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Recognising Mozart

Peter Gay, 7 July 1988

Mozart the Dramatist: The Value of his Operas to Him, to his Age and to Us 
by Brigid Brophy.
Libris, 322 pp., £17.50, June 1988, 1 870352 35 1
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1791: Mozart’s Last Year 
by H.C. Robbins Landon.
Thames and Hudson, 240 pp., £12.95, March 1988, 0 500 01411 6
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Mozart: Studies of the Autograph Scores 
by Alan Tyson.
Harvard, 381 pp., £27.95, January 1988, 0 674 58830 4
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... pious note: ‘Those whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder.’ In sharp contrast, Alan Tyson is quite simply the calm, supremely competent expert. His treatise, which explicates how to read Mozart’s manuscripts by mastering such tricky matters as watermarks, paper quality and handwriting, is a surprise. One might think such a work ...

Papers

Paul Driver, 9 October 1986

The Beethoven Sketchbook: History, Reconstruction, Inventory 
by Douglas Johnson, Alan Tyson and Robert Winter, edited by Douglas Johnson.
Oxford, 611 pp., £60, January 1986, 0 19 315313 0
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... all the information for six chapters, and constantly pops up – as much as Messrs Johnson, Tyson and Winter. They would appear to be beyond criticism – and certainly by me. They have succeeded in relieving the dry tone of their book with an urbane eloquence – the expositions of complex textual history, like the individual sentences, are faultlessly ...

Mozart’s Rascal

Roger Parker, 23 May 1991

Mozart in Vienna 1781-1791 
by Volkmar Braunbehrens.
Deutsch, 481 pp., £17.95, June 1990, 9780233985596
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The Mozart Compendium 
edited by H.C. Robbins Landon.
Thames and Hudson, 452 pp., £24.95, September 1990, 0 500 01481 7
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Mozart and Vienna 
by H.C. Robbins Landon.
Thames and Hudson, 208 pp., £16.95, February 1991, 0 500 01506 6
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Mozart’s Thematic Catalogue: A Facsimile 
introduced and transcribed by Albi Rosenthal and Alan Tyson.
British Library, 57 pp., £25, November 1990, 0 7123 0202 6
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The Compleat Mozart: A Guide to the Musical Works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 
edited by Neal Zaslaw and William Cowdery.
Norton, 351 pp., £19.95, April 1991, 0 393 02886 0
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... of his Thematic Catalogue, scrupulously transcribed, edited and introduced by Albi Rosenthal and Alan Tyson. The Thematic Catalogue has, as it happens, been published in facsimile before, but that earlier edition ‘did not, as does the present one, reproduce the blank but fully stave-ruled pages following Mozart’s final entry’. There are 14 of ...

German Trash

Misha Donat, 11 January 1990

1791: Mozart’s Last Year 
by H.C. Robbins Landon.
Thames and Hudson, 240 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 500 01411 6
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Mozart: The Golden Years 1781-1791 
by H.C. Robbins Landon.
Thames and Hudson, 272 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 500 01466 3
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... some of his other music of that time, and the drastic new dating (mainly the result of research by Alan Tyson) is likely to come as a surprise to many readers of this book. Another – and much better known – work on which Landon throws fresh chronological light is the last piano concerto, K.595. Mozart entered it in his own running catalogue of works ...

Even more immortal

Paul Driver, 8 April 1993

Memories of Beethoven: From the House of the Black-Robed Spaniards 
by Gerhard von Breuning, edited by Maynard Solomon, translated by Henry Mins and Maynard Solomon.
Cambridge, 154 pp., £15.95, November 1992, 0 521 41710 4
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Beethoven: Studies in the Creative Process 
by Lewis Lockwood.
Harvard, 283 pp., £31.95, July 1992, 0 674 06362 7
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... research of a brilliant, still flourishing generation of analytically enlightened sketch-scholars (Alan Tyson, Joseph Kerman, Douglas Johnson, Robert Winter, William Kinderman, Barry Cooper) is to such venal misprisions a corrective of which the beleaguered Beethoven may have hardly dared to ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2000, 25 January 2001

... said, ‘she’d have made a disastrous queen. Didn’t go to the theatre at all.’ 19 January. Alan Bates opens tonight at the Barbican in the RSC production of Antony and Cleopatra. The version put on at Stratford opened with Antony making love to Cleopatra, his head up her skirts. Cunnilingus served cold, as it were, was quite hard for a Stratford ...

I must be mad

Nicholas Spice: Wild Analysis, 8 January 2004

Wild Analysis 
by Sigmund Freud, edited by Adam Phillips, translated by Alan Bance.
Penguin, 222 pp., £8.99, November 2002, 0 14 118242 3
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... Ego’ as we have come to know it in English, rendered literally in this new translation by Alan Bance as the ‘I’ (together with the ‘It’ and – an odd hybrid – the ‘Super-I’). In ‘The Question of Lay Analysis’, much the longest of the 11 papers on therapeutic technique collected here under the title Wild Analysis, Freud describes how ...

A Hard Dog to Keep on the Porch

Christopher Hitchens, 6 June 1996

... the Mall every time. Lloyd Bentsen, the prince of Capitol influence-peddlers, gets the Treasury. Alan Greenspan, the reactionary fan of Ayn Rand, who has roosted at the Federal Reserve these many years, is beseeched to ‘stay on’. Winston Lord, an old Kissinger hand, gets the Asia desk at State. Les Aspin, a plaything of the military contractors, is ...

Diary

John Lanchester: A Month on the Sofa, 11 July 2002

... gala dinner. The first speaker is Henry Cooper. He says something relevant, apropos Mike Tyson: ‘when someone goes arahnd bitin’ people’s ears off and punchin’ refs, that only tells me one fing: ‘e doesn’t want to be in the ring.’ Precisely. Cooper’s other good remark, about the desperately low quality of opponents for Audley ...

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