But enough Beethoven, there is Mozart

BBC radio played the trio “Soave sia il vento” from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte and, just for a moment, I wondered why we need Beethoven. Just for a stupid little moment. 

(Listen to what Mozart does with the 2nd and 3rd mentions of “desire”– everything’s about to fall apart, but no)

Then there’s the coda, impossibly tender. 


And, speaking of Mozart, 

I’d somehow never before heard his great concert aria “Bella mia fiamma, addio”, K. 528. 

It’s the centerpiece of this superb Cecilia Bartoli concert with Concentus Musicus Wien & Nicholas Harnoncourt (see the link below, from 27.00 to 37.00). If you only listen to one part of the concert, listen to that. 

We’re lucky to be concert-going during Bartoli’s career: she’s got a fantastically clear, supple voice, but more important, she’s the greatest dramatic singer we have. She makes every moment, every note feel essential, as if (like no other singer I’ve heard) it’s the only utterly natural way to express the intense emotions behind the words she’s singing. 

And this aria of Mozart’s is deeply, weirdly, shatteringly dramatic… there’s a section that plunges deep into a kind of chromatic terror that doesn’t appear again until Wagner.

Back to the Beethoven piano progression anon, but pieces and performances like this one are the reason I can’t live without western art music.