Saturday, 28 January 2006

Happy Birthday Wolfgang!

It is this day 250 years since the birth of arguably the most prolific and gifted musician, composer and entertainer that ever lived.

The Telegraph heaped upon him this morning more eloquent and better informed praise than I ever could. But I am in awe of a composer so versatile as to be able to compose such differing pieces as Don Giovanni and Die Zauberflote, or the Figaro overture and the Requiem, with equal acclaim.

It is long been my belief that those blessed with genius are sadly also blessed in equal measure with psychosis. Only such untethered human minds can truly reach such heights and depths.

The 80's film Amadeus is no masterpiece, but it remains a movie that I can and do watch over and over without tiring. It achieves in ninety minutes what several music teachers failed to achieve in a dozen years of schooling - cement the simplest message in my mind, that classical music and its composers were as popular and celebrated in their day as Coldplay and Robbie Williams are in ours. Amadeus was no less an anti-establishment, daring, risk taking musician and showman than Freddie Mercury or Johnny Rotten.

Shame on the BBC that they clear the decks for George Best but fail to honour this wonderful anniversary - the anniversary of a man whose contribution to the world was not simply a body of music so powerful and beautiful as to illicit the heights of emotion in its audience but also the very concept that music exists to push boundaries and to sweep away the constraints of class and pomposity.

Lara and I are going to Vienna for a single weekend this summer during which we shall indulge in our favourite music - the Operas of Mozart and the modern entertainment of Robbie Williams. Cool or what!

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