Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart hardly needs introduction. He has become the best known and most often played composer of the classical era.
The movie, Amadeus, created more fame. He has been the subject of several books and many scholars have studied his music.
Every symphony orchestra includes Mozart in its repertoire.
Mozart was born in 1756. His musical talent was cultivated by his musician father and he was famous in Europe as a child prodigy performing on the harpsichord and violin. Mozartís musical genius developed through exposure to the best composers and musicians in Europe. His travels began early as a child performer and continued through his short life. For example, he became friends with Johann Christian Bach, the son of the great master, JS Bach, in London in 1764. He made three trips to Italy meeting the great composers there; he became a member of the famous Italian Accademia Filarmonica. Mozart became friends with Joseph Haydn in Vienna. Haydn told Mozartís father: "Before God and as an honest man I tell you that your son is the greatest composer known to me either in person or by name.Ē
The movie, Amadeus, was based on Peter Shaffer's stage play. Shaffer and
Forman revised the play as a script for the movie with the caveat that the film
was a fictional interpretations and not an accurate biography. The role of
imperial court composer Antonio Salieri was, for example, exaggerated and
distortedÖ he was given the role of the commentator who was in awe of Mozart's
genius, but who deplored Mozart's character and envied his successes. The idea
that Salieri poisoned Mozart is wrong. The diagnosis of Mozart's fatal illness
will never be certain, but symptoms and signs suggest he developed rheumatic
fever after a strep throat infection and died of kidney and/or heart failure.
For those of us seeking an impression of Mozartís eighteenth-century life, the
movie was entertaining, informative and moving.
More Mozart publicity was generated by claims that babies become more
intelligent by listening to Mozart's music, even in utero. Tomatis
suggested that Mozart's music could cure a variety of disorders. Campbell
suggested that that listening to Mozart temporarily boosted students' IQ by 8 to
9 points. None of these claims have been substantiated. There is no doubt that music of all kinds has a
strong influence on the mind which in turn is an expression of body physiology.
There is no doubt that noise can be harmful and good music can be helpful.
While I would never argue against listening to Mozart's music, the main value
is enjoyment and enjoyment is enhanced by learning more about musical
compositional and Mozart's musical ideas. There is a musical intelligence in us
that responds to well crafted and well played music. Mozart was a progressive
composer who incorporated new musical ideas from others. His genius lay in his
receptivity to the best ideas of others and his ability to incorporate new
ideas into his compositions. His musical styles changed progressively.
As a child, I played Mozart piano pieces. Mozart, like JS Bach, wrote many
short keyboard pieces that were accessible to children. For several years, he
relied on teaching to earn part of his income. Some of his simpler pieces
feature attractive melodies and simple harmonies that everyone can enjoy.
The first Mozart recoding done at Persona Studio was a piano sonata arranged
for a music box created on the Proteus 2500 synthesizer - work station. I have adapted
the Kyrie sections from two Masses. The Mass in C is easily recognized because of Mozart's
playful approach. The Mass in D is more in the style of JS Bach.
Mozart's Mass in C Kyrie
Mozart's Mass in D Kyrie
Persona Music Recordings: Our Music Catalogue includes recorded performances
under the titles Persona Digital, P2500 Band, Em4U, and the Persona Classical Consort.
The focus of Persona Classical is the creation of digital performances of pieces
by J.S. Bach. Other performances include pieces by Mozart, Pachelbel and
Music online is offered to illustrate music history, advance music education and appreciation. The recordings presented online demonstrate Persona
Studio's arranging, recording and mastering techniques. All the recordings are
arrangements and performances completed in house by Stephen Gislason. The music selections and their history
are explained in the book, Sound of Music.
Topics presented at Persona Digital Studio are from the The Sound of Music by