How Much Better Could Haydn or Mozart Have Been?

Nov 10, 2006

Boyce Lancaster talks with Maestro Albert-George Schram, former staff conductor of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, about Franz Josef Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Their output was immense, their talents immense, but they both had obligations to fulfill - professional and personal. Would they have been even greater artists without these constraints? [audio src=""] Highlights From This Interview: Boyce: "You wonder what would have happened if someone like Mozart had just been able to create whatever he wanted - how much more music would have advanced in a shorter period of time?" Albert-George: "I don't know if that would apply, necessarily, to either Mozart or Haydn, because their outputs are quite significant and large, and I cannot imagine their art being greater than it is. I don't know to what degree they would have created different art if they had more freedom. I think (the obligations) might have worked as a stimulus" Albert-George: "I mean, Hadyn going to England to be appreciated there. I don't even know if he was commissioned to write his London Symphonies there, but he was working in the employ of somebody who expected, needed some music, and Haydn was the one to do it. Thus, we have the 12 great London Symphonies." Albert-George: "Mozart was forced to travel around Europe while he was still young, so he created his four violin concertos all in one year. I think he did them when he was 19, so he could play them himself. He needed to play something, so he created something." Albert-George: "Many times when I have limits imposed upon me, my imagination goes further. I find repertoire that I hadn't even thought of, or didn't even know, just simply trying to find repertoire that fits within a certain theme. You think you have to have complete freedom for the imagination to go, but the imagination often goes further when it has limitations to it."