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Mozart's Music of Friends
Social Interplay in the Chamber Works


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  • Author: Edward Klorman, Queens College, City University of New York and The Juilliard School, New York
Patrick McCreless
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  • Date Published: April 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107093652

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About the Authors
  • In 1829 Goethe famously described the string quartet as 'a conversation among four intelligent people'. Inspired by this metaphor, Edward Klorman's study draws on a wide variety of documentary and iconographic sources to explore Mozart's chamber works as 'the music of friends'. Illuminating the meanings and historical foundations of comparisons between chamber music and social interplay, Klorman infuses the analysis of sonata form and phrase rhythm with a performer's sensibility. He develops a new analytical method called multiple agency that interprets the various players within an ensemble as participants in stylized social intercourse - characters capable of surprising, seducing, outwitting, and even deceiving one another musically. This book is accompanied by online resources that include original recordings performed by the author and other musicians, as well as video analyses that invite the reader to experience the interplay in time, as if from within the ensemble.

    • Traces the history of connections between chamber music and 'conversation', and explains what these mean for performers and audiences today
    • Combines historical, analytical, and performance perspectives and will appeal to readers seeking an integrated approach
    • Accompanied by online resources, including a complete recording of Mozart's 'Kegelstatt' trio and the world-premiere recording of Momigny's 1806 vocal arrangement of Mozart's Quartet in D Minor
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    • Winner, 2017 PROSE Award for Music and the Performing Arts

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Klorman's love of his subject is truly infectious. Drawing on many contemporary quotes he paints a very vivid and human historical backdrop. We eavesdrop on composers, players, listeners and commentators puzzling over the composition and performance of classical chamber music from its birth. This is a work of impressive scholarship with a broad and deep awareness of musical theory and commentary through the centuries, but, above all, it makes a persuasive case for a mode of musical analysis that puts at its center the composer's essential conception of the different parts in chamber music as multiple agents, affecting, surprising and even tussling with each other rhythmically, harmonically, contrapuntally and emotionally. In this way, reading his analyses can remind one of a good quartet rehearsal - a medium Klorman also knows very well from the quartet viola player's seat.' Roger Tapping, Juilliard String Quartet

    'To hear Mozart's chamber works on recordings, through mp3 players, or even in a concert hall is to experience them much differently than did listeners of the eighteenth century. As Klorman cogently explains, the primary intended audiences of these pieces were the performers themselves, for whom the notion of chamber music as a conversation was not merely a metaphor but an essential part of the artistic experience. Through penetrating historical and music analyses, Mozart's Music of Friends helps vivify this wonderful music in a manner that is refreshingly new - or, I should say, in a manner that is over 200 years old, but has too long been set aside and forgotten.' L. Poundie Burstein, Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York

    'Klorman fundamentally rethinks the social and behavioral bases for our understanding of a core repertoire. He works carefully through the logical implications of his key term, 'multiple agency', using it to illuminate our understanding not just of texture, but also of elements such as metre, phrase syntax, and even musical form itself. Highly readable, entertaining, and thought-provoking.' W. Dean Sutcliffe, University of Auckland

    'Effectively organized, beautifully written, and informed throughout by extraordinary musical intelligence and sensitivity, Mozart's Music of Friends is a major contribution to our understanding of Mozart's chamber music and of eighteenth-century music in general.' John Rice, Society for Eighteenth Century Music

    'Edward Klorman's superb monograph … is a remarkably original addition to the burgeoning music-theoretical literature on performance and analysis … Klorman's authorial style … expresses incisive analytical insights with a freewheeling and charming whimsy … The book overall is best regarded as an artistic statement, and a highly compelling one at that.' Roger Graybill, Music Theory Online

    'Edward Klorman has crafted a work that is a pleasure to experience; meticulously researched, eloquently written, and featuring elegant performances … This is a book one will want not only to read, but to own.' Robert S. Hatten, Music Theory Spectrum

    'The main text is exceptionally well written. It's a real pleasure to read … [and is] well laid out with attractive illustrations … It is a nice introduction to music theory and analysis for students, referring to a wide range of analytical concepts. That said, the author writes for a 'diverse readership' in addition to students of theory, including historical musicologist, performers and general enthusiasts. I am somewhat beguiled by its easy approachability.' Esther Cavett and Matthew Head, Eighteenth-Century Music

    'Engaging, entertaining, and thought-provoking, this volume is informed by scholarly zeal as well as by a keen musical sensibility as Klorman traces the sociable intricacies of Mozart's chamber-music textures from the dual standpoint of late eighteenth-century custom and present-day theoretical insight. The book thus makes a significant contribution to the Mozart literature, its usefulness enhanced by a wealth of quotations from pertinent sources as well as by an attractive, well-stocked website (, where analytical videos help bring the author's multiple-agency scenarios to life.' Floyd Grave, Newsletter of the Mozart Society of America

    'The insights he brings to bear on Mozart's chamber repertory could only have been offered by someone with substantial background as a performer … The analytical chapters of this book are a tour de force … He is concerned to promote multiple readings and hearings of this music, which help us to celebrate this music's subversiveness, subtlety, and - let's face it - sheer fun.' Nancy November, Music and Letters

    'His scholarship and insightful historical and musical analyses are impressive throughout … Klorman undoubtedly succeeds in infusing analytical and music-historical scholarship with a performer's sensibility, integrating more closely these diverse forms of musical engagement.' Robin Stowell, The Strad

    'I am delighted to announce one of the most vivid and engaging books about Mozart's music in recent years.' Petra Petra, Ad Parnassum

    'By establishing a conversation between these disciplines [musicology, music theory, and performance], Klorman is aiming to rekindle the vivid sense of repartee that animated chamber musicians in the time of Mozart … Klorman's impressive accomplishment - to pull these different strains together and present them in clear, enjoyable prose - should interest musicians and scholars alike.' John Moran, Notes

    'Klorman is surely predestined to shed new light on this … area, not merely because he is an erudite and communicative scholar and at the same time an exquisite violist, but also because he has been pursuing this particular area of research for several years, so that this book represents the result of an encompassing and multi-faceted engagement with the interface of performance and analysis.' Christian Utz, Music Theory and Analysis

    'Ultimately, this book opens up the field of music analysis to an entirely new perspective, a perspective that is both historically grounded and experienced from a performer's point of view. This perspective is likely to leave a significant imprint on the field of music analysis in the years to come.' Giorgio Sanguinetti, Music Analysis

    'The sociability of music-making is one of its most highly desirable (and oft-forgotten) attributes, one that musicology has steadily begun to address (and long may that continue). Klorman's Mozart's Music of Friends is a prominent and very welcome landmark in this progress.' John Irving, Journal of the Royal Musical Association

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107093652
    • length: 358 pages
    • dimensions: 256 x 175 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.87kg
    • contains: 15 b/w illus. 102 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword Patrick McCreless
    Part I. Historical Perspectives:
    1. The music of friends
    2. Chamber music and the metaphor of conversation
    3. Private, public, and playing in the present tense
    Part II. Analytical Perspectives:
    4. Analyzing from within the music: toward a theory of multiple agency
    5. Multiple agency and sonata form
    6. Multiple agency and meter
    7. An afternoon at skittles: analysis of the 'Kegelstatt' Trio, K. 498

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    Mozart's Music of Friends

    Edward Klorman

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  • Author

    Edward Klorman, Queens College, City University of New York and The Juilliard School, New York
    Edward Klorman is Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Viola at Queens College and The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY). He also teaches graduate analysis seminars and chamber music performance at The Juilliard School, where he was founding chair of the Music Theory and Analysis department. Committed to intersections between musical scholarship and performance, he currently serves as co-chair of the Performance and Analysis Interest Group of the Society for Music Theory. He has performed as guest artist with the Borromeo, Orion, and Ying Quartets and the Lysander Trio, and he is featured on two albums of chamber music from Albany Records. He has published and presented widely on topics in the performance of eighteenth-century chamber music.


    Patrick McCreless


    • Winner, 2017 PROSE Award for Music and the Performing Arts
    • Winner, 2017 Marjorie Weston Emerson Award, Mozart Society of America
    • 2017 Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers

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