Mozart as Early Music: A Romantic Antidote Author(s): Laurence Dreyfus Source: Early Music, Vol. 20, No.

2, Performing Mozart's Music III (May, 1992), pp. 297-309 Published by: Oxford University Press Stable URL: Accessed: 26/11/2008 08:56
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Laurence Dreyfus






How has the performanceof Mozart'smusic faredin the hands of the earlymusic movement?In answeringthis question there is a danger of ignoring the differences between many schools of playingand reducingthem all into one 'historicaltendency'.' relyingon generalities By of potentially sweeping vacuousness,I run the serious And yet thereis perhapssome riskof misrepresentation. value in stepping back both from journalisticcriticism and from scholarlynitpicking in an attempt to formulate an admittedlyextremeposition that will contribute to the debate about the overall directions of Mozart interpretationtoday. Since I shall scarcelydwell at all on the successes of early music in interpreting Mozart but will proceed immediatelyto voicing complaints about its inadequacies, let me cite at once what I taketo be some significant achievements.First, this approachhas helped excavate genresand stylesso thatmusiciansaremore awareof the 'horizon of expectations' within and against which Mozart worked:dance styles, for example, now have a lilt and grace when deprived of practices that turned them into Prussianmarches.Second,the revivalof 18thcenturyinstrumentshas introducedcertainnew musical timbresthat convey a sense of intimacyencounteredall too infrequentlyin mainstreamperformances.Finally, the acceleratedtempos usuallyfavouredby earlymusic have done wonders for the weaker side of Mozart's musical output, so that the routine Andantesand Menuets from many earlysymphonies,for example,are dispatched with vigour and aplomb. On the whole, though, my senseis thatthe earlymusic movement has succeededin performingMozartonly to the extentthat Mozartamountsto no more than a munof dane, if dextrous,representative his age. In putting it this way,I thinkyou get my drift.The failureof the early music approach,as I see it, is preciselya failureto probe deeply enough into what is so extraordinaryabout Mozart.This is not to saythat earlymusic performances have not produced moments of exceptionalpower and beauty-which they certainlyhave-but that the overall sense of the composer portrayedby these performances ignores the enormous gulf that separatesMozart from his run-of-the-millcontemporaries. need hardlypoint I

out that 1991has been spent celebratingMozart, not Vanhalor Dittersdorf. What has been forgottenis that the Mozartof the late 20th centuryis inescapablya RomanticMozart.This is the Mozartwhose exaltedstatus in the historyof music was firstappreciated the Romantics,those literatiand by philosophers who preached the metaphysicalvalue of high artand the specialrole thatmusic, especiallyinstrumental music, played in creating this transcendent underimage.2An imagined return to an 18th-century standingof Mozart-as in earlymusic'sprojectof restoration-is thereforea returnto a culturethat essentially misunderstoodhim. This was the age that by and large heard Mozart'smost profound works as too complex and mercurial-'too many notes' in the reputedwords of Emperor Joseph.3Our own high-culture view of Mozart can have nothing to do with such philistinism. We rathersubscribeto a view that firstarose at the turn of the 19th centurywhich beganto idealizeand canonize greatworks of art. As E. T. A. Hoffmann put it in 1810, 'only a deep Romantic spirit will completely recognize the Romantic depth of Mozart;only one equal to his creativefantasy,inspiredby the spirit of his works will, like him, be permittedto express the highest values of art.'4 Althoughit might seem that this RomanticMozart was a fancifulinvention of Hoffmannand his peers,it is just as easy to argue the reverse:that it was Mozart's music that createdits new Romanticaudience,an audience that first understoodwhat he and Beethovenwere up to. A performancestyle committed to a Romantic Mozart is thereforeone that-putting it somewhattoo idea of a simplistically-subordinates the 18th-century realm of 'jolly good' entertainmentto the 19th-century musical metaphysics. Lionel Trillingproposed an elegant formulation of this new aesthetic in his Norton Lectures from 1970 entitled Sincerityand Authenticity: 'The artist-as he comes to be called-ceases to be the craftsmanor the performer,dependent upon the approvalof the audience. His referenceis to himself only, or to some transcendent power which-or who-has decreed his This was the enterpriseand alone is worthyto judge it.'5 reminds us, that began by distinguishing age, Trilling

mere pleasureand beautyfrom the 'triumph'of the sublime (as in Schillerand Burkefor example). While the initial effect of this philosophic shift denigrated the audience in favour of the artist-good taste ceding to genius-the 'new devotionnow givento art [was]probably more ferventthan everbefore in the historyof culture ... Now that art [was]no longerrequiredto please, it [was] expected to provide the spiritualsubstanceof

As regardsMozart,it is relativelyeasy to distinguish betweentwo receptions,one that greetedhim in his lifetime and another that accompaniedthe shift in values shortly after his death. On the one hand it is Haydn's sober high praiseof Mozartin his statementto Leopold in 1785:
BeforeGod and as an honest man I tell you thatyour son is the greatestcomposer known to me either in person or by name. He has tasteand, what is more, the most profoundknowledge of composition.

On the other hand are the dyingwords given to a strugshortstoryEinEnde Wagner's glingcomposerin Richard
in Paris from 1841: I believein God, Mozart,and Beethovenand likewisetheirdisciples and apostles.I believein the Holy Spiritand the truth of the one, indivisible Art ... I believe that he who once has bathed in the sublime delightsof this high Art, is consecrated to Her foreverand never can deny Her.7

Although it would be idle to imagine anyone today actually uttering this Wagnerian credo in polite company, one must admit how much more appealing, though exaggerated, this Wagnerian formulation is when comparedto Haydn'sdour restrictionof Mozart's talentsto mere compositionaldexterityand good taste.8 aesthetic Our culturaldiscomfortwith late 18th-century categories-with all due respect to Igor Stravinskythereforesuggeststhat, when all is said and done, most of us must admit to being confirmed, if sometimes lapsed, Romantics of an entirely traditional denomination. Let me distancemy argumentfrom certainphilistine views that I do not hold. First, having used the word 'Romantic'I am not pledgingallegianceto current-day performancesof Mozart by the musical mainstream, which more often than not devolve into the routine, hackingor saccharine.Second,I am not arguingagainst of the use of periodinstrumentsnor againstthe recovery I to the contrary, historicalperformancepractices: quite think these are excellent tools with which one can approachMozart,though perhapsfar from indispens298 EARLY MUSIC MAY 1992

able ones. I would ratherlike to imagine that one can arriveat an engaged interpretationof Mozartwithout, on the one hand, payingblind obeisanceto current-day mainstreamstandardsor, on the other,succumbingto a naive historicismthat arrogantly pretendsto 'speakthe of the 18thcentury'. a RomanticapproachI language By therefore mean an affectivestance toward performing Mozart's works instead of, say, a historical methodology-an attitude that evokes an aura of intimate a without prescribing set of performance understanding conventions. But what kind of Mozarteanperformancepractice, one may well ask, fulfils these demands?For I am not speakinghere so much about traditionalsubjectsof historical reconstruction-tempo, articulation,phrasing, ornamentation,pedallingor vibrato-as much as about more elusive yet entirely perceptible categories of expressionwhich have traditionallydefined artistryin the Romanticmode. I am thinkingaboutmusicianswho take time to let the music breathe, for whom music is made alternatelyto speak, dance and think; musicians who risk agogic displacementsto effect an air of freshness, who are impatientwith any kind of routine, who constantlyvaryattacks,note lengthsand dynamicsso as to lend individualityto a musical utterance,and who, above all, subscribeto a pervasiveanti-literalismthat sees the written text not as a sealedvessel of intentions but as an invitationto enunciate,and in so doing ensure the communication of meanings that are the special
province of music.

In enumeratingthese values I am referringto practices realized essentially by individual musicians and copied only imperfectlyby largerensembles.Yetit is a curious fact that earlymusic'sMozartis predominantly an orchestral affair, embracingby and largethe symphonies and piano concertos and placing far less emphasis on sonatas and the string chamber music.9This is of course a curious situation concocted not only by enterprising recording companies which have rushed into marketingpopular works from the mainstreamrepertory.Forthough one encountersin passinga samplingof chamber music, the great quartets and quintets, for example, have played only a secondary role in early music's disseminationof Mozartfor the simple reason that these performancesand recordingshave not really said anythingsignificantlynew. This situation is, by the way, precisely the reverse of the path by which early music approachedBaroquemusic: first came the solos and chambermusic and only much later came the 'big bands'.





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The problem is that earlymusic's suppressionof the Romantictraditionis doomed from the startto produce inferiorartisticresults.For no matterhow many libertine declarationsto the contrary,historicalperformers are still in mortal dread of 'gettingit wrong'-playing, that is, in a way that cannot be historicallyverified.The chronicmistakehere is to imaginethat we cannot really know Mozart until we rid ourselves of our modern prejudices,an attitudethat leads to naysayingand reactive thinking. It is as if the early music Mozartean believesthat mainstreammusical trainingis the root of all evil, and that the musicalslatemust be wiped clean.?1 The so-called fresh start then pieces together scattered bits of performancepracticesfrom scratch,pretending all the while that the sum totalwill amountto a coherent model of musical interpretation." this incremental But as it is towardproducinga complete'f thinking,geared implicit 'how-to' manual,is in fact a repressiveapparatus. Instead of appeals to evocative metaphors and to flashesof intuition, one observesa performancestyle in which legato,sostenuto,rubato,portamentoand tempo variation-signs pointing to Hoffmann'snotion of the Romantic sensibility-are considered 'later historical developments'merelybecausethey do not figureprominently in 18th-centuryperformance manuals pitched As chiefly at dilettantes.'2 a result, phrasing proceeds from a patchworkof detachedgestures,a propiecemeal nounced anxietydisruptsmusicallines, and a primitive notion of topic freezesmusicalsigns into a stringof reified units, effectivelystalling the interpretivemoment. The historicalenterpriseof early music need of course not be likethis:it can, as I havearguedelsewhere,'3 rather be an invitation to a renewed form of expression,but only if musicians call a halt to puritanicalressentiment and begin to entertainhow artists from the Romantic traditionsmade sense of Mozart.The chargeis therefore that we reclaimMozart,not for the 18thcentury,but to ensure that his musical insights speakto us anew. One importantwayto undertake kind of rethinkthis is to discard the naive dichotomy that pits early ing music performance against a monolithic mainstream tradition.14 can think of no better approach than to I listen with an open mind to recordingsfrom the first part of the 20th century,a musical 'GoldenAge' (if ever there was one) when the ideologicaldispute about historical fidelity vs. subjective expression had not yet reared its ugly head. In this connection, let me take a
1929 recording of recording from this period-a Mozart's String Quartet in D minor, K421,by the Flon-

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pare it with a 1977mainstreamrecordingby the Alban BergQuartetand a 1985releaseby the Salomon Quartet on periodinstruments.'6 Though all threerecordingsare appealingin differentways, I will try to explain in part why the Flonzaleyperformanceis especiallyexemplary and the other two much less so. The remarkable qualitiesof the Flonzaleys-whom I shall dub 'Romantic'for purposes of this discussionare evident in their readingof the very first bars of this great quartet:they are alreadyanticipatingthe heightened pathos of the opening theme in bars5-8, so thatthe sotto voce exposition in bars 1-4 begins with a hushed pathos comes about by an urgency(ex.i). This 'breathy' inspired local 'rushing' of the off-beat quavers in the second violin and viola, a kind of minute rhythmicdisplacementthat depicts,not just the subjectivedistressof the melody,but the anguisheddisruptionof the musical microcosm. Here is stringplayingattunedto nuance and gesture. Ratherthan being hoodwinked by the demand to produce an unfailinglyeven tone-a feature shared, curiously enough, by both the mainsteam and the early music schools-the Flonzaleys use their nimble bow

arms,delicatelyappliedvibrato,ubiquitousslidingportamenti, and above all their fertileimaginationsto imitate the human voice, especially the great singers contemporarywith them. When the melody jumps up the intervalof a loth for the second time in bar 6, for example,Adolfo Betti, the firstviolinist, delaysslightly, shiftingupwardswith a delicateand mournfulslide that The speaksdirectlyfrom the heart.'7 sense of unaffected sincerityevokedby the such gesturesis perhapsthe most touching aspect of the Flonzaleyperformanceand it is all the more moving to realize how these gestures are communicatedas if self-evident,without fuss or fanfare. Upon first hearing of these three recordings, one might think-given the gut strings and more sparing vibrato-that the earlymusic performancehas more in common with the Romanticthan with the Mainstream one. Certainly,many early music devotees will be surprised to hear how articulationspractisedearly in our own century,for example, are far more variegatedand interesting than those heard in mainstreamperformances today.On the other hand, it is strikinghow many values the early music performance shares with the mainstream.Forboth the Salomonand Bergrecordings

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takepains to preservethe effectof a damnably'Classical' repose, a stylistic posture anxious to avoid Romantic expressionand depth. The Berg playersachievethis by avoiding rubato and slides, the Salomon by observing the letter of 18th-centuryperformance practices, but both emit a stifling air when compared to the wit and graceof the Flonzaleys.The liner notes on the Salomon recording(writtenby StephenJohnson)even go so faras to assurelistenersthat, althoughthe D minor quartet: thananyof its companions, [its] maysoundmoretroubled stillhasanobjective quality.. . a longwayfromthe expression of romantics. The 'confessional' outpourings someof thelater highly openingtheme of the first movementis certainly makeany and but elegance concision expressive, the music's sound faintly at personaldramatic interpretation attempt ludicrous. This remarkable of propaganda,with its puritanical bit of renditionsof Mozart,makes disapproval personalized sorryreading.But can one takeseriouslythe implication that the D minor Quartet is about 'eleganceand concision'? Althoughit is dangerousto impose the viewsof a writerof liner notes on the recordingartists,a reaction against 'confessionaloutpourings' and a decided prohibition on 'personaldramaticinterpretation'is sadly evidentin the recordingas well. One wonders,though, if the musiciansapprovedsuch an explicitapologiafor an anti-Romanticapproach,this in one of Mozart'smost compellinglytragicworks. What prevents the Salomon and the Berg Quartets from a more engageddialoguewith this profoundwork? For one thing they mostly play in strict time, another sign of an anti-Romanticattitude:one can almost hear the carefulcounting of the quaversthroughoutmuch of the firstmovement.In the opening four-barphrases,for example, there is no 'give' in the semiquaverpassing notes in bars 3 and 7-8; marching quaversdictate the character of the accompaniment, and, predictably, expressiveportamentiareavoidedat all costs. When the first violin in the Salomon begins the forte restatement on the high d"' in bar 5, his instrumentcan only shriek with the shrill insensibilityso often encounteredin the string playingof earlymusic. It is a moment that could avoid stand as an emblem for Nietzscheanressentiment: too much sentiment or risk 'selling out' to Romantic Elsewhere,though, the Salomon appear expression.18 fixated on a consort-likeensemble sound to the excluand fluid phrasing;as a sion of vivid characterization result they seem unaffectedby the emotive paths traversedby the music. The Berg players also concentrate on their individ-

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ually beautiful sounds, but their wide vibratos-which often mimic a saxophone-likewailing-preclude even the possibilityof a confessionalsottovocethat opens the piece. (And why else does one speak sotto voceif not to confess?) This nervous intensity-so emblematic of mainstreamstringplaying-makes it difficultfor them, moreover, to vary the emotional temperature of the movement. They can scarcelyheightenthe dramaof the developmentsection if, from the very outset, they have been speakingin hyperbole.Theirinterpretation suffers as well from the baleful influence of metrical subdivision-happily absentfrom the Flonzaleyperformance. This compulsivecounting placesan equallyoverbearing

weight on every quaver and is closely allied with the dreadedportato ('wah-wah')effect that is the downfall of any flowinglegato.The problemwith these frequently encountered mainstreammannerismsis that they can only pose as signs of emotional depth ratherthan being supersededby a musicalitythat actuallyexperiencesit. The resulting expression, exquisitely crafted as it is, remainsdecidedlysecond-hand. The expressivedepth of the Flonzaleys,by contrast, lies with the changing moods that they portray so insightfully. Consider the second theme group (bars
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violin's semiquavers(bars 15-18) evoke a delicacy and


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wistfulness,while the ornamentedtripletfiguresand the pairedduplets in the second violin (bars19-22) suggest playfulhigh jinks. The closing materialculminateswith what the playersseem to hearas a brief buffapatter-song sung, perhaps,by elfin-like spirits. When the recapitulatedtransformationof this very same materialoccurs in the minor (ex.3) the Flonzaleys effect a tone of unfathomable adversity.Betti refuses, tellingly,to overplaythe moment; instead he introverts it. The gestureis personal,intimate, yet desperate(verzweifelt)in the manner of the Pamina's'Ach,ich fiihl's'. His airy legato phrase, sweet yet unsentimental,slides dolefullyto the harmonic on a",creatingthe effect of a

miniature, heaven-bent preghiera.The foursome, in turn, react to this inevitable turn for the worse. High jinks revertto frenzied struggle.The playersrush precipitously toward the close, taking time only momentarilyfor the somber,concludingreflectionsby the cello. While this is surelynot the only way to play this movement, the vividnessof the Flonzaleyperformanceseems to presagea warning:banishMozartto a remotestylistic realm, and his works will speak only from a distance. It might seem from this discussionthat I am advocating an intentionallyanachronisticperformancepractice for Mozart,therebymounting an attackboth on reconstructivescholarshipand on performanceinformedby a

historicalconsciousness.This is not the case.What I am suggestinginsteadis threefold:(i) that researchon 18thcentury performance practice has severe limits in addressingthe most profound issues of musical interpretation-far less is known about alleged stylistic anachronismsthan it often appears;(ii) that the appeal Mozartmay inhibit an intimate rapto an 18th-century his prochementwith music;and (iii) thatwe look beyond traditionalmusicologicalsourcesfor nurtureand inspiration-good ideas are welcome regardless of their source. An inspired rethinking of interpretivefundatradition mentals,not a rote imitation of any particular is the kind of agendaI am contemplating.This is why I stress the implications of the Romantic idealizationof Mozart-still, in my view, the fundamentalbasis for his late 20th-century reception-instead of idealizing Romanticperformancepracticeper se. Ratherthan participating in the musicological debate about the prognosis for-or the impossibility of-a 'historical performance'of Mozart, my aim is to suggest ways to enhance and enliven these performances. I shall conclude these polemical ruminations on a texts hopeful note by invoking one of the 19th-century that captures so brilliantlythe aura of the Romantic Mozart. Eduard M6rike's Mozart on the Journey to Prague (1853) recounts the composer on the way to Prague,where he is to produce Don Giovanni.Takinga breakfrom his journeyin an elegantgardenin the Moravian countryside, Mozart unthinkingly plucks an orange from a tree and is immediatelyconfrontedwith his theft by the gardenerof the local Count von Schinzburg.The Count, once Mozart'sidentityis madeknown, invites him and Constanzeto join an engagementparty that will shortlybe under way at the castle.Mozartperforms an excerpt from a piano concerto for the assembled guests as well as accompanies the Count's aria niece, Eugenie,who singsSusanna's from the garden scene in Figaro,in which, M6rikewrites, 'the streamof sweet passion breatheslike the spiced air of a summer by night'.The young singer is herself'transfigured' 'the uniquenessof the moment' and is even more overcome when, late in the evening, Mozart plays through the apocalyptic penultimate scene from Don Giovanni. Transfixed this captivating personalityand his artistic by vision, Eugeniereflectson her experienceat the veryend of the story afterthe Mozartshave departed. She feels, M6rikewrites:

recital, behind all the incredible fascination and the music's mysteryand awe;finallyshe was startledand shakenby how he had casuallytalkedabout himself in the same vein. She had a conviction, an absolute conviction, that this man would rapidly and inexorablybe consumed in his own flame, that his presence on earth was fleeting and ephemeral because this worldwas, in truth,not capableof enduringthe overwhelming riches which he would lavish upon it. This and many other things weighed on her heart after she had gone to bed that evening, while the echoes of Don Giovannicontinued to ring exhausted,she confusedlyin her head.Only towardsdaybreak, fell asleep.'9 It is a commonplace of Romantic aesthetics that music does not merely imitate the world but rather penetrates to the deepest cores of meaning without, as Wackenroder put it, 'any painstaking detour through words: feeling, fantasy, and the power of thought are one'.20 Musical performance, according to this nearly inescapable model, amounts therefore to a cipher of meaning: it paradoxically portrays musical sense while embodying it at the very same time. Morike's dream-like account of Eugenie's experience aims not at containing the meaning embodied in Mozart's music but rather tries to evoke its haunting power; only sleep, long delayed, furnishes respite and escape. Why do I cite such a remarkable passage? Because I think the poignant experience it conveys is not limited to some distant period of cultural history but rings true as an authentically Mozartean moment, a moment that musicians of whatever persuasion can revive as they make Mozart intelligible to us today. There is clearly no one demonstrable path that will lead to this kind of genuine encounter, but I suspect that being attuned to its existence will enhance the incalculable value of playing and hearing Mozart this way. Laurence Dreyfus, author of Bach's Continuo Group: Players and Practices in his Vocal Works, is Associate Professor of Music at Stanford University and performs actively as a viola da gambist and cellist.


If I had time, I would try and refute

almost everything you had to say, but the thing that has to be refuted at once is the accusation that those of us who play on period instruments think that great old players should be dismissed. Who has said that? I have worked with John Eliot Gardiner and Christopher HogI know Steven Lubin and Melvyn Tan and inwardly seized by a slight foreboding for the man whose wood and charmingpresencegaveher such delight;this forebodingper- many others; I cannot think of one of them who would sisted at the back of her mind during the whole of Mozart's say you should throw out Dinu Lipatti and Edwin


Fischer.This music is huge;it is big enough to takewhat we do to it and what Rachmaninovdid to it. DREYFUS LAURENCE But even if you personallyadmire players from earlier in the 20th century,Mr Bilson, I think it's fair to say that the musical insights of such playershave been essentiallyignored in the ideological as pronouncementof earlymusic performance well as in its practice and pedagogy. My point is that the historicism of early music has no obvious way to incorporate the audible refinementsof great musicians into its imagined reconstructionof the i8th century. NEAL ZASLAW It's easy to parody the excesses of both sides and I would preferthat we only dealwith those on each side who make serious points about music. But I feel quite certainthat I am not the only one who strongly prefers Haydn's characterizationof Mozart's gifts as 'taste and the most profound knowledge of composition' to Wagner's romanticfantasizing. ROBERT LEVIN Tastefor a human being is a completely randomlyassembledgroup of prejudices.Mozart'staste was randomly assembled from all those influences he heard around him, and those prejudicesof his turned into a style which we now think was one of the most remarkable happeningsin Westernculture.I think Larry Dreyfusis right,becauseat an earlystagein this process on therewerepeople who did saythat a performance old instruments was better than one on modern instruments, period. These were not performancesat all, but demonstrationsof what certainbow strokesand timbres and instrumentscould do. Now we have to formulatea differentposition, and say that the deepest issue is, of course, whether our art is expressive and communicative. I believe that there are propitiousways in which to convey very specific rhetorical devices in Mozart's music on period instruments.I would saythat it should be possible on a modern instrument to realize those things too, but it may be significantlymore difficult in certainways! [FROM THE FLOOR] We cannot find a single traditionof Homer that exhaustsall the possibilitiesof those texts, nor a singleproductionof a Shakespeare play.Surelythis appliesto music, and suggeststhat all performancesare valid views of the work. LAURENCE DREYFUS But if all performanceswere valid views of the work, then music criticism of any kind is superfluous. In fact, I am not arguing for a uniform point of view nor suggestingthat earlymusic performances of Mozart are invalid. Instead, I want us to reexaminethe assumptionsunderwhich the performance of Mozart operatesand rethinkthem if we like.

[FROM THE FLOOR] Well, everygenerationasks different questions,and one reasonfor the extremepopularityof Mozartjust now is maybe that he provides answersto the particular questionsour generationasks.Welook for what we want, and find what we get.

LAURENCEDREYFUS What I'm proposing is a kind of

paradigmshift that will reawakena traditionalaesthetic need and then help us fill it.
'I wish to thank KarolBerger,LewisLockwoodand RichardTaruskin for their helpful criticismsof this essay. 'The alternativewould be to hear Mozart'sdeepest creationsas a brilliantlyexecuted game. Yet even a demystifying,ostensibly antiRomantic play like Peter Shaffer'sAmadeus (1981)or an ironically detached biography like Wolfgang Hildesheimer's Mozart (1977) merelyservesto reinforcethe common perceptionthat Mozart's greatest musical works are removed from his bawdy and scatologicalpersona, that they are, in fact, manifestationsof another realm, that of pure spiritualitymade accessibleonly by an old friend,Romanticism. 3This not to saythatMozartdid not haveadmirers-even passionate is ones-in his own day,but thattheirregard lackedthe ecstatic enthusiasm of (Schwarmerei) the first generationof Romantics.For althoughnew notionsof both the sublimeandthe centrality instrumental of musicwere underMozart's nose,the actualcritical beingformulated nearly reception of the composer's music during his lifetime never seems to have embracedthe newly emergingaesthetic.As late as 1796the influential criticJohannFriedrich Reichardt bemoans the greatloss of Mozartat such a young age, and yet views his music as lackingin proprietyand naturalfeeling:'Whoeverwantsto warm his hearton Mozart's works; whoever wantsto seeka connective sequenceof feelings[Empfindungen], in an organically passion; short,whoeverawaitsin Mozarttenemerging All derness[and]sentiment[mustrealize] Mozartis not his man.' the that limitlessmelodic invention and remarkable orchestration-everything thatwe prizein Mozart-Reichardtseesas 'betraying nothingotherthan a spirited, troubledgenius,who hurries alongand tireshimselfout danchas whenhis gluttedimagination ing, andbecauseof this finallycollapses wanderedabout long enough ... in the endlessrealmof possibilities'. 'UberdasgrosseMozartsche Theaterkonzert JohannFriedrich Reichardt, im Berlinischen Deutschland (1796),ii, pp.363-7;cited in Opernhause', an MusH.-G. Ottenberg, Der Critische Musicus derSpree: Berliner ed., von 1748 bis 1799, Eine Dokumentation (Leipzig, 1984), ikschrifttum pp.341-2. zur E. T. A. Hoffmann, Schriften Musik(Berlin,1988),p.59 5L.Trilling,Sincerityand Authenticity(Cambridge,Mass., 1972), P.97 and Authenticity, p.98 6Trilling, Sincerity 7Richard and trans.Osborne(London,1973), Stories Essays, Wagner, Germanin Wagner,Gesammelte und p.11i; (LeipSchriften Dichtungen While I do not mean to suggestthat all Romanzig, 1888),i, pp.114-35. tic attitudes,particularly those heldby musiciansand composersin the 19thcentury,were uniform in their idealizationof Mozart,it seems to me that one can demonstratea more or less continuous traditiondating from the beginning of the 19thcenturythat placed the composer definitivelywithin the pantheonof musicalgiantswhose metaphysical significancewas never in jeopardy. in 'Trilling, a lengthyfootnote (p.98) goes so faras to assertthat 'the has itselfat the centreof the experience facultyof "taste" re-established of art',which no longer can 'be said to make exigent demandson the audience'. ThoughTrillingis rightto lament the loss of these 'good old there are surelymany for whom greatmusic still makes'exigent days', demands'. 9My guess is that, given the little time devoted to rehearsalsin to Mozart'sday,we would probablybe deeplydissatisfied hearorchesfrom the 18thcentury;we would also be justifiedin tral performances

our dissatisfaction,especially today when the standards for auditioning orchestralplayersnearlyapproachthose of soloists and when the parleyof conductorsroutinelyappealsto the values and practices of chambermusic. '"A commonly encounteredsign of this reactivethinkingis the pedagogicalattitudethat presupposesan adversarial relationshipbetween period style, asserted as historically ascertainable,and mainstream style, pitied as hopelesslyanachronistic. "Examplesof such clean slates are notated accents and dynamic in of markingsthat are exaggerated an aggressivemannerirrespective characterand context, sforzando fp markingsthat are mercilessly and attackedwithout preparation, sets of adjacentdupletslursthat are and of uniformlyclipped and separatedregardless the overallshape of the phrase. "Neitheris there evidence that good musicians played with invariable tempos, observedarticulationmarksuniformly,avoidedthe use of the pedal, or resisted the temptation to slide for purposes of expression. '3L.Dreyfus, 'EarlyMusic Defended againstits Devotees' MQ, lxix (1983),pp.297-322,esp. pp.300-304, 320-22 '4SeeRichardTaruskin's illuminatingcontribution in this issue on the question of changing traditions and their transmission. I might add that when earlymusic is thought of as an evolvingculturalpractice in its own right-rather than merely a progressiveprogram of historical reconstruction-it makes more sense to dip more freely into neighbouringtraditionsfor inspirationand nurture. was also an earlier 'acoustic' Flonzaleyissue (recorded in 'SThere 1920) of the final movement of K421 on Victor 74652 (Matrix This equallyfascinatingperformance with violist Louis was B-23551-4). Bailley (1882-1974)rather than with Nicolas Moldavan (1891-1974), who playsin the 1929release.The Flonzaleysalso recordedmovements from K387 (1922), K499 (1923), K575(1918 and 1927). See J. M. Samuel, 'A Complete Discographyto the Recordingsby the FlonzaleyQuartet, xix ARSCJournal, (1987),pp.28-62. (I am gratefulto RichardKoprowski of the StanfordArchivefor RecordedSound for locating this discographyfor me). The other membersof the quartet,founded in 1902, included Adolfo Betti (1873-1950),Alfred Pochon (1878-1959)and Iwand'Archambeau (1879-1955). Theylast appeared togetherin public in March1929.See also anotherdiscussionof a Flonzaleyrecordingin Practicein the late NineteenthCentury, with J.W. Finson,'Performing SpecialReferenceto the Music of Brahms'MQ, lxx (1984),PP.457-75, esp. pp.468-73. D '6Mozart, minor String Quartet, FlonzaleyQuartet,RCA Victor 7607-A/7608B(Camden, N.J., 1929);Mozart, Die 10 gropen Streichquartette,Alban Berg QuartettWien, Telefunken6.35485(Hamburg, 1977[1979]);MozartStringQuartets:D minor, K421-C Major,K465, The Salomon String Quartet, HyperionA 66170stereo LP (London, 1985) theorist Momigny (1762-1838) '7Theearly19th-century may have overextendedhis hermeneuticlicence when, as an exampleof an analysisof expression,he supplieda poetic text to the first movement of K421 with verse representinga scene between Dido and Aeneas,but he certainlyunderstoodthe elevatedtragictone in which the musical discourseof the firstmovement is conducted.The analysisis found in his Cours completd'harmonieet de composition(Paris, 1803-6), iii, New Grove,pp.348-9. pp.lo9ff., and is cited in I. Bent, 'Analysis', i8Thegut stringscannot be at fault, as one is often assured,since the Flonzaleysplay on them as well. Indeed, early music players could learn volumes from the Flonzaley'srefined use of gut strings, which invariablysound sweet and human, and never harsh or strident. '"Eduard to M6rike,Mozart's Journey Prague,trans.L. von Loewenstein-Wertheim(London, 1957),pp.40, 91-92;originalGermantext in Gesammelte Erzihlungen(Leipzig,6/1902) "'WilhelmHeinrich Wackenroder,Werkeund Briefe (Heidelberg, Musicand the HistoricalImagination(Cam1967),cited in L. Treitler, bridge,Mass., 1989),p.184


August 22 - 30, 1992

Director: Roma Escalas

Jordi Albareda:Vocaltechnique Montserrat Vocalinterpretation Figueras: Jean Pierre Canihac: Cornet Roma Escalas:Recorder Daniel Lassalle:Sackbut AlfredoBernardini: Shawmand baroqueoboe and baroquebassoon Josep Borras:Curtal HopkinsonSmith:Lute and vihuela(24, 25 and 26) Rolf Lislevand: Luteand vihuela(27, 28 and 29) Jordi Savall:Violada gamba Guido Morini:Harpsichord VOCALAND INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLE Jordi Savall,conductor Thosewho are interested takingpartin the vocal ensemble, in shouldsend a curriculum audio material and (Deadline:10thJuly 1992) Concertswill be held in Andorra and La Seu d'Urgellduringthe course deadline:20th July 1992 Registration and Information registration: Area de Musica de Departament Cultura Ramblade SantaMbnica,8 - 3r. 08002BARCELONATel. (34-3) 318 50 04

Generalitat de Catalunya Departament de Cultura j


Conselleria d'Educacio i Cultura


MAY 1992


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