“Amadeus” with live orchestra continues to cast a Mozartean spell

Posted on: September 27, 2017

“Was there ever a more ardent proselytizer for classical music than Amadeus?” writes Peter Dobrin in Saturday’s (9/23) Philadelphia Inquirer. “That the Philadelphia Orchestra spent nearly three hours Thursday night performing under the silver screen as the movie played is probably the only answer you need. The film, made nearly 35 years ago, has managed to keep its grip on several distinct subspecies of cultural consumer: film buffs, the armchair musicologists who enjoy not enjoying its artful handling of the historical facts, and the stray classical geek who sits in the theater too overjoyed for words to learn that there are others who hear in this music what he does.… Writer Peter Shaffer and director Milos Forman cannily exploited something the established classical industry has never quite mastered. The ability to talk about the music while it is happening opens passageways into the mechanics of music in a way rarely experienced beyond the conservatory walls…. Near the end, when Mozart, too weak to write (but not to be a genius), is dictating the Requiem to Salieri, we get the music delivered in pieces, part by part, and then put together. Would that more live orchestra concerts do that for listeners.”

Posted September 27, 2017