Sensation or fake?

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Location: Tønsberg, Norway

Sensation or fake?

Post by rogch » Wed Jul 27, 2005 8:38 am

There has been plenty of discussion about "tonal" versus "atonal" music in this forum lately. That reminds of a piece of music i heard on the radio that was pretty sensational. Not the music itself, but the alleged composer. I am talking about Mozart's masonic cantata "Dir, Seele des Weltalls" (K. 429). Some of it really sounded like Schönberg or Berg, perhaps mixed with a kind of Weill-like humour. It seemed like Mozart had been 150 years ahead of his time. The host of the programme (who is a Mozart expert) said he did not know much about this particular side of Mozart's music, but concluded that Mozart was clearly ahead of his time.

When i tried to find some information about this work, it became clear that it was not that simple. Evidently the two most sensational movements are based on short fragments from Mozart and completed later (a composer named Bishof has been "blamed"). I found a discussion about the issue: ... .php?t=189

In this discussion, everyone seems to think that Bishof has completed the score not in the style of Mozart, but in his own style. But is there nothing in the fragment to justify Bishof's completion? If there is not, it is not a completion, but just a fake unless it is stated that the music is composed by Bishof.

But is it unthinkable that Mozart could have composed music of the sort that later has been called "atonal". The music of Gesualdo, who lived long before Mozart, really challenges the ideas about tonality. And Mozart did compose his mystical intoduction to his string quartet called "dissonance". And it was not much later that Beethoven composed his late string quartets which sound very modern.

I don't know what to believe about this. But i'll be thankfull if the members of this forum can help me to clearify the matter.


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