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The most talented, the man of genius, Mozart is the greatest German composer of all times who created the real and enduring masterpieces that charm, excite, calm and inspire humanity. Mozart was a musician of the classical period. He was cheerful and optimistic and this mood was reflected in his music. Moreover, Mozart’s works had a great impact on modern Western music, on such composers as Beethoven, Shubert, Stravinsky, Bach, Weber, Rimsky-Korsakov, etc.

A Gallant Style of Mozart Masterpieces

His style was different from another composers’ style. It was characterized by brilliance, asymmetry, maturity, combination of the light and graceful and the dark and passionate. Without doubt the combination of two opposite phenomena is the feature of the talented musician. At first, Mozart focused his attention from instrumental music to operas. His later operas were characterized by using orchestration, instrumentation, and tone color, reflecting psychological, emotional states and dramatic shifts. He was supposed to be the only composer who had as much knowledge as genius should have and as much genius as knowledge.

Music of Mozart is an archetype of the Classical period. It is characterized by complexity, flexibility, frequent changes from long notes to shorter ones, clarity, transparence, sensuality and balance. Mozart’s music shift smoothly or suddenly from one texture to another creating the positive and optimistic atmosphere. The melodies of his work are tuneful and easy to remember.

The themes of his masterpieces are sophisticated and elevated. Mozart’s music is refined and noble and is aimed for intellectual people. It is symmetrical and often consists of parts of the same length. His works are of gallant style (high-spirited; therefore, courageous and honorable). The major genre of Mozart’s music are symphony, chamber music, solo concerto, string quartet and string quintet, opera and piano sonata. Mozart created also the religious works, dances, serenades, etc.

Igor Stravinsky’s Revolutionary Utilization of Rhythm

Igor Stravinsky was the composer of the 20th century. He was Russian, American and French musician. He differed from other composers by his stylistic richness and diversity. He can be bravely put at the same level with such famous names as Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, etc. He made the revolution in music by pushing the boundaries, which prevented artists from freedom of creating. The characteristic features of Stravinsky’s music are: rhythmic energy, two, three notes cells, extended music construction and clarity of form. He was influenced by his father, who was a bass singer, Mozart, Bach and Beethoven. Stravinsky began to compose his pieces at early age and had tuition of Rimsky-Korsakov.

As to Stravinsky he had not the exact one style in his music career. He was constantly in search of something new. He was influenced by Russian, American and French traditions, which one can find in his music. Stravinsky used neo-classical style combining modern and classical motives. His music is unsymmetrical and unforgettable with harsh dissonance and colorful harmony.

Even nowadays his harmonic and rhythmic innovations, variety of styles reflect in the works of modern composers. There was the thought that the only logicality and consistency found in Stravinsky’s music was his stylistic inconsistency. Stravinsky was not stable in his compositional technique and changed it constantly. There is nothing strange that there are a lot of books and articles, which describe the evolution of his musical language and ambiguity of the meaning of his works.

Although, Stravinsky employed many unique harmonic effects, therefore, he is remembered primarily for his revolutionary utilization of rhythm. Like other composers of his generation, Stravinsky sought an escape from the predictable nature of traditional rhythmic patterns. Through the use of changing meters, shifts in rhythmic accents, and the exploitation of silence at unexpected points, Stravinsky shocked the world with new and exciting rhythmic patterns. Most of these characteristics are presented in a selection from Le Sacre du Printemps.

Similarities and Differences in Both Works

Mozart’s Symphony n. 40 in G minor is the symphony in which one can hear the notes of melancholy and sadness, the same as the notes of elevation, joy and light. Moreover, the symphony consists of four movements. The first movement is very fast and triumphant. To my mind, one can hear light-heartedness and satisfaction in the style of this symphony. There is no introduction in the Symphony n. 40 in G minor. The first movement begins darkly. However, in spite of this, the listener feels that soon this a bit dark tone will change into the light one. The second movement is a lyrical and romantic work. The third one begins with an angry rhythm. The fourth movement opens with a series of rapidly ascending notes.

Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” consists of small cells of music which differs from each other. One can hear that this melody is rhythmic, calm and folk. This musical fragment includes notes, which are repeated and creates ostinati. “The Rite of Spring” seems as a completely folk material; however, indeed it has only one folk tune and its introduction played with the high bassoon.

Each part of this work vibrates between slow and sudden times. Such changes create cheerful, calm and lively atmosphere as well as mysterious, aggressive and a bit gloomy. Without doubt it is the dramatic and powerful musical work. Hearing it, one can feel a bit scared, elevated, inspired and charmed. In this music masterpiece, the notes of despair, depressive state and melancholy alternate with the notes of the light hope and feelings of optimism. “The Rite of Spring” makes feel creepy all over and sends shivers down spine.

One can notice that the style of Mozart’s symphony is more precise, clear and distinct. Mozart’s symphony reveals his light and cheerful character. It is classical. Stravinsky’s work reflects his character of search something new that is why this composer of modern time uses folklore motives in his “The Rite of Spring”. Mozart’s symphony is fast, Stravinsky’s work is slow. Mozart’s Symphony n. 40 in G minor starts in peaceful manner and finishes strongly and loudly. Mozart’s music is characterized by symmetry, as to Stravinsky’s music it is characterized by asymmetry. Mozart revealed opposite themes in his work and Stravinsky concentrated his attention on one theme.

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In my opinion, there are several similarities in these two works. In both of these works the dark, pessimistic and gloomy moments alternate with the light, elevated and triumphant ones.

The dynamics of those two works are quiet, loud or suddenly loud. From my point of view, there is nothing strange that these two composers have similarities since Mozart had a great impact on Stravinsky. The style of composing of Mozart and Stravinsky is similar as both these musician used unexpected points and rhythmic accents.

Mozart’s music has more personal impact on me, because it reflects my state of mind: optimistic, elevated and light. Personally, I am convinced that Mozart’s Symphony no. 40 in G minor and Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” are the masterpieces, which must be listened and passed to the future generation as the best examples of classical and modern music. To my mind, we should listen to the music of both these composers according to the mood and state of soul. Lastly, in my opinion both these composers deserve our attention, admiration and learning as their works are the best examples of the real music.