Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Music of Our Lives

"Music is my life and my life is music. Anyone who does not understand this is not worthy of god."

Wolfgang A. Mozart

Sometime in 1779 — 235 years ago — Wolfgang Mozart composed "Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra." The 23–year–old Mozart was on a tour of Europe when he composed it while dabbling with the sinfonia concertante genre.

In a brilliant example of how art transcends media, the composition was mentioned in William Styron's "Sophie's Choice." After being molested by a stranger on the subway, Sophie heard "Sinfonia Concertante" on the radio, and she was taken back, in her mind, to her childhood in Poland, lifting her spirit.

A writer for the New York Mirror once wrote that Mozart was the Shakespeare of music. "As long as the immortal bard is read," wrote the author (whose identity is lost to history), "Mozart will live in the admiration of mankind."

That's an appropriate comparison. Shakespeare wrote about the human condition, and Mozart's music has been the soundtrack for countless lives.

"Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra" is but one reason why Mozart is my favorite composer; anyone who wants to know more needs only to listen to it.