mozart piano concerto 21
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    OK... I was driving my car yesterday and the announcement came on the radio... Mozart's Number 21 PC... I thought, "OK, let's give him yet another listen. ...And I WILL listen to ALL the movements without forming an opinion. Well, as each minute passed I could sense acute boredom setting in fast. I resisted the temptation to touch the dial and listened on. Second Movement... Third Movement...

    What in the H do people see (or hear) in this music!???!!!! I DON'T GET IT!

    I, IV, V, I, I, I6, chromatic scale whipping up the keys, arpeggios going through a simple circle of fifths, V, I, V, I, and then back to the theme (I, I, I, I,V,V,V,V) and then V,V,V,V,I,I,I,I. HELP ME ST. CECILIA...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2uYb6bMKyI

    How did we all fall off the polyphonic wagon...

    I mean listen to the whole section from 16 minutes all the way to 17 minutes... the total waste of a solid minute for sure.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    No, I stand corrected... All the way past minute 21 is the perfect time to visit the restroom.
  • TCJ
    Posts: 654
    Mozart's music is something I don't mind listening to if it's in the background, but it is very rare when I will play it purely to listen and do nothing else. Not being someone who analyzes it to the smallest detail, I can't pinpoint exactly why, but you may have pointed out what I couldn't put in words. That said, I don't have the disdain for his music that you seem to. It's better than a lot of music, but given the choice between Bach and Mozart, I'd take the former every time.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,520
    Of course, it doesn't help that no one improvises (Mozart was known in his day for improvisation). When I hear Robert Levin play Mozart it's tolerable.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,197
    I have never been a great fan of Mozart or Bach. I like Haydn's masses far better than anything Mozart wrote. With Bach, I agree with what most of his critics said at the time of his death. Polyphony can be unlistenable when its voices are too numerous and too heavily overlaid, and if there is text it gets lost in the polyphony - I think the Council of Trent said essentially the same even before Bach.

    There is no perfect music that I have ever heard. I don't think it exists.
  • Charles, actually Trent never called for textual clarity - that's one of the great misunderstandings of church music history. There was some preliminary discussion of clarity, but it never made it out of the drafts and deliberations into the final pronouncements of the council. But personally I do agree that Bach's vocal music often leaves me cold. It almost always sounds like instrumental music with text, rather than music that stems from and showcases the beauty of the human voice.

    As to the Mozart, I wonder if he might tend to agree with Francis. The piano concerto genre, like the symphonic genre, was usually intended for the unwashed masses as accessible and popular music. The musicians themselves might prefer a string quartet or other chamber music in the company of other professionals.

    That said, I really enjoy the Mozart symphonies and piano concertos!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,197
    When I have listened to Mozart, I have noticed the music toward the end of his life was better. It almost seemed that he produced the commercial stuff to please his patrons in his earlier music with what he really wanted to write produced later.

    I knew there was some discussion at Trent that realized polyphony had gotten too complex and the texts were being obscured. I would agree with that. Those works may be beautiful, but coming from an eastern viewpoint, the mass Ordinary is meant to be sung by the people. I keep the more ornate works for special celebrations and use simpler settings for congregational use.
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 647
    You have to remember that the Kochel listings are somewhat deceiving: K467 sounds high, but it was in that perfervid period, Mozart as a rapidly developing young man, just before such masterpieces as Le Nozze di Figaro (K492) and the Piano Quartet in G minor. Many of the pieces from this time, including k467, sound to me like recycling or maybe pre-cycling of music from Le Nozze. Mozart's best is still better than anyone else's best.

    My local horrible classical radio station does its best to discredit Mozart, playing music from K80 and thereabouts rather frequently. He was a six year old!
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    Well, the section I mentioned above from 16 minutes to 17 minutes sounds like it was taken directly from his six year old attempts.
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 647
    In terms of preferences for performers, not so good. Just an opinion.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    I apologize if this offends anyone, but I don't think any performance of Mozart can be really good. Just an opinion.
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 647
    Lol ... i take that as a challenge, I'm going to try to find a good performance of K467 2d movement. Meanwhile, free music and a very fine performance of a great piece:

    https://soundcloud.com/santa-fe-chamber-music/02-mozart-string-quintet-no3
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    mrcopper... it's not in the performance... it's in the composition.
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 647
    I don't defend K467 as the best piece, just Mozart as the best composer.
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 647
    A step up for K467, II: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJPkA-L-Qm0 Maria Pires
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    Mozart as the best composer? We have definitely hit an impasse.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    GRITTTING TEETH!!! DO I HAVE TO LISTEN TO THIS AGAIN!!!????
    219 x 306 - 73K
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 647
    Rubenstein: about 01:17:50, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3J38vad2DVs

    Illustrating some of the points from Francis' earlier post re 10 rules to better music.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    mrcopper:

    It's still I,I,I,I,V,V,V,V,V,V,V,V,I,I,I,I at 1:17:50. After an hour, I have got to have something else to think about!
  • mrcoppermrcopper
    Posts: 647
    Francis, would you please bump that earlier post from your luthier ... had some most interesting points in it, and I can't find it. As to I I I I V V V V V I I I etc, I used to rage at Tchaikovsky because every darn moment was formed into an 8-bar period. More recently, I've appreciated the beauty, ingenuity, and even variety he squeezes into those periods, and have treasured the moments he extends a period from time to time.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,520
    Mozart for me is a love/hate relationship.

    There are some pieces that I absolutely love: Sinfonia Concertate for Violin and Viola, Mass in C minor, Figaro, Zauberflote, Tito, Seraglio, Requiem, Gran Partita for 13 Winds, Horn concerto, Clarinet Concerto, Clarinet Quintet, even the early K49 Mass in G Major.

    The rest is twaddle. If I have to listen to Eine Kleine Nacht Musik or that blasted Sonata in C Major again, I might not be responsible for my actions.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    Salieri:

    I cannot find the love...
    The rest is twaddle. If I have to listen to Eine Kleine Nacht Musik or that blasted Sonata in C Major again, I might not be responsible for my actions.

    Yes. This.

    mrcopper:

    More recently, I've appreciated the beauty, ingenuity, and even variety he squeezes into those periods, and have treasured the moments he extends a period from time to time.
    HOLY CRAP! It was MOZART who was the instigator of minimalism!
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,896
    A general dissing of Mozart is low rent clickbait and nothing more. Mozart's not my favorite composer by a stretch (for example, I think the world of Haydn's later symphonies, but I realize that Haydn was a genius enough to learn from Mozart's genius in turn), and his sacred music suffers from much of what ailed sacred music for many generations, even with some sublime musical moments. His mature operas, however, are some of the greatest written, in a class of their own. And his orchestrations and use of wind instruments (woodwinds and horn specificallly) in particular are sublime. It may be hard for some organists to appreciate the finer points of the art of orchestration.
    Thanked by 2Jeffrey Quick Gavin
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,325
    It may be hard for some organists to appreciate the finer points of the art of orchestration.


    I am not an organist, but I would have guessed - and really, just guessed - that other things being equal (OH THAT PHRASE!), an organist would be better equipped to appreciate orchestration than, for example, a chorister or pianist - or, really, anyone else who plays primarily only one single instrument.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,896
    Adam

    Hence why I specifically said some. Some organists have a gift for it. But others, not used to working regularly in instrumental ensembles, don't have a knack for it even if they have a knack for choosing stops and registrations. Being a regular member of an ensemble does enhance one's appreciation of the orchestration; most orchestral instrumentalists are not soloists, and therefore by nature are constantly thinking relationally to the rest of the ensemble. Ditto people who are mostly choral rather than solo singers. An organ is not an orchestral ensemble.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,568
    A general dissing of Mozart is low rent clickbait and nothing more.

    This.
    Pathos. And joy. And yes, counterpoint.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    Who is dissing Mozart? We are simply asking the question, 'What do people get out of his music?' There is no dissing. In fact, the title does not elicit "clickbait", it simply asks for your opinion. Jeffrey, I would assume you like (love) Mozart like millions do. I simply state that there are millions who do not. I, personally, find his music uninspiring, including his operas which are trite like most all opera.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,520
    including his operas which are trite like most all opera.


    Well, Ja. I like Musical Comedy, too. And P.G. Wodehouse. They're trite. But it's good trite.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,197
    I, personally, find his music uninspiring, including his operas which are trite like most all opera.


    Francis, I could easily picture you in a horned helmet. ;-)
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,896
    horned helmet. ;-)

    now *there's* a reference to trite opera.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    Francis, I could easily picture you in a horned helmet. ;-)


    Wagner is much worse than trite. His stuff is seriously spiritually demented and downright dangerous. Do I hear occult?
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,896
    And who needs giant puppets when you can have this?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeRwBiu4wfQ
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,325
    That looks really expensive for how boring it is.
    Thanked by 2ryand Salieri
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,197
    Wagner is grand theater. I remember seeing Lohengrin as a child in utter fascination the whole time. I wouldn't call it occult, but definitely drawn from pagan legends. I am sure it would upset some of the rosary clatterers, but it pales in comparison to more current productions. The singers do keep their clothes on. LOL.
  • To Francis, with all due respect, plus some extra respect -
    I am at an head-scratching loss as to what to make of this denigrance of Mozart. So, he doesn't use a XXIst century harmonic vocabulary. So, his vocabulary is a predictable, though one would insist, resourceful and inventive, application of XVIIIth century 'common practice'. So, we can Schenkerise it to illustrate on paper how boring it is. (Don't most Schenkerised things not stand up well under this ruthless microscope?)
    There is far more originality, inspired melos, treatment and development of form (sonata or otherwise), use of colour, and pure music (absolute or referenced) in his oeuvre than in all his contemporaries combined. Haydn would be his sole near-equal, Beethoven his only true successor.

    I have just finished re-studying Stravinsky's Poetics of Music. In it he throws in Dionysius the Aereopogite's assertion that (of course this is what some would call 'speculative theology' - but it's instructive just the same) in heaven one will observe that in the ascending angelic hierarchy those of higher and higher rank speak fewer and fewer words, with the highest speaking but a single syllable. But! Imagine the brilliant profundity that must be enshrined in that single utterance. This is applicable in our creative crafts, whether they be music, art, sculpture, architecture, or what have you. Are we to dismiss so lightly one of the half dozen greatest musical genuises of all human history because we are put off by his tonal palette? I think that in not seeing the genius and musical marvel in such a man's work one should perhaps question one's own sight rather than the value of the meisterstuck which is deserving of better vision.

    Now, Mozart is no longer, as he was in my youth, my favourite composer all the time. In fact my favourite composer now changes by the day or week between anyone who lived between the time of Leonin (or his Carolingian predecessors), Tallis and Byrd and Monteverdi, and Stravinsky or Britten, or (on some days) Bartok or Schoenberg or Messiaen. But I never tire of the refreshing sanity and humanity of our classical and early romantic era masters. I do not, though, like classical era masses. They are indeed theatrical and lack that ecclesiastical ceremoniality, that sacral bearing that one hears in Monteverdi or others of the renaissance and early baroque eras, not to mention the consistent spiritual purity of an all chant liturgy. Concerning that, we have in our latter times lost that colourful palette of musical degree which reigned in earlier times than modern ones, when the organ and polyphony were heard only on those feasts which were of the greatest importance. Otherwise it was 'plain song'. It wouldn't hurt us to try making such distinctions in our day; but this would undoubtedly not be popular with those who fill the pews expecting a good show every week. It would probably be frustrating for us as well, for we would feel our musical imaganitiveness stifled. But back to Mozart, you are looking at the Sistine Chapel ceiling and seeing nothing but a predictable variety of colours - you aren't seeing Michaelangelo's genius in their application. No one can explain it to you if you don't get it; but you are capable of finding it yourself if you start looking at the painting, the music, instead of its component matter.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    I remember seeing Lohengrin as a child in utter fascination the whole time. I wouldn't call it occult, but definitely drawn from pagan legends. I am sure it would upset some of the rosary clatterers, but it pales in comparison to more current productions. The singers do keep their clothes on.

    Another great example of boiled frog syndrome (BFS). The perfected art of excuse making for cultural degeneration. "Oh, they STILL have their clothes on! How BAD can it be?!"
    230 x 291 - 49K
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    To my dear MJO:

    Mozart and the Sistine chapel are an entirely humanistic endeavor, shrouded in the gymnastics of flamboyant melodic lines and bursting colors... (the animators who 'refurbished' Michaelangelo destroyed any semblance of what little art was left) where angels have been consigned to sing 16th note alleluia's and relegated to infantile cherubic form. It is gravity for the here and now and cares not for the soul but only anchors the body firm to the earth. Simulicrum. Opaque. Your destination is the art itself (or artist, himself). It is Signature.

    The likes of Gregorian Chant, Bach, Palestrina and Iconography are its exact opposite... magnets of the soul toward heaven. Authentic. Transparent. Your destination is God (THE artist) himself. It is Author.
  • kenstb
    Posts: 358
    Mozart's music is wonderful (Symphonies 21,38 - 41; Figaro, Don Giovanni & Die Zauberflote; piano and horn concerti; Requiem) especially the large volume of solo piano music he left us. But so is the music of Wagner (Die Valkyrie, Der Fliegende Hollander & Gotterdammerung) and Hummel (all of his solo piano works) and Berlioz (Symphonie Fantastique). We all have our particular tastes in music and that's okay.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,197
    Francis, I am just not as pure as you. Man, am I ever glad about that! LOL. What our crazy past leadership hasn't destroyed, extremists will. It has happened before.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,520
    I still prefer this production.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yxiv3CBMS4M
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CHGiffen
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,520
    .
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,197
    Love "Kill the Wabbit!"
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    Charles

    I see my philosophy as more 'black and white' as opposed to 'pure or not'.
  • Padster
    Posts: 37
    I'd like to thank Francis for giving me the inspiration to practice K333 today. A great work, with a gentle 2nd movement and a nice cadenza in the 3rd. Lovely stuff. I'd forgetton how good this sonata is, but thanks to Francis' hatred of Mozart I rediscovered it.

    Best wishes,
    Padster
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I'm still waiting for someone to assert that they would spit in Mozart's face. And that whomever doesn't dislike him is a Nazi.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,520
    image

    Sorry, couldn't help it.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    I don't hate Mozart, Padster. I just have no interest in listening to his music. That is a far cry from hate.

    One piece I DO like is his Fantasy in D minor which I play often for gigs.

    Have a happy K333.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    Sorry, I couldn't resist!
    471 x 570 - 170K
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,384
    and...
    422 x 546 - 243K
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,896
    One of course has the example of Glenn Gould's self-promoting attempt to pose as provocateur in his low estimation of Mozart, and that Mozart perhaps had the last laugh when one considers Gould's performances of Mozart....
    Thanked by 1Gavin