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I went to college on a classical piano scholarship. My grandmother made me practice one full hour a day. Every day. Man. I thought all she wanted was for me not to have any fun. Next thing you know, you have a career in music. Now, not everybody's going to go on and be Mozart or Michael Jackson. But music makes you smarter.
Most people in the Western world grow up with the received wisdom that Mozart was a genius. But few people necessarily know why. More than anyone else, he captured this something which is the human condition, the fine line that we all constantly dance between joy and pain, between absolute happiness and absolute heartbreak.
If Antarctica were music it would be Mozart. Art, and it would be Michelangelo. Literature, and it would be Shakespeare. And yet it is something even greater; the only place on earth that is still as it should be. May we never tame it.
When you get up, the night and day is a contradiction. But you get up at 4 A.M. That first blush of blue is where the night and day are trying to find harmony with each other. Harmony is the notes that Mozart didn't give you, but somehow the contradiction of his notes suggest that. All contradictions of his notes suggest the harmony.
It may be that when the angels go about their task praising God, they play only Bach. I am sure, however, that when they are together en famille they play Mozart.
Essentially, all expressions of human nature ever produced, from a caveman's paintings to Mozart's symphonies and Einstein's view of the universe, emerge from the same source: the relentless dynamic toil of large populations of interconnected neurons.
The only thing that interests me in music is to be able to reach into the, let's call it, 'collective unconscious' of what is noblest in the human spirit, the way you find in the music of Mozart and Beethoven and Verdi that wonderful quality that not a note can be changed.
Gian Carlo Menotti
Mozart's music is like an X-ray of your soul - it shows what is there, and what isn't.
When you first hear Mozart's music, your first impression is that it's very alive, but if you peel away the layers, you can hear sorrow and sadness behind it, and that's what I try to be: multi-layered.
Most people think that a widow is inhabiting some elegiac world of - it's like Mozart's 'Requiem Mass.' You know, it's very beautiful and elevated thoughts and some measure of dignity. I didn't have that experience at all. I had one pratfall after another.
Joyce Carol Oates
I'm obviously attuned to pick up mathematics whenever I can see it. But in Mozart there is a lot of conscious use of mathematical symbolism and numbers in order to try and give messages.
Marcus du Sautoy
Mozart's seeming frothiness is just a light touch with very profound material. That's what I've found working on 'The Magic Flute.'
Well, I don't know any piece by heart, but Mozart goes something like this... What do you think?
I'm not a culture snob. So while, of course, I think the Mozart 'Requiem' or, say, Beethoven's 'Ninth' are some of the greatest works of art in the history of humankind, that's not to say the Beatles or Queen or Simon and Garfunkel aren't brilliant, beautiful, important works of art that should be sung without a sense of irony.
If Beethoven and Bach hooked up with Mozart and made a band, they could be a distant runner up to The D.
Mozart's music is so pure and beautiful that I see it as a reflection of the inner beauty of the universe.
We all drew on the comfort which is given out by the major works of Mozart, which is as real and material as the warmth given up by a glass of brandy.
I give a speech to the black freshmen at Harvard each year, and I say, 'You can like Mozart and ice hockey...' - and then I used to say 'golf,' but Tiger took over golf! - 'and Picasso and still be as black as the ace of spades.'
Henry Louis Gates
Mozart was a punk, which people seem to forget. He was a naughty, naughty boy.
If Mozart were around now he would write a killer rock song.
People forget that Mozart wrote for commissions. There's a thing in psychology where they think if it's popular, it can't be serious.
Nobody worked harder than Mozart. By the time he was twenty-eight years old, his hands were deformed because of all the hours he had spent practicing, performing, and gripping a quill pen to compose. That's the missing element in the popular portrait of Mozart.
Well, Mozart is extraordinary not only in that he became virtuoso along the lines of his father, but that he had that compositional gift, that melodic gift. By the time he was four, he was doing piano concertos with harmony in the background.
In Mozart and Salieri we see the contrast between the genius which does what it must and the talent which does what it can.
When we hear some beautiful piece of Mozart or admire a wonderful building, we suddenly become present in ourselves. That's unusual nowadays because dishevelment and distraction have become an art form.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
John F. Kennedy
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