Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | October 18, 2007

Mozart, Bacon and The Magic Flute

A theme that really interests me is opera and its connection with the spiritual. My father, who is also a writer, has written a great biography of Mozart – Mozart & Constanze, Francis Carr, 1984. The bad news is that it’s out of print. The good news is you can pick up cheap copies second-hand here.

Here’s what an Amazon reviewer, who gave it 5 stars says: ‘Here is biographical study blended smoothly with murder mystery. The cause of Mozart’s death remains a mystery after many attempts to explain it. Despite the great success of Amadeus, the idea that the composer Salieri poisoned Mozart out of jealousy is generally not credited. Francis Carr skilfully reopens the question of poisoning, but with a new and plausible suspect, having set the stage with an analysis of Mozart’s and Constanze’s marriage.’

My dad has also recently published his latest book: Who Wrote Don Quixote?

But back to opera. The Magic Flute is probably the best-known opera for having ‘esoteric’ content. My dad has recently written on it in Baconiana – the online journal of the Francis Bacon Society. This is what the editor says about his piece:
Francis Carr’s lucid and concise piece Was Mozart a Baconian? is essential reading for those who wish to understand the role of Bacon’s philosophy in the enlightenment project and the connection of both with Freemasonry. In view of the triviality of our contemporary arts, ‘classical’ no less than ‘pop’, it is important to be reminded that Opera was once seen as transformative, educational entertainment in a similar sense to the magical drama of The Tempest. John Michell’s review of Joy Hancox’ Kingdom for a Stage introduces a recent fascinating study of the possible use of hermetic philosophy in theatre construction, specifically that of the original Globe Theatre. Readers who haven’t studied the work of Dame Frances Yates such as The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age and The Theatre of the World will find these an essential introduction to these pieces.

And here’s the article: Mozart and The Magic Flute


Responses

  1. Philip,

    A very interesting walk down the label/clothes avenue.
    One answer to the questions raised is the genius. You could define a genius as a man or woman who can work
    and create without labels. This helps us a lot. Think of Tolstoy,Wagner or Turner.They wrote,composed or painted
    regardless of what people thought. Michelangelo painted
    the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel with men completely
    nude.This shocked,and a later painter had to put small
    pants on some of the figures,even on some of the damned!
    How barmy can you get? His Adam and Eve is magnificent-
    ly erotic. The erotic art exhibition now at the Barbican
    will give you some ideas. I am going to London on November 1,to hear Mark Rylance and Derek Jacobi
    to hear Mark Rylance and Derek Jacobi give a talk at
    Shakespeare’s Globe at 7.15. In the afternoon I will go to
    the Barbican. I can see a connection between drawings
    and paintings of the nude and string quartets. Both
    exemplify simplicity and purity,where the artist and the
    composer have no extra details,just the human body and
    sound.
    I feel that in a small way I have contributed
    to this show with my book on European Erotic Art.

    Francis


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