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Духовные голоса

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How did contemporaries
describe the composer
whose music we are about to hear?
"Small and fussy,
"with a slightly stupid look
in his eyes.
"All in all,
an unprepossessing figure.
"Plumpish,
"just over five feet tall,
"always on the move,
"with a large head,
a fleshy nose
"and pock-marked skin -
"not very attractive to look at.
"He had pale blue eyes
"and blond hair.
"His vague, distracted expression
"was due to short-sightedness.
"As a result of long journeys
"on inadequate fare
"he suffered from rickets.
"His deformed skull,
"bossed forehead,
diminutive stature,
"and misshapen hands
"are all signs of the disease."
This is Mozart.
He had pale blue eyes
and blond hair.
His vague, distracted expression
was due to short-sightedness.
As a result of long journeys
on inadequate fare,
he suffered from rickets.
His oversized head,
diminutive stature,
and misshapen hands
are signs of the disease.
Mozart died in 1791.
"On the night
of 4th-5th December,
"the Royal Composer
Mozart passed away.
"Famous from childhood
"for his outstanding
musical talent,
"through a combination
of natural genius,
"inherited ability
and steady application
"he achieved
the consummate mastery
"to which his works bear witness.
"Charming and universally loved,
"they cannot but remind us
of the irreparable loss to music
"his death represents."
In the words
of a Viennese newspaper,
"On the 4th of this month,
in the small hours,
"the Royal Composer
to the Emperor, Wolfgang Mozart,
"famous throughout Europe,
"came to the end of his short,
35-year life.
"Even the greatest in the field
"were amazed by the rare talent
of this great musician.
"But what has
this highly talented man
"left behind him?
"Everlasting fame,
"a helpless widow,
two small children
"and unpaid debts.
"One of his children,
though still only little,
"already plays the clavichord
"so well that he amazes
and impresses his listeners.
"It was said by many
that Mozart was a Freemason
"and some documents suggest
"that his death may have been
the work of the Freemasons."
From a Berlin newspaper:
"Mozart has died.
"He was already ill
when he returned from Prague
"and his health declined daily
from that point on.
"He may have had dropsy.
"He died in Vienna
at the end of last week.
"Because of the severe swelling
of the corpse,
"it has been suggested
that he may have been poisoned."
Imagine the strength
this extraordinary, unique being
must have needed
to take his place amongst people,
to defend the place
for which he was destined
by God and Providence.
What hard,
cramped lives people live!
How cruel and merciless
people can be.
What a light touch!
We are now going to hear
the music of Olivier Messiaen,
a modern French composer.
Listen carefully.
Listen carefully to the music
and try to feel the sounds,
feel how the voices in this work
combine with one another.
Messiaen didn't come to music
by accident.
His spirit and his talent
prove his devotion to music.
But he is a man of our time.
Is there harmony in this music?
Isn't each note a separate sound?
Doesn't each note
assert its own value?
Sometimes,
when I listen to Messiaen,
it seems to me
that I am not listening to music
but to the instrument
tuning up all by itself.
There is no composer,
just a piano in an empty room
and the sound
is not the result of the touch
of warm fingers on cold keys,
but is merely a sound
generating itself.
In February, 1778,
Mozart and his mother were in Paris,
looking for work.
Mozart's mother wrote
to her husband
that she would sit all day long
alone in their little room,
as if under arrest,
that the room was dark
and uncomfortable,
and that its windows
faced onto the light-well.
To crown Mozart's sorrows,
in July of that year
his mother died.
She was 57.
In a letter to a friend, he wrote:
"My dear friend,
"weep with me on this,
the saddest day of my life.
"I am writing
Духовные голоса

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