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Thread: What is it about Mozart? A Confessional Thread

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    Default What is it about Mozart? A Confessional Thread

    I have a confession: I don't really get Mozart. I generally find that the list of "great" composers which is generally stated is very much in line with my personal list. But not Mozart.
    A few works are great (for me): Clarinet Quintet (and maybe the Concerto), Symphony 40, a few Piano Concerti (or some movements thereof), and some bits of the Requiem. Beyond that, I keep trying, but my mind wanders. This doesn't add up to enough to be in my personal list of greats.
    I therefore thought it would be interesting to see if there are any common themes among those who don't get Mozart.
    For example, I don't do Opera at all. I am hugely into Brahms, Bach and Haydn. With Beethoven it's more recognition of greatness than a sympathy of outlook: he can persuade me, but I don't warm to him. I tend to think that Schoenberg and his gang were barking up a blind alley (sometimes to great effect), whereas Bartok was onto something.
    So are there any others out there who share my deficiency? If so, please indicate your own tastes to see if there is something in common. I should be more scientific about this, but life's short.
    If I get no response to this, then I guess it's just me.
    Last edited by Eclectic Al; May-27-2020 at 19:11.

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    Senior Member consuono's Avatar
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    I'm a big Mozart fan. A lot of his music is about as close to perfection as you can get in a 35-year life span. And I would suggest you really and truly make an effort with his Marriage of Figaro. That's one of the greatest creations in music history.

    That said, it has to be admitted that the pathos entwined in Mozart's brief life didn't hurt perception of his music.

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    Senior Member Fabulin's Avatar
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    I was waiting until you mention that you like Brahms

    Somehow, I knew it.
    Last edited by Fabulin; May-27-2020 at 19:21.

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    Thanks for the suggestion. But (another defect in me) any opera suggestions are not going to work. Nor probably any other vocal ideas. I am expecting that one thing which might come out of this exercise (if anything!) is that Mozart refuseniks may well be less into vocal music generally.
    You see I am genuinely interested in why I seem to relate to Haydn, but not Mozart, when they seemed to relate to each other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabulin View Post
    I was waiting until you mention that you like Brahms

    Somehow, I knew it.
    Yep. I am expecting that there may be a Brahms/Mozart dichotomy. But why???

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    By the way, I was just listening to Symphony 40 again, and it's a great piece of music. What is it about that which is different from his other symphonies (even 41)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Al View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion. But (another defect in me) any opera suggestions are not going to work. Nor probably any other vocal ideas. I am expecting that one thing which might come out of this exercise (if anything!) is that Mozart refuseniks may well be less into vocal music generally.
    You see I am genuinely interested in why I seem to relate to Haydn, but not Mozart, when they seemed to relate to each other.
    De gustibus etc etc etc

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    Senior Member Fabulin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Al View Post
    Yep. I am expecting that there may be a Brahms/Mozart dichotomy. But why???
    Mozart was a melodic "god", and Brahms was a melodic "god spelled backwards".

    Now insert a coin and tell me what do you think of Tchaikovsky.

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    Sorry to be hogging this (but it is my prerogative).
    I listened earlier today to a very short Haydn Piano Sonata. I don't really listen to those much, and couldn't tell you which one it was 5 minutes after listening. But it was interesting! I could probably listen to it again in a week, and I wouldn't remember that it was the same one, but it would be interesting again. With Mozart Piano Sonatas, my mind wanders away. I can listen to a whole book of the WTC without that happening. Why?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabulin View Post
    Mozart was a melodic "god", and Brahms was a melodic "god spelled backwards".

    Now insert a coin and tell me what do you think of Tchaikovsky.
    Tchaikovsky is a guilty pleasure. I like symphonies 4 and 6. Not really 5. Other than that, not much. Oh, I like the Manfred Symphony quite a lot. 6 is really moving, and 4 and Manfred are exciting. 5 is dull. The rest: even duller.

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    Senior Member S P Summers's Avatar
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    Mozart, Bach, and Haydn do absolutely nothing for me, personally. Even Brahms; apart from his piano concerti, I rarely listen to him. There are so many composers from the late 19th and 20th century whose music is much more interesting and entertaining to listen to.

    I can't listen to predictable music, which is all that baroque and classical is. I need originality, unpredictability, and piano virtuosity. I have difficulty with any piece that doesn't check those three boxes.
    Last edited by S P Summers; May-27-2020 at 19:35.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Al View Post
    Sorry to be hogging this (but it is my prerogative).
    I listened earlier today to a very short Haydn Piano Sonata. I don't really listen to those much, and couldn't tell you which one it was 5 minutes after listening. But it was interesting! I could probably listen to it again in a week, and I wouldn't remember that it was the same one, but it would be interesting again. With Mozart Piano Sonatas, my mind wanders away. I can listen to a whole book of the WTC without that happening. Why?
    Why? Haydn's piano sonatas are superior to Mozart's. Subjectively, of course. But that seems to be the consensus. Mozart's piano sonatas are really not among the greatest in the genre, and I don't know why that is. Maybe deep down he just didn't like the form.

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    If you don’t get Mozart, fine! Leave him for those of us who appreciate his enormous genius. Listen to what you do get

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    Senior Member S P Summers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Al View Post
    Tchaikovsky is a guilty pleasure. I like symphonies 4 and 6. Not really 5. Other than that, not much. Oh, I like the Manfred Symphony quite a lot. 6 is really moving, and 4 and Manfred are exciting. 5 is dull. The rest: even duller.
    Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto #2 in G Major, Op.44 is phenomenal. Rarely played, I like it much more than the 1st.

    https://www.hyperion-records.co.uk/d...c=D_CDA67711/2
    Last edited by S P Summers; May-27-2020 at 19:35.

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