August 10, 2009
I know you worked out a solution to the conflict between polyphony and the gallant manner and went on to achieve a new synthesis. You became a superior technician and an aristocrat of style. No heavy tread, no broad laughter. Your folk airs were stylized, and when you laughed, it was seldom hysterical. Your work often suggests a distance, a certain detachment. Despite that-or because of it-you attained matchless beauty. You went on to become the most famous prodigy in history, and I think your character always retained an immature side; a fondness for pranks and crude jokes, a certain vanity, a naïveté about women-in your private life-if not in your art. You died tragically young, at an age when others are just about to begin their careers.
I promised the teacher to make an effort, and I can say, I have. Nevertheless, it is just no good.
Your music was applied in so many other mediums that it is impossible to exorcise those images from my mind, and frankly, in some instances have turned me off completely.
How so, you ask. Take your Clarinet Concerto in A, the exquisite Adagio movement, and what does my inner eye reveal, Robert Redford tripping trough Kenya's savannah. And the piano concerto No.21, do I dare say it the ‘Elvira Madigan’ movement, you know that one too. And it is because your music adapts itself so perfectly it makes it impossible for me to separate them from the images. But, the coup mortel you dealt to me when I listened to your “Laudate Dominum”. I played at a friend’s memorial service. I was reduced to a major sobbing. Quite a sight I presented to the concerned Highway Patrol officer. I told him I had a good cry and he said he understood. What a sweet man. I am not finished. Last, but not least the movie Amadeus, for better or for worse, has cast your personality in concrete. All I hear is that uproarious laugh.
So, you see, the fault is entirely mine. Please, no “Donner und Blitzen” that belongs to another colleague anyway.
Your incompetent interpreter, Ms Edna.