Author Topic: K 299 recommendations  (Read 329 times)

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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: K 299 recommendations
« Reply #20 on: November 23, 2020, 09:57:10 AM »
It's not a piece to 'dig in deep'. I agree with you on that. But it works really well for me on a calm autumnal Sunday. ;)
The horn and clarinet concertos show however that Mozart was probably more attracted to those wind instruments. Or, even more likely perhaps, he was more impressed by the skills of the musicians who had to play them.

While that's true, I would also add though that Mozart was ca. 22 years old when he wrote the F&H concerto, and though it's hard to say he got older since he died so young, he wrote the horn concertos after several years in Vienna, and the clarinet concerto was one of his last pieces for orchestra. The F&H was written in the 1770's, in France, for a Frenchman. It seems like apples v. oranges... :-\

Quote
Composed most likely in Apr 1778 in Paris; for the Count of Guines and his daughter. 
Köchel 6

Just a contextual thought... :)

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Re: K 299 recommendations
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2020, 10:19:18 AM »
While that's true, I would also add though that Mozart was ca. 22 years old when he wrote the F&H concerto, and though it's hard to say he got older since he died so young, he wrote the horn concertos after several years in Vienna, and the clarinet concerto was one of his last pieces for orchestra. The F&H was written in the 1770's, in France, for a Frenchman. It seems like apples v. oranges... :-\

Just a contextual thought... :)

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Good point and point taken.
On the other hand, Mozart had already composed much more inspired music for other ensembles and settings. For instance in the six string quartets KV 168–173. His own piano(forte) skills, and those of Victoire Jenamy, inspired him to compose KV 175 and KV 271. The first one is a great concerto, the latter is a true masterpiece. And operas like Lucio Silla and La fina giardiniera, composed in 1772 and 1775, already showed many signs of his genius. Because opera and singing voices of certain qualities inspired him... I think. Maybe more than the Duc de Guînes or Ferdinand DeJean?

I do admit though that it remains a guessing game.

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: K 299 recommendations
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2020, 11:15:23 AM »
Good point and point taken.
On the other hand, Mozart had already composed much more inspired music for other ensembles and settings. For instance in the six string quartets KV 168–173. His own piano(forte) skills, and those of Victoire Jenamy, inspired him to compose KV 175 and KV 271. The first one is a great concerto, the latter is a true masterpiece. And operas like Lucio Silla and La fina giardiniera, composed in 1772 and 1775, already showed many signs of his genius. Because opera and singing voices of certain qualities inspired him... I think. Maybe more than the Duc de Guînes or Ferdinand DeJean?

I do admit though that it remains a guessing game.

Yes, his operatic skills were in a class of their own, the inspiration from composing an opera was sufficient for anything, it seems.

As much as anything though, it was the ensemble ('genre', if you please) which seemed to do the trick. Even in those early days, string quartets already had the cachet of exclusivity which put them above and beyond either the concerto or the symphony, both of which were considered occasional (in the sense of 'for an occasion') music and rather more throwaway than permanent. For that matter, so were the orchestral serenades. We are fortunate that Leopold had the foresight (based on greed, perhaps, but who cares?) to save every scrap Mozart wrote. But when Mozart told Leopold in a letter from Paris that he wasn't able to get the score back for the Sinfonia concertante but he would recreate it when he got home:

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I am therefore bringing no finished work with me except my sonatas - for Le Gros purchased from me the two overtures and the sinfonia concertante. He thinks that he alone has them, but he is wrong, for they are still fresh in my mind and, as soon as I get home, I shall write them down again.  Emily Anderson: "Letters of Mozart & His Family"

I believe he was actually doing this for Leopold rather than because he had any expectation for performance or sale. Just like these other works from Mannheim and Paris, including, on topic, the current work:

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As soon as they are ready (i.e. - copied), I shall send them to you by some carefully thought out means (and as economically as possible), together with your 'Violinschule' (in French??) , Vogler's book on composition,• Hüllmandel's sonatas, Schröter's concertos, a few of my clavier sonatas,  the symphony I composed for the Concert Spirituel, my sinfonia concertante,  two flute quartets and my concerto for harp and flute. Emily Anderson: "Letters of Mozart & His Family"

The only things among these which seemed to receive a longer life due to their return are the Keyboard sonatas from Mannheim & Paris and the Keyboard & Violin Sonatas.  Even though the balance of these works lived on, of course, they only did so because Leopold saved them, not because some enterprising publisher bought them up and distributed them widely.

Why, you ask, do I bring this all up? Well, I felt like typing today, so there it is. No, seriously, it's because of that genre thing, I think that the appreciation of most of Mozart's works outside of the operas (and even then...) and the 'serious' genres like string quartets, was at best fleeting. Yes, people loved the piano concerto they heard last night, but that's about it. They didn't love it over and over again, because they didn't hear it over and over again. They already heard it, loved it, and were ready for a new one. And (finally!!) I think this is why Mozart wasn't as inspired in some genres as he was in others. The love for much of this music was not developed for decades down the road, long after the opportunity for inspiration had passed by.

Anyway, that's what I think. :)

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Offline Dave B

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Re: K 299 recommendations
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2020, 11:25:33 AM »
Always interesting to listen to these insightful conversations, chiefly because my knowledge of classical music is so basic, if that.

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Re: K 299 recommendations
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2020, 11:43:09 AM »
Yes, his operatic skills were in a class of their own, the inspiration from composing an opera was sufficient for anything, it seems.

As much as anything though, it was the ensemble ('genre', if you please) which seemed to do the trick. Even in those early days, string quartets already had the cachet of exclusivity which put them above and beyond either the concerto or the symphony, both of which were considered occasional (in the sense of 'for an occasion') music and rather more throwaway than permanent. For that matter, so were the orchestral serenades. We are fortunate that Leopold had the foresight (based on greed, perhaps, but who cares?) to save every scrap Mozart wrote. But when Mozart told Leopold in a letter from Paris that he wasn't able to get the score back for the Sinfonia concertante but he would recreate it when he got home:

I believe he was actually doing this for Leopold rather than because he had any expectation for performance or sale. Just like these other works from Mannheim and Paris, including, on topic, the current work:

The only things among these which seemed to receive a longer life due to their return are the Keyboard sonatas from Mannheim & Paris and the Keyboard & Violin Sonatas.  Even though the balance of these works lived on, of course, they only did so because Leopold saved them, not because some enterprising publisher bought them up and distributed them widely.

Why, you ask, do I bring this all up? Well, I felt like typing today, so there it is. No, seriously, it's because of that genre thing, I think that the appreciation of most of Mozart's works outside of the operas (and even then...) and the 'serious' genres like string quartets, was at best fleeting. Yes, people loved the piano concerto they heard last night, but that's about it. They didn't love it over and over again, because they didn't hear it over and over again. They already heard it, loved it, and were ready for a new one. And (finally!!) I think this is why Mozart wasn't as inspired in some genres as he was in others. The love for much of this music was not developed for decades down the road, long after the opportunity for inspiration had passed by.

Anyway, that's what I think. :)

8)

Carry on typing, mr. Blanston. ;)
Again: valid points. In fact: so many valid points, that, at this time, I do not have an exquisite reaction. I even can't think of anything to mock or insult you. :laugh:
What exactly triggered Mozart's inspiration and skills the best? Let it remain a mystery. Maybe Love is the Answer? Love for the genre, love for the instrument, love for the skills of the performer(s), or... falling in love with the performer or with the performer's part/character (in an opera), at least for a short while?

As a human being, Mozart was a Lover. :-*

:)

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: K 299 recommendations
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2020, 12:01:06 PM »
Always interesting to listen to these insightful conversations, chiefly because my knowledge of classical music is so basic, if that.

Well, Dave, mine is too. Several years ago I trimmed down what I wanted to learn because there was so damned much that my pea-brain wouldn't hold it all. So, Vienna, 1750-1829, but especially Haydn and Mozart. If you actually have a yen for depth instead of breadth, narrowing your focus is something I recommend. :)

Carry on typing, mr. Blanston. ;)
Again: valid points. In fact: so many valid points, that, at this time, I do not have an exquisite reaction. I even can't think of anything to mock or insult you. :laugh:
What exactly triggered Mozart's inspiration and skills the best? Let it remain a mystery. Maybe Love is the Answer? Love for the genre, love for the instrument, love for the skills of the performer(s), or... falling in love with the performer or with the performer's part/character (in an opera), at least for a short while?

As a human being, Mozart was a Lover. :-*

:)

I very much agree with your last. I think people have been given a false impression that he was a bit of an ars'le, but if you look at his relationships with people that were based on mutual respect, such as the impresario in Prague whose name currently escapes me, or with various musicians, and most especially with Haydn, what you see is a very intelligent young man who absolutely loved music, and most especially the music which attained the highest levels of respect. Since we have been culturally despoiled by the 19th century, we have to think a bit before we realize that these genres are opera, oratorio and Church music. IOW: singing. He was seemingly infatuated with all things to do with formal singing, and thus his inspiration. He couldn't know in 1780 that by 1850, instrumental music would be at the Top of the Charts!  :D

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Re: K 299 recommendations
« Reply #26 on: November 23, 2020, 12:15:20 PM »
Well, Dave, mine is too. Several years ago I trimmed down what I wanted to learn because there was so damned much that my pea-brain wouldn't hold it all. So, Vienna, 1750-1829, but especially Haydn and Mozart. If you actually have a yen for depth instead of breadth, narrowing your focus is something I recommend. :)

I very much agree with your last. I think people have been given a false impression that he was a bit of an ars'le, but if you look at his relationships with people that were based on mutual respect, such as the impresario in Prague whose name currently escapes me, or with various musicians, and most especially with Haydn, what you see is a very intelligent young man who absolutely loved music, and most especially the music which attained the highest levels of respect. [...]

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He may not have been the 'average' young man in his attitude and behaviour all the time, he might have been thoughtless and even arrogant at the wrong moments, but when I listen to his operas, I have the feeling that he had a truly great understanding of and empathy for his fellow human beings, with all their good qualities and their faults. He loved Ilia and Susanna, he had fun with Leporello, he felt for Donna Elvira and he managed to create sympathetic feelings for jealous bitches like Elektra and Marzellina, and even for 'Bad Manners' Don Giovanni or Il Conte Almaviva. And, at his peak, the inspiration, the themes and the melodies he created for these characters found their place in his 'singing' instrumental compositions, too.

A bit off-topic, but it's still about music and about mr. Mozart. :)

Offline Dave B

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Re: K 299 recommendations
« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2020, 12:47:06 PM »
Any discussion about Mozart is enjoyable. ....I thought that in my reading i got the distinct impression that he was a very friendly individual, subject of course to the normal ups and downs that we all have. But overall, gregarious.  At least that's where my reading has led me.

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: K 299 recommendations
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2020, 02:11:41 PM »
Any discussion about Mozart is enjoyable. ....I thought that in my reading i got the distinct impression that he was a very friendly individual, subject of course to the normal ups and downs that we all have. But overall, gregarious.  At least that's where my reading has led me.

Yes, that's essentially true, but he also had a very sharp tongue and used it freely against people who he thought might have 'done him wrong', whether they actually did or not. I don't know if that makes him very different from anyone else, in this age or that, or if it just stands out because it's Mozart. Here's an interesting biography that really puts in some context (which is what I'm all about!):




Big book, great read.

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Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: K 299 recommendations
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2020, 02:17:40 PM »
He may not have been the 'average' young man in his attitude and behaviour all the time, he might have been thoughtless and even arrogant at the wrong moments, but when I listen to his operas, I have the feeling that he had a truly great understanding of and empathy for his fellow human beings, with all their good qualities and their faults. He loved Ilia and Susanna, he had fun with Leporello, he felt for Donna Elvira and he managed to create sympathetic feelings for jealous bitches like Elektra and Marzellina, and even for 'Bad Manners' Don Giovanni or Il Conte Almaviva. And, at his peak, the inspiration, the themes and the melodies he created for these characters found their place in his 'singing' instrumental compositions, too.

A bit off-topic, but it's still about music and about mr. Mozart. :)

Yes, I think also that his empathy for his subjects is what pushed him into writing so well for them. It wasn't just doing a job, as many composers seemed to do in those days, it was trying to breathe life into the thing. That's why he worked over his librettists so hard (the backstory of Idomeneo has a great example), he wanted the finished product to be great on its own and to outlive him, I believe. He did a lot of great writing for instrumental music, but opera was doubtless where he was born into. :)

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Offline Scion7

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Re: K 299 recommendations
« Reply #30 on: November 23, 2020, 02:44:16 PM »
These. (click the image)



No idea of whether they have been re-issued for CD,
but if not, drag out your gramophone and search eBay or used record shoppes.
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The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline Jo498

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Re: K 299 recommendations
« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2020, 01:15:01 AM »
Any discussion about Mozart is enjoyable. ....I thought that in my reading i got the distinct impression that he was a very friendly individual, subject of course to the normal ups and downs that we all have. But overall, gregarious.  At least that's where my reading has led me.
He was a workaholic, extremely active also with dancing and other leisure activities, very much in love with his wife (and maybe some others, although there is very little actual evidence for unfaithfulness, even less for frequent amours), proud, prone to spend money on pretty red coats and rent for spacious apartments but also for the bath cures for his wife or an elite boarding school for his son (there was the hypothesis that he gambled lots of money away but this has somewhat fallen out of favor, AFAIK).
A fascinating book is Braunbehrens: Mozart in Vienna (Mozart in Wien) about the last 10 years of his life. It was almost sensational when it came out about 30 years ago around the 1991 anniversary because it deflated so many legends around Mozart's life and death. Some of its points might have been superseded by more recent research but it is a very good and readable book, I highly recommend it.
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)