Kostas Papazafeiropoulos :: Sonata in G dur, op.116 (2015)
dedicated to Wim Winters
Is this the new MOZART?
Don't mind the question, and certainly don't let it upset you or -worse- force you to formulate an answer.
I realise that even the most open minded persons amongst you will hesitate and say, silently: "well....you know,..."
I have the same reaction, and apart from using that very first sentence again as a main video title for the Afterthoughts on this recording, I'll never do it again. Not a promise... let's say an intention.
So what is it about?
First, obviously, to generate attention. Not for me, but for the fact that the music in this video is brand new. NEW! Imagine that, I mean: REALISE that!!
2015, Composed NOW (well, three weeks ago), by a living composer to whom we can talk to and work with. That's nothing new you'd say, many new compositions see light, every day. True, but not in an older, existing style. And if they are, not always in a way that they feel "authentic", both framed very well stylistically, and at the same time very personal. At least, that combination is not something I've seen already very often.
So why is this important to me?
Well, my life, and I guess of many of you, exists in playing music from composers that have died long ago. We all find -and I am serious about that - a very deep meaning in our (musical) lives, to study compositions of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, later and earlier composers, and give our audiences not only our view on those works, but present them, more importantly, the beauty of the incredible art that the past masters left us. A part of this group, musicians, ask builders to study the former art of instrument building and bring that back to our day. We find it meaningful, and joyful, to practice and play that music on the instruments of we think come closest to what the composers themselves might have known.
And rebuilding old style instruments is something very much accepted today. Even creating new concepts within the context of the builders of the past is. My clavichord is a very good example of that. it is so close, and still unique.
But recreating the old art of composition is something that is not very much accepted... Actually: really not accepted, by the "establishment", so to say... a really 'no go area'. Yes, for a musician that improvises or composes a small piece, but not -I talk in general- for a composer who dedicates his work entirely to the equivalent of the instrument builder of today...and that is odd.
Strange, because to me, a sonata like this, that is -and you can talk about details but in an objective way to say- a good composition. It gave me joy to practice and play, and the first public performance, last Friday, for a private group of Dutch listeners, proved that it had the same effect at them, then it had on me. You need time to adjust, that is very true, and I should ask you in fact, that you should listen a few time. It IS new, being one of its strengths.
But how liberating this new composition feels in addition to what I, and maybe you, do every day !! How nice to have a skilled composer that understands the language of that time. How essential it feels, like giving air, this and other works, to the music that we all love to play. It feels as if this not only adds to the old music, but has the power to bring it back to our present day, giving it in a way that is difficult to describe, new life !
And the question whether Kostas Papazafeiropoulos is a new Mozart or not, is of course a ridiculous one. He will feel the most embarrassed of all. It should never be answered. What I really meant was, that Kostas very well could become (or is) a composer of today that provides the world with works in a style that we do relate to composers like Mozart and Haydn. And in that regard, he very well might be the new Mozart!