Saturday, January 9, 2010

wolfgang amadeus mozart | symphonies 35-41

ah yes, that prancing king of the fancies — it was only a matter of time before he showed up here — mozart! on this dg double disc, his somewhat mysterious final symphonies are handled with apt primness by karl "mr. prim" bohm aprow the supremely capable BPO. you can just picture everyone in the orchestra pursing their lips and buttholes, taking every pain not to harm even one silky strand of hair on mozart's sweet cherubish head. does it need to be this way? that is, does this bizarre kind of conservatism (which adjusts the composition to emphasize its sense of solidity) truly behoove the material potential of the composition? i think in mozart's instance, perhaps so. you may say i'm wrong in the head (or just wrong), but my feeling is that bohm is taking mozart on his own terms. discussants of mozart's style regularly make use of the same cliches regarding his personality (i.e. his playfulness, his sensuality, his penchant for ribaldries) but for god's sake, if this isn't asexually chaste music, what the fuck is? am i not making it sound good? well allow me to try and turn this around here. like i said, i think this is a heightened mozart; a mozart of improved mozartianness. sure, i mean, what the fuck? mozart was an enlightenment man; his late symphonies are aesthetic machines of that philosophical movement. their passion is for the whirring of reason, not the pumping of blood — consider that they were most likely written for the enjoyment of free masons. enjoying them, for me, means (initially) disabling a lot of my regular listening apparatus — basically, the desires to internalize, to find the places in myself where each phrase registers best, and to savor — and respecting the music as more of an external process. then, in that regard, i can start to appreciate the poetics of mozart's tonal politics and thereby engage the above-mentioned apparatus on a secondary level. a not entirely uncondescending way of appreciating the man's music, perhaps, but question not whether such an appreciation voids solidarity with his sounds. and here i'd make a special note: if i refuse to give mozart too much credit for broadening the emotional range of classical music, i have no problem crediting him for giving it a greater capacity for individualism. of course, i'm sure bohm had wildly different intentions, but to me it sounds like he got all of that. hear (and hear).

note: for corrupted symphony 41, III files, hear

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