Today is Mozart’s birthday. To that I say: love your operas, Wolfie! And to that I also say: hit it, Norman Lebrecht!
There has never been so fertile a melodic mind as Mozart’s. He was so full of catchy tunes that he shovelled them into his music as a kid spoons sugar into his breakfast bowl when mum’s not watching. Genius that he was, Mozart lacked the good sense or taste to ration his originality, seldom letting the mind settle on a theme while it is amplified and developed. Like a tiger butterfly, he flits off to the next bud, then the next, leaving the avid lepidopterist seething at his fickle fertility.
The article is entitled “Why I’m Sick of Mozart,” and you can read the rest here. My ballet friend Lucy’s dad, a militant modernist with a penchant for Webern and Boulez, gave it to me soon after it was published, and even now it never fails to make me giggle. We kid ’cause we love, Wolfie! Love your operas anyway, not your chamber mu – look, I’ll just be quiet now. Enjoy your birthday.