Vocal Music in the Classical Era
by Elliott Jones
of Santa Ana College
for Kaleidoscope Open Course Initiative shared unde...
Choral Genres
 Mass
 Haydn’s Mass in D Minor (Lord Nelson)
 Mozart’s Mass in C Minor
 Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis
 Req...
Sacred Concert Music
 Sacred genres such as Mass and Requiem
move from the church to the concert hall
 These forms provi...
Classical Opera
Classical Opera
 Opera houses were center of innovation
 Opera was most important genre
 Opera reached the widest audie...
Opera Seria
 Dominant form of early Classical period
 Similar to Baroque opera
 Mythological and historical subject mat...
Comic Opera
 Eclipsed Opera Seria over time
 More realistic depictions of life
 Sung in language of audience
 Lively, ...
The Buffo
 Comic character
 Spoke to the audience at times
 Often a rather earthy character
 Bass voice
Comic Opera Across Europe
 Ballad Opera (England)
 Zingspiel (Germany)
 Opera Comique (France)
 Opera Buffa (Italy)
Mozart and Opera
 Mozart was the master of Classical opera
 He had keen theatrical instincts
 Haydn’s operas were large...
Listening Example
 Title: Overture to Don Giovanni
 Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
 Genre: Opera
Notes on Overture to Don Gio.
 Slow sinister introduction presents music
from the dark ending of the opera
 Change to fa...
Listening Example
 Title: “Notte e giorno fatticar” DG
 Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
 Genre: Opera
Notes on Notte e giorno fatticar
 Begins with brief aria by Leporello
 Ensemble follows as more characters enter:
 Donn...
Listening Example
 Title: “La ci darem la mano” DG
 Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
 Genre: Opera
Notes on La ci darem la mano
 Begins with simple recitative
 Duet follows as Don Giovanni and Zerlina
sing (aria style) ...
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Classical Vocal Music

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Classical Vocal Music

  1. 1. Vocal Music in the Classical Era by Elliott Jones of Santa Ana College for Kaleidoscope Open Course Initiative shared under a Creative Commons Attribution License
  2. 2. Choral Genres  Mass  Haydn’s Mass in D Minor (Lord Nelson)  Mozart’s Mass in C Minor  Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis  Requiem  Mozart’s Requiem  Oratorio  Haydn’s The Creation and The Seasons
  3. 3. Sacred Concert Music  Sacred genres such as Mass and Requiem move from the church to the concert hall  These forms provided convenient and familiar frameworks for composition  Example: Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis was intended as a concert piece
  4. 4. Classical Opera
  5. 5. Classical Opera  Opera houses were center of innovation  Opera was most important genre  Opera reached the widest audience
  6. 6. Opera Seria  Dominant form of early Classical period  Similar to Baroque opera  Mythological and historical subject matter  Designed for aristocracy  Always in Italian
  7. 7. Comic Opera  Eclipsed Opera Seria over time  More realistic depictions of life  Sung in language of audience  Lively, down-to-earth plots  More ensemble (duets, trios, chorus)  Farcical situations and humorous dialogue  New character: the buffo
  8. 8. The Buffo  Comic character  Spoke to the audience at times  Often a rather earthy character  Bass voice
  9. 9. Comic Opera Across Europe  Ballad Opera (England)  Zingspiel (Germany)  Opera Comique (France)  Opera Buffa (Italy)
  10. 10. Mozart and Opera  Mozart was the master of Classical opera  He had keen theatrical instincts  Haydn’s operas were largely unsuccessful  Beethoven only wrote one opera  Mozart was especially skilled at writing exciting vocal ensembles
  11. 11. Listening Example  Title: Overture to Don Giovanni  Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  Genre: Opera
  12. 12. Notes on Overture to Don Gio.  Slow sinister introduction presents music from the dark ending of the opera  Change to fast tempo marks beginning of exposition – two themes  Recapitulation “fades” as music moves directly into opening vocal ensemble
  13. 13. Listening Example  Title: “Notte e giorno fatticar” DG  Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  Genre: Opera
  14. 14. Notes on Notte e giorno fatticar  Begins with brief aria by Leporello  Ensemble follows as more characters enter:  Donna Anna  Don Giovanni  Commandant  No recitative  Sudden changes of emotion
  15. 15. Listening Example  Title: “La ci darem la mano” DG  Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  Genre: Opera
  16. 16. Notes on La ci darem la mano  Begins with simple recitative  Duet follows as Don Giovanni and Zerlina sing (aria style) to each other  More consistent emotion  Very famous duet

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