agitato

 

 
On October 25, 2018, I attended a performance at Carnegie Hall by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and soloists and choir of Haydn’s “Nelson Mass” and Mozart’s Requiem.

The “Nelson Mass.” Stupendous. To hear it live is a revelation. Here is the “Kyrie” (the opening section).

 

 

I was struck by something when listening to the “Lacrimosa” section of Mozart’s Requiem. The doleful stress of the strings, which beautifully convey tears: the concept of weeping.

 

 

It remined me of something: Vivaldi’s magnificent Stabat Mater. The strings in the “Eja mater” section.

 

 

I looked up some musical terms used for performance directions. The strings are playing agitato: agitated or restless. Agitato is a direction to play in an agitated manner.

Was Mozart somehow influenced by Vivaldi? No. Just a coincidence.

Did he know Vivaldi or his music? Doesn’t seem that likely.

Mozart did know Bach personally and admired his music. Bach, as is well known, was an admirer of Vivaldi.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

   November 2018

 

 

 

About Roger W. Smith

Roger W. Smith is a writer and independent scholar based in New York City. His experience includes freelance writing and editing, business writing, book reviewing, and the teaching of writing and literature as an adjunct professor. Mr. Smith's interests include personal essays and opinion pieces; American and world literature; culture, especially books and reading; classical music; current issues that involve social, moral, and philosophical views; and experiences of daily living from a ground level perspective. Besides (1) rogersgleanings.com, a personal site, he also hosts websites devoted to (2) the author Theodore Dreiser and (3) to the sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim A. Sorokin.
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