Saturday, January 25, 2014

On the Mozart G Minor Piano Quartet

I enjoyed a brief exchange with the cellist of a string quartet that had performed the Mozart several times during their past season.  When I brought up the subject of what a problematic piece it is, he looked at me a bit oddly, then asked whether that was why the opening of the second movement -- the third eighth-note, to be precise -- was so consistently difficult to tune.

Yes!  That is a sure sign that tone is alive.  No matter how well-schooled you are or how competent, Mozart makes things come alive so that we are required to notice that tone is subject to many variables beyond our control.

It took a few sentences to get him to the point where he observed this.  No one likes to admit complexity at what seems like such an elemental level.

Check out my book: Tone Perception Visualized: The Mozart G Minor Piano Quartet: Tonal Refraction I.