What a scintillating tonic is found in Mozart's slighter works - serenades
and cassations - 12 or 13 in all that were composed mostly for a single
performance, usually out of doors.
It was quite an industry involving such composers as Leopold, Mozart's
father, and Michael Haydn, Franz Josef's brother. Mozart however had the
edge in devastating supremacy that permeated the simplest structures. To
mind immediately is the opening Marche of the Cassation in G (KV. 63) or
the first Menuetto and second Andante of the serenade in D (KV. 203). They
must have glistened on summer evenings like fireflies. (That I'm typing
this on a cold grey afternoon does not diminish the experience.)
Mozart could make moments of pure beauty in moving from tonic to dominant.
Why do some music lovers spend hours arguing petty weaknesses in that composer
or the other, yet leave in silence the small miracles conjured from the
minds of composers under a spell?
Sadly, there's a perversion of the human mind that finds enormous satisfaction
in pernickity criticism. My enjoyable years in music have revealed so much
wonder and amazement stumbling upon composers of both strong talent and
a natural flow. In most cases they have an inbuilt filter to remove the
dross. Those that lack this control eventually fail.
I wonder how a contemporary Mozart would be received in our high-tech
age? Could such an immense gift with its outpouring of music come to terms
with the complexities of our doom-laden world? Complexity is the crunch:
a latter-day Mozart in a time-warp that has explored every avenue of expression
since the dissolution of tonality would nonetheless be obliged by nature
to transcribe what formulates in his mind. Maybe a new 'simplicity', or
a fresh vein beyond the concept of music as we experience today.
I'm fairly confident that should a few of the pieces tumbling out of
a new Mozart be for simple enjoyment on a summer's night I shall be at the
head of the queue bustling for entrance.
Basil Ramsey, March 7th 1999