New goal on the blog: sharing music every day as a break and boost during these unsettling times. Hope this will brighten your day and help you stay well. 🙂 If you’d like to check out earlier posts, you can start here.
Today’s post borrows one of my older videos. This is a complete sonata by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the greats of the Classical era in music history (about 1750-1825). It’s a bit more music than I’ve put in most of my posts; about 10 minutes total.
We might think about Mozart’s music as stiff and refined, only for elegant audiences in fancy dress, but Mozart himself wouldn’t have agreed with that. He loved life and having fun. Sometimes he escaped too much into partying and drinking as a way to get away from the pressures of work and family: his father’s gargantuan expectations for him; his own young family’s needs; the intricate demands of the professional music world and the constantly-shifting expectations of the patrons he depended on for survival; the clouds of his own depression and fragile health. Brilliant and sensitive, but at the same time social and joyous, Mozart found life a constant balancing act that too often dissolved into struggle.
This Sonata in F Major, though, is full of joy. In it we get a taste of the Mozart who loved to laugh and, no matter what shadows were closing in on him, always found something to delight in. The first movement is full of assertive, warm energy. The second movement becomes sweeter and sadder, touching gently on the shadows. The third movement, though, comes back to joy, leaving us in that bright place at the end.
As you listen, let the music carry you on its emotional journey from light to dark and back into light. If you’d like, imagine a story to fit with that progression. As always, you’re welcome to share your thoughts and responses to the music in the comments.
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