Saturday 17 November 2018

Marlowe and Mozart

I am finishing The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler, which features private eye and cynical hero Philip Marlowe. In one chapter, he is held in police custody and discusses with the police officer about... Mozart. The policeman plays piano in his spare time and is actually a Mozart aficionado. Here is what he says about the composer: "You'd be surprised how difficult some of that Mozart is. (...) It sounds so simple when you hear it played well." And then: "Mozart is just music. No comment needed from the performer." And Marlowe observes in his narration: "You could see he was a man who loved to move his hands, to make little neat inconspicuous motions with them, motions without any special meaning, but smooth and flowing and light as swansdown. They gave him a feel of delicate things delicately done, but not weak. Mozart, all right. I could see that." Marlowe got Mozart in a nutshell.

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