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The word ‘epic’ is bandied about a lot these days. It’s attributed to everything from TV, to last night’s planking session, so when we think of Mozart, it’s often easy to forget that he experienced one of the most epic fails in history.

“He was literally dismissed with a kick up the arse,” says Richard Butler, solo tenor with the Brandenburg Choir. “He was lewd. He loved toilet humour,” and once upon a time he worked for the Prince-Archbishop Hieronymus Colloredo.

As for his music – “He’s an absolute, innate genius. He makes music out of nothing, incredible,” of course, “The requiem is used in countless films.”

Performing Mozart, Butler says, is “electric, like any performer you live to be on stage, and it’s just incredible music. People listen to the music on the radio, and they switch off because it’s not immediate. But if you go to a concert and it surrounds you, it’s visceral stuff, really, really fierce.”

Discover the beautiful story behind Mozart’s Mass in C-Minor with The Australian Brandenburg Orchestra – It will be anything but mediocre. (LC)

May 8-17, City Recital Hall, 2 Angel Place, Sydney, $65-154, 02 8256 2222, cityrecitalhall.com

BY LUKE COX