Mozert: The Last Lost Manuscripts (LED review)

Marion Morrison, mezzo-soprano; Sir Nigel Twitt-Thornwaite, Nor'western Clyde Symphonic Symphony. Deutsche Grammerphone Gesundheit 928-435-7728.

People today probably recognize Epicurean composer, electrician, and skateboard enthusiast Lonnigan O. Lochinvar Mozert (1548-1697) best for his musical drama about overweight Italian opera singers, I Eata; or perhaps for his oratorio about automobile mechanics, Car Men. But all of that may be acqua sotto i ponti ("the Pontiff is green"), as they say, given several startling new finds. Dr. Karlheinz Klopweisser of the Arkham Institute for Arcane Musicology (Miskatonic University) recently unearthed two new lost Mozert manuscripts, although having found them, the manuscripts are obviously no longer lost and are certainly not new. Moreover, these newly discovered no-longer-lost lost old manuscripts may only be the beginning of a veritable treasure trove of Mozert music soon to be revealed. Thus, the scores we have here might not be the last of the manuscripts Professor Klopweisser uncovers; they might just be the last ones he found. Or they might simply be the first of the last lost but no-longer-lost lost scores. Such is the fascination of modern musical scholarship.

Anyway, as you know, young Mozert rose to prominence in the early 1640's through a whirlwind courtship with German national archery champion Kathoid Everlast, but the romance broke up. This was understandable, of course, as it was the Baroque age. Following the breakup, Mozert fell back into obscurity, fracturing several ribs and a pinky finger in the process. Still, it didn't stop him, and he continued pursuing his life's dream of working in his stepfather's knight, rook, and pawn shop, a dream, alas, like his love, unrequited. Still later, he took over editorship of the local newspaper in Wiley, North Dakota, The Wiley Post. And from somewhere came the menacing pocketa-pocketa-pocketa of the new flame-throwers.

Controversy surrounds the manuscripts, found by Professor Klopweisser tucked beneath an Egyptian mummy mask at the Luxor Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Were the manuscripts really lost, or were they temporarily misplaced for several centuries? Were they Mozert's magnum opus, or were they a shopping list for his daily groceries? Were they the great man's final words on the subject of musical composition, or is it possible, as many ancient astronaut theorists believe, that they are fragments of the Gospel of St. Mark? The mystery has only increased over the past four hundred years since no one actually knew that the manuscripts existed.

Sir Nigel Twitt-Thornwaite
Whatever the case, Professor Klopweisser and Maestro Sir Nigel Twitt-Thornwaite have collaborated on a complete reconstruction of The Shroud, resulting in a stunning new winding-sheet, the context of which can only be realized through a complete reappraisal of the musical and archaeological worlds' accepted, predisposed, and wholly anthropomorphous perspective. Given that the lost manuscripts contained but a few miscellaneous shards, the twelve-hour epic created by Klopweisser and Twitt-Thornwaite is all the more astonishing. Indeed, it is a shame the present recording provides only about a minute and half of the completed score, the rest of the transcript having been lost in a presumptive gaming transaction at the Luxor.

But wait: If you order today, we'll double the offer. You'll receive not only The Shroud of Turing but The Shroud of Schenectady as well, absolutely free (just pay $39.95 shipping and handling). Remember, Carpe Diem ("Seize the carp").

As for the album's miserable sound, we must blame the producer and recording engineer, Jonathan O'Konnell Edwards, who is obviously an idiot. Anybody who would make an album as offensive as this one must also beat his wife, drown small puppies, and murder neighborhood children. He is clearly a wretched pile of.... (Ed.: John, you can't say these things about people. Mr. Edwards could sue you for slander. Interpol could come to your door and drag you away. John? John? John?)

To listen to a brief excerpt from a completely different album, click here:

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Meet the Staff

Meet the Staff
John J. Puccio, Editor, Publisher, Reviewer

Understand, I'm just an everyday guy reacting to something I love. And I've been doing it for a very long time, my appreciation for classical music starting with the musical excerpts on The Big John and Sparkie radio show in the early Fifties and the purchase of my first recording, The 101 Strings Play the Classics, around 1956. In the late Sixties I began teaching high school English and Film Studies as well as becoming interested in hi-fi, my audio ambitions graduating me from a pair of AR-3 speakers to the Fulton J's recommended by The Stereophile's J. Gordon Holt. In the early Seventies, I began writing for a number of audio magazines, including Audio Excellence, Audio Forum, The Boston Audio Society Speaker, The American Record Guide, and from 1976 until 2008, The $ensible Sound, for which I served as Classical Music Editor.

Today, I'm retired from teaching and use a pair of bi-amped VMPS RM40s loudspeakers for my listening. In addition to writing the Classical Candor blog, I served as the Movie Review Editor for the Web site Movie Metropolis (formerly DVDTown) from 1997-2013. Music and movies. Life couldn't be better.
Karl W. Nehring, Contributing Reviewer

For more than 20 years I was the editor ofThe $ensible Soundmagazine and a regular contributor to its classical review pages. I would not presume to present myself as some sort of expert on music, but I have a deep love for and appreciation of many types of music, "classical" especially, and have listened to thousands of recordings over the years, many of which still line the walls of my listening room (and occasionally spill onto the furniture and floor, much to the chagrin of my long-suffering wife). I have always taken the approach as a reviewer that what I am trying to do is simply to point out to readers that I have come across a recording that I have found of interest, a recording that I think they might appreciate my having pointed out to them. I suppose that sounds a bit simple-minded, but I know I appreciate reading reviews by others that do the same for me -- point out recordings that I think I might enjoy.

For readers who might be wondering about what kind of system I am using to do my listening, I should probably point out that I do a LOT of music listening and employ a variety of means to do so in a variety of environments, as I would imagine many music lovers also do. Starting at the more grandiose end of the scale, the system in which I do my most serious listening comprises an Onkyo C-7030 CD player, Legacy Audio StreamLine preamplifier, Legacy Audio PowerBloc2 amplifier, and a pair of Legacy Audio Focus SE speakers augmented by a Legacy Point One subwoofer. I also do a lot of listening while driving in my 2016 Acura RDX with its nice-sounding ELS Studio sound system through which I play CDs (the ones I especially like I rip to the Acura's hard drive so that I can listen to them whenever I want) or stream music through the system using my LG G7 ThinQ cell phone, which features surprisingly sophisticated audio circuitry. For more casual listening at home when I am not in my listening room, I often stream music through the phone into a Vizio soundbar system that has remarkably nice sound for such a diminutive physical presence. And finally, at the least grandiose end of the scale, I have an Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth speaker for those occasions where I am somewhere by myself without a sound system but in desperate need of a musical fix. I just can't imagine life without music and I am humbly grateful for the technology that enables us to enjoy it in so many wonderful ways.
Bryan Geyer, Technical Analyst

I initially embraced classical music in 1954 when I mistuned my car radio and heard the Heifetz recording of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. That inspired me to board the new "hi-fi" DIY bandwagon. In 1957 I joined one of the pioneer semiconductor makers and spent the next 32 years marketing transistors and microcircuits to military contractors. Home audio DIY projects remained a personal passion until 1989 when we created our own new photography equipment company. I later (2012) revived my interest in two channel audio when we "downsized" our life and determined that mini-monitors + paired subwoofers were a great way to mate fine music with the space constraints of condo living.

Visitors that view my technical papers on this site may wonder why they appear here, rather than on a site that features audio equipment reviews. My reason is that I tried the latter, and prefer to publish for people who actually want to listen to music; not to equipment. My focus is in describing what's technically beneficial to assure that the sound of the system will accurately replicate the source input signal (i. e. exhibit high accuracy) without inordinate cost and complexity. Conversely, most of the audiophiles of today strive to achieve sound that's euphonic, i.e. be personally satisfying. In essence, audiophiles seek sound that's consistent with their desire; the music is simply a test signal.

Mission Statement

It is the goal of Classical Candor to promote the enjoyment of classical music. Other forms of music come and go--minuets, waltzes, ragtime, blues, jazz, bebop, country-western, rock-'n'-roll, heavy metal, rap, and the rest--but classical music has been around for hundreds of years and will continue to be around for hundreds more. It's no accident that every major city in the world has one or more symphony orchestras.

When I was young, I heard it said that only intellectuals could appreciate classical music, that it required dedicated concentration to appreciate. Nonsense. I'm no intellectual, and I've always loved classical music. Anyone who's ever seen and enjoyed Disney's Fantasia or a Looney Tunes cartoon playing Rossini's William Tell Overture or Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 can attest to the power and joy of classical music, and that's just about everybody.

So, if Classical Candor can expand one's awareness of classical music and bring more joy to one's life, more power to it. It's done its job. --John J. Puccio

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"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa

"Their Master's Voice" by Michael Sowa