Steve Schwartz wrote:
>>There might be something to all this vanity stuff. I read in a book
>>about Romanticism that the disappearance of God from culture, (because
>>of the rise of the philosophy of materialism, Newtonian physics, etc.),
>>created a need for "supermen," seemingly super human people who could
>>do the impossible and the miraculous, to replace God. Super virtuosos
>>fit the bill, and of course one has to be a little vain to be god-like,
>>not to mention the music some wrote for themselves.
>Actually, there's a difference between attitudes toward music and
>musicians, and music and musicians themselves.
Oh, but these attitudes easily intertwine and I cant see that it is
possible to really keep the one from the other. It is psychologically
impossible. If you know something about Mozart the man it will influence
your attitude towards his music. You can not avoid this.
>>Are not cadenzas complete vanity?
>No, they're not. They're entertainment, a rhetorical strategy in the
>course of a movement, and perhaps several other things besides. Beethoven
>and Mozart wrote cadenzas, after all. According to at least one poster,
>Beethoven, who wrote cadenzas, was not vain and arrogant -- although I
>myself would say that Beethoven was at least proud. The *fact* of the
>inclusion of a cadenza has no psychological meaning at all. The cadenza
I disagree. A cadenza can be (and I say can be) a totally vain act of
showing off virtuosity. Classical music can turn into a circus act (just
think of some of the stuff by Paganini). Thus the inclusion of a cadenza
has a pretty big psychological meaning (just think of a lot of the
dramatically totally meaningless cadenzas in baroque arias).