180 Days With Mozart And Me

A Survey Of The Philips Complete Mozart Edition…From Symphonies Through Theatre And Ballet Music

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Entries from December 31st, 2009

Of Year’s End and Tea Parties (Serenades and Dances, Box 2)

December 31st, 2009 · No Comments · Boston Tea Party, Box 2: Serenades Dances Marches, K164/130a, K176, K315g/315a, K61h, Minuets, Mozart at 15, Mozart at 16, Mozart at 17, Salzburg (1771-72), Salzburg (December 1773), Salzburg (June 1772), Salzburg (late 1773), Wiener Mozart Ensemble, Willi Boskovsky

Some time during the cold, dark days of December, 1773, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed 16 Minuets (K176), the very ones to which I listen at 7:15 on this cold, dark December morning nearly two and a half centuries later. After eating my Asiago bagel (sliced and toasted) with cream cheese, and cupping my chilly hands [...]

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Of Cold Hands and Many Minuets (Serenades and Dances, Box 2)

December 30th, 2009 · No Comments · 1769-70, Bologna (Spring 1770), Box 2: Serenades Dances Marches, Contredanses, Ensemble (definition), Minuets, Mozart at 12, Mozart at 13, Mozart at 14, Mozart at 16, Rome (April 14 1770), Salzburg (1769), Salzburg (1772), Salzburg (Autumn 1770), Salzburg (Early 1770), Salzburg (January 26 1769), Vienna State Opera, Wiener Mozart Ensemble, Willi Boskovsky

It’s 6:40 a.m. I’m back at Panera Bread, sitting in my new “usual” spot, a square table pushed up against the wall-to-ceiling windows on the east side of the building. I’m freezing my ass off. Today starts a new chapter in Mozart music – Dances. It also marks the beginning of a few CDs with [...]

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Of Hot Dogs and Posthorns (Serenades and Dances, Box 2)

December 29th, 2009 · No Comments · Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Box 2: Serenades Dances Marches, K320, K335/320a No. 1, K335/320a No. 2, March in D, Mozart at 23, Mozart at 24, Mozart: the man and the artist revealed in his own words, Posthorn (definition), Salzburg (August 1780), Salzburg (August 3 1779), Serenade in D "Posthorn", Sir Neville Marriner

Tonight, my wife and I staged “dog wars” – a competition between the hot dog and drink combos of Sam’s Club and Costco. Each was $1.50. Each includes an all-beef hot dog and a drink. Which hot-dog combination would win the coveted prize as The Best? First stop was Sam’s Club. Their hot-dog combo meal [...]

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Of Raw Oysters and Happy Haffners (Serenades and Dances, Box 2)

December 28th, 2009 · No Comments · Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Andantino (definition), Assai (definition), Box 2: Serenades Dances Marches, Conrad Wilson, K249, K250/248/b "Haffner", March in D, Marcia Davenport, Minuet (definition), Molto (definition), Mozart at 20, Notes on Mozart, Salzburg (July 20 1776), Salzburg (June 1776), Serenade in D, Sir Neville Marriner

Mozart was 20 when he wrote one of his most famous serenades, Serenade in D, K250/248b, also known as “Haffner,” for the Haffner family for whom he composed it. The “Haffner” Serenade is exquisite, rich, textured, melodic, triumphant, and just plain pretty. From the book Mozart by Marcia Davenport, comes this background on the “Haffner” [...]

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Of Day Trippers and Night Musics (Serenades and Dances, Box 2)

December 27th, 2009 · No Comments · Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Beatles, Box 2: Serenades Dances Marches, Day Tripper, Death of Leopold, Eine kleine Nachtmusik, John Lennon, K185/167a, K189/167b, K525, March in D, Mozart at 17, Mozart at 31, Paul McCartney, Serenade in D, Serenade in G, Sir Neville Marriner, Vienna (August 10 1787), Vienna (July-August 1773)

Ear candy. A melody so catchy that it burrows into the brain and stays there – forever. The Beatles were masters of this. They could pack more melody, emotion, lyrical wit, and astonishing musicianship into 2:53 like no music group on the planet. Most of the songs on their album Revolver attest to this. Give [...]

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Of Falling Snow and Serenata Notturnas (Serenades and Dances, Box 2)

December 26th, 2009 · No Comments · Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Box 2: Serenades Dances Marches, K203/189b, K237/189c, K239, March in D, Michigan (USA), Mozart at 18, Mozart at 20, Patrick Kavanaugh, Salzburg (August 1774), Salzburg (January 1776), Serenata notturna, Sir Neville Marriner, Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers

So, now is snows! It’s a good thing the Christmas season lasts until New Years. Bing Crosby would have been able to croon his tune today for sure. While I sat inside, working, I watched the snow fall steadily all day. It’s pretty out there, warm in here, and a picture-perfect late-December day in Michigan. [...]

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Of Gray Christmases and Fourth Letters (Serenades and Dances, Box 2)

December 25th, 2009 · No Comments · Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Adagio (definition), Allegro (definition), Andante (definition), Box 2: Serenades Dances Marches, Jeremy J. Beadle, K204/213a, K215/213b, K285, March in D, Mozart at 19, Mozart at 20, Notturno in D for 4 Orchestras, Salzburg (August 1775), Salzburg (August 5 1775), Serenade in D, Sir Neville Marriner, Virgin Guide to Classical Music

Christmas Day. After a fun morning of opening stockings, taking lots of pictures, laughing at our cat (who loves tearing bows off presents and romping in the spent wrapping paper), watching the Bill Murray movie Scrooged, and eating amazing blueberry pancakes and crispy-to-the-point-of-shards bacon, we gathered at my Mom’s house for dinner with my brothers [...]

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Of Christmas Eve and Egg Nog (Serenades and Dances, Box 2)

December 24th, 2009 · No Comments · Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Box 2: Serenades Dances Marches, Cassation, Cassation in G, K100/62a, K62, K63, March in D, Mozart at 13, Salzburg (Summer 1769), Serenade in D, Sir Neville Marriner

I didn’t think it was possible. But CD 2 kind of bored me. Oh, not so’s you’d notice. And not to the point of tears. But nothing really reached out and grabbed me. In all fairness to Wolfgang, today was a busy day, what with it being Christmas Eve and all. My wife and I [...]

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“The Best Things, Happen When You’re Dancing…” (Serenades and Dances, Box 2)

December 23rd, 2009 · No Comments · Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Box 2: Serenades Dances Marches, Cessation in B flat, Dancing, Divertimento, French Horns, Galimathias musicum, K131, K32, K99/63a, Mozart at 10, Mozart at 13, Mozart at 16, Sir Neville Marriner, White Christmas

Wow, is this fun music! I could listen to this all day, and actually have. These compositions remind me of some of my favorite Classical music: Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. These Mozart pieces feature beautiful French horns, very sprightly arrangements, and enough depth to keep me interested. According to an essay titled “The Serenades for Orchestra, [...]

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Of Starving Artists and Gas Giants (Symphonies, Box 1)

December 22nd, 2009 · No Comments · Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Box 1: Symphonies, Conrad Wilson, Friedrich Kerst, K550, K551, Mozart at 32, Mozart: the man and the artist revealed in his own words, Notes on Mozart, Sir Neville Marriner, Symphony No. 40, Symphony No. 41, Vienna (August 10 1788), Vienna (July 25 1788)

You have got to be kidding me. The two symphonies on this CD (CD 12, the last one in the box of Symphonies) are nothing short of jaw-dropping. There’s no possible way I can pick a favorite between these two. The first movement (Molto allegro) to Symphony 40 is as well known as Beethoven’s Fifth. [...]

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