Nuova intervista alla prestigiosa rivista cinese Interlude dei musicologi Luca Bianchini e Anna Trombetta
In a number of recent publications, musicologists Luca Bianchini and Anna Trombetta have investigated the countless myths and legends that elevated Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart into a singular musical genius. Attempting to set the record straight, the first part of our interview addressed questions of historical motivations, nationalism, and initial attempts at mythmaking by early biographers. In this second part of the interview, Bianchini and Trombetta continue to share their insights into the making of the Mozart Legend:
Q: The clumsy PR machinery set in motion by Leopold Mozart greatly obscured the fact that young Wolfgang was essentially a performer, and that he achieved musical maturity as a composer at a relatively late age. What can we learn from untangling these two conflicting—although clearly not unrelated—strands of musical activities?
A: The problem is serious. It is well known that Mozart did not have a proper education, neither in the scientific, humanistic or musical field. With whom did he study composition; who taught him counterpoint and fugue? Leopold Mozart, Padre Martini and the Marquis of Ligniville are cited as his only teachers. It turns out that Leopold never studied composition and was dismissed from University. Therefore, he could not teach harmony and counterpoint, and he was not a concert violinist either but started his career as a court valet. Information about Leopold comes from an anonymous and highly complimentary source. In the last few years it has been discovered that Leopold actually wrote the document himself! His son was certainly talented, but Leopold exploited him mainly as a performer, and as a brilliant improviser around Europe.