Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Carl Nielsen (1865-1931)

It is an offence against Mozart and against the young student of music, therefore, for a teacher to set his pupil to play Mozart’s sonatas and quartets as soon as he has acquired a modicum of technique. It is barbarous, in fact, and will only spoil the pupil’s desire to study Mozart subsequently. How can we expect young people to appreciate the exquisitely alternating moods of this music, or feel the beauty of an art which expresses itself with such restraint and in so strangely spiritual a manner! What youth wants, above all else, is something it can grasp, something it can lay hold on with both hands. But the content of Mozart’s music is the least tangible, and so it is better to let the young musician get his fingers into Chopin and Liszt than choke the life out of Mozart. Later, however, when a measure of spiritual maturity has been attained, and the executive musician must learn to exercise not only his fingers but his mind and his soul, then the music of Mozart will be infinitely instructive. . . - from Mozart and Our Time, an essay by Carl Nielsen

Sheet music: Carl Nielsen

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