Friday, March 30, 2012

Mozart Mania

You have, no doubt, heard there was a new piece of classical music recently discovered. The Allegro Molto in C Major, allegedly written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was found stuffed in an old notebook. Though only a copy and not in his original hand, scholars attribute it to him and think he wrote it when he was 11 years old.

Music is one of the things I truly love. I can enjoy listening to performances from the modern artists of today to the classics of old including everything in between. I have an extremely eclectic collection of albums (yes, made of vinyl) and CDs. Of course the vinyl dates back to my earlier days while the CDs are more recent, although now I purchase everything on-line.

Growing up my house was always filled with music. My father played the saxophone and clarinet. He was an orchestra leader with a small group of regulars that played popular tunes from the 40's and 50's. My brother was a drummer in a rock band and my sister dabbled in piano. My son inherited the music genes, performing in musicals on stage in high school and later an a Capella group in college. Today he is managing editor for a popular indie rock web site. (That's where I get all my tips on who's going to be hot. )

My library contains music from original artists I've met in social networks and in person along with all the stars of today and yesteryear. Whether you prefer jazz, country, rock or opera, you can find something to suit your taste. I even have a rock-opera. When I tune in on services like Slacker or Spotify it's anybody's guess what you are going to hear. The same is true of my satellite radio presets in the car. You are just as likely to hear music from the top 40 as from 1840.

All other things being equal, when I am alone I tend to listen to classical music, including opera. In this genre, Mozart is my favorite hands down. A few years ago I bought the entire collection of his works. It is a box of well over 100 CDs that contain every piece of music the man wrote, except the Allegro Molto in C Major. So, you can imagine my delight when this new piece was posted all over the social networks. I've played it so many times I think I may wear out the bits.

But it also made me think what if this music genius had been born today? What if Mozart could write a piece of music, record it and immediately post it to iTunes or YouTube? This video of the first recording has been viewed over 54,000 times. In his day, there were no recordings, no radio or television. It would have taken months to reach an audience of this size.

I wonder if he would have been the Madonna, Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber of the day? Would his records have gone platinum and his videos gone viral? Would his concerts have been a sell-out and would be have gone into television or hit the big screen?

Of course, it's equally likely the school systems would have stifled his creativity, texting might have ruined his manual dexterity and television bored him to distraction.

Maybe that's why we don't have any musical geniuses today.

Captain Joe

Follow me on Twitter @JPuglisiLLC


  1. Maybe we don't have any musical geniuses today because trends and styles change so quickly, new artists are being skyrocketed by the media so eagerly, that it is impossible to stablish for them a foundation solid enough to raise them to the cathegory of "universal geniuses". I have my particular selection of today's geniuses, but that is obviously a particular preference, sometimes shared by a smaller or larger niche usually not shared by academicists.
    As for what music would Mozart be doing nowadays, I think he would be closer to David Guetta or John Williams or both. Did you really suggested Justin Bieber???

  2. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

    The comparison with Bieber was in the context of speed to fame and degree of popularity. Certainly there was no intent on my part to compare the quality of music or genre.

    When you think today's geniuses, ask yourself how much will they have produced by age 30, how much of it did they write and perform, and do you think people will still be enjoying their creative efforts in 200 years.