Notebook

As it was, I had in 1939 decided to dedicate my life to Haydn, of whose music there was, in those days, no collected edition; indeed, only one-tenth had ever been published at all. Yet I always considered Mozart something quite alone and beyond any other music, including Bach, Beethoven and Wagner. I ought to say that this view was then considered not merely eccentric, but almost lunatic. I could hardly attribute to a thirteen-year-old schoolboy a special prescience concerning Mozart and the fact that, one day in England, at least, he would become the most popular composer in the concert hall, topping Beethoven’s pre-eminence (which had lasted for a generation). But I did sense that there was a curiously unsettling ambivalence  in Mozart’s musical language which I found at once compelling and of immense emotional satisfaction.

H.C. Robbins Landon, “1791: Mozart’s Last Year”.

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