Posts Tagged ‘amadeus’

I play the cello. At the moment, quite badly. But I used to practice and play a lot so I used to be quite a lot better. But one thing I have never understood is the general .. obsession? …persistence? of Mozart.  Mozart’s music reminded me of my primary school teacher commanding us never to use the word nice. For me, that’s what Mozart was “nice”. Fairly pleasant, but still somehow generic. Your typical classical music. I felt that once you’d played one piece you’ve kind of played them all.

However, I am always keen to learn new things and I especially enjoying seeing things that have become commonplace in a new light. So, off I trotted to a Mozart workshop. I was really just looking forward to playing my ‘cello in an orchestra and maybe to learn something about Mozart.  I was even up front with the conductor,
“Mozart’s not really my thing.” I tentatively declared. You have to be tentative with conductors. In my experience they tend to be passionate people and dissing their pet composer can be dodgy. But she took it well and asked why. To my “It’s kind of boring” response, she confidently declared:
“Well I can fix that!” which gave me hope.

She was right.  By the end of that day I was somewhat thawed.  Still a few bits and bobs bored me to death, but the requiem… WOW!  I had also talked myself into playing in the pit for a production of ‘Amadeus’.  By the end of rehearsals and 4 performances my thoughts on Mozart and my week are:

  1. I now think that the requiem is amazing, beautiful, wonderful… This is especially odd for me as generally choral works leave me cold, but there we are.  Other things, not so much but they are growing on me to (if I’m honest). 
  2. I’ve also come to realise that I’m still pushing things away from myself, not letting myself be overwhelmed or emotional.
  3. Musicians are odd.  Maybe not generally, but at my university, they are odd.  They are either ecstatically happy but actually sad, or ecstatically sad but actually happy, or pretending to be interested in something that bores them silly.  I don’t know which of these speculations is closest to the mark, maybe a combination of all of them and a thousand more (the usual case with human beings).  Anyway, by the end of the week of performance I felt deeply uncomfortable. I think they’d be much happier and much better musicians if they listened more, tried more and were more honest with themselves and others.  Really, I felt that I had to re-explain myself all week and I’m not sure whether that’s because they weren’t listening the first time or whether they actually just didn’t get it or what.
  4. Passion, in the form of music, or interest, or just plain honesty is vastly undervalued.
  5. ‘Amadeus’ would be so much better reinterpreted as unrequited romantic love.  Mozart straight and thus unavailable. Salieri in love and pissed off that he’ll never get anywhere with Mozart.  It would be much more interesting and would have been less awkward to watch four+ times.  Well for me anyways, gender and sexuality fascinate me.
  6. I should always trust someone when they say “I can fix that”.  Even if I know they can’t, being proved wrong is always educational.

Anyways, this has been an unenlightening and somewhat tangential post about Mozart.  But really, the requiem… *sigh*