Letter: Silence, please, when Mozart plays

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The Independent Online
Sir: Brian R Moore (letters, 20 August) cannot be allowed the last word. Sacheverell Sitwell's life of Mozart tells us that "when he played, there had to be complete silence, or he would stop at once" and his own letters that he walked out of the box of a man who laughed at the solemn scenes in The Magic Flute. Does that sound like someone who approved of bored concert-goers talking among themselves?

As for cheering the music, Nikolaus Harnoncourt suggested (in Baroque Music Today) that it assured composers that their new ideas were understood, an argument that no longer applies.

CAROLYN BECKINGHAM

Lewes, East Sussex

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