What I really wanted was a motor scooter, if I remember correctly. But on that memorable day when I turned 13, it turned out to be something very different- a 45-rpm record, with a touching family portrait of Wolfgang, Nannerl, and Papa Leopold on the cover of the pretty little square case. The contents of that case were even more impressive: Mozart’s Oboe Quartet! What wonderful music that was for me, and how beautiful the oboe sounded: open, warm, expressive, and piercing. It went straight to my childish soul. That was when I decided to start playing the oboe, and that’s what I’m still doing today. Remarkable, really, that Mozart: he only lived for 35 years and he wasn’t someone who immediately made an unforgettable impression when he walked into a room. In his day he was respected, in a sense he was famous. But there were composers who had more successful careers. He composed a staggering quantity of music, all of it in a style that you could describe as being of its time. Some 250 years later, it’s a period in history that might or might not appeal to you. The appeal of a world of lace, periwigs, and Meissen porcelain. But the strange thing is that when you hear Mozart’s voice 250 years later, that appeal becomes quite powerful, 250 years. Back then, as a 13 year old, I was hooked, and I’m not the only one: at the very moment that I’m writing this, we are all celebrating Mozart’s 250th birthday. All you have to do is turn on the radio and you can hear Mozart. Either there’s a wonderful opera, or one of his 41 symphonies, 27 string quartets, serenades, piano sonatas, incidental stage works, contradances, whatever. Of course there may be a potboiler here or there, but still, strangely enough, nearly all of Mozart’s works are masterpieces, soaring far above the prevailing Stamitz-and Salieri atmosphere….Download booklet
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