite to substantiate your position, as yet, have you? How are we to know which passage you find most persuasive? I am psychic, but not that good. :-0
You surely also realize that historians take a point of view and attempt to persuade others to it by their weighing and evaluating of documentation. They were not there. And besides, imo, they tend to fall short, as they miss key elements of what made Mozart different. To that extent, for starters, they tend to disappoint.
I do stand corrected, however, in that AMADEUS managed to leave out gambling specifically. I have yet to find any primary documentation to support the theory that he did have a problem. In fact, the closest thing I can find is the fact of common knowledge that Puchberg fed Mozart only smallish sums of money. Was gambling the reason why?
It is not my intent to whitewash Mozart, but to define who he really was, flaws and all, without the lavish doses of libel that tend to color many accounts of his life. Wolf is, of course, the main character of my current project.
The homework I suggested, to take a look at Wolf’s last major opera and ask whether there is any possible connection between “Monostatos” and the MO, was presented in hopes that you would start to think outside-of-the-box in regards to Wolf. Or not. Your choice.
@Michael Schaffer said,”Except that it so happened that he wasn’t Austrian. During his lifetime, Salzburg was not a part of Austria. I know you couldn’t have known that because that wasn’t mentioned in “Amadeus” from where it seems you guys got all you know about Mozart.”
If by “you guys” you mean Americans, in this case I hope I can demonstrate that you are mistaken. One of my objectives is to correct the misconceptions of “Amadeus”. That happened to be a US movie, of course, with a MO connection, in that the then conductor SNM, directed the soundtrack of that tasteless movie and was very upset when he couldn’t get an Oscar for it.
You also said, “Like with any other successful artist, obviously there were people who were envious of his abilities or who disliked him personally. But on the whole, he was highly successful in Vienna. He earned a lot more money than most other musicians and lived a very comfortable lifestyle.”
That seems a somewhat simplistic statement. He was not ‘highly successful’. He was very much in debt when he died. And, although he worked harder than most other composers, if you look at the number of pieces performed in the length of time he lived, many of which are still considered masterpieces, he didn’t really live very long and certainly did not get to enjoy any financial independence.
And you just had to add, “Unfortunately, it seems that he wasn’t good at handling money and that he also had a little gambling problem. ” Excuse me? That is straight from Amadeus, and it isn’t the whole truth. He had a wife whom he was doing his best to care for and was intent on keeping the rights to his music. He was very controversial and unpopular, in terms of people stepping up to pave the way for his financial success. He did not seem to schmooze well on that level, and did not have the resources available today to superstars to maximize all of their intellectual properties.
If you really want to do some homework on Mozart, why not open up his last major opera and find a character with a name similar to Minnesota, and then ask if there could be any connection between that and what is happening at the MO.