Re: Why do you like Mozart's music?
Failure to use a HIP approach is not remotely synonymous with
prettification, although the use of this particular pejorative is a
symptom of the moralistic and puritanical character of the HIP
movement. Much of Mozart's music is indeed "pretty," consists of
gorgeous tunes conceived as such, and some 18th-century moralists were
shocked by the voluptuousness of much of Mozart's writing. Stravinsky
once aptly described most of Mozart's religious music as "operatic
sweets of sin."
The HIP movement is not a movement based on a detached and "scientific"
archaeology. It is not disinterested. It seeks to impose a new
aesthetic. Its anti-Romantic rhetoric is moralistic in tone, and
through performance it espouses a particular (modern, not period) view
of what constitutes art. Of what constitutes good art. For some
HIPsters in this very thread, apparently, all pre-HIP Mozart is bad
HIPsters exhibit the same moral disapproval of a "fat" sound that some
people exhibit toward people who are overweight, except that sound
isn't fattening and can't hurt your health, and the lean sound favored
by late 20th century HIPsters is no more universal than Rubens' taste
for ample members of the opposite sex. Nevertheless,.HIP performances
of late 19th century music--Gardiner's Verdi, Norrington's Wagner,
Goodman's Schumann--resort to the same exact lean string sound as HIP
performances of Bach and Mozart. Whereas fans of Italian opera rightly
describe Pavarotti's light lyric tenor voice as small, a HIPster here
at rmcr once venomously complained about his "big fat sound," his post
dripping with moral disapproval, as if Mozart himself wouldn't have
been delighted to have such a voice at his disposal. (I suspect the
moral disapproval of the size of Pavarotti's voice was engendered by
more than Pavarotti's voice, by the manner of emoting characteristic of
Italian singers of Italian opera.)
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