Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mozart and Mendelssohn Got Their Way - Two Curious Events,,,

I would invite any of you reading this blog  who are professional musicians to let me know if you might have experienced an event or events  similar to the following  "encounters"  which I underwent as a student:
On two different occasions, each event about two years apart, I prevailed over my piano teacher as regards choice:
The first event:   I insisted that I learn the Mozart piano concerto K.488, in spite of the reality that my teacher had planned on my learning another work at that particular time. I had just received an answer from the acclaimed musicologist and  historian Alfred Einstein; an answer to a letter I had written him,  asking about  tempi in Mozart as applied to the projection of bel canto in his piano music. I was so enamored of his answer that I insisted that I learn that particular concerto for two reasons; one, that Einstein himself considered the K.488  as fine a concerto as any other in that form in the Mozart repertoire - and, two; the glorious romanticism of the second movement -  most specifically, the combine of tempo and  'singing.'
My teacher, as I recall, was not too happy about my attempt to override his choice of music. I cannot remember the sequence of events; but, I got my way!
Event number two was an announcing to my poor, suffering pedagogue of the moment that it was my intention to learn the daunting  Variations Serieuses of Mendelssohn as soon as possible, primarily because it  was, as I now recall, the only one of three sets of variations  Mendelssohn wrote that was published DURING his short life, and that this aspect of human drama appealed to me; and, of course, it was a wonderful work, arguably the best of his variations. Again, I cannot recall the possible squabbles I may have encountered with the teacher - but AGAIN! I got my way! It took about a year, but I learned it.
The prodding question remains:
WHY did I get my way?

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