Every morning I drop into my chair in front of the computer and with a click of the mouse I turn on Radio Mozart, a radio station that I found on the internet. It plays Mozart’s music 24 hours a day interrupted only by very short announcements. And every day I am stunned anew by the beautiful music that Wolfgang Mozart composed. When I am stuck for a word in an article or essay, I think of Mozart, never stuck for a single note.
Can you imagine how different our world would be if Mozart had been born in the last 50 years, in our time, in the years of antibiotics and healthcare, in the years of recognizing and fostering genius? Instead, he lived his short 35 year life, from 1756 to 1791, in days where he had little chance of reaching old age. Of his 5 siblings only 2 made it past the first year, an indication of how fragile life was in those days.
But it’s what he achieved in those few years that really count. He composed over 600 works, an incredible output of work, considering that it includes operas and symphonies, long complicated works that he couldn’t have completed in a day. In between he struggled on a daily basis with family matters, health issues and making a living. In today’s world he been fawned upon from every angle by well-wishers and perhaps have produced many more great masterpieces on a finely-tuned grand piano in a retirement home.
If Mozart had lived in today’s world with our medicines and healthcare he could easily have attained a great age, continuing his genius to the very end, surrounded by admiring fans and music lovers in a five-star retirement home where he could devote himself to composing great music. He would also have had the advantage of listening to his own music and would have a collection of records, tapes and CD’s lining his study. All his own work.
Of course he would have had to fight off all the suggestions and corrections that the residents would have offered. You can almost hear them:
“But Dear Maestro Mozart, if you reverse the last three bars it will sound much better!”
“No, No! Not the violin here! The cello is much more suitable for this!”
“Mozart, get rid of that E flat at the end of the last bar!”
Perhaps he was spared after all…