The journey has now been 24 years. I’ve covered many lifetimes here, and so I must weigh my words well. This is a blog post as an exercise in honesty.
More as a thought-experiment than as any kind of serious pondering: in fact, more of a Gefühlsexperiment than as a Gedankenexperiment: what if I had chosen Mozart?
In fact, I had; first was the 40th symphony, and then a few days later, the 5th symphony. It really was a choice at the time. I chose the hard way.
Some weeks or months later I added the master Imitator: Brahms and his web of seduction!
Then came the one whose name must, strictly speaking, not be taken: the one dear to the gods, the honest one, the helpless one: Schubert. I curse my own meal: what a disservice you did us, Schubert, by telling us as it is!
Again and again, perhaps once in two years on an average, I realise and see and know that Mozart cannot be ignored; that life is still in Mozart and nowhere else (outside myself). In fact, I see that life cannot be without Mozart (unless one were to stick to opp. 131 and 135 all the time, which takes too huge a toll).
We avoid Mozart for the same reason he avoided himself; the same reason for which he actually wrote himself out on only those five or six occasions — the 25th and 40th symphonies, the piano concerto in D minor, and… maybe one or two more. Self-effacing to the point of dishonesty, but self-effacing that we might be able to live on.
Eventually, we come back to Mozart. When 57 and 125 and 131 overwhelm, there is always Mozart, thank god! Thus, dear Mozart, ever no. 2, but the no. 2 that we would die without! A new Beethoven might say: Music should strike fire in the heart of man, and Mozart should bring tears to his eyes.