Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mozart goes East

Before I go to sleep I like to read, but sometimes it is hard finding just the right book. I do not want anything associated with work. Or anything that will upset me, or rev me up.

Last night I hit on "Coffee With Mozart," by Julian Rushton.

There is a series of these little books. I am looking on the back flap and there is also "Coffee With the Buddha" and "Coffee With Groucho." Ha, ha! I can tell you right off which one I would prefer between those two. Also there is Coffee With Hemingway, Marilyn, Michelangelo, Plato and Oscar Wilde.

They do not seem to have a concrete plan with this series!

"Coffee With Mozart" should actually be "Beer With Mozart" because in the book that is what he drinks. Well, in real life that is what he drank, along with the white wine that Beethoven liked too.

Last night all I read was the Foreword, by Sir John Tavener.

It is an unusual Foreword. Tavener, the well-known mystic composer, begins by recounting how when he was a boy, his "romantic and aristocratically beautiful godmother" took him to see "The Magic Flute."

He goes on to philosophize about how much he dislikes the 18th century as an era. Not me! I would love to go back and live one day in the 1780s. I love the fashions. At least the middle class fashions, not so much the sky high-piled hair and the powder, but ... OK, I love the men's fashions. Those knee breeches! Those stylish three-cornered hats. Mozart liked those fashions too, incidentally. We have that in common.

Tavener writes: "It seems unlikely that the most 'sacred' composer of the West should emerge in that dilapidated era. Using the term 'sacred' about Mozart may elicit some surprise..."

Um, no, it doesn't ...

"...but I truly believe that Mozart's 'The Magic Flute' connects to Krishna's flute, just as his music in general can be compared to that particular kind of sacredness one finds in Persian and Hindu miniature paintings. I am not, of course, saying that Mozart himself was fully spiritually developed. God used this frail man to communicate to the world the eternal vision of childhood, and the divine world of Lila, a Sanskrit term meaning 'divine play.'"

Uh, Siddhartha?

Come out from under the banyan tree?

I am sorry but I can imagine what Mozart would say reading that foreword.


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