2022 our 25th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
35 members (Burkhard, Animisha, 0day, anotherscott, clothearednincompo, Bett, AWilley, bwv543, 6 invisible), 734 guests, and 270 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 708
B
boo1234 Offline OP
500 Post Club Member
OP Offline
500 Post Club Member
B
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 708
So I’m reading some stuff about certain Mozart piano concertos and how a few were literally finished the same day as the premier. Same thing with some symphonies and opera overtures. Were the orchestras of the time really adept at sight reading? And what were they sight reading? Did these things get copied by hand really fast or was it able to get to the engraver really quickly? Or are these stories just not true?

Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 5,123
P
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 5,123
Originally Posted by boo1234
So I’m reading some stuff about certain Mozart piano concertos and how a few were literally finished the same day as the premier. Same thing with some symphonies and opera overtures. Were the orchestras of the time really adept at sight reading? And what were they sight reading? Did these things get copied by hand really fast or was it able to get to the engraver really quickly? Or are these stories just not true?

Survey says: these stories are just not true!

But you’ve come to the right place for enlightenment, for you see, I’m here to debunk and debunk only.

First, the greatest ever, Bach, did not believe ‘true’ sight reading was possible. Sure, one can sight-read a simple arrangement of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” but go ahead, make my day, and try sight reading a fugue from “The Art of Fugue!”

Another myth, “compositions arrived fully formed” for Mozart; whilst I can see that some of his mediocre compositions might’ve been composed on a whim, something like the requiem took years, tears, and lots of re-writing.

“He never made a single correction,” further emphasizing the above (a message from God, himself), is yet another myth; he made plenty of corrections/rewrites; we simply never got to see them because Mozart was very adept at playing the demigod part, and perhaps even enjoyed and perpetuated many of these long-running myths (myths fill up concert halls).

Also, he didn’t write his first composition at 5 (or whatever the claim is); his father wrote it, and then Mozart copied it for further handwriting analysis. Leopold was a cunning and shrewd businessman, and he knew that these self-created myths sold out arenas.

Was he talented, Mozart? Yes! Was he a demigod? No!

Did he compose great music? Yes! Did he also right forgettable crap? Yes!

Did Salieri poison him? The scholars say no, but my guess is that Salieri, at the very least, ‘muddied the waters from whence Mozart suckled’ (a metaphor).

Was he short? Yes! Did he live for the moment? Yes! Was he quasi-destitute for most of his life despite making so much money? Yes.

Did his sister hate him for stealing the limelight from her? Yes, she must’ve been resentful, some, for the fact that she was the straight-guy to his Jerry Lewis.


For any more myths to be debunked, please do not hesitate to call on my name thrice!

Joined: May 2020
Posts: 298
M
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 298
@pete
Thanks for the insighful post

Care to expand on where and why Bach stated no real sight reading was possible?

Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 5,123
P
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 5,123
I politely, though very clearly, expounded on the rules of engagement: “call on my name thrice.”

It is obvious to me that you have decided to cut corners by only calling once on my name, therefore, I shall not engage!

I am by no means an angry old man, but I believe basic principles and rules should be followed even in this day of self-indulging mania perpetuated by forces bent on breaking the rules!



Respectfully yours,

Pete XIV, aka The Destroyer (of things he doesn’t like).

Joined: May 2015
Posts: 11,256
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 11,256
Originally Posted by Pete14
I politely, though very clearly, expounded on the rules of engagement: “call on my name thrice.”

It is obvious to me that you have decided to cut corners by only calling once on my name, therefore, I shall not engage!

I am by no means an angry old man, but I believe basic principles and rules should be followed even in this day of self-indulging mania perpetuated by forces bent on breaking the rules!



Respectfully yours,

Pete XIV, aka The Destroyer (of things he doesn’t like).


I heard him call your name thrice. Just because you didn’t personally hear it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Time to answer the question.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 5,123
P
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 5,123
With all due respect, I’m wearing the K-1000 hearing aids (best in the industry), and not even the faintest murmur gets past me; heck, I can even hear my neighbors bad-mouthing me!

Can you believe those jerks (my neighbors) have the nerve to come knocking for ‘a little sugar’ when I can hear them day in/out hating on me?

Oh, I sure give ‘em that sugar, but not before lacing it with just a little cyanide; enough to make them sick but not kill them (I’m not a natural-born-killer).

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 12,282

Platinum Supporter until November 30 2022
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline

Platinum Supporter until November 30 2022
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 12,282
Originally Posted by Pete14
Another myth, “compositions arrived fully formed” for Mozart; whilst I can see that some of his mediocre compositions might’ve been composed on a whim, something like the requiem took years, tears, and lots of re-writing.!
Probably not the best example to illustrate your point, as the Requiem was comissioned in July 1791 and Mozart died five months later with the Requiem largely uncompleted. smile


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
Korg SP-100 Stage Piano
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 3,413
S
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 3,413
I think the main story i have heard is about Don Giovanni. But that is limited to the ouverture. It was usual to rehearse pieces before performance, so the case of the Don Giovanni ouverture is exceptional.b


Blüthner model 6
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 5,123
P
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 5,123
You know, Carey, I have a hard time believing that a ‘student’ completed the Requiem.

Me thinks, the student at best ‘filled out the blanks’ (a few notes here and there), but the bulk of it was mostly, perhaps excepting the last ‘major’ chord, Mozart.

Although some like this tacky ending -in Major- I think it’s too-much of a happy ending for a piece meant to be literally morbid.

What are we supposed to deduce with that ‘optimistic’ ending? That there’s life after death? No, sir! Mozart did not write that last chord, but everything else is pretty much Mozart 101!

Surely, the scholars ‘round here will give me a beating for this, but I stand by my intuition informed by years of practice!


P.S.

You mention the ‘commission’ as clear evidence that this work was not ‘years in the making,’ but I disagree. Mozart had been quietly working on the piece for years; perhaps not even knowing that it would end up a requiem; however, when someone came knocking with a bag full of coins, and asking for a requiem, Mozart promptly responded, “sure, I’ll get to it ‘soon’s possible.” Little did the commissioning party know, that Mozart had most of this work already in the pocket.

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 12,282

Platinum Supporter until November 30 2022
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline

Platinum Supporter until November 30 2022
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 12,282
Originally Posted by Pete14
You know, Carey, I have a hard time believing that a ‘student’ completed the Requiem.

Me thinks, the student at best ‘filled out the blanks’ (a few notes here and there), but the bulk of it was mostly, perhaps excepting the last ‘major’ chord, Mozart.

Pete - here is a recording of everything that was completed in Mozart's own hand before his untimely death. This was a bit of a revelation to me. "Only the first movement - the Requiem aeternum - was completed by Mozart; the rest of the score consists of the fully written choral parts, a basso continuo (cello, bass and organ) line and occasionally written out bars of the upper strings and woodwinds to link the vocal material together." Sussemeyer (or whoever) apparently completed the Lacrymosa. Per Wikipedia "It cannot be shown to what extent Süssmayr may have depended on now lost "scraps of paper" for the remainder; he later claimed the Sanctus and Benedictus and the Agnus Dei as his own."




Quote
You mention the ‘commission’ as clear evidence that this work was not ‘years in the making,’ but I disagree. Mozart had been quietly working on the piece for years; perhaps not even knowing that it would end up a requiem; however, when someone came knocking with a bag full of coins, and asking for a requiem, Mozart promptly responded, “sure, I’ll get to it ‘soon’s possible.” Little did the commissioning party know, that Mozart had most of this work already in the pocket.
We'll never know for sure, will we?


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
Korg SP-100 Stage Piano
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 2,639
T
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 2,639
Bach wrote many oratorios for Sunday services and he had people to copy the voice & instrument parts and distribute them to musicians.

Not sure about Mozart pieces. His last symphony #41 "Jupiter" was probably never performed in his lifetime. Mozart probably died the day after the symphony was written.

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 12,282

Platinum Supporter until November 30 2022
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline

Platinum Supporter until November 30 2022
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 12,282
Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Bach wrote many oratorios for Sunday services and he had people to copy the voice & instrument parts and distribute them to musicians.
I believe these were cantatas rather than oratorios. smile

Quote
Not sure about Mozart pieces. His last symphony #41 "Jupiter" was probably never performed in his lifetime. Mozart probably died the day after the symphony was written.
While there is no record of the Jupiter being performed during Mozart's lifetime, it was actually composed in 1788, three years prior to his death.


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
Korg SP-100 Stage Piano
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 2,639
T
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 2,639
Originally Posted by Carey
While there is no record of the Jupiter being performed during Mozart's lifetime, it was actually composed in 1788, three years prior to his death.

Not going to challenge any claims on Mozart. In my school days watched a TV documentary on Mozart. Somehow got the impression he had ideas in his head when composing his greatest operas including "Don Giovanni", "Magic Flute" but didn't actually write a single note on paper until the night before the opening. The claims are probably exaggerated since operas are elaborate stage productions. Musicians need to rehearse their parts. Costumes & stage setup need to be prepared ahead of time.

And the last 3 symphonies (#39-41) somehow got the impressions they were written just days before his death. In other words, if Mozart lived a few more days, there would be a symphony #42 and even a 43.

Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 5,123
P
5000 Post Club Member
Offline
5000 Post Club Member
P
Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 5,123
“Scraps of paper”?

How disrespectful of Mr. Wikipedia to imply that a scrap of paper is in anyway inferior to a whole page!

Does he know that the theory of relativity was written on a so-called scrap of paper?!

Now, regarding the rest of your research, well done! And I’m not going to go on a back & forth on the veracity of those “30 minutes of music written by Mozart,” but……

…..for all we know, Suss (or whoever) could’ve ‘taken care of Mozart’ in his sleep to then hurriedly copy from the original material; only to then dispose of it. Of course, he was smart not to claim the entire work as being his; because no one would’ve believed him, hence, the 30 minutes he ‘allegedly’ kept intact (how convenient).

Why would Suss commit such a despicable act? For the one thing more coveted than money: fame! We’re talking about him, aren’t we? So I’d say it worked (allegedly).

But, for the sake of a hypothetical, I’d say them 30 minutes of music capture the essence of the work; as for the Lacrimosa, those few opening bars gave me goose-bumps, so I’d say “completing/filling” in the rest did not add much to the intended effect.

Regarding the S&B and the Agnus Dei, are we to simply take Suss on his word? (I genuinely ask).



P.S.

Suss seems a bit suspect to me; too bad we didn’t have private dicks back then to unravel the whole thing; if they did exist, they most certainly did a terrible job on this here Requiem! Where’s Sherlock Holmes when you need him? (Yes, I know he’s fictitious, and Mozart preceded him by some years; no need to clarify that for me). grin

Joined: May 2015
Posts: 11,256
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 11,256
Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
Originally Posted by Carey
While there is no record of the Jupiter being performed during Mozart's lifetime, it was actually composed in 1788, three years prior to his death.

Not going to challenge any claims on Mozart. In my school days watched a TV documentary on Mozart. Somehow got the impression he had ideas in his head when composing his greatest operas including "Don Giovanni", "Magic Flute" but didn't actually write a single note on paper until the night before the opening. The claims are probably exaggerated since operas are elaborate stage productions. Musicians need to rehearse their parts. Costumes & stage setup need to be prepared ahead of time.

And the last 3 symphonies (#39-41) somehow got the impressions they were written just days before his death. In other words, if Mozart lived a few more days, there would be a symphony #42 and even a 43.

You might want to read Carey’s post re symphony 41. It was written three years prior to his death.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 12,282

Platinum Supporter until November 30 2022
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline

Platinum Supporter until November 30 2022
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 12,282
Originally Posted by Pete14
“Scraps of paper”?

How disrespectful of Mr. Wikipedia to imply that a scrap of paper is in anyway inferior to a whole page! Does he know that the theory of relativity was written on a so-called scrap of paper?!
Ha ha.

Quote
Now, regarding the rest of your research, well done! And I’m not going to go on a back & forth on the veracity of those “30 minutes of music written by Mozart,” but………..for all we know, Suss (or whoever) could’ve ‘taken care of Mozart’ in his sleep to then hurriedly copy from the original material; only to then dispose of it. Of course, he was smart not to claim the entire work as being his; because no one would’ve believed him, hence, the 30 minutes he ‘allegedly’ kept intact (how convenient). Why would Suss commit such a despicable act? For the one thing more coveted than money: fame! We’re talking about him, aren’t we? So I’d say it worked (allegedly). But, for the sake of a hypothetical, I’d say them 30 minutes of music capture the essence of the work; as for the Lacrimosa, those few opening bars gave me goose-bumps, so I’d say “completing/filling” in the rest did not add much to the intended effect. Regarding the S&B and the Agnus Dei, are we to simply take Suss on his word? (I genuinely ask).


Found these interesting program notes from the Chicago Chorale:

"Why does the “Completed by” line, following “Composed by W.A.Mozart,” matter so much, when we consider Mozart’s Requiem? Scholars have long struggled to determine just how much of the Requiem actually belongs to Mozart. The composer’s final and unfinished work, it was commissioned by Count Franz von Wallsegg, who wished to have it performed, as his own composition, in memory of his dead wife. Mozart died before completing it; his wife Constanze decided to have it completed in secrecy, so that she could present it as Mozart’s work and collect the commission fee. Four musicians—friends and students of Mozart—aided in the hasty work of finishing the piece. Foremost among these was Mozart’s assistant, Franz Xaver Süssmayr (1766-1803); he was aided by Jakob Freistädtler, Joseph Eybler, and Abbé Maximilian Stadler. Their completed version of the Requiem was sent to the Count under a forged signature in Süssmayr’s hand, after Constanze had it copied. It is in this version that more than two centuries of listeners have encountered the Requiem.

Not long after, however, Süssmayr and Constanze came clean about what they had done, claiming that other than a “few scraps of music” which Constanze had handed over to Süssmayr, those portions of the original manuscript that were not in Mozart’s hand, were completely Süssmayr’s work. This prompted counter-claims from outside observers, who declared that Süssmayr was not a good enough composer to have produced this music. On the one hand, they acknowledged such Süssmayrisms as clumsy voice leading; thick, muddy orchestration; and conflicts with normal 18th century church music practice; but the fundamental nature and quality of the music, and the integration of musical motives throughout the work, were not similar to that on display in Süssmayr’s other works.

Spurred by Wolfgang Plath’s unearthing in 1960 of one of the “few scraps of music,” a number of musicians have attempted to eliminate from the Requiem the deficiencies introduced by Süssmayr, replacing them with music that is more in keeping with the Mozartean idiom. These “completers” include Robert Levin, Franz Beyer, H.C.Robbins Landon, Richard Maunder, and Duncan Bruce. Each has focused on universally acknowledged problems, proposing interesting solutions. Levin’s completion has gained considerable traction among top tier performing groups; Levin presents convincing arguments for the decisions he has made, and his finished completion acknowledges both the work’s traditional reliance upon Süssmayr, and the findings of more recent musical scholarship. This is the completion Chorale will present at our March 25 performance.

Süssmayr was no Mozart, to be sure. Still, we have little reason to doubt that Mozart discussed the Requiem with Süssmayr, and may even have given him detailed instructions concerning the unfinished sections. If nothing else, Süssmayr’s completion is an authentic 18th-century work with 200 years of performance tradition behind it. "


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
Korg SP-100 Stage Piano
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 11,256
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 11,256
Hi Carey:
Thanks so much for the great information! I was fortunate to hear a Robert Levin lecture, and I would love to hear a performance of his revised Requiem


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 2,960
S
2000 Post Club Member
Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 2,960
“Mozart’s” Requiem was good enough for Chopin to request it to be performed at his funeral in his final request.


Repertoire interests: early Baroque through early Romantic eras.
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,995
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Online Content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 23,995
What a neat thread, and....
PETE, what delightful stuff you say!

I can't believe you've been here 9 years and have so many posts, and..... I've never heard of you. ha ha

I guess you haven't been on this section that much.
Prolly because nobody called you 3 times before....

(our bad)

I hope you'll be here more! thumb

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 12,282

Platinum Supporter until November 30 2022
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline

Platinum Supporter until November 30 2022
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 12,282
Originally Posted by Sweelinck
“Mozart’s” Requiem was good enough for Chopin to request it to be performed at his funeral in his final request.
Which confirms that Chopin had extremely good taste in music - but it must have been a rather long funeral service. smile Unfortunately, the female members of the chorus were forced to sing behind a black velvet curtain, so they would not be "visible" (long story).


Mason and Hamlin BB - 91640
Kawai K-500 Upright
Kawai CA-65 Digital
Korg SP-100 Stage Piano
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo
Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
Piano Buyer - Read the Articles, Explore the website
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Boston UP-118S opinions
by skern49 - 08/08/22 10:22 PM
OT-ish: what kind of Yamaha is this?
by ShiroKuro - 08/08/22 06:53 PM
Crack on soundboard
by phucahwa - 08/08/22 05:43 PM
Cage:Sonatas and Interludes
by pianoloverus - 08/08/22 05:31 PM
Bluetooth Pedal - page turner
by danno858 - 08/08/22 04:00 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
What's Hot!!
FREE June Newsletter is Here!
--------------------
Forums RULES, Terms of Service & HELP
(updated 06/06/2022)
-------------------
Music Store Going Out of Business Sale!
---------------------
Mr. PianoWorld's Original Composition
---------------------
Sell Your Piano on our world famous Piano Forums!
---------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
Forum Statistics
Forums43
Topics214,303
Posts3,214,905
Members106,036
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2022 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5