Nineteen ninety-one, the year of the bicentenary of Mozart’s death, has already been celebrated with due devotion and even mindless awe.
Vulgarity in music denies the human complexity which supreme art must somehow portray. It makes use of stock devices for suggesting the lower appetites. Trombones can fart and slide. In Don Giovanni , as Bernard Shaw says, they conjure a fearful joy. Melodies are compounds of stock progressions and stock cadences.
Dead nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita he nevertheless presents the whole compass of life and intimates that noble visions exist only because they can be realized.