Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 31

Thread: Why Are They 'Attacking' Our Mozart ?

  1. #1
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Why Are They 'Attacking' Our Mozart ?

    In a letter dated May 1818 the Chorus Director of the Strahav Monastery in Prague, Norbert Lehmann, provided his correspondent FX Niemetscheck (famed as being the writer in 1798 of the ’first Mozart biography’) details of the remarkable musical feats that Mozart performed on the organ of their church during his visit to Prague in 1787 -

    ‘I herewith and at special request hand over (to you) the Mozzart [sic] theme together with its history. The virtuoso honoured the city of Prague with a visit in June 1787, in order to make the acquaintance of the musicians of this capital and to see the sights. He came to the Strahov Church one afternoon at 3 o'clock with Frau von Duschek, and expressed his desire to hear the organ"…… "He mounted the console and played splendid chords, pleno choro, for approximately four minutes...". And next we read that, ‘Mozart played "a four-part fugue theme, which was the harder to perform in that it and its counter-subject consisted largely of mordents, which are exceptionally hard to perform on an organ with such a heavy action. But the 4th and 5th fingers of the right hand as well as of the left hand were as strong as the first, second and third fingers, at which every one was much amazed".

    After this performance Mozart is said to have developed the theme of a fugue from Franz Xaver Brixi's Requiem in c-minor "in a quite different manner, it is true, but yet so artistically, that we stood there as if of stone".

    Great. Here’s an eyewitness/earwitness of Mozart’s phenomenal musical talent, yes ?
    Who could reasonably doubt it ?

    Before attempting to answer such questions I would like to bring your attention to some uncomfortable truths.

    1. FX Niemetscheck has, in recent years, been proved to have falsified many details of Mozart’s supposed career. This with the full approval of Constanze Mozart. A relevant example is Niemetscheck’s claim that he attended a concert of Mozart in Prague during his last visit to the city. At that concert, (according to Niemetscheck) the whole audience were treated to a virtuoso display of Mozart’s performance and improvisational skills. In fact, Niemetscheck goes as far to say this amazing display was hugely applauded. Convincing stuff, yes ? Except for the fact (recently discovered) that FX Niemtscheck went to Prague for the first time several years AFTER the death of Mozart ! So there, once again, is an example of the countless falsehoods that pepper the supposed life and career of Mozart at virtually every stage of his life/career. So damaging have recent documentary discoveries been on this matter alone that journal articles have been written to admit the fraud. We must therefore appreciate that this Lehmann letter, also from Prague (a city where Mozart is repeatedly described by his supporters of the late 18th and early 19th centuries in wonderous ways) is, at the very least, of questionable value.

    2. ‘Well’, you might say, ‘how can person after person invent such things - surely this is not the case with Lehmann’. Well, we know for sure that Lehmann was a huge fan of Mozart’s music. That he (and many associated with the Prague music scene) said all sorts of things about the ‘genius’ of Mozart. But this particular letter tells us he, Lehmann, was frequently disturbed during this supposed Mozart performance in Prague by a priest who was sitting next to him who insisted on speaking throughout the performance. Not exactly ideal circumstances for a report - one made (as we see) 31 years after the event.

    3. The document Lehmann sent to Niemetscheck with his letter was music of 57 bars duration. In G Minor. With a heading ‘Thema Mozart’.

    4. The strange thing is this page of music didn’t come to light until details of it were published in 1911. But it was regarded as authentic enough to be added to the Koechel catalogue’s 3rd edition, appearing there with a reference ‘K528a’ and described as a ‘Fantasie fur Orgel’ with the date of its composition given on the page as 'June 1787'.

    5. Sorry to be so critical but…..Mozart didn’t actually arrive in Prague that year until 4th October.

    6. By 1982 reality started to prevail. Wolfgang Plath (famed Mozartean) gave his opinion on the actual musical value of these same 57 bars of music. He found them to be ‘dreadfully feeble and anything but compelling’. He said he could not find in this document even one part of it that was ‘brilliant’, or ‘surprising’ or ‘the least bit interesting’. Which begs the question of whether Mozart performed anything of musical value. He concluded by saying the whole piece is ‘dreadful’.

    7. By the 6th edition of Koechel criticisms of this kind were serious enough for K528a to be dropped from the catalogue and the piece was niow officially labelled as ‘Doubtful, Spurious’.

    A longer article of value on this same issue can be found by Dennis Pajot on the website Mozart Forum.


    Is it any wonder that Mozart’s huge reputation grew to such dimensions when reports of this kind were manufactured and widely spread about during the childhood, youth and maturity of Mozart ?

    What is the value’ (you might ask) ‘of you and others chipping away at Mozart’s iconic status as a musician and as a world famous genius composer’ ? I think the answer is that a modern criticism of Mozart, man and musician, allows us to see musical reality more and not less clearly. In many respects a ’reality check’ brings us more in contact with the facts of Mozart's time and it tends to introduce us to people and events which we might otherwise never have learned about. If much of Mozart’s life and work is the product of exaggeration, even falsehood, the first thing that needs to be done is to show it, and, in the course of showing it, almost as a consequence of it, give credit wherever possible to those who, till now, may have been marginalised by blind adoration to the ‘Mozart cult‘, or recognise talents which have, till now, been virtually suppressed or overlooked. We therefore see things more clearly, even if it is sometimes highly controversial and hard to accept. We return to music being a hard subject and not an easy one. A subject not so much of divine dictation but of hard work and inspiration - these two things combined. But we do not lose, and never will lose, our love for the body of music that is, today, ‘Mozart’. In these vital senses criticism of the real Mozart is no threat to our love of music. It's a normal (even overdue) obligation on those who, having examined these issues out of a true love of music, feel these findings on these matters are worthy of being investigated and of being more widely known.

    The sum total of great music is not going to be affected by one iota if the demythologisation of Mozart continues worldwide. On the contrary, Music deserves nothing less.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    arkansas/missouri
    Posts
    1,259
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    are you robert newman's friend?

    dj

  3. #3
    Senior Member Saturnus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    283
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    (Here we go again...)

    How about citing some sources for these "truths"?

    Except for the fact (recently discovered) that FX Niemtscheck went to Prague for the first time several years AFTER the death of Mozart !
    Why should I believe this rather than all my music-history books? You don't even give us a fair change to compare sources!

    I admit that I do not discard those theories immediately, because I also have encountered some stories of greatness that have only one source and nothing more. But please, be fair and give us your sources.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mark Harwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Isle of Arran, Scotland.
    Posts
    284
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    New members please be advised that a thread very similar to this one recently led to much unpleasantness, and it's best not to get involved. That's just my personal opinion.
    "Music is a social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is."
    - Malcolm Arnold.

  5. #5
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Dear Saturnus,

    Thank you for the constructive and respectful question asking for sources to justify what I wrote here on FX Niemetscheck. Kindly visit the website www.aproposmozart.com where you will find an excellent article which summarises all these issues on Niemetscheck which was published in recent years by the well known Mozart scholar Walther Brauneis, entitled, “Franz Xaver Niemetschek: Is his Association with Mozart only Legend?” originally published in German as “Franz Xaver Niemetschek: Sein Umgang mit Mozart – Eine Legende?” but available for you to read there in PDF form, excellently translated for us into English by Bruce Cooper Clarke.

    Very best wishes
    Last edited by colleengail726; Aug-02-2007 at 17:41.

  6. #6
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I agree with Mark Harwood. If members have something constructive (or at least respectful) to offer or even to ask or discuss on these issues, fine. Otherwise it's best not to get involved. People can choose to read or not, yes ?

  7. #7
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Dear David,

    I respect your question but personalities seem so often to cause friction. The vast majority of people, sadly, choose to stay ignorant. What's to be done in such a case ? - nothing since that's their choice.

    Robert Newman - I think others should form their own views on him and on a number of others who do their best to share their own findings on Mozart. I understand he is using a pen-name these days. Yes, I am friendly with him, of course. But you will excuse me not getting involved in personalised issues of various active researchers. I too have some things to offer. It'd be good if we could share/discuss/consider different views on their own merits whether they are old fashioned, right, wrong, or just plain controversial. The thing is, of course, that sharing things is a virtual definition of friendship anyway. If I'm eating a steak and find a bone I don't throw away the steak - I throw away the bone. So it is with Newman or anyone else.

    Regards

  8. #8
    Assistant Administrator Daniel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    near Munich/Germany
    Posts
    768
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    At first hello to colleengail726!

    As you are "friendly" with Robert Newman, I give you the urgent advise not to start any kind of the well-known "Mozart controversy"-threads. They would be closed without any further warnings. Sorry to do so, but we all are lucky to have no more verbal fights in the last weeks. So please keep this respectful in mind.

    Thank you.
    Daniel

  9. #9
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Hi Daniel,

    Hello to you. Since friendship with Robert Newman seems to be important (or, as you prefer to say, 'friendship') can you say if you are a friend/'friend' of Robert Newman ?

    Secondly, I'm not sure what you mean by a 'Mozart controversy' thread. The area where I've specialised IS Mozart. There's a growing realisation within this area of resesarch that much of what we've traditionally believed about Mozart and his career is inaccurate, misleading and, often, plain false. But those who say so are keen to show why they believe so.

    If you would please note who is the source of personal abuse, verbal bad behaviour, etc. that will surely be good enough, yes ? It certainly won't be me.

    Regards
    Last edited by colleengail726; Aug-02-2007 at 21:52.

  10. #10
    Assistant Administrator Daniel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    near Munich/Germany
    Posts
    768
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    If you would be so kind and answer this (from another thread), colleengail726? Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel
    But I want to ask colleengail726 to tell us the full truth, which he should tell us for his own honour: Are you Mr Newman or are you a friend of him? I would advise you to tell us the really full truth, we do have enough possiblities to make a detailed IP-adress-analyse. So who are you?

    Kind regards,
    Daniel

  11. #11
    Senior Member Handel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Québec City, Québec
    Posts
    391
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Can I just say that Mozart was a very good composer but overrated?
    At first, I discovered the wonders of classical music through the marvels of its baroque period and especially those from Mr. Handel, which explain my forum nickname. About 10 years ago, my interest leaned over classical period and Herr Haydn's production. The music bus recently drove me to the early 1800s. Where will it end?

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    arkansas/missouri
    Posts
    1,259
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    colleengail726:

    i was just curious because the posts are so similar.

    dj

  13. #13
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    18
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Like many members here and elsewhere on countless websites I am using a pen-name. If it's a precondition of Membership to this forum that pen-names are not allowed (which I never saw anywhere before) please have the courtesy to say so to me and other members at the same time. If not, and you still wish to know who I and all other pen-name members are then, please, if you will, send all of us a private message and I'm sure everyone can be satisfied. Does this seem fair/reasonable to you ? But if members just can't bear discussions on Mozart they may be old enough to read something else, perhaps ?

    (Just a suggestion, of course).

    I haven't yet had an answer to the question of whether one enquiring member is friendly or 'friendly' to the legendary Robert Newman though I've answered this myself. It certainly would be strange if things are not seen to be fair for all.

    Excuse me for saying this also but what IS the issue here ? -

    1. Posts that criticise popular beliefs on Mozart ?
    2. Robert Newman ?
    3. Both ?

    As for electronic checking etc. that's your choice of course but it does seem a little 'Orwellian' don't you think ?


    Very best wishes
    Last edited by colleengail726; Aug-03-2007 at 00:18.

  14. #14
    Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Córdoba. Argentina
    Posts
    946
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by david johnson View Post
    colleengail726:

    i was just curious because the posts are so similar.

    dj
    It is obvious that Newman was stealing material from colleengail726. The latter seems much more convincing. It is well known that colleengail726 was the brilliant mastermind behind this, but he was forced to the shadows by an aristocratic conspiracy that attributed his profound and substantial investigations to Newman.
    And the clue to solve this mistery is this

    Not even experts can spot the difference between their essays.


    I mean... this silly idea did work for Newman in the past, when he was trying to paralell Mozart symphonies with Haydn's. It should work now...

  15. #15
    Assistant Administrator Daniel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    near Munich/Germany
    Posts
    768
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    @colleengail726:

    Firstly: I won't start arguing with you.

    Secondly: Just answer with yes or no. If you prefer PM in this case, please write me a PM.

    No answer is also an answer.

    Kind regards,
    Daniel

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Unique Mozart Gift
    By vmishka in forum Classifieds
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Aug-27-2016, 06:40
  2. Two Operas Falsely Attributed to Mozart 1/2
    By robert newman in forum Opera
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: Apr-04-2012, 16:01
  3. Did Mozart Really Master the Music of Bach ?
    By robert newman in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: Jun-17-2007, 13:49
  4. 'The Best Work I Ever Composed' - Mozart
    By robert newman in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: Jun-16-2007, 10:50
  5. The Controversy over the true musical achievements of Haydn and Mozart
    By robert newman in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 391
    Last Post: Jun-09-2007, 09:20

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •