Mozart’s Leap in the Dark

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발행기관 : 한양대학교 음악연구소 수록지정보 : 음악논단 / 20권
저자명 : ( Cliff Eisen )

영어 초록

The first book devoted entirely to Mozart's Requiem, by Albert Hahn, a small town music director in northern Germany, describes the work in this way: 'Now . . . we find ourselves in the beautiful morning light, led there by the inspired composer who through his passionate art banishes the loneliness of the barbaric night after long years of struggle.' Hahn's account attributes to the Requiem a character that was common place for much of the later nineteenth century and most of the twentieth as well. Abert, Saint Foix, Bruno Walter and countless others describe the work as consoling, the pious personal expression of a dying genius. Karl Geiringer describes it as 'a composition as transcendental as it is human ... it leads us gently towards peace and salvation' while Alfred Einstein wrote that, whoever composed the later parts of the works, 'The total impression remains. Death is not a terrible vision but a friend.'Mozart's own comments on death, however, are more equivocal: in November 1771 he witnessed a hanging in Milan but this elicited no particular reaction from him; and when Leopold's favorite poet, Gellert, died in 1770, Mozart wrote to his sister: 'I have nothing new except that Herr gelehrt [Herr learned, a pun on the name Gellert], the poet from Leipzig died, and since his death has composed no more poetry.' Voltaire's death prompted Mozart to write, 'that godless arch rascal Voltaire has pegged out [crepirt] like a dog, like a beast' and when the court violinist Joseph Hafeneder died in 1784, Mozart wrote that he was sorry chiefly because it would mean extra work for his father teaching the boys at the Chapel House.By the same token, early accounts of the Requiem say nothing about its consoling character. Ignaz Arnold, in his Mozarts Geist of 1803, noted the work's gloomy seriousness and dark melancholy' while Christian Friedrich Schwenke looked in vain for the 'pious humility of expression proper to such a solemn appeal to the mercy of the Redeemer.' During the so called Requiem Streit of the 1820s, Gottfried Weber asserted that the Confutatis could not be by Mozart because it 'emphasizes, con amore, the egotistical baseness of the words and by the ferocious unison of the stringed instrument maliciously incites the Judge of the World to hurl the cursed crowd of sinners into the deepest abyss.' And Hans Georg Nägeli, in his Vorlesungen über Musik, objected to the many violent changes of key and arbitrary alternations of major and minor that turn the Kyrie fugue into a 'barbarous confusion of sounds.'How is it, then, that the Requiem acquired its consoling character? And to what extent does this reflect only one cultural model when, in fact, there may be other critical frameworks for reading the work? This talk explores Mozart iconography, the performance history of the Requiem, and contemporary attitudes toward death by way of offering a new reading of the work, one more closely allied with the mass's critical reception in the early nineteenth century.

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Mozart’s Leap in the Dark