Pristine elegance with a fatal destiny

Fragility. © Charles Thibo

“Such moments wait to be discovered: they are transitional, passing references to pure beauty, captured for an instant before they sink back into relatively quotidian”, writes the scholar Maynard Solomon and he explicitly refers to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17 in G (KV 453). Pure beauty with all its fragility – Mozart’s piano concerto reminds me of the first blossoms on a tree in early spring, pristine, delicate, graceful, of exceptional elegance, promising new and abundant life, but threatened each night by the cold, wind gusts, heavy rain and thus imbued with a fatal destiny.

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Quoting Mozart, anticipating Schönberg

SchubertD46-2
Desolation. © Charles Thibo

Where to begin? With the incredibly sad introduction of the first movement? With the death of the composer’s mother? With the inexplicable lightness and dynamics of the last two movements, so diametrically opposed to the introduction? In March 1813, Franz Schubert wrote one of his very first string quartets, String Quartet No. 4 in C major, D.46. C major is often associated with a joyous or solemn mood, but this first movement has no joy and no solemnity, it exudes darkness, fear and heaviness, a broken soul, a wretched state of mind, the few glimmers of light appear like pure cynicism.

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Stretching time to infinity

Mozart Quintet
Bittersweet. © Charles Thibo

Mid-February – a beautiful spring day is about to end. Yes, I know, it is still cold in the morning and the sun has not yet much strength. But spring is coming – I smell it, I hear it, I feel it and I can sing it too. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote a wonderful piece that may accompany you during an exploration tour through nature looking for the first green tips, the first blossoms, the first signs of renewed life: the String Quintet in G minor, KV 516, performed by the Chamber music ensemble of Paris.

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Spring melodies from an elusive composer 

The herald and his message. © Charles Thibo

Winter apparently wants to have the last word. While I am writing this, it is snowing outside. We usually have no snow in November, December and January, but then, at the end of January and the beginning of February, it’s winter wonderland all over the country. However I am not overly impressed, the snow will be gone within a few days, the birds have been singing for weeks.

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