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(#13) Other Classical Genres
Transcript of (#13) Other Classical Genres
Other Classical Genres
While the development of the symphony and opera buffa are generally recognized as the crowning achievements of the Classical Era,
many other genres were developed during this time period as well, including
Here's a confusing one. We just talked about sonata form in the last class (you know, exposition, development, recapitulation). We said that the first movements of symphonies and concertos are in sonata form. So what's a sonata as opposed to sonata form?
Women in Classical Music
During the Classical Era, pieces like sonatas became increasingly composed with the knowledge that women would be the ones playing them. This was during the era when the "accomplishment" of women, or how many skills she had, became a desirable social aspect.
The Classical Concerto
During the Baroque period, we saw the arrival of the concerto. The basic concerto idea was the contest between the soloist and an orchestra.
The string quartet is a genre formed during the classical era that featured four string players: one from each section of the orchestra, minus that bass.
The String Quartet
The Classical Concerto
The word sonata comes from the Italian word for "sounded," or played. In the Classical period, the term usually referred to a composition for one or two instruments only.
A large chunk of the time, one of these instruments was a piano, but not always.
Mozart Sonata for
Bassoon and Cello K. 292
Sonatas were generally designed to be played in an informal setting. Today, however, we see them in the concert setting
Because sonatas are considered an informal
genre, they often have two movements instead
of three, and the movements are short.
A set of sonatas by
Francesca LeBrun (1756-1791)
Francesca (Danzi) LeBrun was an example of a classical woman composer. She was born into a musical family from Mannheim and her sonatas were well published and praised during her lifetime.
Francesca died, like Mozart, at a very young
age: 36. In fact, her dates are exactly the
same as his, and her career was
still on its way up when she died.
This idea was refined an sharpened by Classical composers. Instrumental virtuosity remained a central
feature of the Classical concerto.
Classical concertos generally have three movements, with the first being in sonata form. The movements follow an overall fast-slow-fast form (1st mvmnt being fast, 2nd being slow and 3rd being even faster than 1st).
Violin I, Violin II, Viola, Cello
The plan for a string quartet is much like a symphony: four movements, starting with an upbeat movement in sonata form, then a slow movement, then a minuet, then a fast closing movement.
Daniil Trifonov performing
Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 in A, K. 488
Wait, what does the K mean by each one
of Mozart's works?
The K is the Kochel number, when the
works were chronologically cataloged by
Ludwig von Kochel in 1862. The last one,
the Requiem, is listed as K. 626.
Modern String Quartets include
Kronos String Quartet
Vitamin String Quartet
Turtle Island String Quartet
String quartets were not the only genre
of chamber music invented during this
time. We also had piano trios, string
quintets, woodwind quintets, etc.
Beethoven String Quartet No. 4 in c minor
Mvt 1. Allegro
Bartok String Quartet No. 4 (written early 1900s)
Sybarite 5 playing Led Zepplin
Beethoven Sonata for
Horn and Piano (Op. 17)
Ludwig van Beethoven
By now we've seen a few works by Beethoven appear in lectures. What about Beethoven?
Even people that don't know much about classical music recognize Beethoven as a tough, angry genius. His music has enjoyed broad-based, uninterrupted popularity from past until present. There is also a sense that music "came of age" with Beethoven." Despite the advances made by Bach and Mozart, music itself was never taken so seriously until Beethoven's symphonies and sonatas were considered revelations by his listeners.
It is with Beethoven that we start having a sense of a musician as an artist. Before, they were craftsmen. Now, they are artists that suffer and endure.
Beethoven is remarkable because he bridges the gap between the Classical Era and the Romantic Era. He was a student of Haydn, when Haydn was at the height of fame. His training and his principles were rooted in Classicism, but he didn't adopt every one of its features.
While Classical music is generally light and amusing, Beethoven's
music is often dark, brooding, violent, and angry,
although at times, we hear gentleness.
Beethoven was probably the first musician to make his career solely from composing. Like Mozart, he followed his father as a court musician.
Beethoven did not reap the same success from childhood that Mozart
did- it took him until ages twenty-two to be established as a serious composer. At age 30, however, he became gradually more deaf.
in 1802, Beethoven hit rock bottom, and wrote a strange, moving document called the "Heiligenstadt Testament," that is half suicide note and half declaration of artistic ideals.
He did not commit suicide, but in fact, continued composing through his depression and wrote, in 1803, the first of his truly powerful and individual symphonies: the Third (Eroica).
Mozart Piano Sonata in F, No. 12
Mozart Flue and Harp Concerto, K 299
Beethoven Symphony No. 1
Published in 1801
Compare this to Mozart's "Jupiter" Symphony (No. 41)
The last symphony he composed (1788)
And compare this with the last movement of
Beethoven's 9th symphony (the last symphony he
wrote, published in 1824)