posted by James Reel
Norman Lebrecht has devoted his career to being indignant and wrong about many things in classical music, but I think he's right to make periodic attempts to swat Mozart down from the pedestal upon which he has been placed, as some sort of god whose music can create baby geniuses in the womb, elevate the character of the darkest fiend, and raise the dead from their graves (well, maybe that last claim hasn't been made--yet). Surely Lebrecht is a bit extreme in his support of "the Pierre Boulez slogan that Mozart was a regressive force who added nothing to the development of music. The inventors and energisers in music history were Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Wagner, Mahler and Schoenberg; all else was entertainment." Still, it's good to be admonished from time to time that we should not be genuflecting before Mozart, as has become especially common among people who tend not to be deeply familiar with much other classical music that's out there. Read Lebrecht's latest screed, and if you're incensed, I think Lebrecth will consider it a good day's work.