Mozart’s Violin

Kathy Wittman/Courtesy of the Boston Early Music Festival

Kathy Wittman/Courtesy of the Boston Early Music Festival

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a singular talent whom some believed to be an instrument of divine inspiration. Clearly, no musician conjures more fascination or esteem. Mozart continues to capture our interest more than 250 years following his birth.

I am among those captivated by this man and his art. The largest body of music we have produced at Advanced Brain Technologies is our vast collection of Mozart recordings for The Listening Program®.  Such care went into our Music Director, Richard Lawrence’s arrangements, and the thoughtful expression of the award-winning musicians of the Arcangelos Chamber Ensemble as they performed these inspired compositions under Richard’s watchful eye and discriminating ear.  I can tell you one does not take lightly the adaptation of these masterworks for a new found purpose; to advance the brains of people everywhere through the benefits of new found listening abilities.

Nine years ago I had the good fortune of traveling to Mozart’s birthplace of Salzburg, Austria. My travel companions were Richard and his wife Dorothy. We were there for a presentation of our work at a music and science conference in the hills just above the much revered Mozarteum. We spent hours outside of the conference leisurely strolling along the cobblestone streets, visiting quaint shops, and  enjoying the cafes. You can’t help but breathe in the essence of Mozart which permeates the air of this magical town. Standing in his birthplace you can hear ghostly musical notes emanating from a harpsichord as if he were there in that moment, his fingers dancing effortlessly on the keys.

I have many fond memories of Salzburg, and time spent there with dear friends, so believe I should stop here and share what inspired this post before I lose you in this self indulgence of remembrance!

A few days ago NPR ran a segment Playing Mozart— On Mozart’s Violin.  I could not believe my ears as I listened. Someone has been allowed to not only see, but to touch, and gasp… play Mozart’s Violin! Can you imagine what it must be like for a musician to play Mozart’s violin and viola, which are here in the United States for the first time? Well, violinist Amandine Beyer played Mozart’s own violin at Boston’s Jordan Hall last week.  She says she couldn’t help but wonder if she was channeling some special spirit when using Mozart’s fiddle in Boston. “I had all the time this question! But I tried to call this spirit, no? And to say, ‘Are you there?'” Beyer says, laughing. “But I think you can do it with every instrument when you play the music of Mozart.”

Enjoy this segment on NPR’s All Things Considered and tell me. If you could ask Mozart one question. What would it be?

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