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Mozart: The Early Years, 1756-1781 ePub download

by Stanley Sadie

  • Author: Stanley Sadie
  • ISBN: 0393061124
  • ISBN13: 978-0393061123
  • ePub: 1820 kb | FB2: 1710 kb
  • Language: English
  • Category: Music
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (December 17, 2005)
  • Pages: 624
  • Rating: 4.3/5
  • Votes: 433
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Mozart: The Early Years, 1756-1781 ePub download

In this new study of Mozart's early years, Stanley Sadie aims to fill this gap in the form of a traditional biography on a straightforward chronological basis. The volume covers the period up to 1781, the year of Idomeneo and Mozart's settling in Vienna.

In this new study of Mozart's early years, Stanley Sadie aims to fill this gap in the form of a traditional biography on a straightforward chronological basis. Individual works are discussed in sequence and related to the events of his life. Stanley Sadie draws substantially on the family correspondence, quoting the letters and discussing what they tell us about Mozart and his world and his relationships with his family and his professional colleagues.

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1832, 78), Mozart is introduced as "the great German composer"; Ferris (1891) included Mozart in a book called The Great German . Sadie, Stanley (2006) Mozart: The Early Years 1756–1781. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Slonimsky, Nicolas, ed.

1832, 78), Mozart is introduced as "the great German composer"; Ferris (1891) included Mozart in a book called The Great German Composers. Other descriptions of Mozart as German appear in Kerst (1906, 3), Mathews and Liebling (1896), and MacKey and Haywood (1909); also (much later) Hermand and Steakley (1981).

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Our understanding of Mozart's life and music has broadened immensely in recent years. Much new material has come to light, including discoveries of musical sources and fresh ways of interpreting known ones. Studies in the chronology of Mozart's works, his compositional process, his relationship to the world around him these and many other areas have yielded new thinking that has challenged or overturned the inherited wisdom.

Mozart: The Early Years 1756-1781 Sadie Oxford Academ 9780199214754 : Stanley Sadie presents a study of Mozart& life and works which aims to reach a better understanding of the composer by v. The book tells the story of how Mozart’s operas came into existence, following the processes that Mozart went through as he brought his operas from commission to performance. Chapters trace the fascinating series of interactions that took place between Mozart and librettists, singers, stage designers, orchestras, and audiences.

Authors : Sadie, Stanley. Title: Mozart: The Early Years 1756-1781. Title : Mozart: The Early Years 1756-1781.

Mozart: The Early Years, 1756-1781. New York: W. W. Norton, 2006. Illustrations, bibliography, indexes. Shortly before his death in March 2005, Stanley Sadie completed the manuscript of the first volume of a long planned two-volume work about Mozart and his music.

Tell us if something is incorrect. Mozart : The Early Years, 1756-1781. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it. See our disclaimer. Renowned music historian Stanley Sadie discusses all aspects of the composer's life and music, relating them to the social, economic, cultural, and musical environments in which he worked. Norton & Company.

The first comprehensive life and works of the composer in over sixty years, by a leading Mozart specialist.

Our understanding of Mozart's life and music has broadened immensely in recent years. Much new material has come to light, including discoveries of musical sources and fresh ways of interpreting known ones. Studies in the chronology of Mozart's works, his compositional process, his relationship to the world around him―these and many other areas have yielded new thinking that has challenged or overturned the inherited wisdom. In Mozart: The Early Years renowned music historian Stanley Sadie discusses all aspects of the composer's life and music, relating them to the social, economic, cultural, and musical environments in which he worked. Drawing substantially on family correspondence, Sadie illuminates Mozart's world and his relationships with employers, colleagues, and family. Individual works are discussed in sequence and related to the events of the composer's life. 16 pages of illustrations
Stanley Sadie intended to write a general biography of Mozart's life, following the completion of his labors on the titanic New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, which he shepherded into existence. Sadie, himself, wrote the splendid Mozart entry, which was published separately. He completed the manuscript of the first volume of his two volume Mozart biography, covering Mozart's formative years in Salzburg and his extensive youthful travel throughout the music centers of Europe, just before passing away. Sadly, we will never see the completed work. Nevertheless, we are fortunate that we have the first extensive new biography of the early, Salzburg Mozart in more than half a century.

The first thing that strikes the modern reader concerning Mozart's Salzburg years is how much of his early music remains only partially known. Many of his youthful operas remain a cypher to the average listener. His extensive number of early sonatas for piano or violin and piano are also still relatively unheard. Most of his adolescent symphonies remain unplayed. It is not until Mozart reaches the advanced age of 19, by which time he has been composing for at least 14 years, when he quickly composes his 5 violin concertos, that we are on familiar compositional ground. The nature and extent of Mozart's numerous journeys in search of employment are a revelation to the average music lover. Europe's complex social and musical scene in the middle 18th Century, one in which Mozart was obliged to operate as a genius endowed with a profoundly independent spirit, is undiscovered country that 21st Century research is only beginning to reveal as a vast mosaic of fierce political repression and incipient rebellion. A landscape that Mozart would effect peripherally before transforming it with his mature, revolutionary operas. These significant aspects of Mozart's early years are carefully discussed in this splendid biography. Ultimately, it is Mozart's nearly incomprehensible genius that Sadie struggles to explain. He succeeds admirably.

And yet.... Despite the occasional Mozartean autograph manuscript exhibiting the evidence of compositional struggle (such as the six Haydn string quartets, with their chiaroscuro pages of cross-hatched deletions, amendations and corrections) offered as proof of his humanity, the sheer number of his masterpieces, written so swiftly and with such apparent effortlessness, prove that there is something inexplicable in Mozart. The spell he wove was miraculous. Mozart's musical martyrdom made him a hero to the Romantic generation whilst raising a sea of questions even Stanley Sadie's splendid biography must leave unanswered. The 19th Century saw something Godlike in Mozart's creative genius. Even now, in the 21st, that thought refuses to die. I recommend this biography for explaining the legend's birth, even though it cannot hope to reveal its wellspring.

Mike Birman
This is a vital book by the leading musicologist and Mozart scholar of our times, who died of ALS before completing the second part of his analysis, covering the famous last ten years (1781-1791).
This first book is aimed at a new generation of music lovers who want to get an appreciation and knowledge of Mozart's early music, from the first compositions scribbled by the child exhibited all over Europe by his father Leopold, up to the decisive year, in 1781, when Mozart, at 25, escaped the stultifying environment of Salzburg, and, in the same stroke, freed himself from Leopold's control.

Sadie's grand purpose is to debunk all the myths about Mozart's music that have accreted like carbuncles since his very childhood, by going back to the music itself, carefully analyzing it, and dissecting it to precisely identify the sources of its unequalled charm and entrancing power. A lot of grounding in musical knowledge and vocabulary is helpful in following his arguments.

This is where Sadie's musical expertise is invaluable. He brings a fresh vision and a professional understanding of Mozart's music, focusing on analyzing its impact and restoring a sense of its intrinsic value. Sadie places himself at the forefront of this new fresh look at Mozart's music, discarding all the popular misperceptions and dispensing with all the established clichés.

To appreciate the shock value of Sadie's radical analysis of Mozart's early music and its "rehabilitation", it is worth contrasting it against the background of cultural and historical conceptions Sadie intends to displace.

In his own time, in the 18th century, from his earliest age, Mozart was considered a young prodigy and supreme musician. But one whose music tended to be too complex and intense for the general public. He was seen as an extraordinarily prolific composer who could not limit his musical imagination and control his non-stop creativity, always keeping the floodgates open to a rushing stream of themes and musical ideas that followed one another in an extremely fast flow.

Aristocratic connoisseurs would complain about this unbounded wealth of musical ideas that went too fast to be even appreciated, even less remembered. Nobody could cope with the unstoppable abundance of his music. His father Leopold tried to remind him of the need to check this torrent-like creativity; professional musicians and singers would occasionally complain. And as far as "humming" it, his audiences knew better to forget about it. Designed for a refined audience of cultivated connoisseurs -- who could sing, play instruments, direct and compose, knowing much more about music than the average modern public -- how could Mozart's music ever become frankly popular, easy to remember, easy to sing?

Even the deeply dramatic and even disturbing side of his music, which rarely failed to appear -- what came to be called the "demonic" side of Mozart -- was criticized for breaching the standards expected by 18th century polite society for which music was primarily a mainstay of social entertainment.

Mozart was regarded as a maverick, an independent soul who went his own marvelous, but incomprehensible and surprising way. The general consensus was that Mozart was too much his own proud master, persistent in having his own way, unmanageable in the framework of any aristocratic court. Throughout his youth he continuously tried to flee his Salzburg employer, the hated but influential archbishop Hieronymus Colloredo, and other European courts were hesitant to hire such a free and so self-sure spirit.
Leopold supervised his traveling during all this period, but made the mistake of directing the young Mozart mostly towards continental courts, where subservience was generally expected, whereas he might have been freer and luckier in London, where both Händel and later Haydn managed to succeed.
Mozart's immense stroke of luck in Vienna was to link up with another independent-minded free-lancer, the gifted adventurer and librettist Da Ponte and to create with him unforgettable masterpieces, which secured Mozart's place in the musical pantheon.

In the 19th century, the Romantics seized on Mozart's life as the very example of the misunderstood genius, battling traditions, convention and conformity, always bypassed for the top court jobs by mediocrities, and paying the usual price. Mozart versus Salieri. Mozart's dramatic death just short of 36 became a cause for universal grief and the foundation of an unusual cult to his incommensurable genius.
Mozart's music became appreciated for its grace, lightness, clarity, as the epitome of delicately delightful music favored by young society ladies dabbling in piano music or by orchestras offering pleasant entertainment as an antidote to the soul-wrenching and hyper-heavy music of the Romantics.
Compared to Beethoven, Schumann and Wagner, Mozart's music suddenly took on celestial colors, more fitted for angels than the tortured torments of Romantic music. He became the "divine" Mozart, by opposition to the demented and turbulent music of the 19th century.

In the 20th century, radio and recordings made available Mozart's opera performances and led to a popular image principally based on the few Mozart operas usually favored by theaters for their potential appeal to a large audience. The famous last "five" operas, Die Abführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio), the three Da Ponte libretti -- Le Nozze, Don Giovanni, Cosi -- plus the Magic Flute, became the music associated with Mozart, an image buttressed by the last three "great" symphonies, (39th, 40th, and 41st), a handful of the "great" piano concertos, the violin concertos, and the major wind and string serenades, including above all Die Kleine Nachtmusik.
Mozart became the "great" Mozart known essentially for the music of his last ten years, and even more specifically his last five years (1786-1791). He became the iconic example of the "classical" age, by opposition to the "Romantic" age and the "modern" age.

Thus an "established" conception of Mozart tended to be accepted as common currency towards the end of the 20th century, a view still favored by the older generations. This image is taken as a given, and described by ordinary reviewers and commentators with a variety of clichés that have become tired from overuse.

This simplified view roughly goes something like this: Mozart keeps learning, practicing and "growing" until he begins "mature" life at 26 in 1781, when he finally starts "blossoming" into his final works.
The "real", "true," Mozart, in this easy-to-understand scheme, is believed to be the one of the last few years, with everything that came before being interpreted as just a slow progress towards the perfection of the last works. The "essence" of Mozart was assumed to remain in a potential state, in slow gestation, during his early years, to become actualized, the promising seed finally blooming or blossoming, when he connected with Vienna and Da Ponte.
This is still strongly an Aristotelian and medieval view of an "essential" Mozart lying in wait in the "latent" Mozart of the European travels and the Salzburg years, until he got his famous kick in the butt by Count Arco on June 8, 1781, and was forced to find his freedom and fly on his own wings, abandoning Salzburg and settling for good in Vienna.

It is clear that musical historians have not been immune to the influence of the concept of universal "progress" spread initially in Europe by the Enlightenment and further enshrined in the world views of most major thinkers of the 19th century. Time became destiny. Reality was revealed at the end of history. And, as it happens, we were the lucky ones to know what the end of history was meant to be.
This new view of universal progress and growth, marching towards a final state of perfection, has been applied to everything -- culture, history, technology and science, and the human species as well. And this is still the accepted, unquestioned, credo of Western popular culture.

Similarly, the progress of any artist was seen as gradual improvement until he or she reached a "fully" developed stage. In this context, the so-called "maturation" of Mozart became an unquestioned given.
However, in the specific case of Mozart, at the end of the so-called "maturation" period, in 1791, came la Clemenza di Tito. What was that? Regress? Return to immaturity? Or simply the constraints of a troubled trip at a troubled time of Mozart's life? Still containing magnificent music, even if it puts to sleep all the tired New York businessmen who affect to go to the Met at the end of a long day at the office.

So, it is undeniable that there's a subtle distortion in the popular image of a "true" Mozart revealed only in his last few years. It is an illusion to think that all of Mozart's earlier phases were only a prelude to the great blooming of the 1781-1791 period.
If Mozart had survived in the 1790's and the 1800's, the "mature" Mozart would have sounded very different, in a way that nobody will ever know.
But we stopped the clock in 1791, when we assumed that the "essential" Mozart had supposedly finally emerged and was set for good in the popular imagination.
But this is only the Mozart of our perception, as we know him, fixated in the late 1780's and early 1790's by an early death. The psychological illusion is to set the last period of Mozart's short life as the measure of all earlier works and the consecration of his full potential.

But the so-called "maturation" was not over, some could claim that it was only beginning. If it ever was going to take place, it was still a long time away. After all, Mozart in 1791 was still barely a young adult in his early thirties, with decades ahead of him to go through a multitude of new styles.
It is likely that the late 1780's would have also been considered just another "early", preliminary, phase compared to a Mozart of the 1800's or the 1820's, a much later period of remarkable music that we will, oh so sadly, never know.
It is a reasonable guess that the "essential" Mozart had not yet arrived, and might have come much later, as we can tell by the examples of Bach, Haendel, Haydn, Verdi, Wagner, Strauss, Mahler, and even Puccini.

"Mature/immature": The words of those clichés seem anodyne, but they are not. They are, like any propaganda, loaded. They tend to propagate the image that the works predating the "mature" ones were "immature", hence, secondary, negligible, not worth our interest. "Who wants to plough through those juvenilia?" is the implicit conclusion.
And so, by the same token, these clichés tend to turn new music lovers away from Mozart's early music, and dissuade them from discovering that in these early works Mozart already was a composer professionally secure, showing no trace of musical immaturity, and his music of an original and incandescent beauty.

By seriously focusing on the absolute intrinsic value of Mozart's early music, Sadie, to his immense credit, explicitly debunks this common myth of a "maturation" process happening in the late 1780's. Was the Clemenza di Tito more mature than Mitridate, Lucio Silla, or Idomeneo?
"Mature" implies that the earlier works were "immature", which is nonsense. Let's listen for instance to these earliest operas, Bastien und Bastienne, K 50 and la Finta Semplice, K 51, and let's see if Sadie's book shows us exactly where, how and why these early operas are "immature". He simply doesn't. For him, they are already exciting, original, professional compositions.

Recently, most musicologists, in the same league as Sadie, have seriously begun revamping young Mozart's image, by better analyzing all aspects of his music and his personality, rejecting the old view as obsolete, too simplistic and distorted, and getting rid of the trite clichés ("mature," "immature", "growing," "blooming," "blossoming") firmly entrenched in aging commentators.

Sadie is the undisputed champion in defending the original value of Mozart's early music. He stands as the principal critic of the conformist view shared by those old-fashioned writers who have systematically disregarded or ignored, or tried to disparage or devalue the music of Mozart's youth.
He seems justified in convincing us that what is "immature" in this conception is the glibness and ignorance of those popular commentators.

The more so, considering that most of them have never even heard or studied Mozart's early music and early operas. Without any serious exploration or knowledge of the music, without ever bothering to give it a fair hearing, they found it easy to dismiss the early music out of hand as "juvenilia" unworthy of anybody's time and attention. This was a time when Mozart's early music remained, until very recently, practically unavailable.

It is critical to realize that this complete re-evaluation of Mozart's early music, for the benefit of the next generations of Mozart lovers, is not the fact of Stanley Sadie alone, but is taking place in the context of a contemporary campaign of restoration waged on many fronts.

First, and most important, is the rediscovery of Mozart's complete music on the occasion of the 200th anniversay of his death (1991) including, for the first time in history, all the music of Mozart's youth (pre-1781).
It is marvelously performed on CDs of THE COMPLETE MOZART EDITION published by Philips in 1991.
On the occasion of the 250th anniversary of his birth (2006), Philips published a condensed version, the COMPLETE COMPACT MOZART EDITION in 2000 and 2006. While Decca contributed THE CONCERT ARIAS of 1981, and the epoch-making set of MOZART: THE COMPLETE OPERAS of August 2009.
As a result, not only professional musicians and established experts, but also the new generation of music-lovers, are thus in the enviable and brand-new position to be able to discover, for the first time in history, the complete music of young Mozart,

Second, and as important, this new awareness includes the sudden revelation of Mozart's youth operas. These early operas, all completely unknown and ignored until the very end of the 20th century, are gradually being staged by the best (and best-financed) opera houses, educating the public to their extraordinary beauty.
And thanks to the new technology of DVDs, the filming of choice performances renders their diffusion possible in the whole world.

Among them, the famous M-22 collection of the 2006 Salzburg Festival performances of (nearly) all the operas, published by Deutsche Grammophon in 2007, a feat again never realized before in history.
Plus some outstanding independent DVD productions, such as those for Mitridate, Re di Ponte (Harnoncourt/Ponnelle, on DG); Ascanio in Alba (Dantone, on Bongiovanni); La Finta Giardiniera (Ostman, on Arthaus); Il Re Pastore (Marriner, on Philips); Idomeneo (Levine/Ponnelle, on DG).
All these unknown and neglected masterpieces are finally being revealed to an astonished modern audience, as they had already astonished all European musical experts when they first were produced during those years of the child and adolescent Mozart traveling all over Europe.

The third factor of this re-evaluation of Mozart's early music currently taking place consists of the series of new books now available in English, all aiming at giving us a clearer analysis of Mozart's early career.

1. First of all, of course, this remarkable book at hand by Stanley Sadie, MOZART: THE EARLY YEARS, 1756-1781, absolutely key to our reevaluation of the early music of the young Mozart, shown to be as original and exciting as the music of the few canonic works traditionally known to the public.

2. The great 1919 magnum opus of Hermann Abert: W. A. MOZART, which came out in English only recently in 2007. Everything anybody ever wanted to know about Mozart is in there, and even more; with excellent analyses of all the works and abundant quotations from the letters of Mozart himself, but also, as importantly, of his father Leopold, and of a legion of contemporaries for whom Mozart was the musical miracle of the 18th century, if not of all cultural history.
Sadie goes back to many of the same sources quoted by Abert, whose magnum opus was not yet available in English when Sadie was writing his own book on early Mozart.

3. And also the new translation by Robert Spaethling of MOZART'S LETTERS, MOZART'S LIFE, published in 2000, which undertook to scrub away the artificial varnish and polish impressed by previous Victorian translations, and which brilliantly succeeded in preserving all the original colors, crudities, language games, and mannerisms of Mozart's natural style; revealing him no longer as a mythical "divine" apparition, but, for all his exceptional talent, as all too human.
However, this book, which promised so much, offers, oh so sadly, only a truncated and mutilated selection of the great letters, not even giving us the complete text of the selected letters. More regrettably it is not giving us all the letters, and, critically, this book does not include any from Leopold Mozart, his father and guru, which are as vital, if not more, to an accurate perception of Mozart as a man and musician.

4. To which should be added the older book by Alfred Einstein, MOZART: HIS CHARACTER, HIS WORK, dating from 1945, but still with valid insights and info.

The key text still missing in English is a translation of the formidably complete German edition which collated all letters of Mozart and documents concerning his life, a feat achieved for the first time only in 1975: MOZART: BRIEFE UND AUFZEICHNUNGEN (by Bauer, Deutsch & Eibl, in 7 volumes, published by Bärenreiter Verlag, Kassel, 1962-1975, later expanded with further additions up to 2006.). The title means: "MOZART: LETTERS & DOCUMENTS". This German publication has become the fundamental source of all published info on Mozart. This complete historical edition has not yet been translated into English.

It is in this brand-new and systematic process of revision that Sadie's book is inserting itself. He strives to free Mozart's early music of all the interpretations piled up like barnacles by the previous ages. As a professional musicologist, Sadie expertly refutes the idea of "progress" in Mozart's development. The assumption of "progress" and "growth" does not apply to Mozart's various styles, as he was from the word go the accomplished musical chameleon able to change his colors instantly.

The great and conscientious Hermann Abert had already dismissed as simplistic this view of Mozart as "growing" into his final phase, instead substituting a clear analysis of various styles developing through the accidents of Mozart's life, the models and mentors he selected, and the various influences he was subjected to.

Mozart could, in a short space of time, switch from the monumental dark grandeur of Lucio Silla to the enchanting La Finta Giardiniera or the sparkling lightness of Il Re Pastore. Where's the "progress" in there? None, only a radical switch of libretto, of audience, of mood and musical means. And this kind of unpredictable zig-zagging from one genre to another, from a mass to a violin sonata, from an opera buffa to a wind serenade, from an stratospheric concert aria to a scatological canon, was the rule of most Mozart's productive periods.

In fact, a lot of the gaiety, charm, inexpressible longing, and iridescent atmosphere of the music in his younger years was never recaptured later during the Vienna decade, when Mozart had to tackle on his own the new problems of survival in adult life -- domestic, economic, emotional, and professional.
Let's listen again to Colas's "Diggy, daggy" magical aria written at age 12 in Bastien und Bastienne. The power of this incantation is mind-blowing. Who's written something similar as fascinating and entrancing -- at any age?

This is again the unique impact of Sadie's book: He is able to make us appreciate and recognize this unique freshness and sparkle of youth in Mozart's early music, and urges us to discard all the clichés ("mature," "immature", "growing," "blossoming,") firmly entrenched in the popular perceptions of Mozart.

Mozart at 9 already wrote not only competent and able music, but exciting and eerily beautiful music. Just let's listen to the aria "Va, dal furor portata", K.21 written in 1765 when Mozart was in London, sung for instance by Thomas Moser or the superb Gösta Winbergh.

Mozart at 14? Just listen to the great, extraordinary aria "Misero me! - Misero pargoletto", K.77, sung by Edith Mathis, or Teresa Berganza, which Mozart produced on March 12, 1770 at a grand soirée of the highest nobility and the best connoisseurs of Milan.
This is an exceptional "tour de force" lasting a full 13' of the most sublime and passionate music Mozart was capable of. He only twice produced again an aria of this phenomenal scope, the famous "Ah, Lo Previdi!", K272, written in August 1777, in Salzburg, when Mozart was 21, and the transcendent "Popoli di Tessaglia", K316, written in July 1778, while in Paris, for his love Aloysia Weber, assuring her that this was his very best aria ever. It must be heard sung by Edita Gruberova, who reaches the famous G6, the highest note sung in the repertoire.

This aria "Misero me! - Misero pargoletto", K.77, is what convinced the management of the Milan opera (the precursor of La Scala) that the young boy Mozart of 14 was capable of writing a full opera worthy of the great Milan stage, and gambled, against all business prudence, on entrusting the small teenager with a most important commission, a vital one, as it launched Mozart's career as an operatic composer in Italy.
This was "Mitridate, Re di Ponto" K.87, which Mozart wrote during his travels through Italy with Leopold, and produced on the stage in Milan on Dec. 26, 1770 to the greatest acclaim, which led to the commission of another opera for the 1772 season in Milan -- the powerful "Lucio Silla," K135.
Jean-Pierre Ponnelle so much loved Mitridate that he staged it and filmed it in the sumptuous Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, rightly selecting the unforgettable Gösta Winbergh for the title role. It is our loss that Ponnelle died accidently before he could give us his own version of Lucio Silla.

This is the accurate view strongly endorsed by Stanley Sadie: to see "progress" is a retrospective illusion. Sadie puts the accent on the development of skills, the deployment of various styles corresponding to different times, different life conditions, different preferences or infatuations, different influences of momentary mentors or models (immediately imitated, absorbed and immediately bettered), different feelings and moods, different demands from different clients or employers, or different audiences -- more like the various colors in a prism, each one as valuable as the others.

Mozart had an inborn and natural talent that was skilfully nurtured by his father Leopold -- to whom not enough credit has been given by musical historians. Mozart changed, all the time, as the true musical chameleon he naturally was, constantly able to adapt his style at a moment's notice -- no two works are alike -- but he did not "improve" as if he were an apprentice learning his trade until he achieved masterhood. This is again nonsense.
Mozart proved his mastery since the very first years of his childhood. He was the greatest prodigy of his age, probably of all ages, and considered the only authentic miracle by the musical world, not only as a performer -- on the keyboard, organ, violin and viola -- but also as a composer in all genres.

Sadie wants to remedy the strange situation of a music world that has fostered the myth about Mozart's early music as secondary and dispensable, and has gone blissfully ignoring it until the present day.
The result of his extensive analysis of the greatness of Mozart's early music is nothing less than a radical revolution in the public's perception and appreciation of all the facets of young Mozart's musical genius. Sadie, as Abert had already done, succeeds in demonstrating that Mozart's "early" music has a remarkably distinct beauty, inimitable charm, and is valuable and admirable in its own right.

Sadie can describe clearly how Mozart's genius could develop at such a young age, but he cannot completely explain, nor anybody else, why Mozart's composing talent spontaneously emerged around age 5. Genius has a strong genetic component, "nature" irreducible to "culture", learning, training, and mentoring. Mozart himself could never explain where his music came from.
However there's a model for this explosive emergence: the ancient Greek goddess, Athena, bursting out of Zeus's forehead all formed and fully equipped with her traditional arms, helmet, breastplate, shield, and lance.
Mozart deserves a similar place on Olympus.

Feb 1, 2010
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