Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mozart as a second Innocent Smith? Part I

In one of my college-level textbooks on Mozart, the author states that although "Amadeus" took significant liberties with Mozart's character, Mozart seems to have been a child prodigy who never really grew up. Of course, for us Chestertonians, there are two kinds of not-growing-up. One is the person with an adult body and a child's mind: the eternal pop teenager (horrors!). And the other, of course, is the intellectually mature, unusually sensible, completely misunderstood eternal Chestertonain Child. Which was Mozart?

I don't know yet. I need to read the book, not just look at it. Until then, however, I would welcome your comments.


Love2Learn Mom said...

From what I understand, he was more of the eternal pop teenager sort - at least in his moral behavior.

RoseinFaith said...

I can think of very few composers who did not have sad lives. The only one who really seemed to have had a happy life was Johann Sebastian Bach.

But the others...some of them, indeed, made some very regrettable choices. I always try to give them the benefit of the doubt though, for this reason: they were able to use their God-given talents to a good purpose, the composition of beautiful, inspirational music. If Mozart could compose something as beautiful as "Ave Verum Corpus," he couldn't have been irredeemably out of touch with God and reality.

God Bless,

Hans Lundahl said...

Mozart was a free mason, alas, he was also coprophile, but he was poor and a faithful husband who took the procreaqtion part of marriage seriously.

As for growing up or not, I do not really think that modern notions of what growing up means were very applicable in XVIII C Salzburg, Vienna, Prague ....

What about supporting another composer (me):


Hans Lundahl said...

More on composers:

Joseph Haydn also joined the lodge - and he also left it. He was devout in the manner of Rococo Churches - a priest complained that one of his Church compositions was too hilarious, and he replied that thinking of God made him happy. He prayed the Rosary before composing. His marriage was unhappy, his wife nagging and he was unfaithful - when away on journeys, so she did not have to worry.

Vivaldi was a priest. He was forbidden to say mass. One legend has it he left mass to write down a tune, risked getting burned for sacrilege, was acquitted on account of madness, and then lived on as a composer. Others say, he was simply weak of heart and forbidden mass for reasons of health. Anyway, after that he composed to make a living for the girls' orphanage he was responsible for.

Verdi was, as a composer, a businessman, and happily married. He was also anticlerical, as many Latin liberals in those days. Popes=Habsburg Empire=foreign occupants of Venice and Trieste was more or less his line of thought.

Wagner sometimes had to leave the country for political agitation, until he found refuge with Ludwig II of Bavaria. Otherwise he was a lot like Verdi. Maybe less anticlerical.

Franz Schubert was drunk and - I have lately heard - attrapped syphilis when frequenting harlots. He was, thus, unhappily unmarried. He lived on through the care of friends who loved his music.

I have taken only such composers as I enjoy all or some music of.

Old Fashioned Liberal said...

Well, Mr. Lundhal, I am a composer too...but I don't have a website. Come visit MY other blog sometime (check my profile for it). If you post your e-mail on the flying-ins, I'll send you an invitation to my blog. I might send you some compositions too, and you can send me yours.

p.s. I don't know any French

Hans Lundahl said...

Dear Old Fashioned Liberal!

first a small aside:
Lund - ahl are the syllables of my name, as I analyse them. Ah is old spelling (=current German) for long a.

Then: Disciples of Diotima has been added to my blogroll. Will be visited. God willing and internet connexions permitting.

The space available for photos on MSN Groups is up, I am continuing on blogger (last links on piano and guitar compositions as well as one or two of the cello go there). So could you.

Gist of the French is: Hey, musicians, amateurs and professionals: have some fun, make some money (if you want), send me some money if you think I'm worth it (on Donativo account), but you do not owe me.

I play no instrument, alas, so I could not play yours.

If you want yours played, I suggest that you follow my example. The MSN GRoup Antimodernism is already open for new members, you need no invitation. If you make an album with your compositions, I will make another personalised page for indexing it, and you can link (in message) to any bank account you like. As for blogger, you already have an account, why not use it?

Old Fashioned Liberal said...

From the book, it became very clear that Mozart was quite un-Innocent. One of his greatest faults, I found, was believing that everyone was "out to get him." Rats.