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Thread: Mozart and shaykh ahmad

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    Junior Member RonPrice's Avatar
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    Default Mozart and shaykh ahmad

    The years from the 1770s to the 1790s were the last years of Mozart’s life and the first years of the adult life of Shaykh Ahmad.(2) They were the years of the French Revolution, the beginning of modern history and the reign of terror before the rise of Napoleon. Mozart created in the last years of his life(1775-1791) an almost incomparably rich legacy of works for keyboard, beginning with the six solo sonatas of 1775 and extending to such pieces as the final Concerto in B flat, K. 595, from 1791.(1)

    My prose-poem here attempts to examine what defies comprehensive elucidation by any scholar or poet--the specificities of the lives and the brilliant repertoires of these two geniuses, these two men gifted beyond all measure. Both of their lives remain complicated puzzles in their respective worlds of classical music and Islamic mysticism.-Ron Price with thanks to (1) William Kinderman, Mozart's Piano Music, Oxford UP, 2006; and (2)Nabil’s Narrative, Wilmette, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1974(1932) , pp. 1-3.

    His contemporaries found the restless(1)
    ambivalence and complicated emotional
    content of his music difficult to understand;
    and the ‘ulamas professed themselves unable
    to comprehend the meaning of his mysterious(2)
    allusions, but that movie enthralled audiences(3)
    and emblazoned the Amadeus theme blatantly,
    claiming as it did a grand storyteller----license
    to embellish that tale with a fictional ornament,
    a surrealistic distortion, a metamorphosis, of a
    life, the life of mirabile dictu Amadeus Mozart.

    How does one characterize an unexplainable
    phenomenon, the mind of a musical savant?
    A rather ordinary turn of mind, silly jokes, an
    irresponsible way of life distinguished him in
    society; and yet what depths, what worlds of
    fantasy, harmony, melody, feeling concealed
    behind this unpromising exterior in which we
    now freely interpret his biographical-psyche..

    And the Shaykh from the town of Ahsa in the
    district of Ahsa in the northeast of the Arabian
    peninsula, luminous Star of a Divine guidance
    who arose with unerring vision, fixed purpose
    and sublime detachment at the age of forty to
    prepare the way for a new Revelation of God---
    what can we say about this controversial mystic,
    this imaginative writer on metaphysical planes?(4)

    1 Mozart
    2 Shaykh Ahmad
    3 Amadeus, a film directed by Milos Forman, released 1984.
    4 Juan Cole, “The World as Text: Cosmologies of Shaykh Ahmad
    al-Ahsa’i,” Studia Islamica, Vol. 80, 1994, pp.145-163.

    Ron Price
    30 March 2009
    Updated for: Classical Music Forums
    On: 1 February 2011
    married for 43 years, a teacher for 35, a writer and editor for 10 and a Baha'i for 51(in 2010).

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    Senior Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    What a bizzare thread fundamentally aimed at promoting a religion, by linking Mozart with the founder of a religion!

  3. #3
    Junior Member RonPrice's Avatar
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    Belated apologies for taking some 3 years to respond, but I just saw your post tonight for the first time. I take a personal interest in the synchronicity of my personal beliefs and events in the wider culture.-Ron Price, Tasmania
    married for 43 years, a teacher for 35, a writer and editor for 10 and a Baha'i for 51(in 2010).

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