Friday, 26 November 2010

Dear Mozart...reading composers' private letters online

The Gutenburg project puts free out of copyright books in a digital format available to view online or download as an ebook (to your kindle perhaps). Books range from the works of Jane Austin, the Bible, Sun Tzu's Art of War, to Machiavelli's The Prince.

It is indeed a fabulous resource for the music scholar and student. A look at the music bookshelf of the Gutenburg project reveals many composers letters that have been translated into English.
Mozart's Signature

The following letters are available from the following composers:

  • Beethoven
  • Franz Liszt
  • Mozart
  • Haydn

Tips for your research
  • Perhaps cross reference the year of the composition of the piece you are playing and look for any mentions of the piece by the composer himself.  
  • If the composition was dedicated into someone in mind, are there mentions of that name? 
  • What was he thinking at the time? 
  • What major life events occur within the context of the piece in question?
  • Is there an insight into the personality of the composer? 
This may help breathe some of his personality into your performance! Summon the presence of the composer in absentia.

1 comment:

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