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10 of 50

  1. Alexander, Lloyd — The Black Cauldron
  2. Anthony, Piers — Letters to Jenny
  3. Cooper, Susan — Over Sea, Under Stone
  4. Proulx, Annie — Close Range: Wyoming Stories
  5. Kincaid, Jamaica — Lucy
  6. Christie, Agatha — The Unexpected Guest
  7. Dick, Philip K. — Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  8. Cooper, Susan — The Dark Is Rising
  9. Cooper, Susan — Greenwitch
  10. Shaffer, Peter — Amadeus

Since this we celebrated the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth, I thought I should read Peter Shaffer's play. What a fantastic little play! I really enjoyed the seamless presentation, with Salieri floating between scenes, living in the past and the present, and being at once a part of the action and a narrator to the audience. I especially appreciated how Shaffer used Mozart's music, particularly his operas, as metaphors to help emphasize certain themes.

Afterwards I rented and watched the movie. It had been a good 15 years or more since I'd seen it. I found it to be significantly different from the play, which is interesting since Shaffer did the screenplay himself. Perhaps he decided that the different medium of film required a different treatment. I found the movie less focused, with less importance given to Mozart's music as a vehicle of the drama.

I'd love to see this play staged, especially if I can get my hands on film of the original American production featuring Ian McKellan as Salieri and Tim Curry as Mozart.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
rsc
Feb. 25th, 2006 03:54 pm (UTC)
I saw the play in Boston -- many long years ago. (Not with McKellen and Curry, I'm pretty sure.) Yes, it's very different from the film. The play is about Salieri, or rather about the character of Salieri as constructed by Shaffer: a man aware of his mediocre talents, watching himself being eclipsed by (what he regards as) an inferior human being with vastly superior talents. (Yeah, that's eomthing of an oversimplification.) The movie shifted the focus to Mozart, making Salieri a relatively minor character. My guess is that this was in part a marketing decision.
journeystar
Feb. 25th, 2006 07:53 pm (UTC)
Ian McKellen as Salieri! Swoon!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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