A Mozartian Style?
The truth of Mozart-Mania
When in 1956, theatres and radios celebrated the famous bicentenary from Mozart’s birth, his music was, as expected, played over and over. However Mozart’s current performances differ greatly from the ones of 1956. Back then, our “Mozart character” was candidly depicted by Karajan’s exquisite style, and by Walter Gieseking’s delightful touch. It was common to find various degrees of Beethoven’s style in Mozart’s compositions.
When in 1991, celebrations resumed (commemorating 200 years from his death), a remarkable change had occurred concerning Mozart’s style in performances. This radical change was not brought by an orchestra leader, nor by an artistic director or original pianist. The change is instead induced from Peter Shaffer’s comedy Amadeus, and later on by Milos Forman’s movie (giving origin to the Mozart-Mania of the eighties).
This phenomenon was not restricted to the eighties and early nineties, but extends to our present days. This occurrence’s goal is probably not the one of granting the listener musical comprehension, nor cultural knowledge, but to amuse and to relaxation.
Although this new “personality”, recently aroused, has annihilated the “Divine boy” image, it has expanded interest in classical music to a much broader audience.
Who enjoyed classical music regardless the media, before the Mozart mania, and beyond its recent diffusion, will then not be bothered by new styles in performances. Biographies and old records are always available for us to speak the truth.