About Prof. Cliff Eisen and this TKS episode:
Prof. Cliff Eisen is a Professor of music at King’s College London. He specialises in Mozart and 18th Century music, its history, source studies, performance, practice, Mozart’s cultural context and his historiography. In this episode of The Know Show Podcast, Cliff gives us a history of his own story, how he developed his love for Mozart, and how this has translated into his academic research. He also discusses how he has been trying to bridge the gap between academia and society through his research.
A brief synopsis:
In this episode, Cliff begins by describing to Hussain the way his interest in classical music developed, and how this led him to a Mozart song which he fell in love with. He then began listening to and researching Mozart’s music obsessively.
Prof. Cliff Eisen outlines how his academic work is different from others. He recognises the importance of subjectivity in studying Mozart, valuing the way that people see and understand Mozart in their own unique, and special, way.
At this point, Cliff delves into the benefits of interdisciplinary research, and the potential this has. He discusses the new approaches this throws up for academic research, and how he noticed a gap between academia and society, notably focussing on music lovers, that could and needed to be bridged.
Eisen then explores Mozart’s letters, and how they noticeably lacked discussions of his music. They show Mozart’s wider interest in the arts. He also debunks the myth that Mozart died poor and unappreciated. Most importantly, Eisen explains that there was a lot more to Mozart than his music, which is often lost in historical discussions that focus solely on his compositions.
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TKS take home points:
In this TKS episode, we are given an expert glance into Mozart’s life. Prof. Cliff Eisen makes it clear that Mozart had interests beyond music, outlining why this is often obscured. Cliff provides us with a rare opportunity to see Mozart for who he really was, whilst seeing how this research was conducted.