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My favorite piece of classical music is Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major (adagio). The first time I heard it was on one of those classical music box sets that I’d gotten for Christmas. Mozart is always such an intriguing artist, prodigy, superstar, genius tormented by inner demons. This piece is probably not as well known as other pieces people think of when they think of Mozart, but I contend that it stands on its own quite beautifully.

The piece begins with a lilting solo of a sweet breath of a melody, followed soon after by swelling strings. The notes stretch out together like a creature rising from a night’s slumber, long sinewy measures move into more alert and spry interpretations on the theme.

Eventually the movement develops into the full-fledged complexity of Mozart’s brilliance. Jaunty, more developed musical conversation flits away as quickly and easily as it was roused. And the gorgeous, feline melody settles back down on itself and returns to sleep. Easily the most beautiful seven minutes one can experience musically, in my opinion.