Friday, January 16, 2015

New Mozart

1787 was one of Mozart's best years: Among other things, Figaro was enjoying huge success in Prague, where he went to spend some time visiting a house which I, too, have visited - a lovely manor on a gently sloping hill outside of the city. 

Today I found a set of German dances composed during his visit to Prague that year, music that no one plays, though 1787 was a year that saw many magnificent compositions, the G minor Piano Quartet among them.

These dances are hilarious parodies of everything gauche about German folk music viewed through the sophisticated eyes of the bourgeoisie and of the nobility.  Why have they not been used, as have other German dances, as pedagogical fodder?  They must be too hard.  Not in any obvious way, outside of the occasional leaping octaves; but mostly because bad voice leading is actually harder to play than good voice leading.