Wolfgang salutes Wolfgang

There are times when I wonder why we bother at all.

You know, after Shakespeare and Joyce and T.S. Eliot, what’s the point!

I keep going though with my poetry here in the little room at the top of the house – I wrote a poem yesterday and have begun another one today. I heard that two of my short stories are going to be performed by the White Rabbit theatre company this summer too. They did one before so it is nice to get invited back.

Then I had this moment of “what’s-the-point?” – it was quite joyful actually.

I have a new cd of Mozart’s last four and very great symphonies conducted by a man who has been around all my life, the wonderful Australian conductor Charles Mackerras who is exceedingly old but brilliant.

He is a clever man, a musicologist as well as a conductor so he takes crotchets and quavers very seriously. Last night I listened to his version of Mozart’s Symphony No. 38, the Prague. It was the work he wrote before the possibily even greater final three symphonies. Well, in Mackerras’s hands it is musical Paradise. Mackerras shows us that with Mozart there no padding, no empty rhetoric and no sentimentality, we are just left with a profound range of human emotions, drama and lyricism, lively invention and, of course, supreme beauty.

In this recording there is all the darkness and light so typical of this composer with daringly wild harmonies fitting perfectly into a musical design exposed in exciting clarity by the Australian maestro’s passion and attention to detail. You have to hear it and I just can’t wait for the other three works on this recording.

So, all I need to do now is go and read King Lear or Twelfth Night and maybe The Waste Land or the Molly Bloom monologue from the end of Joyce’s Ulysses – and then give up my pretensions with all due grace. All I would need then would be Mozart.

I feel inspired, humbled and almost, but not quite, silenced. Thank you Wolfgang Amadeus – you touch the bits other composers never quite reach – for me at least.

So from humble Wolfgang to great Wolfgang, respect!

Charles Mackerras has just brought a new set of four more of the Mozart symphonies and I am awaiting their delivery like a child on his birthday. Here is the great conductor recording Symphony No 35, the Haffner:

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