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Mozart and the modern

Mozart's irony and moral relativism make him a composer for our time

By Fiann Coombs   April 2000

Mozart is everywhere. Turn on the television: piano concerto K466 sells Macintosh computers, while Don Giovanni adds class to detergent. Go to the supermarket and you will find Mozart kugeln chocolates invitingly placed next to the till, while your morning coffee at Coffee Republic will be enriched by the overture from the Marriage of Figaro. The recovery of a Mozart symphony-even if juvenilia-receives front-page coverage in The Times; and Mozart autographs sell for the price of rare paintings. The famous (but disputed) “Mozart effect” claims special powers for Mozart’s music. Research shows that unruly 11-year-old boys improve their academic performance…

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