Michael Morpurgo, London Philharmonic Orchestra - The Mozart Question

Published Thursday 1st November 2012
Michael Morpurgo, London Philharmonic Orchestra - The Mozart Question
Michael Morpurgo, London Philharmonic Orchestra - The Mozart Question

STYLE: Classical
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9

Reviewed by Steven Whitehead

Author Michael Morpurgo wrote his book The Mozart Question in 2007 although you may have missed it in all the excitement of the War Horse film project. If you did, this is an excellent opportunity to catch up as the author narrates in the role of eccentric virtuoso violinist Paulo Levi as he faces his parents' traumatic past when interviewed by cub reporter Lesley, played by Alison Read. Lesley has clear instructions from her editor not to ask "The Mozart Question" and for a reviewer to say more at this point would be to risk spoiling the plot. Morpurgo was a teacher before turning to writing full time and here his performance suggests he could have been an actor as he is totally convincing. The CD weaves together the book's narration with musical extracts to bring the story alive, featuring pieces by Beethoven, Vivaldi, Bach, Messiaen, J Strauss and, of course, Mozart, all performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Nicholas Collon and featuring Classical BRIT award winning violinist Jack Liebeck. In all the music makes up about half an hour of the total playing time of 75 minutes so we get to hear things in context. Neither the music nor the story is explicitly Christian but the issues raised should be of interest to all. Frankly, I do not want to be the one to give too much away so if you want to find out more concerning the plot look elsewhere. The music is excellent and any CD that can link Bach's Violin Sonata No, 1 in G minor to Messiaen's "Quartet for the End of Time" and Strauss's "Blue Danube" cannot be accused of being uninteresting. The story should appeal to children aged between seven and 10 and it held my attention throughout (and I am somewhat older). Santayana's dictum that "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it" is worth noting and this CD is thoroughly recommended for its story, its music and the skill with which everything is presented.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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