“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ~ Albert Schweitzer
A couple of nights ago I was on “Spotify” tossing about for a good rendition of Mozart’s piano concerto 23 in A Major, KV 448, and ran across an album by Christiane Engel and the Stern Orchestra Prague. This album of Mozart’s piano concertos 26 in D Major KV 537 and 23 in A Major, KV 448 is just wonderful (see below). I had never heard of Mrs. Engel and so entered her name in Google. . . I was happy to find out that she has recorded ten albums of the piano concertos of Mozart. The profits from the sale of these CDs go to the Albert Schweitzer Institute for the Humanities in Wallingford, USA .
Christiane Engel is the granddaughter of Albert Schweitzer. Like her honored grandfather, Mrs. Engel is both a physician and a musician. She is a physician in her grandfather’s hospital in Lambarene, Gabon, Africa.
When I despair about human cruelty and the atrocities that still blight the world, something always happens to remind me about remarkable people who strive to make life better and do. In this case, we can say an “incredible” and “extraordinary” person! Albert Schweitzer was a brilliant, gifted, and dedicated Lutheran minister, philosopher, theologian, medical missionary, and musician. My father, who loved organ music, owned Schweitzer recordings. When I was a little girl in the fifties and early sixties, I heard a great deal about Albert Schweitzer in school and read books about him; the great humanitarian and classical organist; winner of the Goethe Prize and the Nobel Peace Prize.
When I was in Harvard Divinity School 32 years ago I read Schweitzer’s book on “The Quest for the Historical Jesus” and later “Jesus Christ and Mythology” by Rudolph Bultmann. They were the foundation of my New Testament theology studies.
Christiane Engel is continuing the Schweitzer legacy. Bravo. Knowing that there are people like this in the world brightens the light in my heart. And, Mozart’s music, which is forever healing, is a spiritual tonic . I will thank God every day for the good throughout the world.
“My love for Mozart’s music started in my early childhood. I still clearly remember, when at the age of six, I first heard Mozart’s A Little Night Music. The melodies did not leave my mind. They thoroughly and wonderfully overwhelmed me. Later I realized why I was so deeply moved by Mozart’s music; it reflects my ideals of harmony, peace, love, compassion and human understanding and it embraces optimism, hope and a belief in a higher truth and divine spirit.
“It is my hope that by interpreting his music I can help pass on its uplifting joy and healing power. I know of its healing effects, not only as a musician, but also as a medical doctor. Many times I have successfully used Mozart’s music to benefit my patients as well as myself. I owe Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart profound gratitude for giving me so much happiness and strength through his music. His extraordinary, beautiful personality, coming to life through his charming and touching letters to his family and friends, add to my strong feeling of closeness to him.” ~ Christiane Engel
See Christiane Engel’s websites:
Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambarene, Gabon, Africa: