Prof. Tony Jones
November 5, 2012
Music and Personalities of F. J. Haydn and W. A. Mozart
The relationship of Haydn and Mozart has been the subject of much comment, most of it because Mozartians have always considered Haydn to be a second-rate composer. But contemporary and near-contemporary documents and Mozart's own compositions make it clear that Mozart treated the elder composer and his music with loving attention. Their close relationship both musically and personally makes the Mostly Mozart Festival's: Haydn Week appropriate. First, the personalities of Haydn and Mozart. The two composers under discussion here each created works that are a hybrid of other forms and sonata form. Haydn did not create sonata form, but he was a master of it. His grasp of form was excellent, and at the same time, he took a few liberties with his conception of it. Haydn was fond of the false recapitulation. A false recapitulation is a device that can be used near the end of the development section of a sonata form movement. Aside from a false recapitulation, Haydn was fond of surprising the listener with many unexpected turns and twists. Sudden key changes, unexpected shifts of rhythm or harmony, a phrase that leads into something totally different than what is expected. Mozart is a contradiction in that he was more conservative and followed the “rules” much more than Haydn, yet his music is incomparable. Haydn was very much given to surprising, and even shocking the listener, yet Mozart rarely did this. His music is more regular and well behaved. Yet within the confines of the boundaries he seemingly imposed on himself, Mozart left us many incomparable masterpieces. In opera Mozart was unsurpassed. Haydn openly admitted that Mozart’s operas were far greater than his own. The classical concerto being so close in style to the classical opera, composers who were successful in one were...
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