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Customer Discussions > Classical Music forum

Why is Mozart such a big deal?


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Showing 226-250 of 381 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 4:22:28 PM PST
DavidRFoss says:
K. J. MCGILP says:
Too many people think that "Amadeus" was 100% factual! While it was a very good movie, it distorted the truth severely.
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As has likely been mentioned before. The movie is not based on reality. Its based on a Pushkin play from 1830 called "Mozart and Salieri". Its a short play, just a couple of short scenes. There's subtitled videos on youtube which are about a half-hour... you can probably read a translation of the whole thing in just 10-15 minutes:

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/p/pushkin/aleksandr/p98mo/

Rimsky-Korsakov staged a 1-act opera with the play as the libretto in 1897.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdMUBz55Ly8

Hollywood fleshed out the screenplay with Mozart's biography to fill time and showcase the composers music but the whole Salieri/Mozart interaction is based on Pushkin and entirely fictitious.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 4:24:36 PM PST
KenOC says:
"Just one more Mozart story (at least from me). Mozart was Albert Einstein's favorite composer."

A tie perhaps? More on Einstein's musical tastes here:

https://sites.google.com/site/kenocstuff/albert-einstein-on-music

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 4:25:58 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 10:41:14 PM PST
actually Hollywood didn't do it...
peter shaffer("equus") fleshed it out for the stage...probably not that different in the long run.....
London first, then broadway, then any touring company that had a cranky "has been" on call with a little name recognition who wanted to ham it up as Salieri... Micheal York anyone????

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 4:40:34 PM PST
ccj says:
The 1984 film Amadeus was based on Peter Schaffer's 1979 play.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 5:37:22 PM PST
barb
Read your post about learning an instrument etc. I seriuosly studied the bassoon from time I was in high school through college. It was my ticket to a scholarship to a wonderful conservatory in Boston. I was immersed in symphonic music for a long time and my instructor was Sherman Walt, 1st chair of the Boston Symphony. Not only did I learn all he could teach me, but I had wonderful access to the rehersals of the BSO and all the backstage stuff. The members of the orchestra were very involved with their students and gave of their time freely and willingly. It was an amazing experience. First symphony I 'learned' was the Brahms Second and the last was Mozart's 'Jupiter'. You are correct. Learning an instrument and learning it seriously lets you become involved in music in a way that otherwise is simply not possible.
Thanks
Bonnie

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 6:49:19 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 6:55:03 PM PST
Mahlerian says:
The legends about Mozart and Salieri had been "in the air" for quite a long time, though. There was a 19th century opera based on their supposed rivalry. Schaffer just took that and made a play out of it. It makes for good drama, but as a biography, it's rather terrible.

"Was Arnold trying to be satisfying or was he trying to achieve his goal of showing one path from the chromaticism of Wagner, instead of what Mahler -- and especially Stravinsky pursued? "

I see Schoenberg as continuing the line through Wagner and Mahler. Stravinsky cared for neither, and he was very ambivalent about Schoenberg until after his rival's death. Schoenberg was the arch-Germanic composer, drawing on the line of development from Bach to the present day through Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Strauss, and Mahler, while Stravinsky was the eclectic, drawing from any source he saw fit, whether Russian, French, German, or American (Jazz). They both had an interest in writing "satisfying" music, and wrote what they liked, though Stravinsky's personal taste tended more to align with the public's.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 7:57:40 PM PST
ccj says:
Joe Anthony says: "I always failed to find connections between the music of Mozart and Tchaikovsky. Mozart seems so joyful and uncluttered; while Tchaikovsky's sad Russian soul is so lush and weepy."

Mozart is moody and unpredictable. He can go from happy to sad in less than a bar.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 9:20:40 PM PST
ccj says:
" the fact more than half of his operas are unlistenable."

What do you mean by this? Not counting juvenalia, Mozart only wrote seven full length operas. Idomeneo being the first. Which half are 'unlistenable'?

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 10:30:50 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013 1:01:39 AM PST
<<<What do you mean by this? Not counting juvenalia, Mozart only wrote seven full length operas. Idomeneo being the first. Which half are 'unlistenable'?>>>

well THIS box seems to count the Juvenilia without qualification.
and there is indeed more of that than his mature operas.

Mozart: The Complete Operas

maybe I should have phrased it to "more than half of what Mozart wrote as opera is unlistenable juvenilia"....
but my statement is still correct as it stands.

If I put ALL of mozart'operas on an I-pod and "shuffle"randomly i'm more likely than not to hear sub par Mozart.

Posted on Jan 13, 2013 2:36:27 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013 2:38:39 AM PST
D. M. Ohara says:
For a long time, I reckoned Mozart the greatest of all composers: today I would rank him just behind Bach and Beethoven.
But that said, there are still many Mozart works that are indispensable: the Da Ponte operas, the last 6 symphonies, the later piano concertos, the C major and G minor String quintets, and a lot more besides. He is sui generis.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 4:22:43 AM PST
The early Mozart operas sound like early operas (so what else is new) but who the heck writes real operas when he is a small child and they are not unlistenable. I and many others find them definitely listenable. Again, to each his own "listenable". Some people find lots of modern "unlistenable" music but there are those who love it. Nobody's taste in music (or anything else) is the real answer.

Posted on Jan 13, 2013 4:31:14 AM PST
MacDoom says:
For a very non-fluffy Mozart, try this (from, at the latest, 1788):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC0XKMGPsAk

It is Mozart at his most searingly and romantically emotional, which, if anything, Perahia underplays here. To great effect. Performers often want to do too much with it - it's intense enough just the way it was written. And probably with just the right number of notes...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 9:01:16 AM PST
Roeselare says:
I'm very idealistic about comparing the scores of Igor and Arnold.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 9:06:48 AM PST
Roeselare says:
the new style and goals of opera during Mozart's time were very new. Mozart had to eventually forge his own path, and these are probably the ones you admire enough to find listenable.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 9:16:51 AM PST
Roeselare says:
I agree with your ranking, but did Bach succeed in summing up the Baroque?, did LvB succeed in summing up the Classical?. Mozart was caught in the middle, so he could only develop the Classical (but maybe if he lived as long as the other two?).

His short life in a specific time in musical history, and what the audiences were like, weren't Wolfie's fault, but they do partially determine his lower ranking. That, and WaM never intended to exceed JsB, in the sense that LvB intended to be the greatest, past and future..

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 9:19:39 AM PST
ccj says:
I don't count stuff he wrote as a kid (most of the 'operas' he wrote then were never completed anyway). Beethoven wrote a lot of junk as a kid but no one thinks it diminishes his stature. ALL seven of Mozart's mature, complete operas are masterworks.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 9:40:58 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013 9:42:52 AM PST
Mandryka says:
What made you change your mind, Dan? I mean why is Mozart's work less great than Bach's or Beethoven's? Because of quantity?

For what it's worth for many years now I've been enjoying Bach and Haydn much more than Mozart and Beethoven.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 9:48:18 AM PST
Roeselare says:
As a musician, what do you think or feel is different about your appreciation of Mozart compared to a mere record collector - who can't experience much from a 'perfect' score?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 9:49:45 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013 9:50:06 AM PST
D. M. Ohara says:
No, not quantity, but something I can only call 'depth'. I think JSB and LvB plumb the depths more than WAM. There is, of course, much emotional depth in Mozart as well, but it is less concentrated.
Take The Magic Flute: Sarastros arias and Pamina's 'Ach, ich fuhls' do plum the depths: but then there is all the 'nonsense' with Papageno and Papagena, and the drei Knaben. It is a mixture of sublimity and banality. I love it, of course: perhaps it is a truer reflection of the actual mix of sublimity and banality in life than the 'heroics' of Beethoven or the mathematical depth of Bach: but they too penetrate to a deeper world, not least in the B minor Mass and the Passions of Bach, or the late quartets and sonatas of LvB.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 10:10:39 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013 10:12:19 AM PST
Mahlerian says:
"I'm very idealistic about comparing the scores of Igor and Arnold."

??
I'm sorry, but I really don't understand what you mean here.

"I love it, of course: perhaps it is a truer reflection of the actual mix of sublimity and banality in life than the 'heroics' of Beethoven or the mathematical depth of Bach: but they too penetrate to a deeper world, not least in the B minor Mass and the Passions of Bach, or the late quartets and sonatas of LvB."

Be careful about equating minor keys/chromaticism with depth. Just because it feels deep doesn't mean it's deeper. The first movement of the Pastoral symphony has almost no minor chords, but it's remarkable nonetheless, not the least bit facile.

Posted on Jan 13, 2013 10:12:24 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013 10:23:04 AM PST
Mandryka says:
Part of the problem is that Bach's art is pretty hard to access -- you know it's so religious. It's all religious code. I think Beethoven's hard to access too because of the heroism and the emotionalness that you hear pretty often in performance. I'm not a fan of Beethoven's music.

I think Mozart had deep stuff to say. There's some very disturbing music in the symphonies for example; in the Jupiter. Bach's in a different league IMO.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 11:31:40 AM PST
DavidRFoss says:
D. M. Ohara says:
It is a mixture of sublimity and banality. I love it, of course: perhaps it is a truer reflection of the actual mix of sublimity and banality in life
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This is dead on. The first impression is that Tamino is the noble hero and Papageno is comic relief but after a while I think more people relate to Papageno.

Plus, nobody juxtaposes those two things better than Mozart. Just listen to pieces that pair characters from each category. "Bei Mannern" and "Bald Prangt" are probably my two favorite numbers in the whole opera.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 12:21:49 PM PST
Mandryka
I doemember that Bach didn't 'get to me' for a long time into my musical studies, but once I had a class in Bach and his music was played and analyzed did I come to understand and enjoy it. Until I took that class I didn't know that he wrote a cantata for every Sunday. It's just one tiny fact that always amazes me.
Beethoven I find to be very emotional. I think the 9th Symphony and opera 'Fidelio' are just 2 examples from his enormous outpouring to be extremely emotional - especially in a live performance.
Thanks
Bonnie

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 12:46:32 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013 1:37:40 PM PST
Mandryka says:
Why do you think more people relate to Papageno? -- I mean is it by virtue of his class or by virtue of the music. Does Mozart load the music against the aristocrats?

Do you think more people (men?) relate to Figaro than to the Count?

For my part I can't relate to either Papageno or Tamino -- Papageno's a buffoon, he always reminds me of Shaggy in Scooby Doo. Tamino's too posh to be relatable. Boarding school brat.

I can relate to the Count though. Figaro? . . . no.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 12:46:51 PM PST
D. M. Ohara says:
Thanks - yes. I have a special affection for Flute, as it was the first [non G&S] opera I saw in a student production with imported professionals for the bigger parts. The Sarastro was particularly memorable. I was about 13 or 14, so this is getting on for 60 years ago!
The most spine-tingling moment for me is when Pamina sings 'Tamino mein, o welch ein Gluck...'
And of course the KdN arias are pretty terrific!
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Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
Participants:  43
Total posts:  381
Initial post:  Jan 9, 2013
Latest post:  Mar 6, 2013

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