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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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I   Basic Themes

1. Wolfgang Hildesheimer, Mozart (Frankfurt, 1977), 377.

2. Eine Wallfahrt zu Mozart. Die Reisetagebücher von Vincent und Mary Novello aus dem Jahr 1829 (Bonn, 1959).

3. Théodore de Wyzewa and Georges de Saint-Foix, Wolfgang Amadé Mozart. Sa vie musicale et son oeuvre. Essai de biographique critique, 5 vols. (Paris, 1936–1946) 2: 120 f.

4. Mozart to his father, January 12, 1782, about Muzio Clementi. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Briefe und Aufzeichnungen, Gesamtausgabe, ed. Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum, Salzburg, collected and commented Wilhelm A. Bauer and Otto Erich Deutsch, 4 vols. (Kassel, 1962–1963), 3:191. Hereafter Briefe.

5. February 1778; Briefe, 2: 265.

6. Mozart to his father, November 8, 1777; Briefe, 2: 110 f.

7. Georg Knepler, Wolfgang Amadé Mozart. Annäherungen (Berlin, 1991), 205–214.

8. On Così fan tutte, see the comprehensive interdisciplinary study by Ute Jung-Kaiser, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Così fan tutte. Die Treueprobe im Spiegel der Musik. Beiträge zur Didaktik und Methode, ed. Matthias Kruse, vol. 2 (Augsburg, 2004).

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