Room 90--The influence of Mozart

In music, the influence of the past is very strong. Look at how the influence of Beethoven took its toll on Johannes Brahms when it came to writing a symphony. He had to wait over 40 years until he felt confident enough to write his first one.

Here we are going to show the influence of Mozart on two composers: Beethoven and Ravel. The influence was very direct when it came to Beethoven, as he wrote a series of variaitions based upon “Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen” from the opera Die Zauberflöte. This is a work for cello and piano. You will hear first the theme taken from the aria, followed by four variations. This is a rather straightforward piece.


Where there is a thematic kinship between Mozart and the variations of Beethoven, the relationship between Mozart and Ravel is much more subtle. It is almost a spiritual influence. Ravel said that he was influenced by the slow movement of the Mozart Clarinet Quintet when it came to composing the slow movement to his piano concerto in G major. The slow movement is quite a contrast to the outer movements, which bear a strong semblance to jazz. Ravel does not quote Mozart at all. Instead it is a textural influence that Mozart exerts. First we shall hear a bit of the beginning of the movement. Listen!

In the next portion of the piece, you will hear a bit of the piano writing from later in the movement. There is a definite Mozartean feeling to it.


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