Mozart Musings

Mozart at 250 continues to inspire in both words and music.

Elliott Carter

“To even try to explain why Mozart’s music has been an important source of ideas is frustrating. His incomparably wide range of feelings, techniques and characters is amazing. To describe this, a few random [opera] examples might provide some insight. His incorporating a wide variety of musical note-values, often in one phrase — as in ‘Porgi amor’ from The Marriage of Figaro;...his remarkable modulations, as in the sextet from the second act of Don Giovanni;...the ensembles in which various singers maintain their own characters; the wonderful linking of contrasting scenes as in the opening of Don Giovanni... All these are examples that just begin to touch on how Mozart is able to manipulate the emotional character of the moment through technical and theatrical mastery.”
(as told to Opera)

John Tavener

“...I love Mozart beyond any other composer. Mozart belongs to a historical age that does not attract me in the least — an age of superficiality and powered wigs. It seems unlikely that the most ‘sacred’ composer of the West should emerge in that dilapidated era... In Bach, we have Christian piety par excellence... In Beethoven, we have a volcanic genius if ever there was one, and a believer... However, Mozart’s music is inexplicable in human terms... Mozart’s soul apprehended the theophany that came to him from God... Mozart was faultlessly crystalline, and he was also the most natural composer that ever lived. His melodies, rhythms and harmonies seem as natural as virgin nature itself. Mozart’s music, one might say, pre-existed. It required a man to pluck in out from the spheres... He makes the commonplace divine and everything he touches becomes sacred...”The Mozart Touch:
Mozart-inspired Works

Richard Danielpour
Concerto for Orchestra,
“Zoroastrian Riddles”

Morton Gould
Swanee River in the Style of Mozart 4'

Aaron Jay Kernis
Mozart en Route 3'
vn, va, vc

Michael Nyman
In Re Don Giovanni 3'
(Deconstruction of the first 16 bars of Leporello’s
“Catalogue Song” from Mozart’s Don Giovanni)

Trysting Fields (from Drowing by Numbers) 6'
2 Violins; hp/str
(Derived from the slow movement of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante in E flat K.364)

Alfred Schnittke
Moz-Art, (after sketches by W.A. Mozart, K. 416d) 8'
2 vn (parts 50008770 for sale)

Moz-Art, (after sketches by W.A. Mozart, K. 416d) 10'
ob, hp, hpd, vn, vc, db

Moz-Art à la Haydn
(after sketches by W.A. Mozart, K. 416d)
2vn, 2 small string orchestras, db

Moz-art à la Mozart
(after sketches by W.A. Mozart, K. 416d)
8fl, hp

Dmitri Smirnov
Mozart-Variations 15'

Augusta Read Thomas
Chanting to Paradise 15'
English texts by Emily Dickinson
Soprano; SATB
(Movement commissioned to begin after the “Lacrymae” of Mozart’s Requiem)

Judith Weir
Scipio’s Dream 30’
English libretto by the composer after Metastasio
Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Tenor, Bass; [small chorus]
(Short TV opera based on Mozart’s Il Sogno de Scipione)

Yehudi Wyner
Amadeus’ Billiard 8'
2bn, 2hn, vn, va db

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