Mozart is the highest, the culminating point that beauty has attained in the sphere of music.
A world that has produced a Mozart is a world worth saving. What a picture of a better world you have given us, Mozart!
Beethoven I take twice a week, Haydn four times, and Mozart every day!
Mozart’s music is the mysterious language of a distant spiritual kingdom, whose marvelous accents echo in our inner being and arouse a higher, intensive life.
Melody is the essence of music. I compare a good melodist to a fine racer, and counterpointists to hack post-horses; therefore be advised, let well alone and remember the old Italian proverb: ‘Chi sa più, meno sa— Who knows most, knows least.
Mozart (spoken to actor Michael Kelly)
I have always reckoned myself among the greatest admirers of Mozart, and shall do so till the day of my death.
Ludwig van Beethoven
When Baudelaire was young, his stepfather tried to convince him to quit poetry. While he saw Baudelaire’s determination, he demanded him to write poem about exotic lands and certainly not about the dirty and dark Paris, therefore he would pay him a trip to India. Baudelaire accepted. While the poet was on boat he stand out from the other passengers. One day, the crew killed an albatross because the boat crossed a line or something; it was a tradition at that time. After they killed the bird they played with it like an unsignificant thing. When Baudelaire saw this scene* he run and attacked the crew. Indeed, men feel confident and superior enough to despise the weak, the wild and the beautiful whereas as an artist Baudelaire spent his life admiring Beauty. He indentified himself with the bird and wrote a poem about it (see the poem below). He never reached India, and came back in Paris because he missed it. Baudelaire and Paris make one.
*This episode was related by a passenger and i read it in a biography of Baudelaire by Henri Troyat member of the Académie Française.
Souvent, pour s’amuser, les hommes d’équipage
Prennent des albatros, vastes oiseaux des mers,
Qui suivent, indolents compagnons de voyage,
Le navire glissant sur les gouffres amers.
À peine les ont-ils déposés sur les planches,
Que ces rois de l’azur, maladroits et honteux,
Laissent piteusement leurs grandes ailes blanches
Comme des avirons traîner à côté d’eux.
Ce voyageur ailé, comme il est gauche et veule!
Lui, naguère si beau, qu’il est comique et laid!
L’un agace son bec avec un brûle-gueule,
L’autre mime, en boitant, l’infirme qui volait!
Le Poète est semblable au prince des nuées
Qui hante la tempête et se rit de l’archer;
Exilé sur le sol au milieu des huées,
Ses ailes de géant l’empêchent de marcher.
— Charles Baudelaire
Sometimes for sport the men of loafing crews
Snare the great albatrosses of the deep,
The indolent companions of their cruise
As through the bitter vastitudes they sweep.
Scarce have they fished aboard these airy kings
When helpless on such unaccustomed floors,
They piteously droop their huge white wings
And trail them at their sides like drifting oars.
How comical, how ugly, and how meek
Appears this soarer of celestial snows!
One, with his pipe, teases the golden beak,
One, limping, mocks the cripple as he goes.
The Poet, like this monarch of the clouds,
Despising archers, rides the storm elate.
But, stranded on the earth to jeering crowds,
The great wings of the giant baulk his gait.
— Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)
Un port est un séjour charmant pour une âme fatiguée des luttes de la vie. L’ampleur du ciel, l’architecture mobile des nuages, les colorations changeantes de la mer, le scintillement des phares, sont un prisme merveilleusement propre à amuser les yeux sans jamais les lasser. Les formes élancées des navires, au gréement compliqué, auxquels la houle imprime des oscillations harmonieuses, servent à entretenir dans l’âme le goût du rythme et de la beauté. Et puis, surtout, il y a une sorte de plaisir mystérieux et aristocratique pour celui qui n’a plus ni curiosité ni ambition, à contempler, couché dans le belvédère ou accoudé sur le môle, tous ces mouvements de ceux qui partent et de ceux qui reviennent, de ceux qui ont encore la force de vouloir, le désir de voyager ou de s’enrichir.
A port is a charming sojourn for a soul worn out by the struggles of life. The amplitude of the sky, the mobile architecture of the clouds, the changing colors of the sea, the sparkling of the beacons, are all a prism marvelously suited to amusing the eyes without ever wearying them. The slender forms of the ships, with their complicated rigging, upon which the swell of the sea imprints harmonious oscillations, serve to preserve in the soul a taste for rhythm and beauty. And then, above all else, there is a sort of mysterious and aristocratic pleasure, for he who has neither curiosity nor ambition, in comtemplating, while lying on the belvedere or leaning his elbows against the pier, all of the movements of those who leave and those who return, of those who still have strength of will, the desire to travel, or to enrich themselves.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) french poet, art critic and translator.