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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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IX Don Juan in Kierkegaard’s Interpretation

Extract



Søren Kierkegaard’s philosophical thought can claim a special actuality in today’s discourse. There are several reasons for this. The chief one is very likely the fact that in contrast to Hegel, against whom he liked to polemicize, he was no systematic thinker but an existential philosopher. At the center of his thinking are no systematic subjects but existential questions: the torments of, and disgust with, being, the religious, the aesthetic, the erotic. Two of his most famous books are entitled The Concept of Anxiety and Sickness unto Death.1 Kierkegaard’s entire philosophy touches on, is grounded in, psychology. From several quarters it is rightly pointed out that his thinking was closely linked to his life. The autobiographical character of his writings is in fact unmistakable here and there. Nevertheless, the logical consistency of his thought far transcends the biographical.

Two personal events, above all, seem to have launched his thinking: his problematic relation to his father and the dissolution of his engagement to Regine Olsen.2 He was firmly convinced that a curse brooded over his family because his father, herding sheep as a boy, had cursed God in a situation of helplessness, and for some time he believed unshakably that he would die before his father – an expectation that did not eventuate. When his father died in 1838, Søren was totally surprised and was compelled to change his life perspectives radically.

At the age of 27, he betrothed himself to the 17-year-old Regine...

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