Greed. Jealousy. Gossip.
I was stretched out on my couch, all tucked in under my soft yellow quilt, tuned out of the real world and into the fantasy world of movies when all of these very human traits swept into my living room via my television screen.
“Holy cow,” I thought. “This is just like real life. Did they film this movie here in Alberta, rural downtown wherever?
I almost sat up, a sure sign I was really tuned in and not actually in REM (the first stages of sleep).
It turned out the guy, the star of the movie, was a child protégé, pushed and prodded by a father who exploited his talents shamelessly, forcing the little guy to live a rather unnatural life of all work and no play.
But, for all intents and purposes, the strategy was successful.
The dad got what he wanted, even though some skeptics referred to the little guy as a “trained monkey” and not a child at all.
But, whatever the perception, the little guy, who never did grow to be more than 5’4”, began performing before the masses, his incredible gift of music paving a road that seemingly stretched into a future of fame and fortune.
The road, however, turned out to have a few potholes in it. Other musicians were jealous. Greedy. And malicious. His father was annoyed with him because he partied too much. His wife had a few issues with him running off to concerts, coming home late, often drunk, and, their financial status did not seem to mesh with his talent. The fact he was so gifted, but still they had no money didn’t make much sense to her practical, wife like side.
The movie took place in the 1700s. I wonder what the cost of living was back then. I noticed they seemed to burn lots of candles and, if they were lucky enough not to burn their house down, they constantly needed wood to keep the fireplaces going.
Their wigs alone must have taken an entire paycheck to pay for, I’m thinking. And then there would be the cost of some kind of painkiller to alleviate the headache, which would have to be the result of wearing such a headpiece.
As the movie progressed it portrayed a short, little guy who loved to party. A little man who attired himself in fashionable clothes (no blue jeans and hoodies for him), and took the liberty of allowing his finely attired self to dine on the finest of foods.
It’s no wonder, I thought to myself. That’s what happens when your dad treats you like a child protégé, even if you actually are one.
At some time in your life, even if it is the wrong time, you would just want to play!
Anyway, I decided I liked this guy. He had class. And he was funny, and charming in an offbeat, crude kind of way.
Alas, lots of people didn’t like him. They thought he was a crude, pompous, arrogant kind of guy, who didn’t respect rules and/or bosses.
They spread rumors about him. They told lies. And, in so doing, even though they didn’t know it at the time, they tried to change history.
It didn’t happen.
As it turned out, even though the odds were seemingly stacked against him, from 1783 to 1791, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart became one of the more popular musicians in Vienna. And by 1791, his new works were being published, and he was actually making money.
And then, when it seemed the elegance and grace he brought to music was finally being recognized, he died. He was buried in a pauper’s grave in the St. Marx Cemetery, outside the city of Vienna.
His music, of course, never died.
It never will. And for that, I will be forever and eternally grateful.
— ON THE OTHER SIDE