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“Along the way [Mozart] got married; fathered seven children (two of whom survived into adulthood); performed as a pianist; violinist; and conductor; maintained a successful teaching studio; wrote thousands of letters; traveled widely; attended the theater religiously; played cards, billiards, and bocce; and rode horseback for exercise. Not bad for someone portrayed as a giggling idiot in the movies.”
Robert Greenberg, How to Listen to and Understand Great Music
tags: mozart
“When we hear a Mozart piano concerto today, we're most likely to hear the piano part played on a modern concert grand. In the hands of a professional pianist, such a piano can bury the strings and the winds and hold its own against the brass. But Mozart wasn't composing for a nine-foot-long, thousand-pound piano; he was composing for a five-and-a-half-foot-long, hundred-and-fifty-pound piano built from balsa wood and dental floss.”
Robert Greenberg, How to Listen to and Understand Great Music
“We are hardwired to hear and make music. Yes, we will sigh with pleasure when we hear a favorite theme played by an orchestra, and who hasn’t felt a stab of nostalgia, or even brushed away a tear, when hearing a song reminiscent of youth or a lost love? However, such exquisite moments notwithstanding, the musical experience represents something far deeper. Broadly defined, music is sound in time. Sound is nothing less than our perception of the vibrations, the movement, of the universe around us. Music is an intensification, a crystallization, a celebration, a glorification, of that movement and those vibrations. Pretty heady stuff. Far beyond spoken language—which, with its sounds in time, might rightly be considered a low-end sort of music—music is a universal language; one need not speak Ashanti in order to groove to West African drumming; or German in order to be emotionally flayed by Beethoven; or English to totally freak when listening to Bruce Springsteen. Say it with flowers? Nah. If you really want to get your expressive point across, say it with music. No human activity”
Robert Greenberg, How to Listen to Great Music: A Guide to Its History, Culture, and Heart


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