Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Gloede, Wilhelm. “Händels Spur in Mozarts Spätwerk.” Göttinger Händel-Beiträge 9 (2002): 219–43.

It has long been established that Mozart borrowed melodies and other musical procedures from Handel’s works. The borrowings found in Mozart’s Requiem are of particular note, as scholars have debated several possible pieces by Handel and other composers as Mozart’s sources. A closer musical analysis suggests that specific movements from Handel’s Funeral Anthem for Queen Caroline, HWV 264, Joseph and his Brethren, HWV 59, and possibly Samson, HWV 57, served as Mozart’s templates for several parts of his Requiem. Handel’s influence may also be present in other late Mozart works, a possibility which thus far has been largely unexplored in music scholarship. In Die Zauberflöte, one can trace echoes of Handel’s Funeral Anthem and “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba” from Solomon. Mozart may have taken inspiration from Jephtha when composing Don Giovanni, although there are also striking resemblances between the opera’s Act II finale and Mozart’s own incidental music to Thamos, König in Ägypten, K. 345. Finally, while scholarship has frequently highlighted the influence of Bach’s counterpoint on Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony, the final chorus from Alexander’s Feast might have been a direct model for the coda in the symphony’s fourth movement. Both works utilize a distinctive procedure of stringing several fugue subjects in succession before presenting them together in counterpoint, and there are noticeable parallels in the two movements’ thematic materials. As important as it is to acknowledge Mozart’s musical debt to Handel, scholars must nevertheless resist the temptation to make value judgments or qualitative comparisons between their works that imply the superiority of one composer over the other .

Works: Mozart: Requiem in D Minor, K. 626 (219-29, 241-42), Die Zauberflöte, K. 620 (229-34), Don Giovanni, K. 527 (234-36), Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K. 551 (“Jupiter”) (236-40).

Sources: Handel: Funeral Anthem for Queen Caroline, HWV 264 (219-26, 228-33, 241-43), Joseph and his Brethren, HWV 59 (226-28), Samson, HWV 57 (227-28), Solomon, HWV 67 (233-34), Jephtha, HWV 70 (236); Mozart: Thamos, König in Ägypten, K. 345 (236); Handel: Alexander’s Feast or The Power of Musick, HWV 75 (237-40).

Index Classifications: 1700s

Contributed by: Matthew G. Leone

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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