Saturday, October 11, 2014

Gerard Schwarz - A Pregnant Statement About Mozart Tells Me More About Haydn...

During the period when the American conductor Gerard Schwarz was conducting the Mostly Mozart group out of New York, the conductor was asked a question about a number of factors which separated the sublimity of Mozart from the brilliance of  his well known contemporary Antonio Salieri, the Court Composer.
Schwarz answered first by reminding the interviewer that the primary difference, of course, was the lofty position Mozart was positioned in simply because of an unprecedented supply of  incandescent   genius.
Schwarz DID give an answer to an almost rhetorical question by remarking that "for me, the most revealing aspect that Mozart projects   besides the obvious gift of creative genius  the world of music is aware of, is his ability to work out the material that comes out of the messages given him."
When I heard this statement my attention almost immediately swerved to Mozart's predecessor Haydn , and the gargantuan powers he held in the manners of "working the material."
 I wonder what the youngster Mozart saw in his analyses of his teacher Haydn's massive sense of attaching architecture to the Primary Idea?
When I peruse Haydn, I am unceasingly struck by the ways of his building the structures emanating from the core idea; for instance, the virtually endless array of variations being splayed out to the listener or analyzer from just one theme, or even part of a theme.
On the other hand, Haydn absolutely dazzles the observer when he takes a theme, and rather than hurls variation after variation in our direction, he maintains absolute rigidity in the theme, say in his Rondo forms, and gives  us a potpourri of  ideas that swirl around that never-changing theme - the absolute opposite, tactically, from the wonders of Theme and Variations, which, in my view, are unparalleled; that is, until that fellow named Beethoven comes by.
I'm quite convinced that the student Mozart, what with the depth of vision he held, must have been absolutely dazzled by Haydn's riveting architecture, and had to have been permanently attached to this aspect as part of what becomes that overriding miracle we  know as  Mozart



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