For Mozart's birthday, three of his most divine minutes
Hey, I know you don't want to forget to wish Mozart a happy 256th birthday. (To tell the truth, I almost forgot myself.)
As Nicolas Slonimsky so succinctly put it in his Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Mozart was the "supreme Austrian genius of music whose works in every genre are unsurpassed in lyric beauty, rhythmic variety and effortless melodic invention." That covers it pretty well.
To mark the composer's birthday, I wanted to keep it short, sweet and sublime -- three of the most divine minutes in all of Mozart -- "Soave sia il vento," the trio from "Cosi fan tutte."
In this scene, two women who think their boyfriends are sailing off to war, and the cynic who knows it's a ruse meant to test the issue of fidelity in the female sex, join voices in wishing the men a safe journey.
The whole thing could have been played just for laughs in this very adult comedy, but Mozart, that "supreme genius," went for something else -- the heart. You may need to have yours examined if you ever find yourself less than deeply entranced by this trio.
There are many wonderful performances out there, but I could not resist this one, because it features two of my all-time favorite singers ...
Montserrat Caballe and Janet Baker, along with the excellent bass Richard Van Allan. (Sorry there's no video interest in this clip, but the music is more than enough.)
So Happy Birthday, Wolfgang. In the words of "Soave sia il vento," May the winds be gentle, may the waves be calm ..."