wolfgang-amadeus-mozartFriends have invited me back to Vienna and I am tempted. Will I repeat the strange things I did when I was last there? I planned to see the famous Spanish horses, but it was the wrong time of year for the dressage displays, so I could only look down from a balcony at a few of these magnificent horses, necks arched, tails raised cheekily, prancing in slow motion. The full displays were booked out. My thoughts turned to the famous opera house – booked out too months in advance. Things were not going my way. I consoled myself by returning to well-loved museums and to Schonbrunn Palace with all those mirrors echoing images and sounds of Mozart playing the piano still there and…

So I went in search of him. To every house where he had lived. So many. Fourteen or more? All documented, some destroyed forever in World War II. Why did I do it? Homage to a wayward genius who died so young? I could do that just by listening  to his music anywhere. Why go to the room where he had composed a work? To the place where it was first performed? Walk up the same stone staircase? Look over roofs that had, perhaps, only been patched here and there since he too looked out over them? Perhaps it was to feel how someone can live and create with all those combinations of sounds in his head to entertain, inspire or give solace to us over centuries.

Music doesn’t feed or shelter us physically, but it may be a way in which we, part of the animal world, become human.