Happy Birthday Mozart! – Naomi Yoran

A Birthday party is an occasion to celebrate. Especially when we mark
at least 200 years of continuous performances and great public
admiration which does not show any signs of fatigue. That great
composers admired him, is not surprising. Who else had the gift to
compose in all forms: symphonies, concertos, operas & chamber
music? Who else did it with such ease? But among us, the "general
public" who else acquired the reputation of increasing our IQ if we
just listen to his music in infancy?

So why is sadness creeping in? Am I the only one who laments his
short life when ever his music is played? He was not the only composer
who died young. So did Schubert and Chopin and Mendelssohn… But
somehow, Mozart’s short life feels so tragic to me. I can’t stop
thinking of all the music he would have composed would he lived another
twenty years…In my mind his music would have enriched the romantic
composers if only he would have stepped into the 19th century.

Back to the celebratory program. It was interesting in it’s choice
of compositions and its insight into the creative mind of Mozart.
Having the Exsultate Jubilate followed by the Piano Concerto No.22 and concluding with Symphony No.41
created a chronological journey through his life. But for me, what
captured my imagination, was the contradictions between the phase in
his life in which each composition was created and it’s musical
language & mood.

Mozart composed the Exsultate Jubilate when he was only seventeen. This Motet for Soprano sounds confident & polished. The Piano Concerto No.22 was composed at the height of his career & fame yet the concerto sounds so melancholic… Symphony No.41,
his last symphony, was composed when his personal life was falling
apart and his music was in low demand. Yet, the symphony is so
expressive and exuberant! So much for trying to reveal art through
biography… So maybe this is the power of genius.

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