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Thread: What represents the peak of Mozart's works to you?

  1. #166
    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Mozart lovers, in particular, seem always on the edge of bursting into the triumphant comparison, and the slightest expression of skepticism, dislike or indifference to their idol, no matter how thoughtfully expressed, will set them off.
    I've not noticed that myself. I am a huge Mozart fan (and OK you didn't say "all Mozart fans") but have always found comparisons between him and the few other composers who are of equal or similar greatness to be very difficult. I can go straight to the things that thrill me in Beethoven and Bach, and I can talk about them, but with Mozart it is much harder. How is it that music that can superficially sound merely pretty and convention-bound (or even sterile) turns out again and again to be anything but ... and to do so in so many different ways in different pieces? I generally say Mozart is my Number 1 composer because of this, because his greatness is so hard to pin down.
    Last edited by Enthusiast; May-31-2020 at 14:10.

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  3. #167
    Senior Member Allerius's Avatar
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    To me: the five last operas plus Idomeneo and Die Entführung aus dem Serail, the last six symphonies plus K. 183, K. 201 and K. 297, the last piano concertos (particularly K. 466, K. 467, K. 488, K. 491 and K. 595), the works for clarinet soloist (both the quintet and the concerto), the final sacred compositions (not only the "Great" Mass, the Requiem and Ave Verum Corpus but also K. 321, K. 337 and K. 339), the late chamber music (particularly the string quintets starting with K. 406), the last five serenades (starting with the "Posthorn") and the final divertimenti (starting with K. 334). Also some of the last fantasias and piano sonatas, and the Sinfonia Concertante.

    If somehow I was forbidden to listen to all pieces by Mozart for the rest of my life but one of my choice, today I would choose Die Zauberflöte.
    Last edited by Allerius; Jun-01-2020 at 03:59.
    “To do good whenever one can, to love liberty above all else, never to deny the truth, even though it be before the throne.” - Ludwig van Beethoven.

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  5. #168
    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    Clarinet Concerto
    Clarinet Quintet
    String Quintet 4
    Haydn Quartets
    Symphonies 40 and 41
    Great Mass in C Minor
    Sinfonia Concertante
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere." - G.K. Chesterton

    "Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, that is my secret." - Johann Sebastian Bach

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  7. #169
    Senior Member consuono's Avatar
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    The Marriage of Figaro.

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  9. #170
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    Late Piano Concerti
    Clarinet Concerto
    Operas (at least Magic Flute and Cosi Fan Tutti-- I've only listened to them and Don Giovanni so far
    Last edited by ORigel; May-31-2020 at 19:27.

  10. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    I've not noticed that myself. I am a huge Mozart fan (and OK you didn't say "all Mozart fans") but have always found comparisons between him and the few other composers who are of equal or similar greatness to be very difficult. I can go straight to the things that thrill me in Beethoven and Bach, and I can talk about them, but with Mozart it is much harder. How is it that music that can superficially sound merely pretty and convention-bound (or even sterile) turns out again and again to be anything but ... and to do so in so many different ways in different pieces? I generally say Mozart is my Number 1 composer because of this, because his greatness is so hard to pin down.
    You might win the Nobel Prize if you can figure it out. Hard to understand how a guy wrote music over two hundred years ago can be a best seller for all kinds of listeners. Maybe we ought to force feed Mozart to those who resist............
    Last edited by Bigbang; May-31-2020 at 19:41.

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  12. #172
    Senior Member Simplicissimus's Avatar
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    Might as well jump in here as this thread has gotten me to think through my relationship with Mozart. Certainly Mozart could write tremendously in all forms and I like pretty much everything of his, but my personal preferences are as follows:

    string quintets > string quartets 14-19 > symphonies 35-41 > sonatas for piano and violin > operas > everything else

    The amazing thing about Mozart for me is that I get out of him what I put into him. As other contributers have commented, his music can sound superficial or just "nice," but if you listen with an informed and critical ear, there's a whole lot there, IMO.

  13. #173
    Senior Member wkasimer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    Mozart seems simple but to make it work as well as it can needs a very special touch.
    I think that it was Schnabel who described Mozart as "too easy for amateurs, too difficult for professionals".

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  15. #174
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    The peak of Mozart's works? Mozart's works are a mountain range with many peaks. Many works from K300 onward are great and a good few before that as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olias View Post
    Sorry I can't remember the source for the quote but Mozart said something to the effect of:

    "I am an opera composer who writes piano concerti for a living and chamber music for my friends."
    Totally!. He was a super composer of operas. His piano sonatas are interesting, but as another poster replied, few,few, few students choose this sonatas for exam classical era requirements. In my college ,nobody picks these sonatas for the exams.

    DON GIOVANNI IS THE QUEEN OF THE OPERAS
    Last edited by Agamenon; Jun-02-2020 at 01:52.

  17. #176
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamenon View Post
    His piano sonatas are interesting, but as another poster replied, few,few, few students choose this sonatas for exam classical era requirements. In my college ,nobody picks these sonatas for the exams.
    Not necessarily because they're "bad". Because of the way the piano changed through the centuries, big 19th/20th century pieces tend to be a better medium for testing pianists' physical technique. I asked in another thread "so how many other composers wrote better sets of keyboard works in the late 18th century (aside from J. Haydn, Clementi, C.P.E. Bach)?" Nobody could answer. This continuous vendetta against Mozart's piano sonatas by some members in the past few days is getting tiresome.
    Are you Couchie by any chance?
    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Jun-02-2020 at 03:06.

  18. #177
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
    The peak of Mozart's works? Mozart's works are a mountain range with many peaks. Many works from K300 onward are great and a good few before that as well.
    I find that there's a buttload of good stuff in the K.0~300 range as well.





    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Jun-02-2020 at 02:51.

  19. #178
    Senior Member consuono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post
    Not necessarily because they're "bad". Because of the way the piano changed through the centuries, big 19th/20th century pieces tend to be a better medium for testing pianists' physical technique. I asked in another thread "so how many other composers wrote better sets of keyboard works in the late 18th century (aside from J. Haydn, Clementi, C.P.E. Bach)?" Nobody could answer. This continuous vendetta against Mozart's piano sonatas by some members in the past few days is getting tiresome.
    It's not a continuous vendetta. Why did you exclude Haydn, Clementi and C.P.E. Bach from your question? There's your answer. That's like asking "what other symphonies (other than those by Haydn, Mozart, Brahms, Mahler, Tchaikovsky and Sibelius) are better than Beethoven's?"
    No, Mozart's piano sonatas are not "bad". They suffer though in comparison to his whole great body of work. *In my opinion* they're among the weakest items in the list of Mozart's works. But they're very good for students in learning how to play with clarity and precision, no question. And also in learning how sonata form works. I suspect that's what their original purpose was anyway.
    Last edited by consuono; Jun-02-2020 at 02:40.

  20. #179
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Missa longa K.262, a contrapuntal masterpiece. The Cum sanctu spiritu in this missa is the only triple fugue by Mozart that I know. (the subjects of the Domine jesu from the Requiem don't combine in the end, it doesn't count as a triple fugue.)



    I wrote about this some time ago:
    In missa longa K262 for example, the way he creates contrast and tension and then relieves them is masterful. At 10:48, there is this serene, lyrical section "Et incarnatus est", but at 11:41, the C minor "Crucifixus" hits like a thunderbolt, and then in going from the dominant to a new key in G major, 12:38 "Et resurrexit" (with somewhat "neo-Handelian" characteristics of effect) counteracts and relieves the tension. The use of strettos in "Et vitam venturi" 18:00 is just masterful as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post
    3:00 ~ 3:24
    5:39 ~ 6:41
    7:30 ~ 7:50
    13:13 ~ 15:27

    So you get the basic idea. the way Mozart paints chromaticism on the white canvas of diatonicism, to create tension and contrast is unique in each of these pieces.
    spatzenmesse K220 ( 2:40 , 6:00 )
    credomesse K.257 ( 7:18 ~ 10:00 )
    missa trinitatis K.167 ( 4:29 , 9:47 )
    spaurmesse K.258 ( 2:30 , 6:00 )
    missa longa K.262 ( 4:53, 11:21 )
    kronungsmesse K.317 ( 4:30 , 9:25 )
    missa aulica K.337 ( 7:16 )

    To me, these are the best stuff he wrote at 16:

    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Jun-02-2020 at 10:00.

  21. #180
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    I've not ploughed thru the 18 pages on this thread -
    top Mozart - for me - Don Giovanni, Marriage/Figaro, Magic Flute
    Last 6 symphonies, all of which have been named many times, I'm sure -

    an absolutely top drawer Mozart work for me is the Quintet in Eb K. 452 for Piano and Winds [ob,cl,hn,bn]...this is a great piece....the writing is exquisite, both the solo and ensemble parts - wonderful dialogues between the members, it all fits in so perfectly...

    This work, of course, inspired the young Beethoven to compose for the same group - and his Opus 16 is really excellent, also...the two together make a great and popuilar concert program....many groups perform the works in chronological order - Mozart, then Beethoven, but we did it differently - we programmed it according to when, in the composer's development, it was written - that means the early/young Beethoven goes first; the mature Mozart concludes...worked very well.

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