Tag Archives: Mozart

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 […]

The lost art and the hidden treasure

Jennifer Bingham Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania   It is the moment we catch ourselves wishing someone had mentioned how many pieces were in this puzzle that we look up to find progress. Photo by Pixabay from Pexels. The puzzle box is empty and the pieces are scattered across the table. After all, a puzzle was never meant […]

Visualizing Mozart

Vincent de Luise New Haven, Connecticut, United States     Figure 1. Portrait of Mozart by his brother-in-law, Joseph Lange (©Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum) The music, life, and legacy of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart (Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, 1756-1791) continue to fascinate and enthrall.1,10,15,19, Footnote 1 Mozart has been the subject of more books, articles, and […]

Ice cream or Mozart?

Leon Morgenstern Los Angeles, California, United States   How would I answer a question if the quality of my life depended on the answer? A recent article about end-of-life decisions1 discussed how a worried daughter had sprung the following questions as her father was about to undergo a very risky operation: how much pain he […]