10 November 2011

Mozart in Denmark

"There is still a residuum of music lovers who regard all that Mozart ever wrote as equally inspired. An old-fashioned, cultured and nice sort of people who meet together and, perhaps, celebrate Mozart's birthday over a cup of tea. These nice people will then play the slightest of his sonatas and symphonies for one or two performers, and are happy every time they are not surprised. Of these Mozart worshippers there are not many, and they do neither good nor harm, for they can have no influence on the younger generation. Then there are the musical people whom I would call conventionally orthodox. They do not really care for Mozart and prefer to pass him by, though with a reverent raising of the hat and an apologetic bow. There are many of these, especially among singers, players, conductors, and composers. Finally, among younger musicians, there are a few who realize that for anyone wishing to study music in all its aspects, there is no escaping Mozart.

The fact is, Mozart is extraordinarily severe, logical, and consistent in his scoring and modulation, yet, at the same time, freer and less constrained in form than any of the classical masters who have employed the difficult sonata form so favored by composers since Philipp Emanuel Bach — the form on which the symphony is based."

— Carl Nielsen

One might quarrel with how the Dane expresses his disapproval of either set, but he's correctly pinned two attitudes unfair to Mozart.

No comments: