In honor of Mozart‘s 255th birthday, folks on Twitter poured forth with favorite compositions. So all day today, I’ll be sharing their picks with you.
The first comes from @proxli, aka Terry Moore, who cited Sinfonia Concerto K. 364 as a favorite.
Here’s a great version featuring Issac Stern(Violin), Pinchas Zukerman(Viola), Zubin Mehta(Conductor), New York Philharmonic Orchestra 1980
First we have part one:
And part two, since you simply CAN’T stop after hearing part one:
Today marks the anniversary of the premiere of Così fan tutte (Thus Do All Women or The School for Lovers) in 1790, in Vienna with Mozart himself conducting.
Talk about a hot ticket at the beautiful Burgtheatre!
Okay, fast forward 221 years. According to the opera listings on Bachtrack, there are 45 performances of Così at major houses worldwide through July of 2011.
While it is not one the most performed operas worldwide per Bachtrack’s 2010 listings, it certainly remains a popular offering.
The premise is a time-honored one at least as old as the Roman poet Ovid (43 B.C. to 17 A.D.) : A lover tests his wife’s fidelity by approaching her in disguise (well, actually, by slapping on a mustache) and pretending to be another man. Strangely during the 19th century and even into the early part of the 20th century, Così was considered beneath Mozart’s genius precisely because of its frothy storyline.
The world's best disguise--a mustache! from Pennsylvania Opera Theater's Cosi
Opera blogger and Bachtrack guru David Karlin, who recently saw Così at the Royal Academy of Music in London, said in his review of the production, “It’s the combination of trivial, light-hearted comedy and music that hits your soul directly which is responsible for Così‘s enduring popularity.”
Last year the renowned opera blogger Operaman, aka Stephen Llewellyn, tweeted that this trio “Soave il vento” from Così just might be his favorite piece of music in all of opera. Posting it for you, Operatoonity readers, seemed a fitting tribute to Così today.
As the merry month of Mozart rolls along, I thought another microtale was fitting on the theme, WWMD.
During Mozart’s time, customs inspectors were known to be particularly fastidious. (Next NY Times list–Top Classical Customs Inspectors). Anyhoo, on Mozart’s first trip to Vienna, the customs inspectors were threatening to detain the Mozarts, so little six-year-old Mozart whipped out his violin and gave the inspectors a private concert.
The Mozarts were expedited through customs in record time.
Mozart monument in Vienna
Spanish composer of opera buffa Vincente Martin y Soler (once dubbed the Valencian Mozart) was the most popular composer during the time that Mozart lived in Vienna. About Martin, Mozart said, “Many of his things are pretty, but in ten years’ time, no one will pay any more attention to him.”
As it turned out, this was not entirely true, for one of Martin’s melodies from the opera Una Cosa Rara is one of the most frequently heard tunes in opera today–because Mozart used it in the banquet scene of Don Giovanni.
Mothers have played Mozart’s music to their infants–even to babies in the womb–to stimulate their ability to think. Can Mozart also stimulate human waste to produce more efficient microbes?
A sewage treatment plant in the German town of Treuenbrietzen believed that to be true. According to Spiegel Online, one of Germany’s most popular magazines, the town experimented with the effects of Mozart on microbes last summer. By playing Mozart on a custom stereo system that replicated the vibrations and sounds of a performance in a concert hall, they endeavored to spur on biomass-eating microbes to work higher performance levels.
They theorized that the sonic waves of the music, supplemented with oxygen in the treatment process, would result in the microbes uniformly breaking down sewage faster, thereby saving money. Microbes fan tutti? The Magic Microbe? The Marriage of Microbes and Mozart? Think of the possibilities.
If Mozart can inspire biomass-eating microbes, think what his music might be able to do for your compost pile, your septic system, your plumbing.
Lacking any fancy sonic wave creating stereo system of your own, just don’t send your compost or your sewage to the nearest concert hall to find out.