Friday, February 08, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

Mozart, Fantasie K.475. If I were drinking and eating chocolate, playing this at home, for myself, would be accompanied by a shot of Laphraoig and bar of Munz dark chocolate inlaid with those huge slices of orange. Theorists and musicologists are troubled by this Fantasy -- they want to make it work as a composition, when it's really an improvisation, and one that refuses to grown up and become a real boy. In its refusal, it's playful and indulgent (hence the Scotch and the Swiss chocolate). Yes, they laughed when I sat down at the keyboard, the music meandered, stuffed with diminished seventh chords and tremolo'd dominants and cadential runs both chromatic and diatonic, but I broke their hearts with the Andantino, and the sudden changes from piano to forte soon lost their lightness as the legs of the lightly-framed fortepiano must have shaken in their wake. The Fantasie was published as a prelude, to the C minor Sonata, K.457, a piece carefully balanced between classical form and more progressive concerns, and one recognizes in this Fantasy the perfect satisfaction of a need to warm up, cogitate, and play before settling down into the well-ordered and -composed world of the Sonata.

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