Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

“Happy Birthday Wolfie”

20 Comments

Yesterday was Wolfgang Mozart’s 262nd birthday, and what better way to celebrate than to spend an evening with the Ann Arbor Symphony enjoying their Mozart Birthday Bash.

Did you know Wolfgang wrote his Symphony No. 1 at the ripe old age of eight? And that Mozart had a favorite pattern of notes, three notes rising, the fourth falling, which were included in both his first symphony, written as a child, and his last, Symphony No. 41, a symphony he probably never heard performed before his death at age 35?

I didn’t know any of that either.

Last night we learned all that and were privileged to hear both Symphony No. 1 as well as Symphony No. 41. And though you could clearly hear his childlike interpretation of music in the first, it was much more intricate that I could have imaged at age eight.

And Symphony No. 41? The fourth movement was my favorite, the most intense, the most intertwined, the most triumphant. It’s eight and a half minutes long. Get a cup of tea or coffee and settle back to listen, it will be time well spent. There’s so much going on in this movement, let it take you where it will.

Now, take a moment to listen to the first notes of Symphony No. 1. The juxtaposition between that first symphony and the very last symphony movement he ever wrote was breathtaking. Isn’t it amazing what he created within his short lifetime?

And on top of all that, the evening’s guest soloist, Chad Burrow, performed Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major. On a basset clarinet. Be still my heart.

All in all it was a special evening for this clarinetist.

As I sat listening to the symphony building up to the final moments, the music swelling, the entire hall entranced, I gazed up, lost in the music, and wondered. On this birthday was Mozart’s music being played all across the world? Were there concert halls and high school auditoriums and living room stereos playing Mozart in celebration? And was he listening from somewhere, tapping his toe, smiling a bit wistfully, happy to hear his work, glad not to be forgotten?

I like to think he was.

So, as Maestro Lipsky said last night – Happy Birthday Wolfie. Thank you for your gift to us all. I hope you enjoyed the Ann Arbor Symphony’s gift to you.

I know we did.

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Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

20 thoughts on ““Happy Birthday Wolfie”

  1. Good information about Mozart and Symphony 41. We’ve renewed our interest in the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra of late, so perhaps we’ll have an opportunity to hear these. Thanks for the post!

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  2. Every time I got in my car yesterday, Sirius was playing Mozart — awesome stuff!! Thank you for the info on the Basset clarinet — I’d never heard of one before, and I used to play the clarinet. Shameful how little we know, isn’t it?

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  3. Aww, I’m from Ann Arbor. ❤ the Michigan Theater. Glad you had such a great time!

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  4. You inspire me to rustle up some Mozart for tomorrow’s drive! Thanks, Dawn!

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  5. Mozart was on the radio here too, but I was so busy jumping in and out of my truck doing chores that I didn’t listen even enough to hear about his birthday .. and yet I love Mozart. Thank you, thank you for this reminder! I have Mozart’s Moonlight Sonata on right now …. yum.

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  6. I missed the birthday celebration but will celebrate today by listening to some Wolfie (love it) today while I work on cards! 🙂

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  7. As someone who doesn’t listen to classical music, I am moved by your tribute to Wolfie’s birthday. (Also to thinking of you enjoying the music!)

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  8. 262 years old and still relevant. That’s a classic!!!

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  9. I always liked Mozart’s music. Here’s the 4th movement that’s fun to watch (came across it by accident). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiX3z_fOR5k

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