Author Topic: Mozart  (Read 82924 times)

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Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Mozart
« Reply #1020 on: December 03, 2016, 01:36:20 PM »
This is a book review I started three years ago. But G.Pieler and I didn't find a suitable outlet in print and our common Forbes column folded. Now I wanted to publish it solo, but Forbes has a (actually very commendable) policy of not letting contributors review each other's books. It's probably meant to avoid shills, more than take-downs, but fair enough. But I wasn't going to sit on this review for another year. This book is so incredibly bad, such an absolutely lazy opinioneering hack job... so choc full of mistakes... it absolutely needed to be written about. It starts with mixing up Richard and Johann Strauss (attributing to the former "Die Fledermaus" while pointing out that it is an exemplar of specifically Bavarian humor in music) and gets worse from there. I'd like to think the review is still worth reading... we've cobbled together some good quotes from musicians to counter his nonsense.

Still, I've bothered to create an annotated discography for the book


The Worst Mozart Biography Ever. Paul Johnson: «Mozart -- A Life»


http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-worst-mozart-biography-ever-paul.html




Paul Johnson “Mozart: A Life” — The Discography, Part 1 (Keyboard Sonatas, Chamber Music)

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2016/12/paul-johnson-mozart-life-discography.html



Paul Johnson “Mozart: A Life” — The Discography, Part 2 (Chamber Music, Concertos, Serenades)

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2016/12/paul-johnson-mozart-life-discography_2.html



Paul Johnson “Mozart: A Life” — The Discography, Part 3 (Symphonies, Opera, Sacred Music)

http://ionarts.blogspot.com/2016/12/paul-johnson-mozart-life-discography3.html



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Offline Mahlerian

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Re: Mozart
« Reply #1021 on: December 03, 2016, 03:01:36 PM »
That sounds like a thoroughly awful book.  This Mozart fan will be sure to avoid it.

Offline řrfeo

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Re: Mozart
« Reply #1022 on: December 03, 2016, 03:17:39 PM »
Ouch. It sounds like a train wreck.
I am now working on a discography of the works of Vagn Holmboe. Please visit and also contribute!

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Mozart
« Reply #1023 on: December 03, 2016, 03:41:12 PM »
Paul Johnson has written a 'crap load' of books on all sorts of topics, some long tomes and others too short to really cover their topics - reviews mixed (believe that I've read a few over the years, like A History of the Jews - check his Amazon listings HERE - will skip the Wolfie book, already have a handful of good ones on my bookshelf - Dave :)

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Mozart
« Reply #1024 on: December 03, 2016, 05:19:50 PM »
Paul Johnson has written a 'crap load' of books on all sorts of topics, some long tomes and others too short to really cover their topics - reviews mixed (believe that I've read a few over the years, like A History of the Jews - check his Amazon listings HERE - will skip the Wolfie book, already have a handful of good ones on my bookshelf - Dave :)

He was once very esteemed by me; even more so my circle in and around school. He was on the right side of British history (many would argue the opposite, though) and "Modern Times" was a standard when I was in college. But I suspect that on re-reading it, I would find it quite bad. I know if the Bertrand Russell bothered me so much then, I'd probably find a lot more of those ad hominem attacks and other completely untenable claims. I am sure it increased with age, but he's ultimately not a fine mind; he's too partisan and too ideological for it. The Gloria Stewart affair, when I found out about it (loooong after the fact) didn't endear him to me; moral finger-wagging in public and hypocrisy just don't go well together. And at some point he seems to have just cranked out 'biographies' of his favorite people in history: Washington, Jesus, Churchill, Darwin, Napoleon, Socrates... and I suppose Viking asked him: Who will you be writing about next? He scratched his head and, seeing the Beecham Magic Flute on his desc, he told them: How about Mozart. Oh, sure. Sounds great. And we won't even need to edit it, because none of the readers will know anything about it. In some ways (but only the looks and general outlook and mainly the good bits) he very much reminds me of the main author of Surprised by Beauty, except a lot less refined in his arguments by now and with not a tenth of the latter's musical taste.

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Mozart
« Reply #1025 on: December 03, 2016, 06:27:43 PM »
He was once very esteemed by me; even more so my circle in and around school. He was on the right side of British history (many would argue the opposite, though) and "Modern Times" was a standard when I was in college. But I suspect that on re-reading it, I would find it quite bad. I know if the Bertrand Russell bothered me so much then, I'd probably find a lot more of those ad hominem attacks and other completely untenable claims. I am sure it increased with age, but he's ultimately not a fine mind; he's too partisan and too ideological for it. The Gloria Stewart affair, when I found out about it (loooong after the fact) didn't endear him to me; moral finger-wagging in public and hypocrisy just don't go well together. And at some point he seems to have just cranked out 'biographies' of his favorite people in history: Washington, Jesus, Churchill, Darwin, Napoleon, Socrates... and I suppose Viking asked him: Who will you be writing about next? He scratched his head and, seeing the Beecham Magic Flute on his desc, he told them: How about Mozart. Oh, sure. Sounds great. And we won't even need to edit it, because none of the readers will know anything about it. In some ways (but only the looks and general outlook and mainly the good bits) he very much reminds me of the main author of Surprised by Beauty, except a lot less refined in his arguments by now and with not a tenth of the latter's musical taste.

Funny Jens:laugh:  Over the years, I've looked at buying a number of his books but after reading the reviews, declined a purchase(s) - others have done much better - enjoyed your descriptions above - and welcome back!  Dave :)

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Mozart
« Reply #1026 on: December 15, 2016, 03:55:39 AM »
More Mozart, but Daddy-O.

Assuming he's got no thread of his own and also considering that the symphony in question has been attributed to Jr., too:

Classical CD Of The Week: Mozart Pčre's Reputation Rescued



http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/12/14/classical-cd-of-the-week-mozart-peres-reputation-rescued/#3d42b1d65cb7

Offline Florestan

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Re: Mozart
« Reply #1027 on: January 21, 2017, 03:07:02 AM »
In 1950 the explorer Alain Gheerbrant set off
on an expedition into the forests of the Orinoco
and Amazon Basins. He carried with him a few
records of music, among which was a Mozart
symphony, which he intended to play to the
Indian tribes he was hoping to discover there. In
his book recounting the expedition1 he describes
the meeting between Mozart and the Makiritares:

"Diego having reached the end of his song,
we put on our precious Mozart symphony. This
record really exercises a magical power over all
Indians. Despite all their hesitations, even the
young women cannnot resist: they come out of
the hut one after the other and sit down to listen.
. . . The music of Mozart possesses an indefinable
charm, in the truest sense, acting like a mysterious
potion to which no Indian is immune. On them
as on us this record has a soothing effect: one's
body relaxes and one's very soul seems to breathe.
. . . This is not the kind of music that forces
people to sit stock-still with a frozen look on their
faces. It unlocks all the most secret recesses of
one's being, it is a balm. ...

"I don't know whether music is really the
universal language it is said to be, but never will
I forget that it was thanks to a Mozart symphony
that we were able, on rare occasions, to bridge
almost entirely the gulf created between the
Indians and ourselves by centuries of 'civiliza¬
tion' "

Mozart was by far the Indians' favourite,
much preferred to Rameau or to military music.
Alain Gheerbrant later informed the musicolo¬
gist Jean-Victor Hocquard2 that the Mozart
symphony in question was the symphony in F
major, K. 184 (composed in Salzburg in 1774).
He al~o told him how a tribal chieftain, after
hearing Mozart, suddenly said to him out of the
blue: "Since you too possess a sacred music, I can
reveal secrets to you. . . ." The explorer was thus
able to hear a story recounting the origin and des¬
cent of the gods which would not otherwise have
been divulged to him.


Article from Unesco Courier, July 1991. The whole volume, focused on Mozart, here: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0008/000888/088837eo.pdf

EDIT: KV 184 is actually in E-flat major and composed in 1773.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2017, 10:41:26 AM by Florestan »
Delight and liberty, the simple creed of childhood. - William Wordsworth

I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts. - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Mozart
« Reply #1028 on: March 18, 2017, 12:53:18 PM »
Plea for help:


WAM
The Piano Sonatas
Andras Schiff
Decca


Can anyone tell me what the recording dates (earliest and last) of the Schiff Decca Mozart Piano SONATA cycle are?

Thanks ever so much!

Jens

Offline Draško

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Re: Mozart
« Reply #1029 on: March 19, 2017, 06:40:06 AM »
Can anyone tell me what the recording dates (earliest and last) of the Schiff Decca Mozart Piano SONATA cycle are?

I don't have the set but DG website gives January - February 1980 for all sonatas.
de gustibus, aut bene aut nihil

Offline Jo498

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Re: Mozart
« Reply #1030 on: March 19, 2017, 06:58:10 AM »
This date agrees with the single disc  I have containing KV 309 and 311 of Schiff's sonata recordings (+ K 271 from the 1991 "Mozart almanac" series).
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Mozart
« Reply #1031 on: March 19, 2017, 07:07:14 AM »
I don't have the set but DG website gives January - February 1980 for all sonatas.

Thanks ever so much. Funny they gave it and the Decca site, where I looked, didn't. Also chimes with what I've gleaned.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Mozart
« Reply #1032 on: March 19, 2017, 09:33:19 AM »

Finished (for now!)

111,000 characters of html-code; countless re-starts after code-FUBARs... and with a LOT of help from fellow GMGers, my most ambitious discography to date* has been brought up to date:




A Survey of Mozart Piano Sonata Cycles




80 (!) different Mozart Piano Sonata Cycles exist, by my count.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Mozart
« Reply #1033 on: March 19, 2017, 09:57:26 AM »
Finished (for now!)

111,000 characters of html-code; countless re-starts after code-FUBARs... and with a LOT of help from fellow GMGers, my most ambitious discography to date* has been brought up to date:




A Survey of Mozart Piano Sonata Cycles




80 (!) different Mozart Piano Sonata Cycles exist, by my count.

Well done and congratulations on the finished product. A fine resource to be aware of   8)
The ability to talk comes with knowledge. The ability to listen comes with wisdom.

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Mozart
« Reply #1035 on: March 22, 2017, 02:46:44 PM »
Finished (for now!)

111,000 characters of html-code; countless re-starts after code-FUBARs... and with a LOT of help from fellow GMGers, my most ambitious discography to date* has been brought up to date:




A Survey of Mozart Piano Sonata Cycles




80 (!) different Mozart Piano Sonata Cycles exist, by my count.

Excellent, Jens. What a project! I think it will take me a little while to work my way through it... :)

8)
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Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Mozart
« Reply #1036 on: March 22, 2017, 03:05:03 PM »
Excellent, Jens. What a project! I think it will take me a little while to work my way through it... :)

8)

Thanks for the kind words and the interest! And I've JUST added another cycle to it, so it's now 81 cycles to chose from!  ???

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Mozart
« Reply #1037 on: March 22, 2017, 03:09:57 PM »
Thanks for the kind words and the interest! And I've JUST added another cycle to it, so it's now 81 cycles to chose from!  ???

Yikes! :o I suspect new cycles will be non-stop, really, rather the situation of Todd with Beethoven.

I have a mere dozen, probably won't get too many more, maybe 2 or 3... :-\  :D

8)
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Offline JRJoseph

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Re: Mozart
« Reply #1038 on: March 22, 2017, 03:48:58 PM »
Frankly, I don't know what you guys are writing about.  I have the 225 Mozart box with everything he composed in it along with some doubtful works but you don't seem to be writing very much about Mozart.  Maybe I am overtired and it is my fault.  Is there another Mozart thread I can latch onto?

Offline SurprisedByBeauty

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Re: Mozart
« Reply #1039 on: March 22, 2017, 03:57:15 PM »
Yikes! :o I suspect new cycles will be non-stop, really, rather the situation of Todd with Beethoven.

I have a mere dozen, probably won't get too many more, maybe 2 or 3... :-\  :D

8)

A dozen beats me, certainly.

I have, let me see:

Arrau, Bezuidenhout (but for a few volumes), 1/2 Biegel, Eschenbach, Gould, Larrocha, Pires II, Say, Uchida, and, I'm pretty sure, Wuertz. (I think I have the Mozart Brilliant box, after all...). I have all of Youn, so far, which might be my favorite. And I plan to get two specific more sets, I think.

Still, that's plenty, at 9 complete sets. (Well, Say is arriving in the next few days, I was told; that I'm looking forward to.) Pianists that I regret don't have a cycle are Pletnev and Fu Tsong.

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