The Controversy over the true musical achievements of Haydn and Mozart
Hello there ! I'm a new member of the Forum and would like to ask other Members if they are aware of the huge controversy now surrounding claims that many works by Haydn and Mozart were, in fact, written for them by a string of other composers - a central person involved in this affair being the Kapellmeister of Bonn (between 1771 and 1794), the little known Italian composer Andrea Luchesi.
Having studied and written on this subject myself I've found this to be a hugely controversial area of research, focusing on many aspects of music history but also on still surviving archive material, including manuscripts now at the Estense Library, Modena and also in other collections.
The thesis is that the musical achievements of both Haydn and also Mozart were hugely inflated by the supply to them of many, many works of which they were not the true composer, this including (in the case of Mozart) a whole series of works which he claims to have written himself in Vienna and which he had entered in to his thematic catalogue.
So far reaching are these views that they constitute a highly controversial area of research. I wonder if members of this forum would be prepared to consider the case for such a viewpoint but know in advance that such things may be unacceptable to others.
That these issues are based on documentary and other evidence is not in doubt. That they are correctly interpreted is the issue.
I am currently working on a long-term biography of Mozart which will feature some of these claims ('Mozart and the Late Holy Roman Empire') as well as involved in discussions on the possible production of a documentary programme on the same. In addition, I have been a student of Mozart for the better part of 20 years and a regular contributor to various forums on music of the late 18th century. Similar views on Mozart's career are now held by several researchers though, of course, they are bitterly resisted by tradition and by most other authors on the subject.
I see Mr. Newman PI you're up to your old tricks again. But you know... it's just not the same without Peter or Rod offering rebuttals.
The two men you refer to are rather ignorant of the life and works of Mozart, specialising, as they do, in the life and works of Beethoven.
As to being 'up to my old tricks again' I am more than happy to ignore such provocation and use music forums such as this to encourage conversation on the musical achievements (real or supposed) of Mozart, this being my aim among those whose attitudes and knowledge is surely more worthy of appreciation than your own.
Until quite recently the iconic status of Haydn and Mozart within the landscape of western classical music seemed entirely justified to be compared with two great mountains - these two composers, combined with the life and career of Ludwig van Beethoven, being said to justify an entire 'school' of composition (known to musicology) as the 'First Vienna School'. This year, 2006, is virtually 'wall to wall Mozart', for example. And the reputations of these 3 composers seems (at least) to be based on facts so solid and so often demonstrated that little could ever challenge such a view of things.
But facts are stubbon things. In spite of a truly vast mountain of 'Mozartean' literature (and much less so on Haydn) there are good grounds to call in to question many of the most basic assumptions on the life and career of first Haydn and, later, WA Mozart.
That is to say, that, in fact, many works currently attributed to both Haydn and to Mozart (appearing till today in catalogues of both these composers) can be shown by documentary and other evidence not to have been composed by them. Indeed, that the available evidence (from manuscipts, watermarks, circumstantial and other sources) are so suggestive of manipulation and error that a contrary view has emerged on the true musical achievements of both Haydn and Mozart.
That works by the young Mozart were not, in fact, his own compositions (being often pastiches by others, arrangements made by his father Leopold with the assistance of his sister etc) has long been known. That a great number of symphonies and masses by Haydn were not, in fact, of Haydn's composition, is also an inescaptable fact. And, though such things may contradict the iconic status of both composers they are truths that justify a fair and honest appreciation of their scale.
This I and other researchers have tried to do in the past few years.
There is, today, a great deal of evidence that the life and career of Mozart was, to a very large extent 'manufactured' - in the sense that at each and every stage of his life Mozart was receiving from others (for reasons that must be argued) musical works for which he took the credit but which, in fact, he never composed. And this on a scale so massive that, naturally, a collision must (and to some extent already has) occurred with traditionalists.
This is the true context of such studies.
There are today at Estense Library in Modena, at Regensburg and elsewhere documents which are being flatly ignored by editors of the 'Koechel' list of Mozart's works since their acceptance would make more widely known the scale of the scandal. At Modena there are today 9 symphonies (these all traditionally attributed to Mozart) which indisputably once formed part of the music archives at Bonn (inventoried there in 1784) but which, at that time, were never attributed to Mozart. Indeed, prior to 1783, there is no contemporary reference to Mozart having written symphonies.
These and many other areas of study are strongly suggestive of the proposition that Mozart was, in fact, largely a 'manufactured' composer (as was Joseph Hadyn) and that these two composers were being 'groomed' as glories of Vienna by deceipt and by practices that have been little appreciated till now.
That Mozart was a great pianist and even a great arranger of music is beyond dispute. That he was the author of the 626 works found today in Koechel is, in my view, a grotesque and unjustifiable error taught only by those who cannot see further than the early (flawed) biographies of Niemetscheck and Nissen.
To have created the icon is to allow others to criticise it. This I and others do, though in doing so we aim to argue only from what can be shown true.
Your debate seems mechanically pompous and dry, but I would have to agree that Leopold might have given some assitance to the early Wolfgang, just as prehaps Rimsky assited Galzunov on his first symphony. When it comes to the later operas, 'de ponte', 'the flute', as well as many other works the 'mozartian individualism' is overwhelmingly abundent; therefore to suggest that an entirely different composers had written the majority of staples in his repetoire is absurd!
I don't recall saying that the 'majority of staples' in Mozart's repetoire were written by entirely different composers.
But, since you describe 'my' debate as mechanically pompous and dry (though debates always involve more than one person, do they not ?) let me say that (contrary to your assumptions) a great number of musical works today attributed to both Haydn and Mozart are indeed works by other composers -a fact so indisputable (if you care to examine the history of Koechel, for example) that we can describe this process as a 'one way street'. In the current revision of Koechel there will be (according to its senior editor) at least another 30 works ditched from the main list.
Now, if we are to allow ourselves honesty (i.e. if we are to deal with facts, rather than popular assumptions), we can easily show the state of things as they really are. Let's take, for example, 'Mozart Symphonies'.
Today, according to convention, there are between 41 and 47 symphonies said to have been composed from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Let me ask you or any other reader on what firm basis the first 22 or so of these are attributed to that composer ? Let me also point out (though it will no doubt come as a surprise to you) that close to 100 'Mozart' symphonies have at one time or another been attributed to Mozart since Mozart studies began ! Now, in simple terms, for us to correspond on such a subject without first agreeing that there is a major problem (by such statistics alone) would indeed by a dry and pointless exercise. But, how many composers do you know of whose symphonic achievements are today less than half the number once attributed to them ? None. None at all ? Except of course Joseph Haydn and a certain Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, that is. Fair point or not ? And we've only just begun.
You've no difficulty agreeing that 'some' exaggeration features in 'early Mozart'. I honestly think you would be more accurate to describe the situation as one of 'major' exaggeration. And the same with symphonies 1-22 inclusive, all of which (but one) lack any of the sorts of evidence that would solidly support their attribution to W.A. Mozart.
If all this is still not sufficient reason for you to question popular belief, we can move on to areas where (without doubt) you know next to nothing. (I say this with the greatest respect to you as a music lover). To discussion of the specific symphonies that were supposedly written by Mozart between, say, the 'Pariser' (No.31) and the 'Jupiter' (No.41). These 10 symphonies of Mozart's (supposed) maturity must surely be attributed correctly to him - yes ?
No, again not so. For (I must regretfully inform you) there are good grounds for us not doing so. But these good grounds are hardly even heard. If you and I were to discuss such issues on Mozart websites we would surely have been banned by now for simply for having such a fair conversation - this on grounds that we are 'trying to diminish' the achievements of Mozart, or 'stealing the jewels from Mozart's symphonic crown' etc etc. Such a plain fact is, I regret, my personal experience.
The Mozart industry (which really began with Leopold Mozart and which was later aided and abettted by rich patrons who manufactured myth at every stage of Mozart's life) was to be continued by his widow, Constanze, whose manipulation of historical records, of correspondence etc. and whose oversight of the first two biographies was little short of censorship, are but a few reasons why the iconic status of the composer is, in point of fact, a gross distortion of his actual musical achievements, concealing the truth that, in fact, he (and Haydn too) were being supplied choice works by others during the careers of both men, this to support a campaign to make Vienna the 'city of music'.
To offer a brief and general overview of this case is, I think, only fair. But, from K1 to K626 we are able to trace a history of fraud, deception and manipulation so great that I think we must fairly describe the iconic status of Mozart as being one of the great myths of western civilization. (Incidentally, Mozart did not compose KV626 - a fact realised as early as 1825 by the great German musicologist, Gottfried Weber, editor of the leading musical journal 'Caelicia' of that year. (But Weber did not know, even at that time, that the signature on the score and the actual music within it is actually forged. But of the true history of that highly complex and controversial story, more later if so required).
So, contrary to your general description of my post, may I suggest your natural condemnation of what I wrote may, if you choose, be proved to be nothing but a natural 'gut reaction' rather than a view based on evidence.
From 1784 onwards (the time when Mozart begins his thematic catalogue in Vienna) he was being supplied works from various sources (this several years after his arrival in that city). In point of fact (and contrary to popular assumption) Mozart did NOT compose symphonies 39,40 and 41 in a mere 6 weeks during 1788. They too are not works by Mozart. But such is the enormity of the deception that this whole subject is surely best tackled on a work by work basis.
The 18th century, of course, had no copyright laws, as such. But there is sufficient documentary and other evidence to show that he, Mozart, profited from being supplied works that were actually composed by various other composers. The same was true of Haydn. I would be pleased to provide specific examples on request.
Last edited by robert newman; Oct-16-2006 at 06:01.
Robert, I should have put some smiling emoticons in my message. I mentioned you "up to your old tricks again" in good jest. I'm actually glad to find you here. Despite all the harassment you faced in other places, I rather enjoyed following your indepth posts. You can spew off more Mozart information than an auditorium of professors. What made your Mozart/Salieri/Beethoven/Luchesi threads even better was the interaction between other members, challenging you or asking further questions. To me, that's what a musical amateur like me can truly learn from: musical debate. However, it went too far and I disagree with what happened, but by no means do I wish to expose you to any "provocation." Think of my comment as a light-hearted gesture.
I see that you live in London. Shakespeare has risen to debate aswell.
The fact-of-the-matter is, the music is breath-taking. I could care less what "Disease of the Earth" spat it out his rump!
Well, I am really pleased to read your second post on this thread !
Yes, you're quite right that attempts to get these issues aired are not so easy when the entire 'Mozart Industry' use ground rules that are so unfairly skewed in favour of mere tradition.
Very best regards and thank you for being so honest and constructive.
I respect the fact that you care nothing of who actually wrote the music today attributed to Mozart (or most of it). For those of us who do (and I think they care because the correct attribution matters for historical as well as musical reasons) there are issues that need to be tackled, some of them questioning things that, till now, we've always accepted on traditional grounds.
Yes, I entirely agree that the music under examination is some of the finest written in the 18th or any other century.
Has any reputable music journal of any description ever published your views on these matters? If so can you supply details please.
Let me answer your question as well as I can.
You ask about reputable journals. Let me first give you a list of some of the publications which provide the background to this issue -
In the online Wikipedia Encyclopaedia there is an article entitled -
'Luchesi Authorship Controversy'.
You can see a list of various academic publications that are relevant to this issue. I personally provided a new English language version of a work called 'Works Falsely Attributed to Haydn and Mozart' (2005) which is not included in that list.
Please bear in mind that we are here discussing the entire life and career of Mozart - from that of his childhood, his youth, his early adulthood, his years before coming to Vienna, his arrival and marriage in Vienna, and the last 10 years or so of his short life. That's a lot of ground, you will agree !
I don't know where you stand on his early life. But it's very plain that many, many works atrributed to Mozart from his childhood were not, in fact, his own. This is a commonly known fact. Take, for example, the first 5 piano concertos. These are not compositions by the young Mozart. They're arrangements of works by various other composers. That's a plain fact. And this sort of thing happens for years.
You hear of course only one side of this story. The 'Mozart industry' is very powerful and it doesn't want you to hear the other side.
For a very long time, Austria (and the territory we today call Germany) was under the musical domination of Italians. It was Italians who had most of the music posts. Most Kapellmeisters were Italian and, of course, the invention of the symphony, the quartet, the quintet, etc etc were Italian. Those countries were part of what we call 'The Holy Roman Empire' where, up until 1773, the Jesuits (a military order of the Catholic Church) were in virtual control of music teaching. Mozart's father Leopold was Jesuit educated and Mozart himself received some academic teaching at home in Salzburg from Abbe Bullinger, himself a former Jesuit.
But in 1773 came a crisis. The Jesuits (who taught only in Latin) were officially banned. That caused a huge disruption in the musical Europe of that time in nations of the Holy Roman Empire. The Order was banished, forever, by the pope. For many crimes and for many times undermining kings and governments. So the Jesuits were forced to go underground or to emigrate. Some went to Russia (where they were temporarily accepted) and others stayed, hoping that one day they would be restored to power.
Officially they no longer existed. The Emperor himself banned them as soon as he heard the news from Rome. And from that time onwards their future seemed to be very uncertain.
But the Jesuits (of course) did not like losing all their huge power and influence. They fought to get it back. And this they did in many ways. First, by organising schools of theory in Padua (Italy), later in places like Mannheim etc. They wanted to keep their influence, even under the table, so to speak.
And, around this time, the idea was born that what would really get them back their favour would be if native German speaking composers were to become famous. So a plan was made to sponsor people like Gluck, and Haydn. Rich patrons did so. They became very famous. Their sponsors were rich lords like Esterhazy and the Emperor's brother Max Franz (the Elector of Cologne). Soon, people began to praise Gluck and Haydn as being 'German heroes' and this, in turn, helped to make 'Vienna - the city of music'. Great prestige for the Emperor (himself based in Vienna). This great idea was further helped by the development of the reputation of the young Mozart. It didn't really matter that, in fact, many works by Haydn and the young Mozart were actually by other composers. This was all secret. But, in truth, people like Sammartini and Luchesi (not famous today, of course) wrote many, many works which today are said to be 'Haydn's'.
This fakery was highly successful. Nobody cared too much and it wasn't exactly advertised. Later (in the 1780's) this 'manufactured' situation went to another level when several publishing firms for music opened with offices in Vienna - Artaria being one of them.
Let me continue with the story if I may.
Mozart (after many intrigues) finally came to Vienna. But notice, that in his first 3 years there he did not even keep a catalogue of his own compositions. That came later, in 1784.
And, in these early Vienna years, Mozart was looking for a permanent post.
The post Mozart really wanted was to be the Kapellmeister of the second greatest music chapel of the Holy Roman Empire. It was in Bonn - the seat of the Electorate of Cologne. This post was offered to him repeatedly by Max Franz, brother of the Emperor Leopold. But there was a problem. Max Franz had to wait for the death of the existing Elector (Max Friedrich). Only then could Mozart get to Bonn.
(This is the same Bonn chapel where, of course, the young Beethoven was to go).
Finally, in 1784, the old Max Friedrich died. Here was Mozart's big chance. The new elector Max Franz arrived in the city of Bonn. Being a great lover of music he ordered almost immediately an inventory of the chapel music to be made. (At that time, the existing Kapellmeister was the Italian named Andrea Luchesi - and he was on 1 year holiday in Italy with his Concertmaster).
Anyway, the inventory was made. Other people helped in the absence of Luchesi.
Luchesi was then told to hurry back from Italy. He arrived as fast as he could in Bonn but the inventory had already been completed.
During the inventory it was found that many pieces of music had NO NAME on the manuscript. Those making the inventory did not know whose they were. (In fact they were of course music personally written by Luchesi. It was normal for Kapellmeisters not to sign their own names on music they write during their term of office - the cantatas of JS Bach, for example, are rarely signed).
This large body of music with no name was simply put in to a pile and called 'anonymous'.
And this happened before Luchesi returned. It was spring of 1784.
Now - at this time (1784) Mozart was NOT known as a writer of symphonies. Nowhere do we find him having any reputation for writing symphonies. The two top writers of the time do NOT mention Mozart symphonies. In fact, in his entire lifetime Mozart had only ONE symphony published in his name (No.31) and it's not by him. (The Paris Symphony).
In this same year, the Inventory made at Bonn (which still survives) recorded hundreds and hundreds of pieces of music. But guess how many by Mozart were there ? The answer is NONE ! Not a single piece of Mozart was there. So you see how great the myth really is of Mozart's fame as a composer. Here is perhaps the greatest chapel in Germany at the time and not a single work by Mozart.
But the new Elector looked at this music and he noticed something extraordinary. He noticed that his Kapellmeister Luchesi was the true composer of works that were already in print in Haydn's name ! (These Luchesi had been selling to Haydn).
The new elector had a problem. He couldn't fire his own Kapellmeister and it might cause a huge scandal. Besides, he wanted Mozart to take Luchesi's place. But Luchesi couldn't be forced to resign. So a deal was made. Luchesi would from now on supply Mozart.
And that is what happened.
We know this is true. Years later the city of Bonn was occupied by the invading troops of Napoleon. But not before the music archives were parcelled up and removed from the city. Some of them eventually came to Italy - to relatives of the Elector. There they stayed, in Modena, until they were finally examined many decades later, by the librarian of the great Estense Library in Modena.
This Bonn material contained dozens and dozens of works by Haydn and Mozart !!! Many of these works had their original covers torn off and the name of 'Haydn' and 'Mozart' was now found on them. But there is no record that these symphonies ever came to Bonn during the lifetime of the chapel.
Among them are 9 'Mozart' symphonies. These include the 'Haffner' (35), the great G Minor (40), the 'Paris (31) and the 'Jupiter' (41). Symphonies that are today assumed to be by Mozart. In fact, the watermarks clearly show they come from Bonn. These symphonies are NOT by Mozart. Although they are (even in Modena) attributed to him.
Further proof is found at Regensburg. In that library you can see a copy of the symphony No. 31 ('Paris') containing the name of Mozart. But that name is written on top of a still legible name of 'Lucchese'.
I could continue for a long time. But this will hopefully be of some help in explaining the point. Others who supplied Mozart included composers such as Myslivececk, Kraus, Michael Haydn and others.
Very best wishes. Hope this helps.
I was of course fully familiar with the Wikepedia reference and the links identified thereto. With this and the additional information you have supplied I'm sorry to say that you have singularly failed to impress me. Your story sounds completely unconvincing. I was expecting you might have done far better than this.
I say this because:
1. This issue has been around for several years now and has hardly hit the big time, has it? In fact, it's got nowhere. There is no reference to it in Groves, one of the main classical music reference dictionaries. If they gave it any credence whatsoever it would surely have made at least a brief appearance there. Nor have I seen a refutations elsewhere on the Net. Clearly people obviously think the propositions advanced by the very small group you refer to are so ludicrous that it's not worth challenging.
2. I don't buy this facile notion that the "Mozart industry" is suppressing any debate. This seems utter nonsense. This is not Stalinist Russia. There is no censorship.
3. Musicology experts can usually tell whether a distinguished piece of music came from a particular composer's hand. Even learned amateurs can do that, especially with such famous names as Beethoven and Mozart and even more especially with their most famous works. I reckon I can tell a piece of genuine late Mozart. It has a definite feel to it. It is even reckoned babies can tell too! As for Beethoven, I agree some of the very early stuff may be a bit difficult to identify an untrained person but to an expert they should be able to tell in no time. Most pieces have a certain "fingerprint" stamped all over them. And you don't need to be that well-trained to spot it. I know, for example, that Beethoven, in his early days, sometimes accepted commisions for short pieces that were passed off as somebody else's work. Musicologists have easily sorted out out a number of these commission pieces and they are quite definite about them. This kind of "genetic" identification is far more reliable than dusty old manuscripts with watermark discrepancies that you are relying to a large extent it seems.
4. I immediately noticed that you have no qualifications, or at least none that you are prepared to divulge. Do you think people are daft? Your single (unpublished) article is inadequate testimony. I wouldn't believe what you say unless I had firm evidence that (i) you are a serious researcher with proper, recognised qualifications in music, and (ii) someone who has gained the backing of an acknowledged University musicology department. Even then I would treat it with suspicion, until at least it became a big talking point and general academic opinion was swinging in favour.
Last edited by Topaz; Oct-31-2006 at 07:50.
The Controversy over the true musical achievements of Haydn and Mozart
You say 'I was OF COURSE familiar with the Wikipedia reference and the links indentified thereto'. Why do you say 'of course' - surely the vast majority of music lovers and even students of music history are NOT familiar with this material ?
However, you are. Fine.
I have singularly 'failed to impress you'. Fine. Allow me to do better. But who could overturn the entire iconic mythology of Mozart in a few short emails ? Surely you were not expecting anything more than a short introduction, were you ? I could do little more than lay out the case for general readers and experts alike in a very, very condensed form. So that discussion could be made. And not so much to prove the case. And I am happy to justify what I wrote at length.
Well, I am certainly pleased you claim knowledge of the main issues. That gives us and the neutral reader an opportunity (perhaps the first online) to have substantial discussion on the main issues. Something (as you say yourself) that has hardly occurred yet (for one reason or another).
1. Yes, the issue has been around for a few years now. Not long - but long enough (you may agree) for its outline, at least, to be familiar to you if not its substance - as I hope to show. There is as you say no record of it in Groves - true - but then, there is no record in Groves of many important matters of musical history. I could name many. There is no record there that Kapellmeister Andrea Luchesi was for some 10 years the main music teacher of Ludwig van Beethoven, for example. Nor any that Luchesi wrote the two cantatas WoO87 and WoO88, both wrongly attributed to Beethoven. In point of fact, German musicology would much prefer (it seems) that Luchesi never existed - it being 1937 before the first appreciation of his life and career was published. I could mention various blatantly nationlistic attempts to entirely erase Luchesi's career from Beethoven biographies, for example. Thayer is one famous example. It is not common knowledge that Luchesi gave one of his piano concertos to Mozart during one of his Italian tours, which Mozart was still performing publicly over a decade later, for example. In point of fact (rather than opinion) Luchesi was a famed writer of symphonies in the 1780's. Documentary fact. This was never said of Mozart. And so on.
2. You have seen no refutations on the net. True. That's hardly the fault of those who bring your attention to the issue, is it ? In point of fact, it's clear evidence (as the editors of Wikipedia themselves agree in their article, that no Mozart scholar has even addressed these issues, let alone refuted them) - hardly an argument in support of your view, is it ? Start, if you are serious, with documentary manuscripts attributed to Mozart in the Estense Library at Modena if you are sure there is nothing in this issue. All 9 of them. Or let's take dozens of 'Haydn' works there also - all of them falsely attributed to those two composers. So the inaction of critics such as your goodself is surely the last thing you should be trumpeting as an argument. It might make people think you are a fair judge when, in fact, you regret that nobody has yet examined the case from your own viewpoint. What a strange opening argument !
3. You don't buy the 'facile argument' that the Mozart establishment is suppressing debate. Mmm. Well, the simple facts suggest otherwise. In the previous edition of Koechel the editors seem to have been struck by amnesia, in neglecting to record the fact that there is at Modena a copy of the Prague Symphony of 'Mozart' and a copy of the 'Paris' Symphony at Regensburg - both of these, in fact, works that can be shown to be by Luchesi. (In the case of the 'Paris' at Regensburg still bearing the name of Luchesi - which has been crudely removed with the name 'Mozart' written over the top of it). It must be one of those 'coincidences' that such a copy (indisputably there by 1790) has been ignored by the editors of Koechel. But an all too familiar story in the bandwaggon that is the Mozart myth. Which composers, other than Haydn and Mozart, do you know who, today, have less than half the symphonies attributed to them than have once been the case ? Surely, surely, this is a clear example of gross exaggeration, is it not ? Or statistics become meaningless. There is 'no censorship' ! No - and is it censorship that the Requiem of Mozart bears a fraudulent signature ? This little known ? What is censorship except the removal from public appreciation of facts that challenge the myth of Mozart at each and every stage of his musical career - the destruction of correspondence, the gross exaggerations and alterations to historical fact, etc etc. All of these feature at every single stage of Mozart's life and career, as they have featured ever since. If that is not approved 'censorship' (which included the first two bogus biographies - both 'managed' by Constanze Mozart but published in the name of Niemetscheck and then Nissen - the latter not writing a single word of it) well, what is that but blatant falsehood ?
4. 'Musicology experts can usually tell whether a distinguished piece of music came from a composer's hand'.
Well, let's take just a few examples of 'expertise'. Where was 'expertise' of the kind you describe before 1908 with Symphony No. 37 (KV444) of 'Mozart' ? It was as you will know part of the canon - approved by Mozart experts of the very sort that you praise. Where was this same Mozart 'expertise' in KV582, whose ending is forged in a hand so close to that of Mozart that the truth of it being a fraudulent end was revealed less than 10 years ago ? I could go on and on. Have you ever heard the works of Myselivececk - a composer who indisputably taught Mozart much of his style ? (In fact, a man who for the better part of a decade helped Mozart with work after work and who is the most mentioned composer in the entire Mozart family correspondence ?). Or, what of JM Kraus - a composer who wrote at least 4 works that, till recently, have been attributed to Mozart. Or, again, what of the 40 or so works today known to have come from Michael Haydn that are still in the Koechel catalogue as we speak ? Shall I continue, or do you see the point I am making ?
There are today piano trios from Bonn which have in the past been wrongly attributed to Beethoven. I guarantee you would suppose them to be by Mozart if you knew them - and yet they are not.
Unlike you, I did not look first for your qualifications. It's my view that a person's qualifications are the quantity and quality of their views. But (since these things concern you) I have studied music, have written on the subject for the better part of a decade, am over 50 years old, have studied the life and works of Mozart for the better part of 25 years, have even been making notes for a biography for the last 10, and am now (amongst other things) preparing with a colleague for a 2 part televised documentary on the 'Real life and work of Mozart'.
Now, none of these things makes me 'expert'. But it does give me a little experience in the sorts of issues that are likely to resolve this area of dispute.
Luchesi, Sammartini and others were composing works for Haydn and Mozart which these last two falsely claimed as their own. The evidence (of various kinds) is in my view compelling. So much so that, I seriously believe, there is no longer a problem if the Mozart academic establishment continue to be oblivious to modern discoveries that contradict their assumptions.
Mozart was undoubtedly a fine pianist and a very fine arranger. But he was never, at any time, a great composer. He profited from patronisation by those who wished to make Vienna the city of music and who (in an age where there was no copyright) profited from a grossly exaggerated version of his compositional achievements at each and every stage of his career.
If you wish to continue the discussion I will be more than pleased to sustain it .
Last edited by robert newman; Nov-06-2006 at 02:50.
Robert... I'm surprised. Do you really mean that? That comment shocks me beyond description. Unless you can refute Mozart's authorship of The Magic Flute, Don Giovanni, the last 10 Piano Concertos, Symphonies 29, 35, 36, 39, 40, the last 8 Piano Sonatas, the Mass in C minor, the two Fantasias, the Clarinet Concerto K.622, the "Hunt" and "Dissonance" String Quartet, all Violin Concertos, the 3 Salzburg Symphonies, the Rondo in A minor, the Serenade in G major "Nachtmusik," and the Ave Verum Corpus, then such a statement that Mozart was never a great composer is ridiculously, blindly, and totally false.
Originally Posted by robert newman