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Author Topic: Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?  (Read 7170 times)

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Offline Sarastro

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Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?
« on: September 19, 2009, 07:52:28 PM »
Woody Allen once said that Mozart's Symphony 41 proved the existence of God. The reason being that the combination of the five themes in the five-part counterpoint fugato is so complex that it is impossible for the human ear to sense everything that is going on. Only God could completely grasp its profundity. I also heard just recently from several people that Mozart's 41st is so perfect that it is even scary.

Is it just a way to praise Mozart with peculiar epithets or it might have substance behind it? After all, we, humans, kinda appreciate Mozart and his music. I am pleased to think that I can comprehend Mozart's perfection. :D

ChamberNut

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Re: Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2009, 07:58:03 PM »
Well, I would say yes if Mr. Allen had referred to the 40th.  ;D 0:)

Offline Opus106

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Re: Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2009, 08:05:10 PM »
Only God could completely grasp its profundity.

If you [Mr. Allen] assume God's existence and seem to know his listening abilities, then why try to prove it?

K. 551 just proves that there was one brilliant music composer called Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.*





*I would rather not spoil this thread by providing references to Newman's claims.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2009, 04:43:56 AM by opus106 »
Regards,
Navneeth

Offline Mozart

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Re: Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2009, 08:07:29 PM »
Not that any confirmation is necessary, but absolutely.
"I am the musical tree, eat of my fruit and your spirit shall rejoiceth!"
- Amadeus 6:26

Offline LapsangS

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Re: Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2009, 11:27:49 PM »
But then there are many (other) Mozart symphonies that are utter crap (sorry fanboys) A very uneven set. Which proves that Mozart too was just a human being.  ;D

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2009, 12:06:30 AM »
Woody Allen once said that Mozart's Symphony 41 proved the existence of God. The reason being that the combination of the five themes in the five-part counterpoint fugato is so complex that it is impossible for the human ear to sense everything that is going on. Only God could completely grasp its profundity.

Given this "explanation", I'd have to say no. There's no reason for such empty exaggerations, we already know the Jupiter Symphony is great music.  8)

WI Dan

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Re: Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2009, 03:59:42 AM »
Woody Allen once said that Mozart's Symphony 41 proved the existence of God. The reason being that the combination of the five themes in the five-part counterpoint fugato is so complex that it is impossible for the human ear to sense everything that is going on. Only God could completely grasp its profundity.

The same thing happens when my wife and her sisters get to gabbin' all at once.  The Lord only knows ....

I have to vote "No".



Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2009, 04:20:43 AM »
But then there are many (other) Mozart symphonies that are utter crap (sorry fanboys)

Probably just the ones he did not write himself, - ask a certain Newmann.   ;D

DavidW

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Re: Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2009, 06:22:56 AM »
If Iago was with us, you just know what he would say! >:D  Anyway, here's what I have to say:

That passage in the grand scheme of things is not that complex.  If you want complexity, don't look at a five part fugue, instead look at a Fourier decomposition of someone talking.  For a work that's supposedly too complex to hear all at once, it was still written, and people can see it in writing, and people can perform it.  That doesn't exactly seem transcendent to me.

Complexity is not the same as profundity.  What should be admired in great music is beauty, not complexity.

Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2009, 06:26:55 AM »
I thought Mr. Allen was a rabid unbeliever?

DavidW

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Re: Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2009, 06:30:04 AM »
I thought Mr. Allen was a rabid unbeliever?

Oh ho ho, I didn't know that!  What was his game then?  What did that comment really mean?  Or was that not actually a quote from him but a line from a character he played in a movie?  Inquiring minds want to know! :)

Offline Greg

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Re: Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2009, 06:41:44 AM »
Woody Allen once said that Mozart's Symphony 41 proved the existence of God. The reason being that the combination of the five themes in the five-part counterpoint fugato is so complex that it is impossible for the human ear to sense everything that is going on. Only God could completely grasp its profundity. I also heard just recently from several people that Mozart's 41st is so perfect that it is even scary.

Is it just a way to praise Mozart with peculiar epithets or it might have substance behind it? After all, we, humans, kinda appreciate Mozart and his music. I am pleased to think that I can comprehend Mozart's perfection. :D
Funny, I just finished looking at a small contrapuntal example from that symphony.
Be a little more extreme in this technique and you have Ligeti's Lontano...

DavidW

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Re: Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2009, 06:44:45 AM »
I found it.  Woody Allen playing the character Isaac Davis in the movie Manhattan (which I've seen but too long ago to remember) said the following

Quote from: Isaac Davis
Why is life worth living? It's a very good question. Um... Well, There are certain things I guess that make it worthwhile. uh... Like what... okay... um... For me, uh... ooh... I would say... what, Groucho Marx, to name one thing... uh... um... and Wilie Mays... and um... the 2nd movement of the Jupiter Symphony... and um... Louis Armstrong, recording of Potato Head Blues... um... Swedish movies, naturally... Sentimental Education by Flaubert... uh... Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra... um... those incredible Apples and Pears by Cezanne... uh... the crabs at Sam Wo's... uh... Tracy's face...

I think that somehow that became distorted over time.  I think the quote might have been pulled out of thin air (not by Sarasto, I'm saying by someone in the past) as a misremembered garbled version of what was seen in the movis and when it was repeated enough it was accepted as a legitimate quote.

I might be wrong, but if I am you still know that Woodie Allen didn't say it to be taken literally either.

Offline Brian

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Re: Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2009, 08:00:17 AM »
Rob Newman asks ... Does Mozart's Symphony No. 41 prove the existence of Mozart?

DavidW

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Re: Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2009, 08:53:44 AM »
Rob Newman asks ... Does Luchesi Mozart's Symphony No. 41 prove the existence of Mozart?

Fixed it. ;D

Haffner

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Re: Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2009, 12:02:42 PM »
I don't know whether it "proves the existence of God", but it's a phenomenal piece. But we all knew that, right? I had trouble with the repeats when I first started listening, but continued immersion solved that.

I actually find the Heiliger Dankesang , and the preludes to Lohengrin and Tannhauser to be the most Affirming pieces for me. I've experienced something approximating a rapturous experience with those pieces, practically every time I've heard them.

But we all knew that, too, huh? ;)

Offline Herman

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Re: Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2009, 01:01:09 PM »
I found it.  Woody Allen playing the character Isaac Davis in the movie Manhattan (which I've seen but too long ago to remember) said the following

I think that somehow that became distorted over time.  I think the quote might have been pulled out of thin air (not by Sarasto, I'm saying by someone in the past) as a misremembered garbled version of what was seen in the movies and when it was repeated enough it was accepted as a legitimate quote.

I might be wrong, but if I am you still know that Woodie Allen didn't say it to be taken literally either.

Still, it's good to be reminded of the greatness of Flaubert's L'Education sentimentale, too. (It would have been much easier to mention Mme Bovary.)

ChamberNut

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Re: Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2009, 02:24:33 PM »
I wonder if this is another piece that Papageno loves so much he wants to shoot himself.  ???

WI Dan

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Re: Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2009, 03:36:01 PM »
I wonder if this is another piece that Papageno loves so much he wants to shoot himself.  ???

Does he realize how loud that would be?    :o

Offline Brian

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Re: Does Mozart's Symphony No.41 prove the existence of God?
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2009, 03:42:31 PM »
Does he realize how loud that would be?    :o
Yeah, it would definitely ruin the atmosphere in the slow movement. ;)

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