Author Topic: Mozart a fraud?  (Read 187574 times)

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Offline Todd

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Mozart a fraud?
« on: February 08, 2009, 08:01:01 AM »
A person posting under the name Robert Newman on another forum is arguing that Mozart and even Haydn didn't write the majority (if any) of the music attributed to them.  He's apparently got a book planned, so my guess everyone would have to wait until said book is published to read his argument.  I've asked if he can provide any reputable documentary evidence to support his claims, and hopefully he will - outside of his book, of course.  His titillating posts appear to be a slightly cynical early marketing ploy (Mozart is a fraud!), but I'm curious to see if this idea gains any traction.

So, any takers on this hypothesis?

The poster is active on the Magle forum among others, so you can interact with him directly.


A sample post from a thread entitled “The Myth of Mozart, 'Musical Genius'”:

"Having worked already for many years on the subject of Mozart and his career I'm well aware of the controversy that can occur on the rare occasions when Mozart's status as a 'genius' composer is questioned. It seems unthinkable that his story (told in countless books and even in such famous films as 'Amadeus') may be largely (almost totally) fraudulent. There are, you will be told, mountains of documentary evidence in support of him being a musical talent far beyond that of most others. This evidence consisting of surviving musical manuscripts and also including huge surviving correspondence of the Mozart family and their contemporaries, anecdotes, reports, playbills, diary entries and so on. And, without dispute, consisting of many musical works of extraordinary quality.

This musical genius (so we are told) was author of close to 800 works in his short lifetime of 35 years. He toured Europe for much of his childhood and was the wonder of the musical world, both as a performer and as a composer. His feats, his achievements, are legendary. He is (so we learn) the author of around 50 symphonies, over 14 operas, some 27 piano concertos and literally hundreds of other works, many of which are still today in the repertoire of orchestras and opera companies. Surely, nothing is clearer than Mozart enjoying a status that is entirely justified, by facts ?

Well, no.

It would not be possible to debate/discuss this issue in the detail it deserves on short forum posts. But it IS possible to describe how the above view of Mozart is seriously flawed.

It's my view (and I hope to expand on it at some length in a controversial book) what we've been told of Mozart is mostly fiction. In reality, the reputation and alleged career of Mozart as a composer and performer was massively 'manufactured' and so too was his 'genius'. This during his lifetime and for decades afterwards. He is simply not the composer of the music today attributed to him. In point of fact, 'his' music was written FOR him, by others, and this at each and every stage of his life. Nor was Mozart at any time a 'Kapellmeister' though that title was falsely and repeatedly used of him during his last decade in Vienna. Mozart was also NOT a piano virtuoso. And there was never a time when he publicly performed to great acclaim, either in Vienna or anywhere else. Again, such stories do not survive close examination. What really happened was the deliberate falsification of facts, the deliberate creation and propagation of a musical 'superman', and this as a project of elites/patrons with an agenda. So, at least, are the findings of my research, conducted over 15 years or so.

Which begs the question, of course, of WHO wrote this music, and how such a thing can possibly be true ?

Whatever views we may have of Mozart it would be good for us all to appreciate this music. And in this aspect nothing but good comes of a detailed study of 'his' life and career."
« Last Edit: February 08, 2009, 08:04:47 AM by Todd »
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Mark G. Simon

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Re: Mozart a fraud?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2009, 08:04:23 AM »
Oh, that guy again.  ::)

Just another nutcase. The internet is full of them.

Offline Todd

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Re: Mozart a fraud?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2009, 08:05:54 AM »
Just another nutcase. The internet is full of them.


Hard to believe.

I guess I don't surf the net enough, because I've never stumbled upon this "idea" before.
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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Offline Herman

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Re: Mozart a fraud?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2009, 08:08:10 AM »
I love it when people write lines like:

It's my view (and I hope to expand on it at some length in a controversial book)

Harry

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Re: Mozart a fraud?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2009, 08:08:12 AM »
Newman himself is a fraud, and a proven nutcase. :P

Offline Todd

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Re: Mozart a fraud?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2009, 08:10:24 AM »
I love it when people write lines like:


As do I.  I wonder if he'll actually get something published.  I think I know the answer.

Out of curiosity for those who've run across Mr Newman, where else has he trolled?
The universe is change; life is opinion. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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Everyone dies - William Barr, United States Attorney General

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Mozart a fraud?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2009, 08:11:08 AM »
I think 'Robert Newman' is a falsification. But WHO is posting all these claims about Mozart on the Internet? Or should I say - who ARE doing this?
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

ChamberNut

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Re: Mozart a fraud?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2009, 08:21:43 AM »
Yes Todd, Newmann is a major "nutjob".  First "encountered him on "Talk Classical", and I think he also appeared on GMG, but that was before my time.  He also claims Haydn was a fraud too.   ::)

ChamberNut

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Re: Mozart a fraud?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2009, 08:27:10 AM »
Quite frankly, I thought he made the rounds of all the forums at this point, and thought we'd heard the end of "Dear Robert".  Guess not.  >:(

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Mozart a fraud?
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2009, 08:29:35 AM »
Yes, this nutcase showed up on CMG briefly.  His particular brand of idiocy gained no traction there and he departed PDQ, thankfully, since CMG already has more than its quota of nutcases in house who imagine that what they think about something outweighs factual evidence to the contrary.
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Offline Todd

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Re: Mozart a fraud?
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2009, 08:53:52 AM »
Yep, I need to surf the net more.  I've missed some fun crackpots it seems.  Now, when will someone address the other obvious falsehoods of classical music?  I mean really, there's no way that Beethoven or Smetana or Faure composed their late works - they were deaf!  Outrageous!
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Offline Opus106

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Re: Mozart a fraud?
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2009, 09:00:26 AM »
He had a wonderful way of presenting his "evidence," though. Very eloquent writing and all, but nothing more.
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Offline Bunny

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Re: Mozart a fraud?
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2009, 09:03:08 AM »
In search of the "historic" Mozart?  I'll keep the myth, if you don't mind. :)

Offline Holly

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Re: Mozart a fraud?
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2009, 09:07:02 AM »
Yes, this nutcase showed up on CMG briefly.  His particular brand of idiocy gained no traction there and he departed PDQ, thankfully, since CMG already has more than its quota of nutcases in house who imagine that what they think about something outweighs factual evidence to the contrary.

Newman was banned from CMG because he upset a few of the CMG locals, one in particular, and you might be able to guess who.

You're right that CMG has more than its quota of nutcases.

ChamberNut

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Re: Mozart a fraud?
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2009, 09:10:38 AM »
Newman was banned from CMG because he upset a few of the CMG locals, one in particular, and you might be able to guess who.

You're right that CMG has more than its quota of nutcases.

And Newman would resurface, on occasion, under a woman's name.  0:)

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Mozart a fraud?
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2009, 09:13:12 AM »
"Dear Robert".

That rings a bell. As for the alleged book, I think we oughtn't to expect anything worthwhile from this fraud or to participate in any way in his publicity schemes.

Dr. Dread

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Re: Mozart a fraud?
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2009, 09:14:22 AM »
Everyone knows that Ms. Elaine Smith of Eagle Grove, Iowa traveled back in time to write Mozart's music. She did this because gray aliens implanted the suggestion in her brain. They also supplied the time machine which is now on display in the Smithsonian.

Offline Holly

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Re: Mozart a fraud?
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2009, 09:24:15 AM »

Out of curiosity for those who've run across Mr Newman, where else has he trolled?

Newman has been trotting out his views about the alleged fakery of W A Mozart and J Haydn for several years on a variety of music Boards, one after the other.  I believe the chronological order of the main ones was: “OpenMozart”, “Mozart Forum”, “Beethoven Reference Site”, “CMG”, “Talk-Classical”, “Classical Music Mayhem”.  The first of these no longer exists.  On each of these Boards he suffered a bruising from the vast majority of those he came into contact with, and was banned from at least 5 of them.   As far as I know, the only one he wasn't banned from was the last, CMM. 

Newman had a long run at Talk-Classical from October 2006 until about November 2007.  Most of Newman’s theses were set out at there,  where he ranged far and wide over various aspects of the subject.  He raised several threads, but THIS thread was the first and longest-running.  The whole foul plot was allegedly organised by the Jesuit Order which, having been banned by the Pope, was anxious to get themselves re-instated and did so by currying favour with the Austrian Emperor by promoting music by German composers at the expense of the Italians.  Mozart and Haydn happened to be convenient receivers of quality music composed by a number of others.  Thus, Newman argued that Mozart and Haydn wrote virtually nothing of any importance, and it was all the work of others, including especially a man called Andrea Luchesi, who was Kapellmeister at Bonn (where LvB was a student). 

All of these theories were challenged at T-C and ultimately became subject to much derision.  When pressed to produce evidence, it was always very vague, and he kept shifting ground when he felt the heat coming on.  The allegations became more annd more unconvincing.  In the end there was a spoof thread, as a piss-taking exercise, HERE, which summarised the nonsenses in Newman's position and in particular his method of arguing.  This thread saw the beginning of the end for poor old Newman as he was left floundering around trying to maintain some credibility.  After a year or so, Newman's venture at T-C ended in tears and he was banned, just as he had been from CMG prior to his arrival at T-C, and before that at the BRS. 

After leaving T-C, he moved to CMM where he enjoyed the protection of Corkin.  There Newman decided to concentrate on one main aspect which was some weird theory that Le Nozze was not composed by WAM, as an earlier version had allegedly been discovered by some Italian researchers.  A few Mozart experts from the Mozart Forum turned up to dispute all this, and the discussion ran for a long time but fizzled out last Autumn when it became obvious he didn't have a leg to stand on. 

Newman’s time at CMM ended mysteriously in November 2008 when he suddenly stopped posting without explanation. At that time he joined “Magle International” and has been there since.  Until very recently he has made no mention of his views on Mozart/Haydn, and appears to have been grooming the locals on that Board into believing that he has no hidden agenda.  Now, possibly prompted by a stooge colleague who set up a suitable question, he has sprung into action again on his anti-Mozart theme.  The way it has been introduced and encouraged looks very peculiar, and it seems very strange that the management should allow a re-run of all this Newmanry when only a year or so ago they banned him on the sister site, T-C.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2009, 09:29:35 AM by Holly »

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Mozart a fraud?
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2009, 09:31:52 AM »
Everyone knows that Ms. Elaine Smith of Eagle Grove, Iowa traveled back in time to write Mozart's music. She did this because gray aliens implanted the suggestion in her brain. They also supplied the time machine which is now on display in the Smithsonian.

I thought the ones responsible for the implant were the blue whale aliens. Isn't it true that - according to a suburban legend - they forgot some of their kind behind, which dumped down to become regular blue whales after watching too much Beavis & Butthead?

Offline DavidRoss

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Re: Mozart a fraud?
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2009, 09:38:23 AM »
He had a wonderful way of presenting his "evidence," though. Very eloquent writing and all, but nothing more.
We should be grateful, then, that he hasn't applied this talent to electoral politics, otherwise he'd probably be running the Senate by now.

Welcome to GMG, Holly.  Since there's no train wreck outside right now I couldn't help but read your summary of Newman's (think Seinfeld) internet travels and travails.  It's not surprising that Corkin took him under wing, I suppose (birds of a feather), nor that it took that band of rocket scientists some time to discover that his ravings have no substance.

I hope you will stick around and further regale us with tales collected during a life well (if not profitably) spent.  Clearly you are literate up the wazoo!

And Min-es-so-tah Dave: Thank you so much for the plot preview of your next book.  BTW, how did those British awards turn out for you?
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