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35. Mozart: 21st Piano Concerto


[…] all I’ve ever known are whores, ex-prostitutes, mad women.
I see men with quiet, gentle women
I see them in the supermarkets,
I see them walking down the streets together,
I see them in their apartments: people at peace, living together.
I know that their peace is only partial, but there is peace,
often hours and days of peace.
all I’ve ever known are pill freaks, alcoholics,
whores, ex-prostitutes, madwomen.
when one leaves
another arrives
worse than her predecessor.
I see so many men with quiet clean girls in gingham dresses
girls with faces that are not wolverine or predatory.
“don’t ever bring a whore around,”
I tell my few friends,
“I’ll fall in love with her.”
“you couldn’t stand a good woman, Bukowski.” 
I need a good woman.
I need a good woman more than I need this typewriter,
more than I need my automobile,
more than I need Mozart; 
 […] 
I know that she exists
but where is she upon this earth
as the whores keep finding me?

Excerpt from Quiet Clean Girls In Gingham Dresses by Charles Bukowski 


Another classical music cliche: a composers last work is often his best work. Beethoven wrote two mediocre Piano Concertos before completing three groundbreaking ones. To truly honour Mozart’s qualities as a composer of Piano Concertos, we should consider throwing his first 20 attempts into the fire. His 23rd, 24th, 25th and 27th however would become legendary. And it all started with this 21st.

Recommended recording:
Mitsuko Uchida, Jeffrey Tate & English Chamber Orchestra

James Bond-composer John Barry heard the 2nd movement, realised he could never top it, and made it the anthem of Atlantis in The Spy Who Loved MeMitsuko Uchida grew up in the same place where Mozart walked in the rain, and is the designated solist to bring it home.

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