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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2016 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Confessions of a Mozart Addict

The great composer as drug of choice.
by Paul Pelkonen
Trust him. He's got what you need: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
OK. I admit it. I'm a Mozart addict.

The works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart take up one and a half shelves of my CD collection. Stacked, they'd make a collection about six feet high. Taller if you add the Complete Mozart Edition from Brilliant Classics, which goes nicely next to the older Complete Edition put out by Philips. (That one is incomplete--I'm missing a few sets. All in good time.)

I have (at last count) multiple complete recordings of Le Nozze di Figaro, (seven) Don Giovanni (six)  and Die Zauberflöte (seven). Those three operas never diminish for me upon repeated listenings. Many more have passed through my shelves in the 20 years I've been collecting CDs.


I have several Entführung aus dem Serails (three), Così fan tuttes (five) and Clemenza di Titos (two). I even own four: (counted 'em) four recordings of Idomoneo. Though it's not my favorite Mozart opera it's still one of the best examples of serious 18th century opera, and should be performed more.

I have piano concertos, symphonies and piano sonatas. Serenades, divertissements, and A Musical Joke.

I even own two recordings of his vulgar little Canon in B Flat Major: "Leck mich im arsch."

My first live Mozart opera was probably The Magic Flute although I seem to remember a City Opera attempt at the fragment L'Oca del Cairo.

My first date with a girl in high school: I took her to four hours of Le nozze di Figaro.

And I've been to Salzburg and Vienna, weeping at a performance in the Hohensalzburg of that old party favorite Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.

I know the details of his life. The real ones, not the dramatized falsehoods in Amadeus. I know that he was a genius, and no saint. His unusual gifts led to an unusual childhood, and 37 bright-burning years immersed in the creation of music that has lived in the consciousness of Western thoughts for over two centuries.

I'm hooked on Mozart....and I'm proud of it.

With the exception of the month of August and the occasional opera review, I don't get to write much about Mozart on this blog. But his music, with its rich humanity, endless inventiveness and capacity to surprise the ear even when you've heard it an uncountable number of times never ceases to amaze.

Even a turgid performance of one of the symphonies (like the one the other week) offers opportunities to analyze and marvel the perfect, crystalline structures of notes: houses of cards that glow in rich colors and never collapse.

Yep. I'm addicted. Thank God.
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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats

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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.