MOZART SYMPHONY #40 (“ROO SYMPHONY”) – RETURNS AS MY BIRTHDAY SONG THIS YEAR
A few days ago, a birthday card arrived from my grandchildren and their parents in Vienna, Austria (right). It was the first physical reminder of an upcoming milestone. On June 3, I will be turning 70.
The day before the card arrived, I told Elizabeth that this year, I want to spend my birthday in Arizona’s high country. On June 2, we will go out for a hike with a good friend in Sedona. The next day, my actual birthday, we plan to drive all the way up to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We hope also to visit the Marble Canyon, Vermillion Cliffs in Arizona, and maybe drive to the Zion, Kolob National Parks in Utah the following day (map). Or maybe even to the Bryce Canyon.
But my grandchildren’s birthday card was not actually the first reminder of my upcoming birthday. The first was an old friend, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who also hails from Vienna. Waking up the morning of May 11, I realized that I had received guidance during the night to complete my recording of his Symphony #40.
THE “ROO SYMPHONY”
I started playing a part of it by ear some 15 years ago at my Western Australian home – the Bolt Hole. I was doing it back then mainly for the kangaroos. These beautiful animals would stop munching on their grassy dinner in front of my home and listen. Their ears would turn like radars to the windows of the house. So I named this piece of music the “Roo Symphony.” In music history, it is know as simply “Great.”
I first recorded by ear my version of the first movement in early 2008 (left). But it was only a rudimentary opening segment. I also did it in Apr 2013 on my first Clavinova, introducing more orchestral voices in this version (right). All along, I was playing it in a wrong key – A-minor instead of G-minor.
I know… it seems like only a minor [pun intended :-)], one note-difference. But it is like worlds apart when it comes to harmony.
So my May 11 spirit guidance was to rework the piece into the correct key, and then learn to play and complete the whole first movement of the symphony. And that’s what I have been trying to do ever since. And now, I feel I need to record it before my birthday.
First, you will hear the orchestral FLUTE as the lead instrument. Then a PIANO concerto version of it. Finally, you will hear the FULL orchestra, including a contemporary percussion section playing the symphony in a ROCK rhythm.
This rendition still varies somewhat from the original version as written in sheet music. But it’s just the way I hear it. I know my friend Wolfgang wouldn’t mind. In fact, he was probably the one who guided me to make these slight alterations, perhaps to modernize it a bit for the 21st century.
EXTREMELY UPLIFTING, BETTER THAN ANY DRUG OR ENERGY BAR
All I can say about this piece, is that it extremely uplifting and literally breathtaking (when you play it). This symphony will give you a kind of joyful, powerful high that you will never get from drugs, energy bars or power drinks. And it costs nothing except a few minutes of your time.
As a musician, I can tell you, and Elizabeth can second it, that I get so buzzed playing this piece that when I am finished, I have to get up and walk around so as to cool off, and let my energy level subside back down to normal.
So I do have to warn you: it might be addictive after you hear it a few times. 🙂
Here’s now an introduction to this piece…
Here are also some still shots from this recording…
With that as a preamble, here’s now my #70 birthday song – Mozart’s Symphony #40, written in 1788, three years before his death…
MOZART SYMPHONY #40 (“ROO SYMPHONY”) – a film by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – a 70th birthday gift from and to Mozart – music recorded entirely on a Clavinova on May 30, 2015 – some video clips from a Mozart concert at the Musikverein were recorded in Vienna on May 17, 2014
Some still shots from the May 31 recording session…
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Here’s now a recording of this piece I made in Vienna last year at a concert that Elizabeth, my then 8-year old grandson and I attended at Vienna Musikverein Hall:
Vienna Mozart Concert, Part 6: Symphony #40 – My “Roo Symphony” – a film by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – recorded on May 17, 2014 at the Vienna Musikverein Concert Hall in Vienna, Austria
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By the way, this was not the first time Mozart gave me one of his pieces as a birthday song. Three years ago in Maui he did something similar with this piece: Birthday song 2012 – Joy to the World, Amadeus Was a Bullfrog – including Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca (Turkish March).
So two Austrians and a Russian in the last four years as my early musical birthday well-wishers. 🙂
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Sunday, May 31, 2015
SUNDAY EVENING’S SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY THAT ELIZABETH AND HER DAUGHTER THERESA ORGANIZED
They did it again. For two years in a row now, Elizabeth and her
eldest daughter Theresa (below left) have managed to pull it off. I even told Elizabeth a few days ago not to plan any party this year since we will in the high country on my birthday. But she did it anyway – three days early! 🙂
Good thing I did not put on my striped shirt. Elizabeth was routing for it before we left home. Little did she know… Three would have been definitely a crowd
Anyway, we all had a great time. Here are some pictures from last night’s dinner party…
BTW – I carved the cake spontaneously in the shape of a modified Arizona flag, with the sun in the middle (instead of the star). I had no idea what I was doing. It was a spur of the moment thing. Everybody was watching in surprise to see what would come out…:-)
Elizabeth caught it on film…
For the actual travelogue – June 2-5 – click on…
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You can see the actual AZ flag above right. Which I was also wearing as a scarf. 🙂
And now, as a reminder, here are also some shots from last year’s surprise dinner party…
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MY PAST 7 BIRTHDAYS
A Birthday at Sea – June 3, 2008 – #63 – Catalina Island, California
Birthday on Angel Trail in Peru – June 3, 2009 – #64 – Urubamba, Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru
Birthday at Home – #65 – June 3, 2010 – Maui, Hawaii
Mother of All Birthdays – June 3, 2011 – #66 – at Fernando’s in Wailea, Maui, Hawaii
Birthday Magic & Sunset Dinner – June 3, 2012 – #67 – at Merriman’s in Kapalua, Maui, HawaiiAlso, the birthday song 2012 – Joy to the World, Amadeus Was a Bullfrog (June 3, 2012)
Birthday in the Desert – June 3, 2014 – #69 – on Calvary Hill Arizona – with Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody as Birthday Song
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UPDATE NOV 12, 2016
WHAT IS THIS TUNE?
It’s been several months since I received a musical download from my old friend Mozart. This afternoon, though, as I was washing some new dishes I had bought, I heard this tune. It came to me in G-major. So I just sat down at my Clavinova to record these opening bars.
Can you help me figure out what it is?
I virtually certain that it is Mozart, just don’t know which one of his many pieces.