While on vacation during August (1997) I was out for a run one day. It was a lazy three mile jog and the heat and humidity were not pleasant. I was carrying a Sony SRF-M70 FM/AM Walkman Sports radio. Normally, reception in the mountains where I run on vacation is not very good, but I happened to stumble into an NPR station that was playing classical music (my favorite). The recording that was being broadcast was something I had never heard before. It was a delightful flute sonata. Although I had never heard it before, I could tell it was by Mozart. It was unmistakable, as is most of his great work. As I was running along the hilly country terrain in a sweat, I was thinking about how it is that Mozart is such a popular composer. I don’t know all the numbers, but I believe that the works of Mozart are the most popular of all music. Maybe Andrew Lloyd Webber or Garth Brooks will surpass him but they have a long way to go if they do. Mozart has been performing since not too long after his birth in 1756! I was pondering why he has lasted so long. I think the answer is not only in his brilliant compositions but also in the fact that his works have attracted the great performers of the world to play them. When great soloists like Itzak Perlman, Pinkus Zukerman, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Vladamir Horowitz and countless others want to play his music and when great conductors like Lorin Maazel and Neville Marriner and so many others want to conduct his music, it begins to be clear why Mozart’s music lives on. Personally, I find his music to be extremely pleasant.
Note: Hal Higdon – On the Run had an interesting story called Mozart and the Marathon – Running to the Beat.