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Customer Discussions > Classical Music forum

Why is Mozart such a big deal?


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Showing 176-200 of 381 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 11:27:52 AM PST
Roeselare says:
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 think Bernstein saw the early century in terms of the seriousness of Schoenberg as opposed to the artifice of Stravinsky (after what Wagner and Mahler had to tonally contend with), but he says it far better than I!

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 11:28:01 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 11:29:04 AM PST
<<<why do you say Mozart is awesome?>>>>
barb why would you be curious about this?, you seem to be content with one pointing to
just "eine kleine nachtmusik' and be able to dismiss Mozart as 'fluff"...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 11:28:59 AM PST
Roeselare says:
You're right, so what is it in this case?

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 11:31:02 AM PST
KenOC says:
Talking about music is like dancing about architecture, as they say. It is probably impossible to explain why any composer is "great." But Haydn probably said it best in a 1785 letter to Leopold: "Before God and as an honest man I tell you that your son is the greatest composer known to me either in person or by name; he has taste, and, furthermore, the most profound knowledge of composition."

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 11:34:09 AM PST
Dichterliebe says:
I've a hard time considering 'Eine Kleine' as fluff, let alone dismissing it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 11:34:14 AM PST
Ataraxia says:
"you seem to be content with one pointing to
just "eine kleine nachtmusik' and be able to dismiss Mozart as 'fluff"

Well, but that's the thing. I'm going to play devil's advocate on the opposite side of the fence now. I think you could even point to "eine kleine" to still make a point about the genius of its composer. As other posters have pointed out, it is superbly crafted and a real work of art. Sure it's not serious. But neither is Shakespeare's "All Ado About Nothing", and yet it's still considered one of the masterpieces of literature.

That's why the issue can be a little confusing. I am still trying to clarify it in my own head.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 11:35:54 AM PST
Ataraxia says:
But certainly there are things in Mozart which you would agree might just seem downright silly, or frivolous, or repetitive- wouldn't you?

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 11:36:38 AM PST
Dichterliebe says:
"Talking about music is like dancing about architecture, as they say."

I've danced to house music. Does that count?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 11:36:43 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 11:45:58 AM PST
Roeselare says:
sorry, well, you're either one or the other. lol

Women don't usually participate it would seem.

People naturally 'want' to believe that it's all relative, the questions of what is serious music and what isn't, what will endure and what won't. If we line up all the works of Mozart and Beethoven, about 4 pieces to 1, side by side, is this a good way to decide? What would the verdict be?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 11:37:48 AM PST
Roeselare says:
I do?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 11:43:55 AM PST
Roeselare says:
you have a piece in mind?

It's not really fair to criticize an early work (before the age of 25).

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 11:48:24 AM PST
Ataraxia says:
Hmmmm. You are really putting me on the spot, aren't you? I know whatever I say here, I am going to get tarred and feathered by some people here.

But oh, well, here goes. How about his violin concerto No. 3? It's a solid work, well-crafted. But I am not sure that if I had just heard it for the first time, and not known it was Mozart, that I would be that terribly impressed by it.

(I will now cower in fear and cover my head with my arms, because I know the stoning will commence shortly).

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 11:49:48 AM PST
Ataraxia says:
"If we line up all the works of Mozart and Beethoven, about 4 pieces to 1, side by side, is this a good way to decide? What would the verdict be? "

Yeah, I don't know. I would respond that it would be totally dependent on who is doing the judging.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 11:51:52 AM PST
<<<Well, but that's the thing. I'm going to play devil's advocate on the opposite side of the fence now.>>>>
well hopefully you will actually back up your arguments on this 'opposite side as opposed to the unsupported garboilish bait and switch nonsense you've seemed to think has been adequate up to this point.
Things like First century philosophy and Shakespeare might be relevant to discuss here. But you have to do better in tying it into the discussion.... LIKE HOW THEY RELATE TO SPECIFIC EXAMPLES FROM MOZART"S MUSIC ITSELF.

You have made a Provocative statement about the music of Mozart, and you have your best to evade answering how you have come to that conclusion why examples from the music of Mozart.

Why did you create this thread if you don't want to expand on its ACTUAL topic?
why didn't you just create another thread on Aesthetics in general?

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 11:55:53 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 11:57:28 AM PST
<<<Hmmmm. You are really putting me on the spot, aren't you? I know whatever I say here, I am going to get tarred and feathered by some people here. >>>

How can a person start a thread on this topic and then complain about being 'put on the spot' when asked for specifics about the actual topic???

"lächerlich"

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 11:56:22 AM PST
Ataraxia, I agree with you about Paganini's violin concertos. I have six of them and enjoy hearing them once in a while. They also are not bubble gum music, too serious and melodic to be called that. Early almost every great composer wrote light music so this path will lead nowhere. I am sure we can discuss these ideas as they come up in a civilized way. I guess we all need a sense of humor here (including me of course).

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 11:56:30 AM PST
Ataraxia says:
OK. It seems you want specifics. I just gave one two posts up from yours: his Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major.

If someone just played that for you and you hadn't heard it before, and didn't know it was Mozart, would you think much of it?

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 12:02:06 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 12:02:41 PM PST
<<<If someone just played that for you and you hadn't heard it before, and didn't know it was Mozart, would you think much of it? >>>
Do I think a violin concerto written at 19 carries a lot of weight in the overall picture of composer?
You are now curve fitting from TWO data points.....
do you honesty think that you have investigated Mozart enough to make the Bold generalization about his total output that you have?

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 12:06:26 PM PST
J. Nelson says:
Gotta love 19th Century snobs who looking down on 18th Century Music since it is quite different. Btw I like 19th Century music but I do see this being a common trend around here.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 12:06:31 PM PST
Ataraxia says:
At 19? You sure?

From Wiki:

"Similarly, the dating of these works is unclear. Analysis of the handwriting, papers and watermarks has proved that all five violin concertos were re-dated several times. The year of composition of the fifth concerto "1775" was scratched out and replaced by "1780", and later changed again to "1775"."

I think I could come up with all sorts of examples, and you could counter-argue them some way. But I am not here to offend. I think you know what I am getting at here.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 12:08:20 PM PST
KenOC says:
Seems to me that Ataraxia was asked for an example and gave one. The example probably should be addressed, not dismissed.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 12:12:49 PM PST
Dichterliebe says:
Go right ahead.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 12:14:26 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 12:23:04 PM PST
Larkenfield says:
I see two basic kinds of listeners. The first gravitate toward the best in every genre, because there is always the element of unexpected greatness that can be found in a work of Bach or Mozart to John Lee Hooker singing the blues, or Paul McCartney writing a great standard such as Yesterday, or Brian Wilson writing his classic Don't Worry Baby. These people listen on a `horizontal' plane and can hear something of depth and value without having to label or categorize the music. They still make choices and have their preferences, but they exclude what they want to hear on the basis of their personal reactions rather than on an outside standard.

The second group listens more on the `vertical' plane and over time develop what they feel is an objective hierarchy of standards or values, sometimes leading them to seek out what they feel is the greatest composer among composers, or the greatest genre of music where one type is considered to have lesser value if another is considered better, or that if one piece of music is `good' it means that something else must be `bad'. The process of exclusion seems to predominate. They seem concerned more with ultimate values, and so Beethoven gets rated over Paganini, Mozart is rated over the Beatles or the Beach Boys, or within the entire works of one composer, there seems to be what they feel is an objective standard of what is considered good or great, and they sometimes try to impose their standards on others.

Both groups have their place in the appreciation and the development of music, and if one is a musician or hears a wide variety of music over time, one is going to run into people of both types, some with very strong or dominate opinions, and it's going to challenge one's own values about what is worthwhile in music, what one enjoys, the relationship between the difference genres, the value of each, and the capacity of the listener to hear the depth or the lack of depth in what's being played.

How many fans of the Beach Boys know that Brian Wilson was wowed by the fantastic vocal harmonies of the Four Freshmen? There's a fascinating background behind the group. Or how many listeners of CM can appreciate the sophistication of the harmonies of Yesterdays that was something new to rock at the time, or are aware of the melodic and harmonic complexities of a song by Joni Mitchell?

So both groups, with a mixture of values between them, may be necessary to sort out one's place in the music, either as a musician or non-musician. This is why I think that, among serious listeners, one should tread softly in trying to elevate one genre over the other, such as perhaps lessen the value of Mozart to elevate the value of rock or pop. I enjoy the listeners who can value something of each even if they don't like each equally well, and to keep in mind that one's tastes in music is subject to change over the years according to one's interests, needs and maturity.

In the meantime, I'd say it means being exposed to the opinions of others, according to whatever one's own goals are at the time as a listener or musician, considering other's values within a specific context without allowing those ideas to discourage one or impede one's own instincts and development. It develops inner strength by not taking the opinions of others without examining or questioning them, which I believe you have done _sincerely_.

My personal feeling is that the pursuit of so-called greatest can sometimes lead to narrowness of mind - just the opposite of being more universal in understanding the endless variety of the human condition, and it can be a trap. ♬

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 12:14:42 PM PST
<<<I think I could come up with all sorts of examples, and you could counter-argue them some way. But I am not here to offend. I think you know what I am getting at here. >>>>and I am the first to argue that lots of Mozart is not top notch.
(His symphonies up until about 21....esp compared to Haydn who seemed to have started writing mature symphonies right out of the gate.))))))

However,
"extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" you have made an extraordinary claim.
The onus is on you for to provide extraordinary evidence.

In the mean time, I'll listen to the Gran Paritita, the symphony 41, don Giovanni etc, etc etc and still have assurance that those are pretty damn impressive pieces that only someone who doesn't understand them at all(or hasn't heard them) would dismiss as "fluff".

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 12:16:45 PM PST
Dear Ataraxia

I'm in agreement with you post on Mozart. I had my say a few days ago, but after these long posts mine seems so 'small'. This almost has turned into an academic discussion like a grad class. No complaints, but it has taken a strange turn for what I also thought would be a simpler posting of perhaps favorite works etc..But you are right, it just goes to show the strength of Mozart, the passion for him that time has not diminshed over the past 200 years plus. I personally never tire of his sublime music and hope I never will.
Thanks
Bonnie
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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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