Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Mozart myth debunked

Love that Wikipedia!

According to this article, the compositional approach depicted in the movie Amadeus is totally wrong -- although it's consistent with the traditional, romanticized conception of how he composed.

People used to think that Mozart just cranked out his music directly from his head to the paper, hearing the complete works in his head. Actually, he composed using a piano as a tool, and worked up rough sketches prior to the finished product.

But he was supposedly a VERY good improvisor -- such that when he was in a time crunch to finish a piece, he'd often leave huge blanks for the parts he was going to play himself: then he'd just "wing it".

I also found it interesting (don't remember if it was in the above-mentioned Wikipedia article, or the main "Mozart" article) that he didn't compose "just for the art of it". He tended to be very pragmatic, composing pieces for specific purposes: either for an upcoming performance, or as commissioned works. There are apparently a lot of partially-finished works that he abandoned because the commission fell through.


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