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Quote of the Day
Friday, January 27, 2006
Happy Birthday, Wolfi!
I am taking some time today to listen to a little Mozart on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of his birth. I'm here at my desk, mug of hot chocolate and cinnamon bun cookie in front of me, enjoying James Galway playing Mozart's Concerto for Flute and Harp. I forget about Mozart, to tell the truth -- I get stuck in a Gershwin or Ravel rut (pleasant ruts though they are!) and leave my Mozart, Wagner, and Beethoven on the shelf, gathering dust.
Hearing the music of Mozart, no matter where I am, instantly transports me to his birthplace in Salzburg. I was there in 1995, touring the city during a break from my studies in another Austrian city. Mozart was the soundtrack of my visit, from the moment I stepped into the Mozarthaus and even as I passed the line of people waiting for the Sound of Music Tour to begin. I remember strolling down Linzergasse in the rain, hand-in-hand with the adorable Austrian medical student who would, in just a few months' time, ask me to marry him. (I refused, of course, but I was oh-so-tempted. But that's another story.) I remember stepping in to the store where they sold traditional Austrian Trachten and trying on a gorgeous navy blue Dirndlthat was far out of my price range but too beautiful to ignore. I remember the smells of fresh pastry, cappuccino, and rain on ancient cobblestone streets.
I was fortunate to hear a portion of Tom Ashbrook's "On Point" radio program yesterday, an entire show devoted to Mozart. Ashbrook spoke about how some people are just geniuses, and yet some people are such geniuses that their genius is impossible to comprehend -- it's almost magical. I am certain Mozart belonged to the latter group. I'm hoping that, as I struggle to finish this chapter today, some of his geniusness will inspire me to greater things.