The Joy of Mozart?

mozartAnother night, another programme on BBC4. In The Joy of Mozart, presenter Tom Service revealed himself to be very, very keen on Mozart having been transfixed upon first hearing a piece, aged 7. We visited various houses and flats that Mozart lived in, and even sat at some of the keyboards he played. We saw the tacky Mozart tourist industry in Salzburg. We talked with, and enjoyed the playing and singing of, famous musicians who simply love Mozart. Paul Morley is a convert too.

But sorry, I just don’t get it. There’s nothing that I like about it. I don’t hear anything in it so astounding that I forget to breathe (as one violinist finds). Maybe when it was new this music daringly broke rules and audiences rioted and started slashing the seats, but I have heard ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ and ‘I am the Walrus’, and the music of Vaughan Williams, Benjamin Britten, Stravinsky etc. etc. To me, Mozart just sounds prissy, mannered and lightweight. Am I alone in this?


2 thoughts on “The Joy of Mozart?

  1. You are not alone. Call me a Philistine, but I find Mozart’s twiddly-diddly music (with a few notable exceptions) to be reliably yawn inducing. It has been suggested that “Mozart’s compositions virtually all follow the same formulaic sequencing and phrasing patterns” and contain “impotent, undramatic major keys and light “Singalonga Wolfgang” melody lines”.
    Music appreciation is so subjective, and I just don’t get Mozart. Luckily there is so much more out there for the tragic listeners unable to enjoy Mozart.


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