Mozart in Retrospect: Studies in Criticism and Bibliography

Mozart in Retrospect: Studies in Criticism and Bibliography

Mozart in Retrospect: Studies in Criticism and Bibliography

Mozart in Retrospect: Studies in Criticism and Bibliography

Excerpt

This book fills some of the gaps that still exist in English writings on Mozart, voluminous though they are. It also covers some ground not touched by French and German writers. Twelve of the chapters have appeared before as contributions to periodicals, but all have been revised and partly rewritten or substantially expanded. Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 7, amounting to over one-third of the whole, are entirely new.

The first chapter traces the fluctuating expansion of Mozart's reputation from his own lifetime to the present day, in the light of the publication of his music, its performance, various opinions of it, and the growth of critical biography. Chapters 2 and 3 enlarge on some special topics alluded to in Chapter 1 and, like it, show how bibliography, in the widest sense of the term, can contribute to musical knowledge. Six other Chapters, 4-8 and 14, are partly bibliographical in content. They contain some new information about the transmission of the texts and sources of various compositions. Chapters 9-12 give a critical account of certain aspects of Mozart's music. His lifelong interest in keyboard instruments, as teacher and performer, is examined in Chapters 15 and 16, which bring together a body of facts that are otherwise inconveniently scattered and, in part, very little known. Mozart's fruitful interest in mechanical music -- a fascinating subject -- is discussed in Chapter 13. This, with parts of several other chapters, lays some emphasis on his creative processes during the last years of his life. There are thus several continuous threads of interest that have shaped the presentation of an inevitably heterogeneous book and have, it is hoped, given it some unity.

My thanks for permission to reprint those chapters which originally appeared in periodicals are due to the editors of the Monthly Musical Record (11 and 13), Music & Letters (10), Music Review (5), Musical Opinion (8, 12), the Musical Quarterly (4, 9) . . .

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