approaching Don Giovanni
My favorite image of the mythical Don Giovanni is in Fellini's 1976 film, Casanova
. Casanova, brilliantly cast with Donald Sutherland as the ladie's man, is at a dinner party when he hears that Don Giovanni is present. We see the Don only briefly, his silhouette moves through a nearby passageway. Casanova is interested and takes note.
Why would this mysterious character be so interesting to the young Mozart? Whatever our speculation on that point, the Don reminds us that Mozart's music is not the music of a charmed life. That Mozart was not the good little baby that nowadays drools in front of a mirror which has a dinky music box that plays some version of "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" Mozart himself would never have recognized. Mozart is not the model we should have for our children anymore than Don Giovanni. Wolfgang Amadeus is in our history as an intensely tragic figure whose music belies his suffering.