My 31st Concert

Musical Mystery Story

Did Beethoven Unwittingly Plagiarize Mozart Concerto?


 

Also, Some Funny Behind-the-Scene Moments

HAIKU, Maui, Nov 12, 2010 -  What you're about to read, watch and hear is a musical mystery story unlike any other that you've seen from me or anyone else.  It involves two great composers, one great poet who lived 220 years ago.  It is no lesser mystery to try to discern why yours truly was chosen to play the role of Sherlock Holmes in unlocking the secrets of ancient music history.

So I'll give you first a "play-by-play" version of the story in print.  You'll get a chance to see a nine-minute movie I have also made about it.  So put on your headset, sit back and enjoy...

On Nov 7, 2010, at 2:52 PM, Bob Djurdjevic wrote:

Last night, as Elizabeth and I were driving around town, I kept hearing a tune in my head/heart/soul... wherever music resides. I said to Elizabeth I thought it was either Mozart or Beethoven.  And that it sounded like a violin concerto.

"If we were home, I'd play it right now before I forget it," I said.  "But since we are not, I'll probably lose it by the time we get back."

Four hours, two movies and a Bach concert later, the tune was still in my head when we got home.  So before going to bed after midnight, I doodled a bit on the piano but couldn't quite get it all.  "It will be all gone by the morning," I thought.

But it wasn't.  When I woke up this morning, the tune was still with me.  So this time, I decided to do a little bit of research.  I first found it as Mozart's Clarinet concerto:

Mozart: Clarinet Concerto In A, K 622 - Adagio

"That's funny," I told Elizabeth before breakfast today. "I could have sworn I heard the violins."  

"But clarinet can make similarly long notes," I tried to rationalize.

I then downloaded the Mozart sheet music and started playing some passages from this beautiful piece, scored for the Clarinet and the full orchestra.

After breakfast, however, I kept hearing the violin again.  So I went back and did some additional research, this time focusing on Beethoven.  Lo and behold, I came up with this Violin concerto:

Beethoven: Concerto In F For Violin & Orchestra, Op. 50

Once again, I downloaded the full orchestral score, but I focused only on the violin portion.  As I started playing it, I was struck by similarity between the two concertos.  Some passages (cadenzas) were practically identical, although written in different keys.

"No wonder they were both merged in my head as one piece," I said to myself.  Except that I kept hearing the violin version, not the clarinet. "Since Beethoven lived after Mozart, wonder if it is possible that he plagiarized it, probably unwittingly?  Could he had heard the Mozart concerto before writing his own?  Or is it possible that two of the greatest composers that ever lived downloaded the same music from the same spiritual source?"

After all, that's how most of my music comes to me as well.  Those kinds of thoughts were whirring in my head when I jumped up excitedly from my piano bench feeling like a Sherlock Holmes who has just discovered a clue to an ancient mystery.  I went over to share my discovery with Elizabeth but she was on the phone.

Then I did some more research.  And found that that ALL of the above possibilities are possible.  Mozart's Clarinet Concerto was one of the final pieces the great composer had written before his death in Vienna in 1791.  Beethoven was Beethoven's was written in 1798 but published 1805.  Now, get this...

In March 1787, Beethoven traveled to Vienna (it is unknown at whose expense) for the first time, apparently in the hope of studying with Wolfgang Mozart. The details of their relationship are uncertain, including whether or not they actually met. After just two weeks there Beethoven learned that his mother was severely ill, and he was forced to return home. His mother died shortly thereafter, and the father lapsed deeper into alcoholism. As a result, Beethoven became responsible for the care of his two younger brothers, and he spent the next five years in Bonn.  Beethoven moved to Vienna permanently in 1792.  So it was in Vienna that his Violin Concerto was written in 1798.  It is unclear why he waited seven years before having it published. 

Whether Beethoven plagiarized parts of this concerto deliberately, unwittingly or not at all, both Mozart's and Beethoven's versions are among the most beautiful pieces of orchestral music ever written.  Most likely, Beethoven and Mozart drew their inspiration from the same source that also brought their music to me - the Creator's music library.  Which is why you see on the right Herr Ludwig van Mozart, and on the left, Mr. Ludwig Amadeus Bob, the musician who is now working on a blended piano version of these two concertos.

Now that I discovered this amazing link between the two great composers, I see that these two concertos symbolize the passing of the torch from Mozart to Beethoven, signaling the end of one era of music and the start of another.  It was the start of the Romantic period in music history which blossomed in the 19th century. 

And I feel that my own creativity has been blossoming as a result of that discovery.  And not just musical.  Visual arts, too.  I've painted using my Mac as my brush the above blended portrait of that great composer "Ludwig van Mozart" (above right).  And I did the same with an image of yours truly, adding some Mozart and Beethoven facial features (above left).

And then I put it all together in this nine-minute movie I've made about my 220-year old journey into musical history, and a trip into the future it has inspired...

 

Musical Mystery Story: Did Beethoven Unwittingly Plagiarize Mozart's Concerto? [9:20 mins]

Also check out "Refusion of Arts and Sciences" at the bottom of this story for a 50,000-foot view of what this movie-making process entailed.

Why Me? What Does It All Mean?

Then I had something else to ponder, equally esoteric...

I know that all my music comes from the spirit world. And that both Mozart and Beethoven are among my master spirit guides who attended my astral rebirth ceremony in 2009 [User ID/Password required].  But I wonder why was I chosen to discover this link, and why now?  And what am I supposed to do with this new information?  What do I feel it all means?

And so, after a couple of days of pondering, this is what I have concluded...

What do I feel it all means?  I feel that the two great composers are talking to me... the only way they can, through their music, at night, while I sleep, and by day, when I play it.  I am now working on an arrangement of both pieces that would weave them together, hopefully seamlessly, so that it would seem as if it was one piece composed by a single author.  Maybe that's what they wanted me to do.  Because I can.  I didn't know I could.  But now that I am into it, I can see it is possible.

I was also reminded of what Apu Huaskaran told me in June 2009 during one of our Conversations with Mountain Spirits in Peru. (Apu is Quechua for mountain spirit, and Huaskaran is my benefactor Apu, and the tallest mountain in the Peruvian Andes - below).  He said, "you were born with a special gift.  You should put all your energies into developing it."

Since I felt I was blessed with so many gifts, up until now, I was unsure just exactly which one he was referring to.  Now I am starting to think that maybe it is my first love - music.  I had neglected her for over four decades.  Now, the Mozart and Beethoven spirits may be helping me return to her.

Mozart as already done it back in 2009, when his Piano Concerto #21 ended up being one of my guideposts that led me to move to Maui.  And I fused Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Vivaldi's "Spring" into one seamless piece back in 2008.  I called it "Vivaldwig."  So why not Beethoven and Mozart?

Yesterday (Nov 9), I saw a doctor friend of mine who also had a gift.  He is a psychic as well as a chiropractor.  Plus he has been in the music industry and understand the lingo.  So when I shared him about my "musical mystery" story, he instantly tuned into my soul's energy and confirm the presence of these two musical geniuses as my master guides.

"There's one more," he muttered.

"Excuse me?" I said.

"I am hearing that you have one more musical master guide."

"Who?  Chopin?  Schubert?" 

"No.  Someone else.  That's for you now to find out."

Later on the same day, I figured it out.  It must be Rachmaninoff.  He is the one who led me to Schubert and the new Steinway back in March.

We'll have to wait and see if my friend's psychic sources agree when I next see him. But I am pretty sure that's it.

Meanwhile, my Beethoven-Mozart clarinet-violin concertos in a new and unique piano arrangement are coming along nicely.  I am almost ready to record the two main themes, which hopefully will sound like one when I am done.  And then I'll have to work on 12 variations.  Not a small challenge, but I think it is fun.

So there you have it... my 220-year old "musical mystery" story. So far.

Have a great weekend!

Bob

P.S. BTW, here's also an old quote attributed to another Wolfgang (Goethe, possibly the greatest German language writer/poet who ever lived).  I have been using on and off in my own lectures for the last 30 years or so:

"The greatest genius will never be much if he pretends to draw exclusively from his own resources.  What is a genius but the faculty of seizing and turning to account everything that strikes us?"  

Every one of my writings has been furnished by a thousand different persons, a thousand different things...."

(Wolfgang Goethe made this statement regarding his own work)

The point of it is that creation is nothing more than building on our predecessors' creativity.  Plagiarism, on the other hand, is stealing other people's creations without adding new value to them.  That's clearly NOT what Beethoven did.  And that's definitely not what I am trying to do.

Refusion of Arts and Sciences

It turns out, what I have done, especially during the process of the above movie-making, is an evolutionary process that exemplifies the (re)fusion of arts and sciences about which I first wrote in 1994.  I said back then that silicon may help return man back to nature; that it would elevate the importance of the arts to the level they were in Da Vinci's time (see "Refusion of Arts & Sciences," 11/11/1994).  I used my Mac as a paint brush and my computer screen as a canvas, and my headset as soundstage.

It's just like what happened on Oct 29 after we returned home from our trip to Europe and New York.  The creation of my song "Hope" was another good example of the refusion of arts and sciences about which I first wrote 16 years ago.  I expanded the lyrics and added them to my original piano recording from June 29, 2009. So here it is now, with music and the lyrics together...

"Hope" - Lyrics and music by Bob Djurdjevic (Oct 30) [3:26 mins]

Some Funny Behind the Scene Moments

HAIKU, Maui, Nov 14 - Thought you might also enjoy some funny behind the scene moments that occurred during the making of my Musical Mystery film on Remembrance Day (Nov 11)...

 

Some funny behind the scene moments in Musical Mystery film [3:02 mins]

Latest 2011 |  Music | Spirituality | Prayer Request |Essays |Personal | About Altzar | Search | Contact Altzar