Thursday, February 23, 2012

1000 SONGS -DAY 179: SONG # 210

Day 179: One of my favourite "pieces of music" of all times

You could not and you should not call a composition that is a complex weaving together of 5 themes a "song". And more so, not the very composition that proves that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has been one of the greatest musical geniuses of all times. Woody Allen is credited of having found an even greater proof in the Molto Allegro Set #4 of Symphony 41 (K 551), the "Jupiter Symphony". According to some people, in Mr. Allen's opinion it proves the existence of God, since "the combination of the five themes in the five-part counterpoint fugato [was] so complex that it [was] impossible for the human ear to sense everything that is going on". Only God could completely grasp it. I could not verify this quote alleged to Mr. Konigsberg, whom some even hold to be an atheist. Be that as it may, for all the complexity of the work, still human beings are able to conduct and perform it, in various interpretations of what "Molto Allegro" might be (according to the metronome I have been using for years, "Allegro" ranges from 120 to 168 bpm). F.e., one of the most reputated Mozart conductors of the 20th century, Karl Böhm is responsible for an up-tempo version with the Wiener Philharmoniker:

George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra give an even faster interpretation of the piéce:

Compare this, for instance, to the way this famous composition is performed by Jeffrey Tate and the English Chamber Orchestra:

And for those who do not have God's ears, a rather slow rendering, so you can grasp it all in time, by Sir Charles Mackerras, conducting the Scottish Chamber Orchestra:

Let me end with the statement that listening to that composition immediately does away with all the horrible Mozart-Kitsch of the Austrian tourism industry.

"Mozart mit Kopfhörer" by Comandantina Dusilova

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