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Re: GG Mozart was a bad composer...

Anne Smith wrote:

>Perhaps I can put GG's feeling towards Mozart in a historical perspective.
>I studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto 20 some years after
>GG was finished with them.  Most of the people GG dealt with would be gone
>by the time I got there, but the ideas were probably the same. (...)
>I have been to workshops and "Meet the examiner days" given by the RCM and
>have heard it said that  "you only give Mozart and Haydn sonatas to
>who can't handle  Beethoven."  In the last 5 years I have taken a closer
>look at Mozart and Haydn and have been sending Intermediate students in for
>exams playing their sonatas.  I really don't think that I would have the
>nerve to send a senior student to TO without a Beethoven sonata.

What was the feeling there about playing CPE Bach?  Both Mozart and Haydn
revered him as their great role model.  Are any of his sonatas ever heard in
RCM exams?  Some of them are more difficult to play well than many of the
Beethoven sonatas.  Heck, they even come with a full-length instruction
manual by the composer.

(Speaking of wonderful and essential treatises about musicianship, what
percentage of piano students ever read Quantz's 1752 book, _On playing the
flute_?  2%?  0.5%?  Even if one never touches a flute, it's possible to
learn far more from reading that book thoughtfully than from slaving away in
a piano practice room....)

Of course, there's always that axiom that anything by Beethoven is Great
Music, and anything by CPE Bach (except that Solfeggietto) is Unknown Music.
And there's also the axiom that a Great Pianist is measured by the ability
to play the mainstream Great Music; the Unknown Music is mainly for
specialists.  Axioms can be pretty limiting.

BPL   bpl@umich.edu