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Thread: What is it about Mozart? A Confessional Thread

  1. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdc View Post
    Brahms considered Mozart the greatest composer.
    I didn't know that. I always thought that Brahms was trying to emulate Beethoven, with his first symphony being hailed as the "Tenth" and all, but I guess we learn new things everyday...very interesting to me that with Brahms being so thick and layered, and Tchaikovsky being so weighed down with sad, Russian soul, that the two would see Mozart as the ideal. Maybe it's in Mozart's sense of organization. As much as they liked drinking together, Brahms and Tchaikovsky didn't care for one another's music very much, but they each seemed to be interested in the organization of music. While Brahms music seems to strive for a kind of fine German craftsmanship, Tchaikovsky was bothered that his own musical ideas didn't seem to flow or fit together very well (at least in his own mind). Of course, if you're going to use Mozart's sense of seemless beauty as your benchmark, that's a tall order.

  2. #107
    Senior Member Jacck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Al View Post
    Thanks for the recommendations. Just listened to the 4th String Quintet and enjoyed it. I am very keen on Schubert's later string quartets and quintet, and I got a Schubertian feeling with this bit of Mozart. I have previously listened to some of Mozart's string quintets, but given up without necessarily hitting number 4 - can't be sure. Anyway, good choice.
    I also just listened to the 24th piano concerto again, but wasn't really drawn: perhaps it was not a good performance - I had Barenboim kicking around and so listened to that. Perhaps try the Fantasias soon.
    I also did not like Mozart at first and it took me 2 years to open up to him. It was a gradual process, ie I started liking only some works and then added more and more and now I like almost everything. The work that I liked first and I consider a great entry point is the Sinfonia concertante, especially the slow movement



    next were the string quintets

  3. #108
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdc View Post
    Brahms considered Mozart the greatest composer.
    That's like Steven Hawking saying "My favorite number is 2."

  4. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Al View Post
    I have those moments too, but then I will usually go for Bach or Haydn, very occasionally Mozart (- in which case it will probably be the Clarinet Quintet). For transcendent order I would reach for Bach, and to restore my mental balance it would be Haydn (sanity and wit).
    I hear where your coming from. For years I pretty much avoided most of Mozart, as well. So for me, now going on 39 of classical music starting with buying my first LP as a teenager in 1982 (that record included Tchaikovsky's 1812, of course), it was a very gradual process. I like what "Millions of Rainbows" said in regard to Mozart being "an acquired taste, which one must be pro-active and willing to engage with." I mean, if Brahms and Tchaikovsky are going to hail Mozart as the greatest, then there must be something to it, right? You say that you already have a handful of Mozart numbers that you favor. Maybe that's a good start for now.
    Last edited by Coach G; May-28-2020 at 16:01.

  5. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    I think the problem with Mozart and other composers like Haydn and Handel, is that modern listeners have already been exposed to the music all around us which is harmonically, rhythmically, and texturally more complex. The simplicity of these composers eludes them. It's an acquired taste, which one must be pro-active and willing to engage with.
    This was my problem as well; I had been exposed to so much complex rock and jazz that early classical music like this was just too simplistic. Many of the "themes" are just scale-run fragments, and are unrcognizable and unmemorable to most modern listeners who have been exposed to countless popular songs which exhibit more complex and modern melodies and harmonic progressions. Mozart, with his formulaic I-IV-V progressions and major triads, must sound like nursery-rhyme music to most modern people.
    A lot of Mozart's music does sound like this to me - somewhat naive and childlike...not all of it but most (EDIT: a lot) of what I have heard so far. 'Nursery-rhyme' music might be an appropriate description. Of course, this might not be how fans perceive his music at all or that they do and it suits their taste.
    Last edited by janxharris; May-28-2020 at 20:07.

  6. #111
    Senior Member Flamme's Avatar
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    Well, he was a Child prodigy, after all...
    'Listen, Mister god!
    Isn't it boring
    to dip your puffy eyes,
    every day, into a jelly of clouds?'

  7. #112
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janxharris View Post
    A lot of Mozart's music does sound like this to me - somewhat naive and childlike...not all of it but most of what I have heard so far. 'Nursery=rhyme' music might be an appropriate description. Of course, this might not be how fans perceive his music at all or that they do and it suits their taste.
    Oh, no, of course not. Once you acquire the taste and learn what the game is, Mozart becomes sublime in its simplicity. It's like number theory compared to particle physics.

    Additionally, I think there are a lot of options for performances of Mozart; HIP or whatever you prefer. I particularly like to hear a good piano virtuoso play the piano concertos, with those incredibly exposed, naked runs and arpeggios, which must be played perfectly evenly. What a sense of satisfaction.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; May-28-2020 at 16:19.

  8. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    Oh, no, of course not. Once you acquire the taste and learn what the game is, Mozart becomes sublime in its simplicity. It's like number theory compared to particle physics.
    A lot of the harmony of the classical era is generally quite straight-forward (an obvious example is how many pieces begin I, V, I), but there is clearly great contrapuntal complexity too (though I often find myself thinking that the baroque just never quite went away).

    Listening to this era just becomes an endless procession of me saying, "we've heard that before".

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  10. #114
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    ...which latter point illustrates one of the fundamental differences of outlook at the heart of this debate. There are those, like you and millionrainbows, who appear to equate novelty with profundity and there are those, like me and other Mozart nuts generally, who would not automatically do so. There are immense riches to be found in the perfection of the status quo as well as in breaking new ground, and not all change is progress.
    Last edited by Animal the Drummer; May-28-2020 at 17:15.

  11. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Animal the Drummer View Post
    ...which latter point illustrates one of the fundamental differences of outlook at the heart of this debate. There are those, like you and millionrainbows, who appear to equate novelty with profundity and there are those, like me and other Mozart nuts generally, who do not automatically do so. There are immense riches to be found in the perfection of the status quo. Not all change is progress.
    I don't equate novelty with profundity.

  12. #116
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Animal the Drummer View Post
    ...which latter point illustrates one of the fundamental differences of outlook at the heart of this debate. There are those, like you and millionrainbows, who appear to equate novelty with profundity and there are those, like me and other Mozart nuts generally, who would not automatically do so. There are immense riches to be found in the perfection of the status quo as well as in breaking new ground, and not all change is progress.
    That's an unfair characterization. We do not contradict you; you just feel that way.

    Even Vivaldi sounds great when played by Giuliano Carmignola. Vivaldi is not that innovative, either.

    Last edited by millionrainbows; May-28-2020 at 17:36.

  13. #117
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    "There are immense riches to be found in the perfection of the status quo."

    I think I''ll have that printed on a t-shirt; it should sell well in these times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    Start with K 475. . . .
    Thanks. Did that, and thought it was OK. Will give it another go later. Sounds a bit like a chipping from Beethoven's workbench.

  16. #119
    Senior Member S P Summers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdc View Post
    Why do you think so many of the greatest musicians in the world have recorded his sonatas, and continue to make recordings of them? Simply because they say 'Mozart' on them?
    I don't necessarily think that's the case, but it's certainly not out of the realm of possibility.

    For example, a pianist who has recorded the piano sonatas of Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Scriabin, Godowsky, Paderewski, Feinberg, Bowen, Ives, Sorabji, and Medtner; I really don't understand why a pianist would want to record Mozart sonatas if they play sonatas by the composers I just mentioned. Their sonatas are so much more interesting and enjoyable to listen to!

    I'm not saying that the Mozart sonatas aren't worth performing/recording, but I do find it curious that some pianists prefer to learn, perform, and record Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven instead of Prokofiev, Godowsky, and Shostakovich.

  17. #120
    Senior Member S P Summers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereality View Post
    I get Mozart. I don't really get Brahms as much, even though he's a good composer, I don't grasp his detailed stiffness being better than when Dvorak captures memorable and interesting movement. Germanic and Austrian harmony and rhythm can be a little more humdrum, even Mahler, it feels a little more square and stiff and makes it a little harder to care about.
    Joseph Marx and Max Reger were the pinnacle of German/Austrian harmony.

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