Sunday, March 9, 2014

Josef Mysliveček - Symphony No. 5 in B flat major

Image via Das Wik
It's not surprising that Mozart's biggest musical influence sounds astonishingly like, well, Mozart.  Today's selection was written by Mysliveček  when Mozart was seven - a prodigy to be sure, but one who was yet to learn much from the close family friend.

Josef Mysliveček was a composer from Bohemia in the Austrian Empire.  Giving up a promising (if boring) career in industry, he traveled to Italy to study composition, becoming known as Il Boemo ("The Bohemian").  It was here that he met the 14 year old Wolfgang Mozart and his father.  He quickly became a close family friend, and Mysliveček's already well developed musical style became a major influence on Mozart, and therefore on the entirety of Classical music.

But as with Mozart, Mysliveče's musical brilliance did not extend to the fiscal realm.  Successful with a whole series of operas and other compositions, he spent freely and ended his days in poverty.  This likely was an influence in his falling out with the Mozart family, after he more or less stiffed them on an opera commission.  His peccadilloes also included a voracious taste for the ladies of Rome, and may have suffered from syphilis(according to letters from the Mozart family).

But his musical brilliance is unmistakeable, as is his influence on the young Mozart.  It is a safe bet that Classical music would not have developed the way it did without his groundbreaking experiments.

Note: if you like this music and want to buy some of it, please consider using the Amazon link on this blog.  It doesn't cost you anything extra and helps support this.


libertyman said...

Mozart was certainly influenced by Mysliveček, now that you point that out. ( I will get the name pronounced for me tomorrow at school) As always, I learn about new stuff Sunday mornings. Not just the music, but I really wasn't certain I knew how Bohemia is defined. Learning begets more learning.

It is always thought provoking, always educational here.

Will this be in your ear buds as you are cruising on the new bike? Though "Radar Love" might be more appropriate!

Chickenmom said...

Very nice - always love your Sunday