The Phenomenon of Cadence in Mozart's Sextet in F-Major (A Musical Joke) K. 522
Topical to this day, the final cadence of Mozart's Sextet (A Musical Joke) K. 522 is attracting the audiences with its harmonic and tonal boldness and a powerful contrast against the harmonic tissue of the entire composition, and against the entire classic musical heritage. Versatility of Mozart’s humour in his Musical Joke, embodying the artist’s bold ridicule and his conflicting reaction to the social musical anomalies of his time, is a result of the artist’s free thought, uninhibited by either academic or social constraints with a parodical-satirical purpose. Contrary to the ideal of a well-balanced classic whole, in the chamber ensemble one detects various sound ambivalences that are particularly observable at the crucial moments of the formal round-ups: in the “inappropriate” cadences of the slow third movement and in the finale of this divertimento. Striving toward a stylistically codified, bravura solo cadence of the slow movement, the ambitious soloist-violinist unintentionally deviates from the conventional norm, transforming the expected melodic identity into an unexpected whole-tone melodic expression. In the finale, however, Mozart subdues the expected authentic cadence, as a general stylistic feature of the classic style and musical opinion, to his individualism and musical dramaturgy illustrating unskillful musicians’ out-of-tune playing, by replacing it with an ‘unbecoming’ polytonal cadence, typical of 20th century music. That is exactly why Mozart remains – “one of the masters of the past who dominate the eternal ‘now’”.