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Customer Discussions > Classical Music forum

Why is Mozart such a big deal?


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Showing 201-225 of 381 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jan 12, 2013 12:22:19 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 12:25:37 PM PST
<<<Seems to me that Ataraxia was asked for an example and gave one. The example probably should be addressed, not dismissed.>>>
Mozart Edition: Complete Works (170 CD Box Set)
Mozart wrote a lot of Music, all of us can find 'duds' and "fluff" but does that negate his contributions;

Obviously the violin concertos are not the masterpieces that the last half dozen piano concertos are.(and I know people who would say the last dozen)

If I dismissed Beethoven on just 'wellington's victory' and the second piano concerto, I would be told that wasn't enough....
"contempt prior to true investigation"
which is what is being done to Mozart in the OP of this thread.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 12:23:50 PM PST
Ataraxia says:
Wow. Thanks Larkenfield for that very insightful post. Something to think about.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 12:25:14 PM PST
Ataraxia says:
"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". "

You are right. I would not dismiss those particular pieces as "fluff" either.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 12:26:37 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 12:58:40 PM PST
Ataraxia says:
Yes. Perhaps I should be listening more.

I may have been listening to too many of the "eine kleine"s, the "twinkle, twinkle" variations, and the like.

I think that is what I am taking away from the thread here.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 12:39:09 PM PST
LvB Fan says:
Ataraxia, I'm not a huge Mozart fan, but there are more than just a few---many more than just a few---of his works that are positively sublime. Listen to any of the string quintets starting with K. 404, and tell me you don't hear and respond to the genius. I think your problem is that the genius appears to be absent from too many of the pieces that he wrote. Even if only, say, 10% of the pieces he wrote rise to the level of sublime genius (and I think the 10% figure is far too low), that's a fairly stout number of superlative compositions.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 12:56:06 PM PST
KenOC says:
I think Mozart wrote a fair amount of trivial stuff before he was 20, as did Beethoven before he was 25. But of the two, Mozart was better at writing trivial stuff!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 1:31:59 PM PST
JRJoseph says:
Ataraxia, get the tar out. All of Mozart's violin concertos were written when he was a teenager. What were the other great composers doing in their teens (except Schubert). Why not just agree with most people that just about all works written in Mozart's twenties and up to age 35 are masterpieces. Since he died at age 35, no more masterpieces.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 1:36:29 PM PST
JRJoseph says:
Again unfair comparison - Mozart 35 dead, Beethoven age 57 dead. You would have to cut out all of Beethoven's works after age 35. Very few great works from Mr. B were great before 35. You have to do better than this flimsy idea.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 1:37:04 PM PST
Larkenfeld

I read your post several times and each time I got more out of it. I realize I am one of the people who probably fit into the 'horizontal' category. To make this short, I find Mozart incredibly moving and there are hours when I listen with the greatest pleasure and then want nothing more. I'm a very visual person and enjoy watching opera on dvd. With Mozart, the Losey film of 'Don Giovanni' thrills me visually and musically every time I put it on. I find something new each time I watch it whether its in the music or in the performances and I am transcended by the experience. The next day I will spend maybe the same number of hours totally immersed in the Beatles or Dylan. I find them to have the same effect on me, but in an entirelly different way - it all makes me incredibly happy. Greatness can be bestowed on many artists throughout history. There is no question that Mozart's gift is beyond compare, but so are many of the lyrics and sheer beauty of Beatles music. There is a reason why Mozart and the Beatles have transcended time and will continue to do so.
Thanks
Bonnie

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 1:48:27 PM PST
Ataraxia says:
Yeah, OK. I am getting that. Like I said, I am learning that I need to listen to more Mozart.

Man, it's hard washing all this tar off!
:)

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 1:51:18 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 1:52:22 PM PST
Full disclosure.
I never had much interest in the 170 box complete Mozart because of it getting dogged down in lots of 'juvenalia' and things that he would 'do better' later.
for instance, his early operas are completely unlistenable to me.
Yet given those final five, I would put him as one of the great opera composers. DESPITE, the fact more than half of his operas are unlistenable.

I did invest in this just last year.Mozart: The Collector's Edition - (50 CD Set) Including Symphonies (selection), Piano Sonatas, Concerti, Masses, Operas (Nozze di Figaro, Zauberflote, Cosi fan Tutte), etc.
wow, it is still a real bargain.

Maybe 5 or 6 discs here might be dismissed.( oistrakh on the violin concertos if he cannot make me want to hear them) but that still leaves a great deal of astonishingly music, hearing lots of Mozart over a few months makes me realize what a 'big deal' his music really is.
even if less than one third of his total output music is in this box.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 2:14:46 PM PST
Roeselare says:
This is one of the very helpful and educational short clips from Amadeus that well-explains what a musician is impressed with about Mozart. It's a little overly dramatic, but if you understand the gist of this scene... it gives one glimpse.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNaXQQbcgw0&NR=1

List of music as follows:
0:27 Concerto for flute, harp and orchestra K.299 - 2nd movement
0:58 Symphony No.29 in A major K.201 - 1st movement
1:11 Concerto for two pianos and orchestra K.365 - 3rd movement
1:17 Sinfonia concertante for violin and viola K.364 - 1st movement
1:24 Great mass in C minor K.427 - Kyrie

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 2:22:13 PM PST
Ataraxia says:
Yes, thanks barb. I saw the movie many years ago when it first came out. I loved it.

I think it was a woodwind chamber work in the movie where Salieri exclaims:
"What profundity! What boldness and what perfect form! Mozart, You are a god, and do not even know it."

OK, OK. I get it!
:)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 3:26:54 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 3:32:03 PM PST
ccj says:
Which composer from the 2nd half of the 18th century do you think IS a big deal? I would guess you don't think much of Haydn either? Mozart epitomized musical Classicism... clarity of line, emotional restraint, and formal perfection. He also used a harmonic vocabulary beyond any of his contemporaries. The complexity and richness of his music were regarded as abstruse by his initial audiences and fellow composers who thought his music "overly spiced" and overloaded with too many ideas. It was considered hard to follow and discordant.

It sounds like you just don't like that period and its aesthetic.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 3:34:05 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 3:39:12 PM PST
Ataraxia says:
Aaaargh! You are a mind reader! I am trying, honest! But it mostly just seems so cutesy, fluffy, and superficial! It reminds me of those cutesy manicured Pomeranians at the dog shows.

"He also used a harmonic vocabulary beyond any of his contemporaries. "

Perhaps. But Bach, Vivaldi, even Palestrina, had a more interesting harmonic vocabulary. 98% is just tonic-dominant-tonic-dominant. And then there is a "surprising" modulation to the dominant key.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 3:38:44 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 3:43:20 PM PST
ccj says:
The point is that it isn't Mozart you dislike but his time. It was a time when Baroque fussiness was dialed down. Gluck, Haydn and Mozart are the three composers of the era who endure the most.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 3:42:47 PM PST
ccj says:
Vivaldi??? Talk about a guy who used the same four chords over and over again. That's why so much of his music is boring.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 3:42:54 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 3:49:41 PM PST
Ataraxia says:
Gluck had a foot in the baroque period, didn't he?

But I think you may be right, and I think it's my own loss. I want to try to appreciate the music of that period on its own terms. This thread was helpful in that regard. But I don't want to appreciate only the romantic elements (of which there are many) or see it only through the eyes of a romanticist. I sincerely want to learn to appreciate it on its own terms and with its own standards- which really are quite different. So I have some work to do!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 3:43:44 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 3:44:33 PM PST
Ataraxia says:
Yeah, maybe you are right about Vivaldi. I am, however, a bit of a fan of his anyway.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 3:46:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 3:48:00 PM PST
ccj says:
Gluck is a pioneer of Classical opera. His relevant music didn't come till the 1760s. And the music of the period - It's like reading the poetry of Alexander Pope. No Romantic extravagance but such invention within the form.

Remember that the early 18th century was tuning out overly complex Baroque music and listened to a sort of pre-Classical decorative music called Rococco. Now that was fluff (for the most part). Listen to some of that and see how groundbreaking Haydn and Mozart were taking a vapid tradition and enriching it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 3:49:04 PM PST
Ataraxia says:
Yes, thank you. I think I will.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 3:52:22 PM PST
K.J. McGilp says:
Critical C Jones,

Perfectly put. You and others who posted on this thread have saved me from feeling I had to elaborate on my last post!
I would also suggest to anyone who truly wants to understand Mozart's genius to read "Mozart: A Life", written by Maynard Solomon. There are plenty of other worthy books out there. I read plenty about Mahler while I discovered his music.
Too many people think that "Amadeus" was 100% factual! While it was a very good movie, it distorted the truth severely. It was fictional, especially when dealing with the relationship between Mozart and Salieri. There are bits and pieces of fact in the flick. It is not a biography.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 3:56:41 PM PST
Roeselare says:
The only cure I can see for you is to learn an instrument well enough to be effortless at it. At that point, which takes about 4 years for the dedicated student, the fluffy, superficial sounds you're expressing yourself with -- will feel very different. The genius of the intervals and the scorings and the forms -up close and personal- will finally come through to you.

It's a consummation devotedly to be wished, and I hope you do it.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 3:59:06 PM PST
JRJoseph says:
Just one more Mozart story (at least from me). Mozart was Albert Einstein's favorite composer. In a jungle somewhere (I forgot where), a record system was set up and various composers from many periods were played. Take a wild guess; you got it surprise, Mozart. I interpret this to mean Mozart wrote the most universal music of them all. Nuff said, at least from me.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 4:06:42 PM PST
Roeselare says:
it's portrayed with cinematic devices as an opinion of Mozart by the unbalanced, old Salieri, but even that's probably distorted for the story.
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Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
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Initial post:  Jan 9, 2013
Latest post:  Mar 6, 2013

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