Listening this morning to the Morning Edition interview with Alex Gibney about his new film "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks," and not quite fully awake, I began to fantasize about becoming the Julian Assange of classical music. In my reverie, I lift the shroud of secrecy surrounding classical music's most vexing mysteries, and risk my freedom to fulfill the public's right to know the truth. ClassiLeaks! Never mind the difficulty I would really have in finding a big-time newspaper that would give a rat's you-know-what about classical music. In my dream, I would finally provide the answer to such questions as:
Who commissioned Mozart's "Requiem?" Yeah, I know that Count von Walsegg usually gets the blame. But if you believe that, I've got an authenticated Mozart viola bridge to sell you.
Who really was Beethoven's "Immortal Beloved?" What did he really scrawl above his little piano trifle "Für Elise," or "Für Therese," or whatever the heck it was? And what did you do with the manuscript, if indeed there was one, Herr Nohl?
Who or what really kept Schubert from finishing his "Unfinished" Symphony? I know there have been all sorts of fancy musicological answers to this. But remember, people: Follow the money.
Did Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms ever (ahem) make beautiful music together? I know, it was before DNA and sex tapes, but still...
What's the solution to the "Enigma" of Elgar's famous orchestral variations? Or — and this is my guess — was Sir Edward laughing at us from behind that walrus mustache?
Exactly what was Arnold Schoenberg (above right) smoking when he came up with that cockamamie 12-tone system? Whatever it was, I'm staying away from it.
Can we finally unravel the conspiracy behind the current reduced state of classical music's popularity? Who's in on it — the schools, the media, the greedy and brain-washing music industry, the government (especially when your party is out of power)? Of course, some supposedly respected commentators lie through their teeth, singing their phony song about changing tastes, failing to keep up with the times and other insidious nonsense. Don't you realize that they're in on the conspiracy, and are really bent on running Justin Bieber and Honey Boo Boo for president (or at least co-chairs of the NEA) to dumb-down our culture once and for all?
All I need ( in my dream, of course) is someone to leak the information to me so I can disseminate it. And all you have to be willing to do is take the hit, have your life ruined, and provide me with directions to the Ecuadorian embassy. But for the cause of truth (and my notoriety), that's hardly a big price to pay. In the meantime, if you have any other classical questions you want answered, bring 'em on.