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The Wonder Of Mozart

20 JUL 09 JASON SERINUS

Is it possible that a quarter century has passed since the movie Amadeus purported to tell the story of Mozart's life and death? How many viewers have since laughed off the preposterous assertion that Mozart's music has "too many notes," and winced at the mere mention of Mozart's alleged murderer, Viennese court composer Antonio Salieri? Regardless of Salieri's innocence, Milos Forman and Peter Schaffer's 1984 movie about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with help from the works found on Fantasy's 3-disc Amadeus: The Complete Soundtrack Recording (Bicentennial Edition), successfully elevated fantasy to the level of myth.

In making conjecture sound real, Forman and Shaffer had more than a little help from the boy wonder in absentia. What better way to establish a case for murder and intrigue than play the dramatic excerpt from Mozart's Symphony No. 25 in G Minor heard at the start of the soundtrack? Similarly, if you want to mourn the composer's loss, what could be more appropriate than excerpts from his Requiem? And what more convincing evidence of Mozart's innocence and joy, as well as his purity of spiritual exaltation, than the 3rd movement from his Piano Concerto in E flat?

The soundtrack to Amadeus eloquently delineates the breadth and depth of Mozart's music. One of my favorite arias of love and fidelity, "Ruhe sanft, mein holdes leben" from his early opera Zaide, contrasts with the chilling interchange between the statue of the deceased Commendatore and the irrepressible Don in Don Giovanni. As an introduction to Mozart's genius, the complete soundtrack has few rivals.

in this playlist.