MOZART: MEANING AND EMOTIONS

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                         September 5th, 2016    

 

 

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      Opera is dated, compared with modern Movies and Television Programs,

        but Mozart did a good job depicting Emotions in Opera, as well as ideas

        and events.

        Mozart was a MASTER at depicting the emotions of Operatic Characters.

        He also depicted emotions in Meistermusik and The Masonic Funeral Music.

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        Music often symbolizes ideas, emotions, and events as a set of messages to the

        listener.

        If we don't know what the music is symbolizing (if anything), part of the musical

        experience is lost on us.      

        The music may still be beautiful and enjoyable, but if symbolism is involved and

        we don't understand it, it's like appreciating the paintings of Van Gogh for their

        pretty colors as abstract art, not realizing that all those Yellows are Sunflowers.

 

        One can't be an Art Expert and not be aware that Van Gogh was painting

        Things and People - not just using bold colors.

        Those are Sunflowers, and Wheat Fields, and Bridges, etc. 

        Or not realizing that da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" depicts a woman.  

        Such an "Art Expert" would quickly be dubbed an Imposter in need of a trip

        to the Eye Doctor, and possibly to see a Neurologist.

        There's Meaning in all that paint (depictions of Things and People, and perhaps

        additional meanings beyond that, in some cases).  

                

                                    One of the "Sunflowers" Paintings.

                                                Vincent van Gogh.

                          Is this a bunch of "Pretty Yellow Colors" or "Sunflowers"??   Both.

                         There are two things we can appreciate: The Colors and the Sunflowers. 

                         IE, The Building Blocks and the Meaning of the Creation. 

 

 

        And there's usually Meaning and Emotion in Mozart's musical Notes. 

        Musical Notes and the Meaning of the Musical Notes. 

        Parallel: "Pretty Yellow Colors" and "Sunflowers".

 

        That's especially true of Opera, where Mozart wrapped the Music around

        the Words, giving the Music the Meaning of the Emotions in the Words. 

 

        Now we have:  Musical Notes, Words, and the Emotional Meaning of the

        Words in the Notes of the Music.

 

        We can appreciate both the Music and the Meaning of the Music, if any. 

        The meanings and emotions in Mozart's music are more difficult to grasp than

        seeing an image in a painting, and it's all subjective, but the meanings are there

        in many cases, and possibly in most or all cases.   

 

        And the strength of our emotional reaction to Mozart's music is probably

        related to the amount of Emotion and Passion Mozart put in the music, combined

        with the strength of our ability to understand and appreciate it.

        People who don't care for Mozart, or who "don't get it", or who "just don't like

        tinkly music" are completely baffled by what Mozart was saying, and partially

        not attuned to the emotional language that Mozart was using, as well as other

        musical issues (possibly including a musical memory of what Mozart wrote

        earlier in the piece, compared with the modified phrase now being presented,

        and its modified meaning.) 

 

        People who don't understand the emotional connection between the words in

        Opera and Mozart's music, are essentially looking at a painting of "Sunflowers"

        and seeing only "Pretty Yellow Colors", not realizing that Van Gogh painted

        a picture of Sunflowers.

        What a waste!!

        They've missed the point of the painting!! 

 

        Van Gogh, Mozart, and many other artists and composers, painted Meaning

        with Paint and Music - especially true of Opera.    

        Their creations are not just Pretty Colors and Pretty Tunes.

        They actually MEAN something.   

        That's why they created the Paintings and the Operas!!

        To paint a picture of Sunflowers, and to describe a character's emotions

        with music (or the ambience of a scene - the tension, the fear, the joy, etc).  

 

        Why else would Mozart write an Opera??

        To have the characters singing RANDOM TUNES, disconnected from the action??

        So when the statue of the Commendatore comes to Don Giovanni's house for

        dinner, he announces his entry with, perhaps, the tune of "Three Blind Mice"?? 

        Or "Ring Around the Rosie"??

        And Don Giovanni reacts by singing "Mary Had a Little Lamb", but with the

        words that da Ponte wrote?? 

        Or something similar to "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik", composed by Mozart, with

        words added to the music??   Happy music??

        Or a pretty Song by Mozart, but with da Ponte's words for the Statue to sing??

        Absurd.

        Those are descriptions of Mozart as a HALF-WIT, composing Random Pretty

        Tunes for the characters to sing, and maybe adding a dash of Yellow Paint for

        flavor. 

    

        The notion that the melody (and orchestration!!) sung by an Opera character

        is emotionally disconnected from the action, or that it's not important, is so

        far removed from reality (in Mozart's MATURE Operas) that it boggles the mind.

 

      In Mozart's Mature Operas, the music and words are linked

      together - Locked Together - like concrete, and the music

      brings the characters to Life, with the words, even more-so

      than the words.  

 

      That's the whole point of adding the music!

      Mozart's music adds Life to the characters - and to the scene.

      That's why it's an Opera and not a Play! 

      It's a Play with meaningful Music.  

 

      For Mozart, music was LIFE ITSELF. 

      In an Opera, the music represented the Life of the character,

      or the feelings one would have about a scene, or the feelings

      the characters would have about a scene, based on ordinary,

      Common Sense and typical behavior. 

      The Life of a character was the character's FEELINGS - the

      Emotions felt by the character.

      Mozart was certainly not anti-intellectual (!!), but he knew

      that a character's feelings were more interesting and

      important than his thought processes.  

      And the music he wrote for the characters DESCRIBED their

      feelings, as explained by their words.

 

      Which is more interesting?

       1. "I need to say something to him right now, and I'll

             say it as I walk forward." 

       2. "I offer you again a final proof of my love....".

 

      Which is more interesting?

       1. Meaningless, pretty music.

       2. Meaningful, pretty music.

 

 

      In an OPERA:

      Without the music, you have a Play.

      Without the words, you have meaningless music.

      Without the characters, you have a Symphony. 

 

      Conceiving of Mozart as a composer of pretty but

      meaningless music in an Opera, is not only vacuous and

      ridiculous, it's insulting, and implies that it never occurred

      to Mozart to write descriptive music for the words and

      Emotions of the characters and bring them to life - the

      main point of the Opera. 

 

 

     Why would an Opera have people in it if we're not

      interested in them??

 

      If we don't care about Don Giovanni or Donna Elvira,

      why are they even in the Opera in the first place??

 

      We need to be emotionally moved and connected to them

      in some way to care about them.   

 

 

      (IE, for example, who WAS Don Giovanni??

      What kind of man was he??

      Did he deserve to be dragged down to Hell?? 

      Why?? 

      Did he hurt people??

      Who??  How badly??

      How do we know the answers?? 

      Show us how he treated his victims.

      Show us their pain.

      What kind of Emotions do WE have when Don Giovanni is

      finally dragged down to Hell??

      Do we cheer??  

      Why??

      Do our Emotions at that point add to our enjoyment of

      the Opera??

 

      [Yes - absolutely. 

      The man who was deriding Donna Elvira's sincere affections

      just a few minutes ago, has been dragged down to Hell

      where he belongs.  

      The action with Donna Elvira reminds us WHY he deserved

      to be dragged down to Hell.

      That's why the scene exists - to remind us and show us just

      how rotten and appalling Don Giovanni could be.  

      It's "The Don at his Worst".

      But Justice has finally triumphed, and the world is set right,

      again.] )

        

 

        (Emotions: Normally does not apply to the Recitatives in Mozart's Operas,

        or applies only partially.)

 

        In fact, Mozart was so good that he could have 2 characters singing

        simultaneously, with different melodies, expressing 2 different emotions!!

 

 

        (Note: 

        Opera may be old and dated today, but the people of the 1700's didn't have

        television and movies.

        They couldn't be entertained by Gone With the Wind or

     The Wizard of Oz - or even Casablanca,

    Forbidden Planet,  Cinerama,  South Pacific,

     Star Trek,  Star Wars,  Amadeus,

    The Bridge on the River Kwai,

    North by Northwest ("Well then, who are those people

      living in your house???  Do you KNOW this man???"),

    Dial M for Murder (I think)

      ("Lady - Get out of the house right away!!  Those calls are coming

      from INSIDE your house!!"),    

     20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,

     007 (James Bond),  2001, 

     The Sound of Music, This Island Earth,

     Flying Down to Rio, Song of the South

    ("Zip-ah-dee-doo-dah, Zip-ah-dee-ay"),

    Treasure Island, La Dolce Vita, Vertigo,  

     Invasion of the Body Snatchers,

    From Here to Eternity, Rear Window,

   Oklahoma, Picnic, Some Like it Hot,

   Ben-Hur, The Guns of Navarone,

   Mr. Roberts, The Seven Year Itch,

   The Creature From the Black Lagoon, 

   Frankenstein, War of the Worlds,

   On the Waterfront, West Side Story,

   A Tale of Two Cities, Doctor in the House,

   Blackboard Jungle, My Man Godfrey,

   The Incredible Shrinking Man,

   King Solomon's Mines, The Thing,

   The Graduate  ("Elaine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!").....    

 

 

   And Television programs like Gunsmoke with

   James Arness (Matt Dillon) and Amanda Blake 

   (Kitty of the Dance Hall), Alfred Hitchcock,

   Charlie Chan, Superman, Walt Disney,

   77 Sunset Strip, Sergeant Bilko, Your Hit Parade,

   Jackie Gleason, Steve Allen, George Gobel,

   Jonathon Winters, Ernie Kovacs, Dragnet,

   Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone (a few of the

   programs were pretty good), What's My Line?

    (Dorothy Kilgallen, the blindfolded panelist who went first, guessed

    the celebrity guest "Marilyn Monroe" on the first try!!).....  

       and all the rest.  

        Can you imagine how much fun Mozart could have had, working on Hollywood

        Movies or Television Programs??  I think he would have loved every minute of it!!

 

        The terror of the Shower Scene in "Psycho", and of the wounded Mutant

        (large Insectoid) in "This Island Earth" is much greater than any terror

        we feel when the Statue comes to dinner in Don Giovanni, but Hollywood

        had far more time and resources to experiment and create fear and monsters.

        And the animation of the Commendatore's statue was just a small part of the

        Opera, although a crucial part, and Mozart did a good job with it.  

        Mozart tried, he was a Pioneer, and his dramatic instincts (and musical

        instincts) were excellent.  

 

        Opera was the closest thing to "An evening of Escapist Entertainment, to

        temporarily forget about our daily problems, and enjoy various other situations

        being depicted on the stage by believable characters - characters and situations

        that are so interesting (or funny, or frightening) that we completely forget about

        our own problems, and satisfy our emotional needs."

        The audience had to be emotionally engaged, in some way, for that formula

        to work.

 

        And it's still true today - especially in television "Soap Operas".

        Do people who watch Soap Operas Like, admire, feel fondly, hate, despise,

        want to help, identify with one of the characters, know someone like that,

        would like to meet one of them, etc?? 

        It's emotional engagement, and it was true of Opera many years ago.

        Mozart knew what he was doing, as usual, as he emotionally engaged his

        audience.)        

 

        And that's part of why Mozart was such a great composer: He had the ability

        to describe emotions with his music.  Describing the Emotion or Personality

        of an Opera Character in a certain situation such as Happy, sad, tense, fearful, 

        joyful, nasty, secretive, deceitful, loving, tender, angry, indecisive, vulnerable,

        sincere, hopeful, contrite, forgiving, bewildered, pleading, determined,

        dependable, capable, silly, simple (PAPAGENO), devoted, wronged, brave,

        depressed and hopeless (PAMINA), conniving (MONOSTATOS), confident,

        calm and calming, wounded (DONNA ELVIRA), Righteous and Justified (the

        group of MASQUERADERS about to enter Don Giovanni's house on a mission

        of Justice to expose and possibly kill Don Giovanni for the crimes he's committed,

        explaining things to the audience, and gathering up their courage for this

        honorable but risky and dangerous mission), etc, etc. 

 

        Mozart did this ALL THE TIME with his Operatic characters.  

 

        And the ambience of a scene, expressed musically, was also done ALL THE TIME

        by Mozart, where the ambience relates to emotions.

        From the sudden storm that arose and nearly sank the ships in the Opera

        Idomeneo (followed shortly by "Pieta!!  Numi Pieta!!", as the sailors plead with

        the gods for Help in saving their ships and their lives), to the scenes in The Magic

        Flute.  

        (Phonetically:  Pyet-ahhhhh!!   Noooo-meeee  Pyet-ahhhhh!!......

        Pyet   like   Nyet - the Russian word for "No".

        Italian:  Pieta!!  Numi Pieta!!)     

 

        Mozart described the fury of the Storm AND the sailor's desperation, fear, and

        the urgency of the situation, by using music. 

        In fact, their cries are more like Demands than Pleading, but that's probably

        quite realistic for the situation - an Emergency situation where they don't want

        the gods to think it over, but to just Do It Now.  Save Us Now!!  Take Pity on Us

        and Save Us Right Now!! PLEASE!!

        There's some Pleading, but it's insistent Pleading.  Almost Demanding Pleading.

 

        And Mozart made it clear that there were quite a few sailors who needed to be

        saved as we hear another group in the background ALSO singing the same words 

        as an echo of the first group.        

                Thus:  "Pieta!! Numi Pieta!!.....  numi pieta......".   1st Group, 2nd Group.

        Very realistic. Tense and frightening. Can they all be saved??

        Mozart knew what he was doing, as usual. 

        And the emotions of the terrified Sailors are given Center-Stage importance,

        out in front for all of us to hear - loud and clear.

 

 

        Mozart is not "elevator music" or "background music", and it requires some

        natural musical skill and our full attention to appreciate it.

        The world's greatest composers all rated Mozart as the Greatest Composer,

        but apparently not everyone can hear Mozart with the ears of the world's

        Greatest  Composers.       

 

        Perhaps the Jupiter Symphony doesn't symbolize anything beyond "Great

        Music", but many other Pieces and Passages DO symbolize ideas, emotions,

        and events (and ambience and character), and connecting the music with the

        symbology aids in our understanding of the Piece, and aids in our understanding

        of WHY Mozart wrote the Piece, or at least, why we THINK he wrote the Piece. 

 

        (And who knows?? Perhaps the Jupiter Symphony represents great contentment,

        achievement, power, success, happiness, high self-esteem, and pride, since

        Mozart wrote it when living in a large, spacious, airy (and expensive) apartment

        on the edge of town, in the midst of Nature and some distance from the dusty

        City, as MICHAEL LORENZ of Vienna has pointed out in one of his website

        articles (overturning some old theories and pointing out some interesting,        

        relevant facts!!).

        Some people were even referring to Mozart as "von Mozart", assuming that

        that was his real name, and Mozart apparently made no attempt to correct

        them - "Von" being a predicate of Nobility.

        IE, Mozart had "Arrived", as far as he was concerned. 

        And the old theories that he moved to the outskirts of town to escape his

        creditors and save money don't seem to make any sense since Mozart's Apartment

        rent was the same amount (or about the same amount) as he was paying earlier,

        and MUCH higher than anyone else's rent.

        The Apartment he found was a "good deal", surprisingly low-priced for the

        high square footage, but still expensive.

        Mozart wasn't saving any money with that move.

 

        He apparently moved there to improve his living conditions, and whatever else

        would accompany that.  Such as a better mood, perhaps. Such as a better

        environment for composing, perhaps.  Such as better living conditions for his

        wife and kids - and possibly Safer living conditions for the kids with far fewer

        carriages going to and fro. 

        One would think that he also felt that he had met his familial responsibilities

        to a greater extent, and could take pride in that.

        And since he wrote his last 3 Symphonies there - Great Symphonies, his Plan

        or his Hope - to be able to spend time composing in a more pleasant environment, 

        worked out quite well. 

        And at least 3 of his compositions (the last 3 Symphonies) were masterpieces.)

 

        Thus, even the Jupiter Symphony might symbolize Mozart's up-beat emotional

        state (at least partially), rather than being entirely abstract music for the sake

        of Art, and a Symphony he hoped to perform or sell and make some money from,

        as Mozart normally did  [per NEAL ZASLAW].  That is, Mozart normally wrote

        music with a Sale in mind - music to earn some money with, as opposed to "music

        for the sake of Art and to satisfy the Creative Urge.

 

        I also get the feeling from the last 3 Symphonies that Mozart was also saying:

              "I'll write music any way I want to!! 

                I'm not going to write these in order to please somebody else. 

                Take it or leave it!! 

                I am Mozart, and I'll do what I want!!"

        That attitude seems to come through especially in the case of the 40th Symphony -

        a complex Honeycomb of stratified phrases made of Lightning Bolts or Strobe

        Lights in the First Movement, with an under-current of a Swelling Tide, rising

        to its "Natural" Level, and completely unstoppable. 

        That attitude (if it existed) may have been a more Authentic Mozart - a Mozart

        filled with self-confidence and aggressiveness, more-so than we usually see.  

 

        I would imagine that Meistermusik and The Masonic Funeral Music might have

        been exceptions to the money-making motive [maybe not], but the Last 3

        Symphonies (39, 40, 41) were almost certainly written with eventual sales in mind,

        or as "Promotional Material" to have on hand in case the opportunity arose. 

        And those 3 Symphonies are filled with Passion!! Emotion!! Excitement!!

 

        We might not be able to figure out what Emotions Mozart was depicting in the

        40th Symphony, for example, but he seems to be Driven - as driven as Beethoven,

        hair swinging, sweat dripping off his brow, working out some kind of personal

        problem (Neglect?? Lack of appreciation??), fully in command of his Private

        Universe of complex and compelling music, instructing this intricate machine

        called an Orchestra on what to say, how to be heard, how to align the gears

        properly, how fast to turn the gears, how some gears need to trip other gears

        into action, how everything has already been timed, counted, and measured,

        how everything will work correctly if they just follow the blueprint and the

        operator's manual, demanding our attention, confident, right, accurate,

        certain, perfect, and Mozart. 

 

        The First Movement of the 40th Symphony is as much a Machine as we

        experience with K.608, except that THIS Machine has Emotions - Mozart's

        Emotions, unlike the independent and aloof Machine of K.608 which has a

        mind of its own, no interest in Bi-Peds, and certainly NO Emotions, apparently

        working out some kind of Cryptographic problem, mechanically deciphering

        a message from one machine to another, much as the early British computers

        of Bletchley Park did, lo these many years ago, letter by letter, word by word,

        phrase by phrase, steadily turning the incomprehensible encrypted groups of

        Letters into familiar and usable Words and Phrases, like a Knitting Machine,

        slowly making a sweater with a design on it.   

 

 

                                         .....................................................

 

                                                                

                 MIDI File recordings of 3 Pieces: Symphonies 40, 41, and K.608 portion.

                 Symphony-40 = G-Minor.  K.550   Piano version. (First Movement).

                 Symphony-41 = Jupiter.     K.551   Piano version. (Fourth Movement).

                 Pianist for Symphonies 40 and 41:  Hisamori. 

                 Quality:  Excellent overall. 

                                 Jupiter: A little bit clunky at times, but an amazing

                                 tour de force!!  Incredible!!  

                                And an Amazing composition by Mozart!! 

                 Click the links below to play. 

 

                 K550-1-Sym40-Piano-HISAMORI.mid     G-Minor. First Movement.

 

                 K551-4-Sym41-Piano-HISAMORI.mid     Jupiter.   Fourth Movement.  

 

                 K608-3--M194-Piano-MORTON.mid    K.608   Measure-194.  3rd Movement.

                                                                                         Short.  Clunky but clear.

                                                                                         The Machine Speaks.   

 

                                        .....................................................

 

 

        For an example of Abstract and Emotionless, Passionless music by Mozart,

        listen to K.608, 1st and 3rd Movements  - "Fantasia in F Minor for Mechanical

       Organ" (for a large Music Box, or "An Organ in a Clock").

        It's a GREAT Piece, and we're lucky to have it, but it's music with no Heart,

        no Soul, no Humanity, no Emotion, and no Passion, except for the middle

        movement which is surprisingly warm and tender.  Mozart turned the organ

        into a primitive Robot, with a great intellect and no feelings.

 

        (Count Deym, the owner of the Wax Museum where K.608 was played, might

        have had a little talk with Mozart about his "heavy" music, since the next

        Piece, K.616, was a lightweight "Dance for a Fairy Princess" in its style.)  

 

        It wasn't really a Robot, being programmed by humans to merely follow

        orders, never inventing actions of its own.

        That's not a Robot - it's a recording with the machine to play it. 

        Like a Phonograph Record and Turntable. 

        Like a CD Player and CD.  Etc. 

 

        (A lot of people today don't seem to know what a Robot is.

        A Robot has a mind of its own, and the ability to take action.

        The mechanical organ in the Wax Museum was NOT a Robot, but Mozart

        turned it into a Robot, in a way, with his music - possibly just for his

        own amusement, where the mechanical organ SEEMS to have a mind of

        its own - a cold, passionless, indifferent mind in 2 of the Movements.) 

 

        This Mechanical Organ was just a big Music Box - the "Latest Thing",

        and all the rage.

        It was a new "Wonderful Thing", and seemingly somewhat Robotic, I think,

        to the people of that era who had few mechanical devices in their lives, and

        no electric motors. 

        Mozart imbued it with a Robotic Persona (in the 1st and 3rd Movements of

             K.608):  

             Powerful, Uncaring, Cold, Grim, Unaware, Dispassionate, Indifferent,

             Emotionless, Obedient but able to think, Single-Minded,

             Naive, Certain, Brilliant, Simple, Complex, No Smiles, No Laughter,

             No Humor, No Speech, No Desires, No Philosophy, No Vision, No Hearing,

             No Sensations, No Goals, No Hopes, No Joys, No Sorrows,  

             No Common Sense, No Doubts, refers to People as "Bi-Peds", etc.

        Just a depiction of a Robotic High Intellect with no Emotions.

 

        What's the Opposite of it, more or less??

        A High Intellect WITH Emotion.

        What Pieces display Emotion??

        Essentially, All of them, except K.608 ..

        Even the great Jupiter Symphony is imbued with Emotion.

        We may not understand exactly what Emotions are depicted in the Jupiter,

        but we can Feel that they're present.

        If they weren't present, the Jupiter would sound cold, passionless, lifeless,

        and mechanical - and STRANGE.      

        We might expect an Odd Piece that was written for a Music Box - a new device

        for people of the 1700s, but not a cold, passionless, lifeless, mechanical, strange

        Symphony for an orchestra from Mozart.

        Mozart put some kind of Passion into every Piece he wrote, except K.608 ..

 

        That includes The Masonic Funeral Music, and if it exists, Meistermusik.

        They are overflowing with Passion.  Overflowing with Emotion. 

 

 

        NOTE: An odd exception might be the Opera "Cosi fan Tutti" in which Mozart

        wrote gorgeous music, but with most of it being "Tongue in Cheek" with

        fake emotions.  Many of the important emotions were either glossed over, or

        heavily overplayed, so that the clued-in audience knew that the duet or solo

        they were hearing was just "Amusing Tongue-in-Cheek Silliness" for the sake

        of Comedy.  

 

        So MOST of the Opera actually contains NO genuine emotion at all, since most

        of the emotions portrayed aren't "real".

 

        Even the 2 Boyfriends acquire fake identities and disguises in order to fool the

        2 Sisters, adding to the Fakery, and display (presumably) fake emotions when

        wooing the 2 Sisters (although the Sisters DO react genuinely).  

        All the fake emotions might be one of the reasons that this beautiful piece of

        musical wedding cake frosting failed at the Box Office. 

 

        It's just speculation, but perhaps Opera Goers want to hear Real emotions, and

        are somewhat annoyed by hearing several hours of mostly Fake Emotions. 

        If true, that highlights the importance of depicting emotions in music, as well as

        the ability of a Mozart Opera Goer to detect fakery in emotional depictions.

        The Opera also lacked a real Villain and a Hero (since it was almost pure

        comedy), as well as lacking a larger cast of characters (6 characters if we

        count Despina's various roles as only 1 character), and some characters that

        were too similar to count as unique characters (2 Sisters and 2 Boyfriends). 

 

        And, of course, lacking some of the Zany humor of Figaro, where the long lost

        Bambino has a birthmark of a Shovel (!!), he is finally found due to his unusual

        birthmark, and the woman he can't stand turns out to be his Mother!!

        Mamma Mia!!  Funny!!  And it was Emotional!!

 

        In any event, the "Fake Emotions" issue might be ONE of the factors involved in

        Cosi's relatively poor showing at the Box Office despite the wonderful music.  

 

        The title of the Opera - Thus Do All Women - might have been a major annoyance

        as well, especially since the 2 Fake Boyfriends and the 2 Plotters pushed the

        2 Sisters as hard as they could into just having some innocent fun while their

        Boyfriends were away, doing their Military Service, with nothing serious in mind.

        It was an insulting Stretch to say "Thus Do All Women" when only 2 Women were

        involved, and were practically Bulldozed into accepting Male company, followed by

        the High-Pressure, Deep-Love tactics used by the Fake Boyfriends on the 2

        lonely women - not unlike Don Giovanni's tactics, a man who lied his way across

        Europe, deceiving every woman he met.

        The Fake Boyfriends were just trying to win a bet ("My Girlfriend would be

        faithful in my absence."), but they had the wisdom and maturity of 2 Simpletons,

        and weren't paying any attention to the emotional wreckage they were potentially

        leaving behind.

 

        Fortunately, most of it is pretty "light" and humorous, but one of the Arias by

        one of the Sisters leaves no doubt that Mozart (and da Ponte) knew that she was

        hurting with shame over what she had done in succumbing to the intense pressure

        from one of the Fake Boyfriends. It's not funny and it's not fake, but the Aria is a

        bit strange with incredible, unnatural leaps, and I think we tend to forget about

        her feelings as we move to the next scene. 

        Thus, the impression remains, to some extent, that "Thus Do All Women"

        succumb to the advances of Men, or something like that.

        (But Men don't???)   

        It's kind of a strange Opera with gorgeous music.  

        Mozart needed the money, so he wrote the Opera.

 

        The title might have been a partial turnoff to the people of Vienna, and I can't

        say I blame them.

        But the constant fakery with Emotions might have been a BIGGER turnoff, even

        though we occasionally get genuine emotions portrayed in the music.

        Comedy works, Villainous behavior works, a "Magic" Opera works, but an Opera

        filled with mostly fake, phony Emotions doesn't work very well, and doesn't

        "connect" with the audience very well.

 

        Cosi is the EMOTIONAL OPPOSITE of The Masonic Funeral Music, and the

        MFM wins in Listener Appreciation despite Cosi's Thick Blanket of beautiful

        music.    

        The reason might be due PARTLY to the emotional honesty of The Masonic

        Funeral Music (and Meistermusik), compared with Cosi. 

        I wouldn't be surprised.

        The MFM is emotionally HONEST, while Cosi is mostly emotionally FAKE. 

        And most of the adjectives that I have used (and others have used) to describe

        The Masonic Funeral Music involve EMOTIONS.  

 

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