Posted at 12:08 PM on December 5, 2006
by Don Lee
No one expected Mozart to make number one on iTunes during his 250th birthday year. But today, on the 215th anniversary of his death, it seems to me that even classical music's most ardent promoters have been surprisingly low-key about Mozart in 2006.
Maybe the classical biz did enough for Mozart in the last Mozart Year, 1991. For those of us in the core classical demographic, the 200th anniversary of the composer's death was not so long ago. And because that anniversary date comes in December, a sense of anticipation helped sustain year-long momentum in 1991.
This year the ballyhoo seemed to end when we blew out the last of those 250 birthday candles on Jan. 27. The Associated Press reports today that in Salzburg, they're expressing relief as the year winds down. These quotes from the feature pretty much sum it up:
"What did the Mozart Year bring us?" asked music critic Wilhelm Sinkowitz in the daily Presse. "Money. Lots of money."
Vienna State Opera director Ioan Holender, in comments to the daily Oesterreich, expressed "joy that the Mozart year is (almost) over and that hopefully nothing similar will follow it."