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Wolfgang Amadé Mozart

Undeserved Gift to Humanity

Constantin Floros

Mozart’s ambivalent personality offers a key to a deeper understanding of his music. He could be merry, even boisterous, but from many of his works speaks a deep seriousness. Both mirth and melancholy stamp his being. His operatic music includes both the comic and the tragic. The present study treats the special character of his musical language and the relations between his personality and his multiform oeuvre. Its mission is to grasp the peculiarities of his operatic work, his opere serie, opere buffe and singspiels. The chapter "The Program in the Master Overtures" initiates the series of semantic analyses the author has pursued in other books. In the 19th century, it was fashionable to compare Mozart to Raffael. But the comparison is askew, as the graceful is only one side of his personality.

About the German edition

Chapter II "presents new and even surprising insights into the ‘program’ in Mozart’s master overtures. The connection between overture and drama is viewed from both compositional and semantic points of view. The studies, written with great stylistic and literary knowledge, enter deep into Mozart’s way of working. For both amateurs and cognoscenti, Floros achieves ad better understanding, above all, of the musical interconnections." (Rudolf Angermüller, Mitteilungen des Mozarteums)

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V The Last Symphonies


“The chamber symphony, which is a self-contained whole that has no subsequent music in view, attains its purpose only through a full-toned, brilliant and fiery style. The allegros of the best chamber symphonies comprise large and bold ideas, a free treatment of the movement, a seeming disorder in melody and harmony, strongly marked rhythms of diverse kinds, sturdy bass melodies and unisons, concertizing middle voices, free imitations, often a theme treated in the mode of the fugue, sudden transitions and deviations from one key to another, which are all the more striking the weaker the relation is, marked shadings of the forte and piano, and especially of the crescendo, which is of the strongest effect if it is applied to an ascending and increasingly expressive melody.” J. A. P. Schulz (1794)1

Wolfgang Amadé Mozart is one of the very rare composers for the appraisal of whose work the use of otherwise despised superlatives and unusual formulations is justified. One is not risking exaggerations if one says of him that he is one of the most universal composers of musical history, if one calls him a cosmopolite of music and a classic par excellence.

If one speaks of Mozart’s universality, one means, to begin with, the multiformity of his stunningly voluminous creation, which comprises literally every genre of instrumental and vocal music: symphonic music, orchestral music, piano music, chamber music, concertos, dance music, operatic music, church music. In every area, Mozart has created perfect...

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