Is This the World’s Oldest Mozart Recording?

By |2019-11-19T16:18:17-06:00January 26th, 2017|Categories: Audio/Video, Culture, Featured, Music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

Recorded in Denmark between 1889 and 1897 on a wax cylinder is what is almost certainly the oldest existing Mozart recording in the world. Peter Schram In a climate controlled section in the basement of Statsbiblioteket, you can find a couple of old solid wooden boxes. These boxes used to contain some [...]

Neville Marriner: The Last of the Beloved Gentleman-Conductors

By |2016-12-11T13:23:40-06:00October 22nd, 2016|Categories: Featured, Music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

Few conductors are loved. It could be as well, for music’s sake, that most conductors are loathed. Any impressive level of attendance at their obsequies readily calls to mind the witticism—attributed both to George Jessel and to Red Skelton—regarding the crowds at a universally abhorred Hollywood tycoon’s funeral: “Well, it proves what they always [...]

The Glory of Chamber Music

By |2018-10-11T17:30:06-05:00August 16th, 2016|Categories: Antonin Dvorak, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

When I first heard chamber music, it seemed an acquired taste, and subsequently a taste I acquired. So I will recite some personal history without any illusion that it matters because it was my experience. On the contrary: I think the story I know could be related to everyone’s exploration of music, because however [...]

Mozart’s Muse: The Remarkable Life of Lorenzo Da Ponte

By |2019-11-19T16:00:15-06:00July 21st, 2016|Categories: Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

"Seldom, if ever indeed, has a more interesting personality come to these shores from Europe." —Joseph Russo, Lorenzo Da Ponte: Poet and Adventurer Opera aficionados will know Lorenzo Da Ponte's name because of his authorship of the libretti of Wolfgang Mozart's three great Italian comic operas: Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi fan [...]

The Depths of Mozart’s Imagination

By |2017-01-26T23:14:40-06:00January 27th, 2016|Categories: Imagination, Quotation, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

Mozart wrote everything with a facility and rapidity, which perhaps at first sight could appear as carelessness or haste; and while writing he never came to the klavier. His imagination presented the whole work, when it came to him, clearly and vividly…. In the quiet repose of the night, when no obstacle hindered his [...]

The Top Ten Greatest Requiem Masses

By |2020-04-05T17:13:56-05:00January 26th, 2016|Categories: Audio/Video, Camille Saint-Saëns, Hector Berlioz, Michael Haydn, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

“Should not church music be mostly for the heart?” —Joseph Martin Kraus The Roman Catholic Mass for the Dead—the Requiem, sometimes called Missa pro Defunctis (or Defuncto) or Messe des Morts—is surely the most dramatic of liturgical forms and has inspired countless composers, from medieval times to the present. What the Czech composer Antonin Dvořák, a [...]

A Model for Mozart? Michael Haydn’s Requiem

By |2019-11-19T16:30:44-06:00December 5th, 2015|Categories: Audio/Video, Featured, Joseph Haydn, Michael Haydn, Music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

The 1984 film Amadeus brought to the general public's attention that many minor composers of music—such as Antonio Salieri, the rival of Wolfgang Mozart depicted in the movie—have been forgotten by history. "This boy will cast us all into oblivion," German composer Johann Adolf Hasse is said to have uttered upon witnessing a performance by [...]

The Top Ten Greatest Violin Concertos

By |2020-03-30T16:26:48-05:00December 31st, 2014|Categories: Audio/Video, Camille Saint-Saëns, Felix Mendelssohn, Jean Sibelius, Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

The violin concerto as a form of music has endured for some 300 years and remains, alongside the piano concerto, the most popular type of concerto played in modern concert halls and committed to recording. The genre was first developed during the Baroque era, when the concerto was conceived as a tripartite structure, running about [...]

The Night Salieri Bested Mozart

By |2019-11-19T16:42:38-06:00March 28th, 2014|Categories: Audio/Video, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

The rivalry between Antonio Salieri and Wolfgang Mozart is well known, being the subject of Alexander Pushkin’s play, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera, and most famously today, Milos Forman’s film adaptation of Peter Shaffer’s play, Amadeus. All these incarnations of the story portray the mediocre Italian composer consumed with jealousy, resenting the obvious genius of Mozart, [...]

Ten Mozart Works You Don’t Know… But Should

By |2019-11-19T16:45:48-06:00January 27th, 2014|Categories: Audio/Video, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

There is really no “unknown” Mozart these days. For the 225th anniversary of his death, the Universal record company released the newest of several (!) complete editions of every note Mozart wrote. So, everything we have written by the “miracle which God let be born in Salzburg” is readily available to twenty-first century listeners. Nevertheless, even Mozart [...]

The Musical Universe and Mozart’s Magic Flute

By |2016-03-26T13:05:39-05:00October 19th, 2013|Categories: Music, Peter Kalkavage, St. John's College, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

“Feelings are ‘vectors’; for they feel what is there and transform it into a here.” Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality Let me begin by saying to our alumni: Welcome home! My lecture is intended to be its own kind of homecoming, since I plan to take you back in time—back to the sophomore music tutorial. [...]

Richard Strauss for Everyman

By |2018-10-15T17:38:49-05:00September 13th, 2013|Categories: Literature, Music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|Tags: , |

Richard Strauss Richard Strauss: A Musical Life, by Raymond Holden. Yale University Press. The Cambridge Companion to Richard Strauss, by Charles Youmans, Cambridge University Press. I am not a first-rate composer, I am a first-rate second-rate composer. —Richard Strauss I was never a revolutionary. The real revolutionary was Richard Strauss. —Schoenberg Richard [...]