Mozart takes no offence. While Lady Gaga and Kesha will be forgotten in a matter of two years, his music will be listened to for many generations to come. His work is timeless.
—gabbcia, YouTube user—
The name Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is no doubt one of the most familiar names to have come out from the 18th century. He is known throughout the world from Antarctica to Somalia as perhaps the greatest composer of all time. However, in today’s world dominated by the Lady Gagas and Justin Biebers, who actually enjoys listening to his music aside from classical music enthusiasts?
Little do we know that much of his most famous musical pieces are still being played today, but relegated usually to TV and radio commercial jingles as well as phone on hold music. We hear his music almost everyday in various audio-visual media not knowing that these are actually masterpieces of the Austrian prodigy.
Since we’re at it, it is also not widely known that Wolfgang’s full name is quite kilometric: Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. To Filipinos exposed to Romance languages, the first two names ring a bell. When translated into Spanish, it becomes Juan Crisóstomo.
For us Filipinos, Juan Crisóstomo is the first name of the country’s most well-known fictional hero: of Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere. Like Rizal, it is interesting to note that Wolfgang was a Freemason. Could it be that Rizal named his novel’s protagonist in honor of one of Europe’s most famous Freemasons? Was the literary gesture done to honor a brother Mason?
But there is another Juan Crisóstomo to consider: Saint John Chrysostom, the Early Church Father who was also the Archbishop of Constantinople from 398 to 404. Although a warrior of the Church, Saint John fought against certain ecclesiastical abuses he encountered during his time, actions that would have put a smile on every hardcore Freemason’s face such as Rizal the Idealist.
So could it have been Saint John Chrysostom? One of his symbols is a pen, a writer’s tool.
It is still doubtful, however, if it was Saint John Chrysostom. The saint fought only abuse of authority within the Church, not exactly the Church. Mozart, therefore, is the more possible candidate especially since Freemasonry played a very important role in his life and music. However, although the musical genius joined Freemasonry, he remained loyal to the Catholic Church. In fact, he received a Catholic funeral service (evidence that he may have abjured from Freemasonry).
Or maybe Rizal wasn’t thinking of anyone after all when he baptized his creole hero Juan Crisóstomo. The possibilities are endless.
The above theories may be irrelevant and a waste of time to many. However, trivialities such as these make the study of Philippine History highly interesting and engaging.
On another note: could it be that Mozart was named after St. John Chrysostom?
That is no longer our concern. So to wrap this blogpost up, I share to you my most favorite Mozart piece called Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467…
Makes me wonder if Rizal enjoyed Mozart’s music, not as a Mason but as a connoisseur of things beautiful.