I was saving this music for the afterlife

I was saving this music for the afterlife


norman lebrecht

March 17, 2018

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

An hour of harp music with string quartet? Come on; there will be plenty of time for that in the afterlife. So why listen? Because Mozart made these transcriptions himself — two piano concertos, K414 and K415 — in the whimsical expectation that they were easy enough for amateurs to try out at home…

Read on here.

And here.


  • pianofortissimo says:

    An old cartoon by Gary Larson:

    ”Welcome to Heaven! This is your harp.”

    “Welcome to hell! This is your accordion.”

  • Luigi Nonono says:

    I find it very dubious that Mozart would have transcribed these concerti for harp, but for piano and string quartet, yes. Harpists are often very sloppy about transcriptions, and may conceal or label transcriptions as originals, due to appropriate concerns about the quality of the transcription. Langlamet can play fast, but that is not a musical quality. She also played a Schubert Impromptu on the harp, with very sloppy pedaling and a fairly complete lack of articulation. What most listeners and harpists don’t realize is that it is just as much of a musical instrument as a keyboard, and capable of not the same but parallel kinds of articulation, qualities of touch and tone color, as well as the obvious idiomatic sounds. The European harpists have been making a cult of inappropriate transcriptions rather than exploring the depth of a broad repertoire little known, which includes many works for harp and string quartet beyond the masterpiece of Caplet’s Conte Fantastique. Mozart can work well on the harp, but its not usually his piano music. Now for something really interesting, listen to Salieri’s Variations on La Follia. Now there’s a masterpiece Mozart could not have written, ever.

    • sylvain says:

      From what I read elsewhere, the quartet parts are indeed transcribed by Mozart, but the solo harp(s) part(s) seem to be a modern transcription, I guess by the performers. I too was curious about unknown (to me) original harp works by Mozart, for I always heard his sole work for the instrument was his concerto for flute & harp. Would have been eager to hear other original harp music by Mozart though ! (but apparently he wasn’t that interested in the instrument).

  • José says:

    “Not every man knows what he shall sing at the end” (Mark Strand, “The End).

  • Michael says:

    Ok, very interested in listening to this CD, so I scoured the internet. No notice of it on the quartet’s website or Facebook page, no notice of it on the recording company’s website, in fact no appearance anywhere. Is this so new that it hasn’t reached the hoi polloi yet or is this so weird that no one is willing to advertise it?

  • Lydia Wahlberg says:

    Have you ever seen the bumper sticker that says “play the accordion, go to jail?”