Musical Prodigy and Hero

Mozart and Beethoven are known by people primarily for their renditions of classic music which has an interesting effect on details and characteristics of musical expression today.  Mozart is considered as one of the most influential musical geniuses in history. Beethoven is also renowned for the fact that although he lost his hearing he still was able to compose beautiful music.  Music is interesting because it can aesthetically represent a lifestyle and mood. I believe both Beethoven and Mozart used music to represent their feeling at a particular time. Many people do not realize how closely related music and descriptive art or painting are linked. A musical color and style can be influenced by the family background or home environment, the median’s historical and cultural associations, their personal aim for the musical piece.

First, there is direct correlation between a musician’s family background and the musical piece created by him or her.  Mozart’s father, Leopold Mozart, seemed to have paid special attention to Mozart, because he had six other children who died in infancy. This value of his existence as the first son to survive would make him proud of his family. In addition, his son’s, Wolfgang Mozart’s musical talent would be a source of financial stability of the whole family.  Consequently, Leopold’s doting over his son caused him to be overprotective and very attached.  As the author Tel Asiado (2007) stated, “Leopold devoted much more energy nurturing his son’s talents than those of his daughter’s.  Leopold’s own career took second place to the education of his children especially Wolfgang Mozart”.The effect of Leopold’s strong love is conveyed in some of Wolfgang Mozart’s music, which contains a loving theme. Deep emotions can be felt in all of his music, especially in Lacrimosa from Requiem Mass in D minor where outstanding lyricism is expressed and the climax of grief throughout the song is conveyed. Furthermore, tensioned atmospheric sounds display heartrending expressions that have a lasting impression on its listener. This picture, The Death of Socrates (1787), depicts the same type of mood that Lacrimosa from Requiem Mass in D minor does.

Beethoven overcame many hardships in his childhood. Although his father nearly worshipped him, Beethoven found the only happiness in his music. In Beethoven’s Symphony No.3, this song expresses the ordeals he faced in life, beginning with his desperate childhood life up till the revival of standing hardships and finally his giving a gift of redemption to humanity.  In my opinion, this song really depicts his entire life.

Secondly, an artist’s cultural or historical background and age can affect their work of art. Mozart was a freemason who lived in a time where artists weren’t valued and treated like servants.  Nonetheless, in the early 18th century there were a number of freemasons who were considered as the members of upper-class society. Since Mozart was a member of the freemasons, many of his pieces depicted a spirit of freemasonry. As Bernard Gordillo (2009) said, "On December 14, 1784, Mozart was an active member of the Freemasons and wrote a number of works for them”.  His work of opera The Magic Flute is a good example of his works containing freemason's ideal. It is through this work that he tried to express humanism and sprit of clemency. On the other hand, I would like to convey Beethoven as a hero of music. Moreover, when we think of a hero, we come up with the image of a hero of war, like Napoleon or Odysseus; however, I think cultural heroes like Mozart have made significant contributions to the world of music and art. Although he suffered the daunting ordeal of losing his hearing, his strong will and determination was still conveyed in his ability to compose music. The hardships he faced and overcame are the characteristics of a hero. His music Symphony No.3 ‘Eroica’ conveys two things. First, it expresses the fact that a hero can give people hope that is full of unbelievable obstacles. Secondly, his life itself gave people the will to keep trying. Mozart's musical influence and the sounds of his music were dramatically and progressively ahead of his time. The picture below depicts the mood of a musical hero.

Finally, the artist’s philosophy affected his musical style and color. Three key people who were the most influential classical musicians were:  Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Mozart, and Beethoven. They represented the spirit of their age. In brief, Haydn was a person whose influence was the most remarkable in the age of nobility. Beethoven lived in the period of time where classes of citizens were not considered as noble.  Beethoven lived out his convictions by expressing his ideas through music. He considered himself to be an independent musician with a strong sense of consciousness. On the other hand, Mozart’s music which included his ideas of the classes was a combination of Haydn and Beethoven ideology. Mozart’s music itself did not break from the royal and noble style of music during his day, but attempted to claim personal freedom for the average person of that age. Thus, Mozart’s music sounds comparatively different from the Beethoven’s revolutionary music’s color. So we can discern that his opera Le Nozze Di Figaro attempts to poke fun at nobility through the character of Figaro. Figaro is barbaric character who elicits money from the noble by hazing them (Hamilton, D).

Mozart’s musical sounds placed emphasis on melodies and aesthetic beauty. We can recognize his music by its melodious tidiness. Many elements were influenced his musical style, color and ideas. His emphasis on melodies could be depicted as light hearted music, but heart felt emotions are present in all of his music. In addition, his melody sounds light hearted and bouncy; portraying stern authority and conveying love.  Comparatively, Beethoven’s music is conveying brotherly affection and freedom. As compared to Mozart’s stillness and movement style, his dynamic music style can express great emotion as well. Furthermore, these dynamic styles of music are all creative and independent, yet they speak volumes about each of the composers.   

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