My gripe with the music world at large is this: why is Mozart’s Symphony No. 30 so infrequently performed? It is amazing, and I have a whole new appreciation for his music (though I still think Mozart was creepy). I was re-reading my blog posts from last season, in which I had incessantly complained about my inability to “connect” with Mozart’s music—even going so far as to say that I wanted to “duke it out” with him. (And since he has been gone for a very long time, I needn’t worry about any annoying restraining orders.) It feels like the kind of music that one is supposed to enjoy, though I’ve had difficulty…but perhaps that’s just in regard to his “serious” compositions. Symphony No. 30 is a fun piece of work that, in my own mind, had little or no expectation for anything more.
Maybe I’ll never actually say that I *heart* Mozart, but I think I can relate to him, or at least to his early works. I can imagine Mozart living in Salzburg, among his many friends and admirers, experimenting and writing brilliant works like this one, striving to find his musical niche. Trying to find oneself is something to which we all can relate. I can see Mozart having the time of his life while writing this, and loving it.
And then there’s Ms. Chee-Yun, who ripped out my heart and tossed it onto Penn Avenue. Her wailing violin evoked emotions that made me want to either spiral into despair, or soar to the heights of unequivocal bliss. Mendelssohn’s Concerto in E minor is a brilliant piece of work. It has been a very long time since I’ve been as engaged with a performance as I was with this one. There were moments when I wanted to weep (and, I assure you, I am far from being the weepy type). Cheen-Yun was absolutely dazzling. I wish that I’d gotten her autograph.
As a side note, I was pleased to see that Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 will be performed this weekend at the PSO. The subtitle for the performance is “Zoroastrian Riddles.” It was derived from a story about Mozart, in which he dressed up as the Persian philosopher, Zoroaster, and handed out pamphlets with riddles and proverbs. Tell me that’s not completely creepy…but at least the music will be entertaining.