A place for reflection and introspection, communication and thoughtful conversation.
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
MOZART vs SALIERI
“As iron is eaten by rust, so are the envious consumed by envy.” - Antisthenes
Today is the birthday of: Virginia Dare, first American-born child of English parents (1587); Brook Taylor, mathematician (1685); Antonio Salieri, Italian composer (1750); Meriwether Lewis, American explorer (1774); Fabian Gottlieb von Bellinghausen, Antarctica circumnavigator (1778); John Russell, British Prime Minister (1792); Max Factor, cosmetics empire builder (1904); Shelley Winters (Shirley Schrift), actress (1922); Rosalynn Smith, former American first lady (1927); Roman Polanski, director (1933); Robert Redford, US actor (1937); Martin Mull, actor (1943); Patrick Swayze, actor (1952);
Vinca major, the blue periwinkle is the birthday flower for today. It symbolises early friendship. Astrologically, the plant is ruled by Venus.
Antonio Salieri (1750-1825) was Mozart’s contemporary and during their lifetimes, Salieri was infinitely more popular and more successful than Mozart. His music nowadays sounds curiously simplistic and devoid of expression of feeling, although technically competent and satisfying in form. He appreciated Mozart’s genius and may have even helped the younger composer. But was he also envious of him? Did he, as one playwright would have us believe, have a hand in Mozart’s untimely death? Peter Schaeffer’s “Amadeus” may have done irreparable harm to Salieri’s reputation and unfortunately it may all be groundless slander! Who knows for certain? He wrote over 40 operas, none of which have been revived and his instrumental output although smaller is the only part of his oeuvre that is nowadays available. Some of his works that are entertaining and possibly an illustration of “classical muzak” are his concerti: Concerto for Fortepiano and Orchestra (1773) and Concerto for Flute, Oboe and Orchestra (1774). They are rather light and have no pretensions of being deep and emotionally challenging…
Just by way of comparison, here are the first movements of piano concertos by Salieri (Concerto for fortepiano in B flat-major, composed around 1773 when Salieri was 23 years old) and by Mozart (Piano Concerto No. 9 in E flat major, K271, composed in 1777 when Mozart was 21 years old).
Now compare this to Mozart’s effort in the same genre:
I have been blogging daily on this platform for several years now. It is surprising that I have persisted as the world is changing and "microblogging" is now the norm. I blog to amuse myself, make comment on current affairs, externalise some of my creativity, keep notes on things that interest me, learn something new and to surprise myself with things that I discover about this wonderful, and sometimes crazy, world we live in.
I sometimes get the impression that I am on a soapbox delivering a monologue, so your comments are welcome.