I have a confession to make. Though it pains me to say it, as a rule I am not enamored of the music of Mozart. This may be heresy, but the trust between a blogger and his readers is sacrosanct; I cannot tell a lie. No matter how much of Mozart’s music I hear – and I hear a lot of it – I usually feel like I’m on the outside looking in at a party to which everyone has been invited except me. And what a party! How many cities now host their own annual Mostly Mozart festival? My local classical music station, KING FM, which already features an hour of Mozart every morning, is even celebrating “31 Days of Mozart” with a piece by Mozart every hour for the month of January. Yet, though his genius was obvious, his mastery undeniable, and his legacy simply colossal, most of Mozart’s music leaves me unmoved.
Am I the only one who feels this way? I acknowledge that much of Mozart’s music is beautiful, but even the beautiful parts usually seem to be more a demonstration of Mozart’s gift, than a journey into the heart and soul of an artist. It is as if, when Mozart sat down to compose, he simply opened a vein, and the music that coursed through his system like so many red corpuscles spilled out in a profusion of symphonies, concertos, sonatas, operas, and chamber music, without any particular creative labor on his part.
Having said that, I am happy to say that this piece, the Fantasy and Fugue in C major, is one that I love unreservedly. It is as if, for this piece, Mozart tapped a more personal source of inspiration and, this time at least, put his genius at the service of his emotions. As played here by Glenn Gould, it holds the listener enthralled from the mysterious first bars of the fantasy all the way through the power, majesty, and joy of the fugue. Bravo to both the composer and the executant!