Case study: Mozart, Symphonies in E flat major K543, G minor K550 and C major K551

Lawson, C. (2012) Case study: Mozart, Symphonies in E flat major K543, G minor K550 and C major K551. In: The Cambridge history of musical performance. The Cambridge history of music . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 552-574. ISBN 9780521896115 (hardback) 9781316183229 (e-book)

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The original sound world of Mozart's last three symphonies can arguably never be recreated, if only because the evidence is fundamentally insufficient. In any case, to what extent can modern taste cope with primary materials that are sometimes decidedly uncomfortable? This is a fundamental question, since it would be scarcely surprising if the many intricacies of Mozart's last symphonies were not revealed at their premieres. It further seems likely that subsequent early performances would not have exhibited the degree of standardisation and consistency to which we have become accustomed. If this chapter cannot aspire even to speculate effectively, it can at least aim to open up some fruitful areas for reflection. The example of twentieth-century composer Edward Elgar is instructive; his own recordings from the 1920s and 1930s remain readily available yet have never been truly recreated, despite their primary perspective on both performance styles and technical standards. This would surely be true of aural evidence from 140 years earlier, were we to possess it.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mozart, historically informed performance, Edward Elgar
Subjects: Music aesthetics
Music History
Division: Musicology
Depositing User: Ms Katharine Liley
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2019 15:44
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2019 14:59

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