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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mozart was not like us. We cannot understand him by assimilating him into our own times—by pretending that he was a premonition of what we now are... Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died 225 years ago. In 1991, the...
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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...

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...

"Seldom, if ever indeed, has a more interesting personality come to these shores from Europe." —Joseph Russo, biographer of Lorenzo Da Ponte Opera aficionados will know Lorenzo Da Ponte's name because of his...

"In my opinion, each number in Figaro is a miracle," composer Johannes Brahms said of Mozart's great opera a century after its creation. "It is totally beyond me how anyone could create anything...
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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...
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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....

Johann Michael Haydn 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...

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....

It is one of the most popular themes in all of classical music, nay, in all of music, period.  It has been used as the melody of a famous church hymn written in 1907, as the theme music...
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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...
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There is really no “unknown” Mozart these days. For the 1991 bicentennial of his death, the Philips record company released on CD the first complete edition of every note Mozart wrote (still available in separate...
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“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...
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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...