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yes, exactly!  Mozart was a riff monster; his gigs were just that: one off gigs.  The orchestra could play the piece, then at the certain moment he would play his solo--a solo by Mozart!

Most musicians now would play pre-written notes, so no improvisation.  I found this with a quick google, though:

The orchestra's favorite part of a concerto, someone once joked, is the cadenza - the section at the end of a movement when the orchestra stops playing and the soloist is on his own for a minute or two. But some listeners in the audience can't wait for the "real" music to start again, when the orchestra gets back to work.

Why do these listeners get impatient? Perhaps because the cadenza rarely lives up to what it's supposed to be - a fantasy that sounds improvised, with enough of the unexpected to keep you on the edge of your seat. Nowadays, in a Mozart concerto, most pianists play a cadenza that was composed well ahead of time (sometimes by Mozart for a student, sometimes by someone more recent). Too often, it's obvious that everything was planned in advance.

But not when the pianist is Robert Levin. Like Mozart himself in concerts, Levin makes up his own cadenzas on the spot. Hearing him plunge in after the orchestra stops is like watching someone walk a tightrope without a net. In a Levin cadenza, anything can happen.

http://www.bsherman.org/levinstagebill.htm



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Wed May 14th, 2008 at 08:30:13 AM EST
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Moazrt literally grew up improvising. He was taken on a tour of Europe when he was ten, and he'd improvise fugues and arrangements with a blindfold on, or the keyboard covered with felt so he couldn't see the keys.

The tour was a double act with his sister who was only a few years older - rated a much better performer, but not such a creative improviser.

He'd have been horrified by the modern idea of 'Here's the piece, these are the notes, play it exactly as it's written or we shoot you.'

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed May 14th, 2008 at 08:49:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The tour was a double act with his sister who was only a few years older - rated a much better performer, but not such a creative improviser.

I try to think of famous women composers - aren't they more rare than women mathematicians? What are the most famous names in this list?

by das monde on Wed May 14th, 2008 at 10:27:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note that the list includes Fanny Mendelssohn (maiden name) and Clara Schumann (married name). This inconsistency gives away the fact that the compiler of the list regards them as famous because they were related to a famous male composer, rather than in their own right.

The Deutsche Bahn does better than Wikipedia. They have (had? Anyone know where you can find a list of named trains?) a train named after Fanny Hensel.

One of the most famous names in the list is probably Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, but not as a composer. A few years ago (probably 1998), Münster had a festival dedicated to her, which included some compositions by her father, who taught her music. A rare instance of a male composer being remembered only because of his relation to a female one.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu May 15th, 2008 at 04:30:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Deutsche Bahn does better than Wikipedia. They have (had? Anyone know where you can find a list of named trains?) a train named after Fanny Hensel.

Here is the current list. But DB, and others, are reducing the number of named trains (why, I don't get it - how is it a problem to regular interval timeplan?...). However, I don't find any trace of an EC/IC/ICE Fanny Hensel in the past, either.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon May 19th, 2008 at 08:37:43 AM EST
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Strange. I have a clear memory of riding in this train. It might have been another country, but that seems unlikely.

I wonder whether they could be reducing the number of named trains to prepare the ground for Austrian-style sponsorship of trains? They have awful things like "Hollywood Filmkomplex" and the like. The most annoying is the "WIFI-express". With a name like that you expect to have WiFi on board, only to discover that WIFI is Austrian for Wirtschaftsförderungsinstitut - and that they don't regard installing WiFi as an appropriate form of Wirtschaftsförderung...

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue May 20th, 2008 at 05:41:51 AM EST
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Strange. I have a clear memory of riding in this train.

Could you narrow it down to train type (e.g. EC/IC/ICE/etc.), and roughly which year?

Austrian-style sponsorship of trains

Heh... last week in Vienna, I too saw that "Hollywood Megaplex" train, and also "EZA Fairer Handel" and some expresses named for web addresses...

But, seriously, ÖBB still kept nice names like "Mozart" and "Allegro Don Giovanni" and has room for sillyness like "Willkommen im Parlament", so I don't get what rides DB. (And DB has effects beyond borders - say, why drop the decades-old "Hungária" name for EC 170/171 Budapest-Hamburg and "Ján Jesenius"->"Alois Negrelli" for EC 170/171 Budapest-Berlin?)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue May 20th, 2008 at 08:22:37 AM EST
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I think around 10-15 years ago. Maybe ICE, but I'm really uncertain about this.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue May 20th, 2008 at 08:32:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Then quite likely ICE. The names of ICE runs were culled in 2002 (some came back later; while naming of the trains themselves for cities started), so there were lots of short-lived names.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 20th, 2008 at 10:06:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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