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Why is Mozart such a big deal?


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In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2013 9:31:21 AM PST
DavidRFoss says:
Brandon Harbeke says:
I've liked a lot of Haydn I've heard. Symphony No. 63 was especially noteworthy.
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You'll like most Haydn then. That particular symphony is not one of his better ones. Well, the first movement is a recycled opera overture and the second movement is a nice set of double-variations which he was able to package and sell as a standalone piano piece... so maybe those two movements are good by themselves... but on the whole its one of the less successful efforts from this era.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2013 9:15:10 AM PST
George says:
Personally, I'd say avoid all of Brendel's Beethoven. And Bernard Roberts's set is one of the worst that I have heard.

Top of my list for Beethoven sonatas are Annie Fisher's Hungaroton set, for the excitement and passion missing from the aforementioned sets, Gulda's Amadeo/Brilliant Classics set for its youthful tempos and clean, joyful playing and Backhaus's stereo (or even better, the rare mono) set for it's wisdom, seriousness and clear presentation of structure.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2013 6:37:52 AM PST
D. M. Ohara says:
Boxed sets of the Beethoven piano sonatas are legion, and many are very good value. But do avoid the Brendel Decca set - one of my most disappointing purchases for years! Kempff [mono or stereo] and Bernard Roberts are much more enjoyable. More recents sets tend to be much more expensive.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 6, 2013 5:28:31 AM PST
Thanks for the recommendations, March Eliot.

The clarinet concerto is one I've heard multiple times and loved it in each version.

I've liked a lot of Haydn I've heard. Symphony No. 63 was especially noteworthy.

I checked out Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 8 "Pathetique" played by Krystian Zimerman and thought it was amazing. That gets me excited for more Beethoven after some of his symphonic work was a miss with me.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 4, 2013 6:59:26 PM PST
Bonnie, I am not Roman Catholic, but being studious, bookish, and nerdy (and I use those adjectives in the finest senses of the terms), I respect people who are. By all accounts, the Pope Emeritus is. May he enjoy his retirement of study and reflection!

Nerds rule!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 4, 2013 3:29:00 PM PST
Gerald

I too am firmly convinced that the Pope Emeritus is right. I will miss his red shoes and not sure why he can't wear them anymore. Only popes? I'm listening to some Mozart arias with Kiri te Kanewa as I type this. Beautiful voice and just perfect for Mozart.
Thans
Bonnie

Posted on Mar 4, 2013 9:43:24 AM PST
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has made the following statement about Mozart's music: "His music is by no means just entertainment; it contains the whole tragedy of human existence." I am firmly convinced that he is right.

Posted on Mar 4, 2013 8:26:34 AM PST
barbW says:
for lovers of Amadeus this one's marvelously educational;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMwaiA581AQ&list=PL6E10E852975F930B

Posted on Mar 1, 2013 5:40:39 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Nov 26, 2013 10:12:47 AM PST]

Posted on Feb 28, 2013 3:50:28 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 28, 2013 3:53:07 PM PST
D. M. Ohara says:
And the most beautiful Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola and orchestra.
Many good versions, but I like David and Igor Oistrakh with the Berlin Phil.

There is also a live version conducted by Yehudi Menhuin
You can find it on YT: here is the 3rd movement
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaxaqvtpPAQ

Posted on Feb 28, 2013 3:40:27 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Nov 26, 2013 10:12:46 AM PST]

Posted on Feb 28, 2013 3:11:54 PM PST
In the recent Big Mozart Box (which is still only $0.99!), I found the following pieces to be better than the average track:

Horn Concerto No. 2
Horn Concerto No. 3
Oboe Quartet in F Major
Symphony No. 40
Symphony No. 41
Overture to Don Giovanni
Sonata in B flat Major
Fantasie in C Minor
Serenade in G Major (A Little Night Music)
Oboe Concerto in C Major
Piano Quartet in G Minor
Piano Concerto No. 17
Piano Concerto No. 24
Violin Concerto No. 3
Flute Quartet No. 3
Piano Sonata No. 8
Flute Concerto No. 1
Concerto in C Major for Flute and Harp

The following six pieces are the incredible gems of the collection for me:

Horn Concerto No. 1
Horn Concerto No. 4
Overture to Marriage of Figaro
Sonata in C Minor
Flute Concerto No. 2
Piano Concerto No. 20

Even if he had composed nothing else, those pieces would be enough to make Mozart a "big deal." One specific thing I like in this batch of Mozart music is how he uses the trill. Another good quality is that a lot of the musical phrases used feel inevitable but not predictable.

I'm curious what else people would recommend from Mozart or another composer that is similar to any of the above pieces or might also appeal to me.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2013 4:59:14 PM PST
J. Nelson says:
I can tell you I listened in my life a lot more Beatles than Mozart. I guess nowadays I would rather listen to Mozart. But that wasn't always the case.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2013 4:50:51 PM PST
Jesse,

I like most of the stuff you mentioned as well but none of those guys compare to Mozart.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2013 4:09:59 PM PST
JRJoseph says:
Almost all lieder is sing in German which right away puts a barrier up to overcome. Most classical music lovers don't pay much attention to lieder. I do have in my collection much Schubert lieder. In my opinion, it is still apples and kumquats so I can't compare them. I should have known that somebody would come up with lieder. Anybody else out there really wants to compare lieder and pop music. I think not too many but a good comeback to my diatribe.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2013 3:42:20 PM PST
John Ruggeri says:
Jesse R. Joseph says:

It is difficult to compare classical music with popular music. What I am saying is that I like complex music more than a three minute popular song
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Where are you vis a vis 3 minute Lieder?

Posted on Feb 24, 2013 1:43:42 PM PST
JRJoseph says:
It is difficult to compare classical music with popular music. What I am saying is that I like complex music more than a three minute popular song. For this reason alone, many people have no patience to listen to works that take anywhere from five minutes to several hours. Mozart is a great example of this; he composed dances to operas taking several hours to perform. Not every single work was not a masterpiece. He started at about age 6 so what do some of you guys expect. As he reached his teens, some great music came forth. I would say he composed more great music than anyone else in the classical field.

I own many CDs of Simon and Garfunkel, the Beatles, Sinatra, Crosby, jazz, Sondheim, etc. With an open mind, one can like many forms of music. However, Mozart first above all for me.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2013 8:20:05 AM PST
Frankly Mozart wrote more good music in a few years than Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Paul Simon, etc., etc., etc. wrote in their lifetimes combined.

Posted on Feb 24, 2013 7:09:00 AM PST
JRJoseph says:
KJM, You put Mozart and his music in the best way possible. I went to a party and they were playing rock. I asked them to put on something Mozart had written. Many of them stated Mozart wrote crap and refused to give his music a chance. The first thought that came to mind and so it came out as follows: "Mozart's music will be around for hundreds of years while your rock music will not last even a few months before some other type of rock will become a fad. Frankly, Mozart wrote so many great works (I just listened to his clarinet concerto yesterday on a new LP no less and the middle movement is enough to make grown men (and women) cry.)

Posted on Feb 23, 2013 8:18:41 PM PST
K.J. McGilp says:
Mozart was the greatest melodist in the history of music. Figaro, the Clarinet Concerto, Piano Concerto's, Symphonies, chamber and solo instrument music, Mass and song, German Dance and March. Melody flowed from him like a river after a rainstorm.
Feminine, yes. Masculine, yes. Sobbing, yes. Joyous, yes. Heartfelt, yes. Powerful? Just listen to the opening of the overture for Don Giovanni. Then it breaks out into a seemless group of uplifting, great tonal segments. The man was a sheer genius. Everyone who came after him was influenced by his gift for melody. Beethoven, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Rossini, Mendelssohn...... Not bad melodists themselves. I think Papa Haydn hit the nail on the head when he made that famous quote to Leopold Mozart.

Posted on Feb 22, 2013 5:52:18 PM PST
Dichterliebe says:
Omar,

I can always count on you to detect my facetiousness. ;) As you can probably tell, I'm taking a sly dig at the idea that 'weak' thematic material is 'feminine' or that modern conceptions of gender roles are at all applicable to 18th century music and musicians.

As for Eric Carmen, some of the best, most tender, loving experiences I've had were "All By Myself".

By the way, did you ever pose for the cover of a Harlequin Romance?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2013 11:38:00 AM PST
Dichterliebe:

I can't believe you wrote the following:

"I'd characterize the G/e-minor theme in the opening ritornello of Mozart's PC no. 17 as feminine; it's sobbing, emotional, and unstable. And I'm going to stop now."

Some would find that profoundly sexist. Obviously I should be outraged and shocked.

Why stop since there aren't more than two girls who post here anyway? Maybe it's just as well that you stopped since I am sure a few of the boys around here would find your stereotype offensive, but not me, I wish you had written more! Nothing I enjoy more than a good stereotype!

I wish I dared to make the following observation about the tune from the 2nd movement of Rachmaninoff's 2nd symphony that was lifted by the pop singer Eric Carmen for his song "Never Gonna Fall in Love Again", and sold a million records for him. Most of the records were sold to emotional unstable sobbing females:

"When one hears this music they hear a theme from a daytime drama watched by an emotional, unstable, depressed, sobbing, neglected housewife longing for a man named Thorn, or Stone, who cares more about her than beer and the Super Bowl."

I really wish that was my original thought!

Posted on Feb 22, 2013 10:50:11 AM PST
Dichterliebe says:
I'd characterize the G/e-minor theme in the opening ritornello of Mozart's PC no. 17 as feminine; it's sobbing, emotional, and unstable. And I'm going to stop now.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2013 10:41:48 AM PST
Mahlerian says:
A so-called "masculine" cadence falls on a strong (accented) beat, while a "feminine" cadence falls on a weak (unaccented) beat. These are generally called strong and weak cadences today.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2013 8:52:40 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 22, 2013 8:59:15 AM PST
DavidRFoss says:
I was reading Hutchings or Girdlestone and it said that the opening movement of Mozart's 19th piano concerto was very "masculine". I listen to it and hear the bouncy flutes and it doesn't seem like music that would be playing in the background when John Wayne is on the screen. :-)

I'm sure the musicological intent of that adjective had something to do with the shapes of the phrases or the placements of the cadences or something very specific but other connotations of those adjectives are simply too distracting for them to be helpful.
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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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