Tag Archives: Mozart

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

Portrait of Joseph Haydn. by Thomas Hardy. 1791. Royal College of Music Museum of Instruments. Via Wikimedia. For nearly half of his life Joseph Haydn occupied the humble position of musician in the service of the Esterhazy princes, wearing livery and playing his wonderful compositions while the guests at dinner most likely only half- listened […]

The patronage and playability of Mozart’s flute works

Stephen Martin Durham, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Exposition of the D Major flute quartet. Beethoven borrowed the first two bars. Mozart obviously used a thicker-cut quill for hand-writing than for the notes. ‘Figur Handschrift’ is in a later hand. (IMSLP, CCA-SA 4.0) It is therapeutic to have an intellectual interest outside clinical work, a […]

Mozart and Salieri: from Pushkin to Shaffer

James L. Franklin1 Chicago, Illinois, United States La Calunnia La calunnia è un venticello, Un’auretta assai gentile Che insensibile, sottile, Leggermente, dolcemente, Incomincia a sussurar Piano, piano, terra, terra Sottovoce, sibilando, Va scorrendo, va ronzando S’introduce destramente E le teste ed I Cervelli . . .   Calumny is a little breeze A gentile zephyr […]

John Caius, the polymath who described the sweating sickness

Philip Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   John Caius (1510-1573), Master of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. 1563. Unknown painter. Credit: Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge. Imagine being a physician in a rural community in England in the mid-sixteenth century, always concerned with the reappearance of the Black Death. Late one summer you […]

Franz Liszt, best piano player in Europe

Composer and pianist Franz Liszt. Photo by Franz Hanfstaengl. 1858. Via Wikimedia. Like Mozart and Mendelssohn, Franz Liszt was a musical prodigy. He played the piano when he was five years old. At eight, he could read difficult music, and two years later he was composing music himself. By age twelve he was ranked one […]

Ode to baroque and other musical genres

George Christopher Ada, Michigan, United States   The Lute Player. Caravaggio. 1596. Wildenstein Collection. Via Wikimedia. Imagine a musical style that is emotionally evocative yet highly organized, thereby conferring structure to emotion; that gives artistic expression of the fusion of emotion and reason; that mimics biology at cellular through ecological levels through its organized complexity; […]

Rage against the machine

Kaitlin Kan Villanova, Pennsylvania, United States   Isle of Lethe, zentangle. Drawing by Kaitlin Kan. It was almost as if the neuromodulation clinic was the machine itself. The entire ward was U-shaped, with each arm housing preparation and recovery and the treatment suite nestled in the middle. Each patient was scheduled to the moment; nurses […]

Sergei Rachmaninoff: the dichotomy of life and music

Michael Yafi Chaden Yafi Houston, Texas, United States   Rachmaninoff. Photo by Bain News Service. between ca. 1915 and ca. 1920. Library of Congress Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), a Russian composer, was known for having very large hands. With a span that covered twelve white keys on the keyboard (the interval of a thirteenth), he could […]

From woodpeckers to Auenbrugger

James Franklin  Chicago, Illinois, United States Lesser golden-backed woodpecker (Dinopium benghalenese) – Central India (March 2019). Photo by the author.   Portrait of Leopold von Auenbrugger. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0) Inventum novum ex percussione… by Leopold von Auenbrugger. Wellcome Images. CC BY 4.0. Via Wikimedia. Anatomy of the woodpecker’s tongue. page 324 of “Annual report” (1902). State of […]

Oliver Sacks and caring for the whole person

Margaret Marcum Boca Raton, Florida   Body shapes, female. Credit: Martin Addison. CC BY 4.0. Accessed via the Wellcome Collection. The neurologist Oliver Sacks—“The Poet Laureate of Medicine” according to The New York Times—developed an effective clinical method of treating the patient as a complete person rather than as a defective body part. He wrote […]