Friday, January 27, 2006


Mozart's Geburtstag

Plaque on Mozart's birth house in Salzburg

Today is a happy anniversary, indeed: it is Mozart's 250th birthday. One might wish Mozart a happy birthday, but I think he doesn't care much for birthday wishes nor gifts, having been dead for 214 years. Rather, I'd like to wish the world a "Happy Mozart's Birthday", as it was Mozart who left us with so many wonderful gifts.

Who doesn't recognize the opening violin chords of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, or the first movement of his 40th symphony? The '70s art-rock band Triumvirat used the overture to Mozart's opera The Abduction from the Seraglio to open their album Mediterranean Tales. Music from his clarinet quintet appeared in the TV series M*A*S*H, his piano sonatas are well known to any who study the piano, and choruses sing his Requiem regularly. Ingemar Bergman directed a movie version of Mozart's Masonic opera Die Zauberflöte (translated into Swedish). And we all saw a fanciful account of the troubled composer's life in the play and movie Amadeus.

Let's spend today remembering and enjoying, for Mozart's birthday, the gifts he gave us — gifts that will live forever.

No comments: