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Discussion Starter · #501 · (Edited)
What an enjoyable couple of weeks with Joseph Haydn. I liked the Giovanni Antonini/Il Gardinio Armonico recordings very much. They really seem to get Haydn. Breathed a whole new freshness into The Creation for me too. Also enjoyed McCreesh’s The Seasons.

On to Mozart. First up, his compositions to 1779, plus other composers born 1733-39. In other words, it’s Michael Haydn week! Yes, he only got one recommendation that qualifies to be listed here, but I suspect we’ll hear much about him this week.


Level 1
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Le Nozze di Figaro

Level 2
No Works

Level 3
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Sinfonia Concertante
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Violin Concerto No. 5 "Turkish"

Level 4
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Sonata No. 8
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Concerto No. 10, Concerto for Two Pianos K.365
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Concerto No. 9
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Violin Concerto No. 4

Level 5
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Violin Concerto No. 3
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Flute and Harp Concerto K. 299
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Symphony No. 31 "Paris"
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Symphony No. 25
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Symphony No. 29
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Exsultate, Jubiate
Dittersdorf, Karl Ditters von: Symphony No. 1 after Ovid's Metamorphoses "The Four Ages of the World"
Dittersdorf, Karl Ditters von: Symphony No. 2 after Ovid's Metamorphoses "The Fall of Phaeton"
Dittersdorf, Karl Ditters von: Symphony No. 3 after Ovid's Metamorphoses "The Metamorphosis of Acteon into a Stag"
Dittersdorf, Karl Ditters von: Symphony No. 4 after Ovid's Metamorphoses "The Rescue of Andromeda by Perseus"
Dittersdorf, Karl Ditters von: Symphony No. 5 after Ovid's Metamorphoses The Petrification of Phineus and his Friend"
Dittersdorf, Karl Ditters von: Symphony No. 6 after Ovid's Metamorphoses "The Transformation of the Lycian Peasants into Frogs"
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Serenade No. 6 "Serenata Notturna"
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Serenade No. 7 in D Major "Haffner"

Level 6
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Violin Sonata No. 27 K. 379
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Violin Sonata No. 35 K. 526
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Oboe Concerto in C major (Flute Concerto No. 2)
Haydn, Michael: Requiem in C minor "Missa pro defuncto Archiepiscopo Sigismundo"
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Violin Sonata No. 21 K. 304
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Violin Sonata No. 18 K. 301
Danzi, Franz: Wind Quintet Op. 67 No. 2 in E Minor
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Violin Sonata No. 17 K. 296

Level 7
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Serenade No. 9 K. 320
Dittersdorf, Karl Ditters von: Double Bass Concerto
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Symphony No. 33
Danzi, Franz: Wind Quintet Op. 56
Danzi, Franz: Sonata for Horn Op. 28
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Divertimento No. 11 K. 251


I’m disappointed that Mozart’s Divertimenti “Salzburg Symphonies” didn’t make the grade. Love them.

Honourable mentions:
Schobert, Johann: Piano Quartets & Trios, Violin Sonatas, Harpsichord Quartets & Sonata
Schweitzer, Anton: Alceste & Pygmalion
Mysliveček, Josef: Sinfonie Concertante in D Major
Gossek, François-Joseph: L'Offrandre à la Liberte, Marche Lugubre, Messe des Morts, Six Symphonies à Grande Orchestre, Te Deum


I’ve only listened to the Harnoncourt/VPO/Netrebko highlights of Le Nozze di Figaro before now. Time to emerse myself in the full three-hour experience courtesy of Jacobs/Concerto Koln.

 

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very excited to be diving deeper into Mozart. And looking over the list, I realize I don't really know too much of Mozart's earlier work. I've not seen Figaro yet, and only really know its fantastic overture -- I have only seen Clemency of Titus and Magic Flute, which I imagine will be tackled in the final week of Mozart. I'm sure I'll see Figaro sooner or later, so I'll stick to the highlights, in my case, the Decca recording of Solti, London Phil with Te Kanawa and von Stade, both of whom I really dig.

EDIT: I've listened up to Voi Che Sapete. First off --- I just love von Stade's voice, and reminds me so much of her recording of La Cenerentola, which I love so much. Also, can someone please help me figure out where I know this tune from? Is it "sampled" or mimicked in another extremely popular song? Or is that main melody a religious or traditional hymn? I know it sounds extremely familiar, but I can't put my finger on it
 

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Haydn, Michael: Requiem in C minor "Missa pro defuncto Archiepiscopo Sigismundo"
Nowadays, the only version I listen to is Raphaël Pichon's, who doesn't drag out the Dies irae, unlike the other conductors who sound rather 'lukewarm' in drama (I don't think his version is available on CD yet though). David Wyn Jones claims that "Michael Haydn’s music has a thorough competence of technique as well a real sense of theatre (in the broadest sense) that is reflected in Mozart’s music." [ Rediscovering Michael Haydn: an interview with David Wyn Jones - ], and imv, the requiem is one of many examples of the proof.

Requiem 1st theme & "trumpet signal": [ 0:20 ]
Requiem 2nd theme: [ 3:20 ~ 3:45 ]
Dies irae theme: [ 6:26 ~ 2:38 ]
Requiem '3rd theme': [ 7:00 ~ 7:12 ]
Lacrimosa theme: [ 11:41 ~ 11:48 ]
Dies irae theme recapitulated (within 'Dies irae' movement): [ 12:12 ~ 12:24 ]
Requiem '3rd theme' recapitulated (within 'Dies irae' movement) +
chromatic fourth theme (climbing from D to G in bass): [ 12:40 ~ 12:50 ]
Amen & Requiem '3rd theme' elaborated (coda of 'Dies irae' movement): [ 12:52 ~ 13:40 ]
Quam olim abrahae fugue: [ 16:06 ~ 17:18 ]
Quam olim abrahae fugue recapitulated (with added figures in strings): [ 18:52 ~ 20:02 ]
Hosanna theme (Lacrimosa theme transformed/recapitulated): [ 24:23 ~ 24:30 ]
Requiem '4th theme' & "trumpet signal": [ 26:48 ; 27:56 ]
chromatic fourth theme recapitulated (climbing from G to C in soprano): [ 28:40 ~ 28:50 ]
Cum sanctis tuis fugue: [ 29:17 ~ 31:16 ]
Requiem 2nd theme recapitulated: [ 31:22 ~ 31:50 ]
Requiem 1st theme recapitulated: [ 31:58 ~ 32:30 ]
Cum sanctis tuis fugue recapitulated: [ 32:38 ~ 34:30 ]
 

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To my mind, Michael Haydn, in many ways, a polar opposite of Luigi Boccherini. If you appreciate the "Germanness" in Mozart (ie. spicy-sounding "vertical harmonies" of chromaticism, and the dominance of the orchestra over the singing in opera), I think you'll also appreciate Haydn. I think anyone wanting to get familiar with his music should at least know these five symphonies by him:

symphony No.18 in C, MH188 (Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Harold Farberman) watch?v=v80s4yjSdQM

symphony No.22 in F, MH284 (Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss, Johannes Goritzki) watch?v=ppTToo8lrMQ

symphony No.27 in B flat, MH358 (Slovak Chamber Orchestra, Bohdan Warchal) watch?v=e8ba5g_jF5M

symphony No.31 in F, MH405 (Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss, Johannes Goritzki) watch?v=GnzHku6aHYE

symphony No.33 in B flat, MH425 (Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss, Frank Beermann) watch?v=Wd_tGncMC30

27th: Take note of the harmonies at 4:10 (I feel 'pain' at 5:00 and 'consolation' at 5:27). The slow movement in a major key is so sad; the harmonies at 9:20, and the interplay of wind solos at 10:45. The contrapuntal acrobatics (17:30) in the third, final movement are also dazzling. I think he's especially good at this sort of stuff (as an organist); building up with contrapuntal dissonance and climaxing with a pedal - kind of reminds me of the Domine jesu from Mozart's Requiem. Btw, a real earworm in the third, final movement (16:30).
18th: Think of it this way -
watch?v=3UzZ6vLZhSA&t=2m48s 2:48~4:00 - the harsh dissonances imply "pain" (the emotional center of the movement; climaxes at 3:25).
watch?v=3UzZ6vLZhSA&t=4m48s 4:48~5:24 - the dissonances (in this false recapitulation) are milder than those of the central section, but more introspective/contemplative in expression, as if to portray a person reflecting on his past.
watch?v=3UzZ6vLZhSA&t=5m36s the idyllic theme from the exposition returns, but it is initially 'held back' to establish tension in preparation for the conclusion (6:26), which extends in phrase (6:50) to expressively bring everything to a resolution.
Do you think this is simply music written to fulfill a commission? Listen to the final chords of the movement and think about all the modulations that came before it and the expressive mental images conjured up, especially the "expression of pain" at 2:48~4:00.
33rd: also interesting are certain "resemblances" between the movements:
-mov.1 seems to share this motif [2:43] with mov.2 [6:38], and mov.4 ("inverted" horizontally) [15:57].
-the contrapuntal passages of mov.1 [2:09 (2:27)] and mov.4 [19:17 (19:30)].
mov.3 ends with a coda (rather than a da capo), kind of like Beethoven's scherzos.
 

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I've listened up to Voi Che Sapete. First off --- I just love von Stade's voice, and reminds me so much of her recording of La Cenerentola, which I love so much. Also, can someone please help me figure out where I know this tune from? Is it "sampled" or mimicked in another extremely popular song? Or is that main melody a religious or traditional hymn? I know it sounds extremely familiar, but I can't put my finger on it
I've just figured it out for myself, after much banging my head against the wall. Somehow this tune kept on reminding me of the Christmas carol, O Come All Ye Faithful. I subsequently tried to Google the two songs together and the only relevant search result happened to also be from TC. Glad I'm not alone in Voi Che Sapete triggering this connection!

It always makes me think of "O Come, All Ye Faithful."
 

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Discussion Starter · #509 ·
As a pianist I'm distressed by the complete lack of J. Haydn piano sonatas. There's over 60 of them....
Look again. Piano Sonatas 31, 33, 60 & 62 were all recommended and included here.

Piano Sonatas 32, 35, 46, 48, 50, 58, 59, 61 were also recommended but do not appear as they aren't included in the TC favourite listing (I include all works that received four of more recommendations, but only those with three or less recommendations that are included in Science's listing).
 

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Very attractive string quintets by Michael Haydn, thanks.
With the quintets, I've especially found MH367 memorable with its rigorous counterpoint from start to finish. MH411, MH412 are "divertimento" works each consisting of more than 4 movements (the brevity of their slow movements is compensated by their middle variation movements), each having what I perceive as their "advantages" and "disadvantages".

In terms of "theatrics with dramatic use of harmony" MH412/i [JaAKARuijy8&t=3m @3:42] is perhaps the most noteworthy. But overall the use of 'dark colors' of harmony I find the movements of MH411 more rigorous generally, [uwwMLcbvXNU&t=3m43s], [6bIQF2qavSM&t=3m58s], [e6agkTnl-FE&t=2m34s]. (I think the middle variation movement of MH412 is somewhat of a snoozefest in this regard). On the other hand MH411 contains what I perceive as a "filler movement", especially the March (the 7th movement), which perhaps Haydn added to please Colloredo. If the 7th movement is dropped, I think the whole work (with the "thematic similarity" or "similarity in handling of thematic material" of the 1st [6bIQF2qavSM&t=2m57s] and the 6th [sf15DLWNbt0&t=58s]) would be "perfect".

MH367/i [5a6LX8PSPyI&t=1m33s] is perhaps most similar to string quartet (or "divertimento for string quartet") MH299/i [UzH916E1z_0&t=1m] in impression. I think this sort of "glorious feel" created with questions/answers/pauses (as in the 27th symphony 3rd movement) is what makes Haydn unique. The middle variation movement of MH299 [UzH916E1z_0&t=6m3s] perhaps is the most "glorious-feeling" among Haydn's variation movements, in terms of thematic material, (anticipating that of Mozart's string quartet of the same key, 4 years later.)


speaking of his other chamber music, there are other works I care about, such as divertimento in C MH179, divertimento in C MH600 (a daring work of harmony, imv), serenade in D MH407 - a lot of them having "operatic character".



-portions of music where the composers intend dramatic emphasis with harmony;
5:10
Divertimento in C, P. 115
MH179 strikes me as particularly memorable with its abundance of melodic charm— the slower, middle movements having "caressing properties" like the "Ach lieder, ich bin eizig schuld".

 

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Discussion Starter · #511 ·
... I’ve only listened to the Harnoncourt/VPO/Netrebko highlights of Le Nozze di Figaro before now. Time to emerse myself in the full three-hour experience courtesy of Jacobs/Concerto Koln.

Simply stunning!

In a similar vein, I've previously only listened to Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 from Menuhin, Perlman and Steinbacher. Treated myself to Isabelle Faust with Antonini/Il Giardino Armonico, each of whom I've enjoyed separately on other works:

 

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To my mind, Michael Haydn, in many ways, a polar opposite of Luigi Boccherini. If you appreciate the "Germanness" in Mozart (ie. spicy-sounding "vertical harmonies" of chromaticism, and the dominance of the orchestra over the singing in opera), I think you'll also appreciate Haydn. I think anyone wanting to get familiar with his music should at least know these five symphonies by him:

symphony No.18 in C, MH188 (Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Harold Farberman) watch?v=v80s4yjSdQM

symphony No.22 in F, MH284 (Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss, Johannes Goritzki) watch?v=ppTToo8lrMQ

symphony No.27 in B flat, MH358 (Slovak Chamber Orchestra, Bohdan Warchal) watch?v=e8ba5g_jF5M

symphony No.31 in F, MH405 (Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss, Johannes Goritzki) watch?v=GnzHku6aHYE

symphony No.33 in B flat, MH425 (Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss, Frank Beermann) watch?v=Wd_tGncMC30
Are there any fun, small pieces for young pianists? This might be why he's overlooked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #514 ·
The recommended piece from Michael Haydn last week was outstanding. I very much enjoyed it.



On to Mozart's works 1780-1785, and composers born 1740-49. That means it's piano concerto week! More piano concertos than you can shake a stick at.

Level 1
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Don Giovanni esp. Overture, Act I, "Madamina, il catalogo è questo", "La Ci Darem la Mano", "Or Sai Chi l'Onore", Act II, "Il Mio Tesoro", "Non Mi Dir", Finale, "Don Giovani, a Cenor Teco", Serenade



Level 2
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major "Elvira Madigan"
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Serenade No. 13 in G major "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik"
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor



Level 3
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: String Quartet "Haydn" No. 19 "Dissonance"
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Symphony No. 36 "Linz"
Boccherini, Luigi: String Quintet In E Major, Op.11 esp. No.5 Minuet
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Sonata No.11

Level 4
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Mass in C minor, K. 427 “The Great”
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Concerto No. 22
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Concerto No. 17 in G major
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: String Quartet "Haydn" No. 15
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Concerto No. 19
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus : Idomeneo
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Horn Concerto No. 2
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Symphony No. 35 in D major, K. 385 "Haffner-Sinfonie"
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: String Quartet "Haydn" No. 14
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Concerto No. 15
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: String Quartet "Haydn" No. 16
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: String Quartet "Haydn" No. 18
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Concerto No. 14
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Concerto No. 18

Level 5
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Serenade No. 10 "Gran Partita"
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Horn Concerto No. 1
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: String Quartet "Haydn" No. 17 "The Hunt"
Boccherini, Luigi: Cello Concerto No. 9 in B-flat, G. 482
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Concerto No. 16
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Concerto No. 12
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Concerto No. 13
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor K. 478
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Concerto No. 11
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Quintet for Piano and Winds in E-flat
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Sonata No.14
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Fantasie in C Minor K. 475
Boccherini, Luigi: String Quintet in C minor, op. 31/4, G. 328
Boccherini, Luigi: String Quintet in D, op. 39/3, G. 339
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Sonata No. 12

Level 6
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Sonata for Two Pianos in D major, K. 448/375a
Boccherini, Luigi: Guitar Quintet No. 4 "Fandango"
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Symphony No. 34
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Oboe Quartet No. 1 in F Major
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Sonata No. 10
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Piano Sonata No. 13
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Vesperae solennes de confessore
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Violin Sonata No. 32 K. 454
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: 12 Variations on ‘Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman' K. 265

Level 7
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus: Fantasia No. 3 K. 397


Honourable mentions:
Paisello: Antigono
Herder: Volkslied
Martines: Il Primo Amore
Berezovsky: Divine Liturgy
Boulogne: Symphony in G Major Op. 11 No. 1, Overture from L'Amant Anonyme
Stamitz, C: 2 Octet Partitas, 3 Octets, Clarinet Concerto, Quartet in E0flat Major, Symphony in D Minor
Billings: Africa, Chester
Cimarosa: Oboe Concerto in C Major


Happy listening!
 

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Excited to dig into Don Giovanni. I've only ever listened to a couple outtakes, and most influentially back in my teen days, the dramatic scene included in Amadeus. (I still love that movie -- probably my first primordial experience of opera, over a decade before I got into real opera and classical music).

I couldn't find a highlights cut of the Y.N-S recording you cited, which is a shame because I love Damrau and Di Donato. But I did find a handy Decca album from Solti, London Phil, Bryn Terfel, and Renee Fleming, and I'm excited to give that a listen.

Just to clarify your suggested excerpts: I figure the "serenade" is the "Deh! Vieni alla finestra" segment. And the "finale" is what starts in "Don G... a cenar teco..." through "Ah! Dov'e il perfido?" then "Questo È Il Fin Di Chi Fa Mal!".

Happy Mozart week 2!
 

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Do listen to the Boccherini op 11 quintets - not just the famous minuet. It is charming music, full of delightful invention.
I certainly will, if I can find enough time to get through all of these through Level 3. Lots of good stuff. And I'm still working my way through Don G. Interestingly, in listening to this opera, I've for the first time come to see why other posters around TC have connected Rossini very closely with Mozart (as compared with Rossini's Bel Canto contemporaries). The music of Don G. is reminding me greatly of Barber and Cenerentola, and more so than any of the other Mozart compositions. Last week I was expecting to find that direct Mozart-Rossini connection when listening to The Marriage of Figaro. Ironic that it isn't Figaro but instead Don G that to my ears conjures up my strongest memories of Rossini's operas. Especially the trios and foursomes that remind me of the chaotic comedy scenes from Cenerentola.

Is there something unique about Don G. in comparison to the rest of Mozart's work? I know Rossini grew up studying Mozart very closely, but I'd never heard it as clearly as now.
 

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Is there something unique about Don G. in comparison to the rest of Mozart's work? I know Rossini grew up studying Mozart very closely, but I'd never heard it as clearly as now.
More explicit sex and violence. The time scale of Don Giovanni is special - I think it all takes place in 24 hours. There are some moments when things seem to break down, existential crises of some kind for Don Giovanni (the end of act 1 for example ) The character of Don Giovanni is complex - his way of controlling and influencing and manipulating the people who surround him, as if the opera is a study in power.

(I know zilch about Rossini.)
 

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I think the commonality with Rossini is not specifically Mozart, but common late 18th century opera buffa that will be similar in Cimaros, Salieri and others.
The following generation, like Hoffmann, were obsessed with Don Giovanni because this was the archetypal "Byronic hero", unrepentant even in the face of supernatural justice. And the darker eroticism (Did he do Anna, was it forced? the obssession of the dumped Elvira etc.) compared to the apparently more harmless flirtation games of Cosi and Figaro appealed to them as well. Similarly, the music is not pure buffa but has both the dark hell/commendatore music and the more opera seria style arias by Elvira, Anna and Ottavio.
Mozart mixed genres in all Da Ponte operas and in both German Singspiel operas (the most diverse and daring mix is Magic flute that has Seria arias (the Queen), Buffa (the ensembles), Viennese Singspiel comedy (Papageno), Masonic Music, chorales (Priests, genies, Armed men). It still needed another generation and a few seminal works (especially Freischütz) to establish a German opera that was not merely aping French or Italian or such a unique mix as Magic Flute.
 
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