Praise the Lord … Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his surpassing greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp (Psalm 150:1-3).
How good it is to proclaim the wonder of God’s creation. What a gift it is to have the ability to make music, and to use that music to express our deepest gratitude for what God does for us everyday.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart heeded this call from the psalms to offer praise with passion. He possessed an energy and genius unique to the world of music. Mozart envisioned his compositions in much the same way as the psalmist describes: giving rowdy, intense, yet holy praise for the greatness of God and the power of love.
The broad influences of Bach and Hayden are evident, but Mozart’s imaginative responses to their compositions dazzled. His genius transcended traditional norms and burst forth in new, complex, confounding, and joyous expressions.
Karl Barth, the great and influential Swiss theologian from the early to mid-twentieth century, used to write his sermons and lectures on the holiness of God while listening to the recordings of Mozart. Barth concluded that something deep within Mozart’s music cleared the mind, purified the soul, and moved him and us closer to God’s presence.
So as we finish up the lovely month of July together and share in the experience of God’s good creation, seek your own inspiration. Lifted and loved, may you, like Mozart, experience an exuberance of inexpressible gratitude. And like him, may you express it with originality, joy, and imagination. It also wouldn’t hurt if you took some time to listen to some of his music!
Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius. —Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart