CLASSICAL ERA (1750 - c.1825)Art and architecture was modeled after Roman and Greek images.
The Age of Enlightenment• Rise in intellect - first encyclopedia (1771)• Significant inventions Ben Franklin - electricity & Edward Jenner - perfected vaccination• Industrial Revolution James Watts-steam engine, Eli Whitney-cotton gin• Classical ideals order, reason, serenity, BALANCE• Rise in middle class, pursuit of liberty American Revolutions (1775-83) French Revolution (1789-99)
STYLE CHARACTERISTICS• Great experimentation• LARGER FORMS• Major/minor tonalities exploited to full potential• Continue many Baroque genres (opera, masses, oratorios, sonatas, solo concertos)• New genres (SYMPHONIES, STRING QUARTETS, and other chamber groups)• Influences of aristocratic elegance fused with secular dances, waltzes, and folk music elements.
STYLE CHARACTERISTICS• Harmonic structure less chromatic• Melodies are elegant & memorable (often diatonic)• Preference for homophony (non-homorhythmic)• Reserved use of counterpoint• Improvisation only used for specific solo moments known as cadenzas• Most common meters 4/4 - quadruple, 3/4- triple, 2/4- duple, 6/8 -compound duple
Joseph Haydn Ludwig van (1732-1809) Beethoven (1770-1827) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Viennese School
Joseph Haydn• Austrian composer• “Father of the symphony and string quartet”• Responsible for expanding the size of the orchestra• Friend to Mozart and teacher of Beethoven.• Influenced by C.P.E. Bach (JS Bach’s son)• Studied music at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna• Patron was Prince Nikolaus Esterházy • The Hungarian Esterházy family was extremely wealthy • one of Europe’s best known patrons to the arts • Palace was among Europe’s most luxurious (with its own opera house) • Under this patronage, Haydn gained a high level of European fame • After Prince Esterházy’s death in 1790, Haydn travelled to England twice for performances of his own compositions = Great success. Composed 12 London Symphonies as a result. • Composed 100+ symphonies, 68 string quartets, 14 operas, a variety of sacred music (masses and oratorio), and helped to develop the piano trio and the “sonata-allegro” form
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZARTb. Salzburg, Austria - child prodigy on piano • learned piano from his dad, Leopold (established court composer) • older sister Maria Anna (aka Nannerl) was also a gifted pianist who toured with her younger brother to display their virtuosic talents • composed before he was 5, by 13 he had written sonatas, concertos, symphonies, and several opera • Wrote in all the popular genres of the era and are considered some of the greatest masterpieces in all of music history. • Known for elegant and songful melodies and brilliant display of balance and form. • Wrote 626 different works (identified by K. #’‘s - chronological list compiled by Ludwig von Kochel) • Wrote over 40 symphonies, 23 operas, numerous masses, concertos, string quartets, dances, serenades, divertimentos, church sonatas, and other chamber works
Ludwig van Beethoven• Born in Bonn, Germany• virtuoso performer on keyboards (mostly piano)• Career in aristocratic patronage and concerts to the middle-class in concert halls.• Wrote 1 opera, 9 symphonies, 5 piano concerti, 32 piano sonatas, 9 concerti, and 16 string quartets - among others• Began to lose his sense of hearing in his early 30’s. • eventually completely lost his hearing, continued to compose but could no longer perform 3 style periods • 1st - first 2 symphonies (his “classical period”) • 2nd - symphonies 3-8 (his “herioc period”) enlarged orchestra music had a fire and rhythmic drive that gave a “heroic” sensibility. • 3rd - final symphony (his “romantic period”)
Instrumental musicabsolute music - there is no prescribed story or text • Dependent on form • non-dramatic, no story line, no text, no pictorial • Dominant instrumental music type (as opposed to “program” music) • Sonata, Solo, Chamber, Orchestral Classical Sonata • for solo or duet (typically piano was one of the instruments) • popular in homes and in performance Classical composers preferred multi-movement works from 1750 well into the Romantic period. •3-4 movements •each movement had prescribed forms and tempos •found in symphonies, string quartets, concertos, and sonatas
Multimovement Form1st movement - form: sonata-allegro (aka sonata form) • tempo = Allegro, meter=4/4 • most organized form in multimovement works2nd (contrasting key) - ABA or theme & variations • tempo = Adagio, Andante, meter=varies • t&v form, intro theme may be newly invented or borrowed but is always simple in order to allow for melodic, harmonic, and/or rhythmic variation.3rd (opt.) - “dance” minuet & trio or scherzo & trio (19th c.) • ternary form (A=minuet or scherzo, B= trio) • tempo = varies from “stately” to “lively”, meter = 3/4Final movement - sonata-rondo (aka rondo form) • A B A C A (etc.) the rondo theme (A) is known as a “refrain”
Classical Symphony • Symphony was the dominating genre in the Classical era • Multimovement work for symphony orchestra • The model for the symphony orchestra is still the standard today• Orchestra rose to maturity new instruments- clarinet, modern trumpets, horns, and trombones.• Rooted in Italian Opera overture 3 sections typical in overture expanded to 3 separate movements. • Use of memorable melodies and dramatic dynamics the steamroller effect = long drawn out crescendos • Title often indicates the key and includes a (chronological) number Ex: Haydn’s Symphony No. 94 in G Major, Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550
Chamber music• one player per part• used at evening and social functions• popularity rose convenience of only 4 musicians charming form of entertainment. String • 2 violins, viola, cello Quartet • played multi-movement works • lighter genres like divertimento and serenade were popular. Each are light and can serve as centerpieces or as background music. • Most Classical composers wrote for String Quartet and helped to establish the trends in literature
Listen to Mozart’s Eine Kleine NachtmusikKey: G majorWritten for string quartet supported by a double bassoften performed by a string orchestra•1st mvmt: Allegro, SONATA-ALLEGRO form opening theme is known as his rocket theme INTRO (opt.)•3rd mvmt: Allegro, MINUET & TRIO formActive Listening Question:Is this recording a string quartet or a string orchestra?
Classical Concerto• Classical concerto featured a soloist plus orchestra •piano and violin were the most popular solo instruments •other solo instruments like the trumpet and clarinet were used •3 movements (fast - slow - fast) were the standard (as opposed to the symphony which favored 4 movements) •concerti often featured the soloist alone during cadenzas. The orchestra would drop out completely so the soloist could freely present a dazzling passage of improvised/virtuoso melodic runs (often used one or more themes from the movement)
Classical OperaOpera in classical era split into 2 types opera seria - “serious” subject matter, often has a tragic ending comic opera - comedic subjectopera seria•Italian opera that grew out of the Baroque era•“serious” overly dramatic depictions of figures in Mythology or history•3 acts = static- with convoluted plots that were subordinate to music•largely shaped by the ideas of poet/librettist Pietro Metastasio•Favored the soloists • prima donna = heroin “first lady” • prima uomo = hero “first male” (often a tenor voice) • the castrati were still used•REFORMED by Christoph Willibald Gluck (fused French opera trends withItalian tradition) which pushed opera to be less dependent on solo virtuosity andunrealistic situations in plot. Instead, opera should be more beautiful, natural,and accessible with larger use of chorus for more contrast. • Ex: Gluck’s Orfeo and Euredice -1762
comic opera• Realistic, relatable, and lively story lines• Humorous and grew to use more satire when depicting the aristocrats.• Written in vernacular (native language)• Common characters (lawyers/doctors/servants)• Large use of ensemble and low male voice buffa – traditional bass voice character who spoke to the audience with a “wink and a nod”)Different names given to different regions - slightly different interpretations for each region• opera buffa - Italy (Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, & Don Giovanni)• opéra comique - France (Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Querelle des Bouffons)• Singspiel - Germany (Mozart’s The Magic Flute)• ballad opera (dialogue opera) - England (Johanne Pepusch/ John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera)
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