Music History is Thrilling!

Classical Concerto and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Mozart is known for his simple and songful melodies in all his music. The development sections of his sonata-forms revealed the composer\’s attraction towards mild chromatic harmonies. All his instrumental music was written with a sense of drama in which he would spontaneously jump from a cheerful to a dreary mood. His most favoured genre of chamber music was the string quartet. As he was a virtuosic pianist, Mozart contributed many pieces to his favourite instrument including concertos and sonatas. His symphonies are characterized by his rich orchestration and depth of emotion. Mozart also wrote some vocal music including masses and a requiem for the dead, which he left unfinished. Opera was the genre primarily linked with Mozart. He wrote his first, “Bastien und Bastienne”, when he was twelve. He wrote Singspiels (“The Magic Flute”, “Il Seraglio”, and “Bastien und Bastienne”), Opera Seria (“Idomeneo”), and Opera Buffa (“Don Giovanni”, “The Marriage of Figaro”, and “Women are like that”).

Terms

Concerto
Derived from the Baroque Solo Concerto in which contrast was an essential ingredient. The three movements follow a fast-slow-fast pattern with the Cadenza being an important feature.
Double exposition
The second presentation of the exposition in which is revealed in the solo instrument and features the necessary key change to the dominant.
Cadenza
Interrupts the movements within a concerto in a fanciful, improvisatory manner which provides the soloist with an opportunity to reveal virtuosic abilities.

“Piano Concerto in G major K453″

During 1784, Mozart wrote six piano concertos, including K453. He wrote concertos primarily for his own performance purposes however the Concerto in G major was written for his 19 year old pupil, Barbara von Ployer.

I Movement.

Tempo: Allegro Meter: 4/4 Key: G major Form: First Movement Concerto form Orchestral Ritornello or Orchestral Exposition Theme 1. unfolds in the violins with woodwind figuration. Transitional theme. is forceful by the use of the entire orchestra. Theme 2. is presented in the violins as a gentle theme answered by the woodwinds. Closing theme. is presented in the full orchestra. Solo Exposition Theme 1., now decorated, makes a sweeping entrance in the piano with Alberti Bass in the left hand with woodwind figuration. Transitional theme. again reveals the orchestral ritornello with the piano joining. The key modulates to the dominant: D major. Piano theme. is heard for the first time in solo piano then later in the woodwinds. The theme is decorated with trills and ornamentation. Theme 2. is presented in the piano, again as a gentle theme, accompanied by strings and answered by the woodwinds. Closing theme. is presented again in the full orchestra and concludes in D major. Development The pianist displays virtuosic abilities by playing runs and arpeggios against the woodwinds. The piano theme is briefly referred to. Various modulations are made before the return to the tonic: G major. Recapitulation Theme 1. unfolds in the violins with woodwind figuration before the piano sweeps in again with a decorated version of the theme. Transitional theme. is again forceful by the whole orchestra but does not modulate. Theme 2. is presented in the piano, this time in G major, with woodwinds answering. CADENZA Featuring solo piano, the cadenza provides an opportunity for the pianist to display virtuosic abilities while featuring variations on themes heard earlier. The Cadenza ends on a cadential trill. Closing The final orchestral ritornello concludes the movement in G major.

II Movement.

Tempo: Andante Meter: 3/4 Key: C major Form: First movement Concerto Form Orchestral Exposition Theme 1. is a gentle and quiet idea presented in the strings ending on a fermata which is then answered by a woodwind dialogue Theme 2. is a theme consisting of alternations between forte strings and piano woodwinds in the dominant: D major. Closing. is a chromatic line, in strings and woodwinds Solo Exposition Theme 1. is heard in the piano. The key has now returned to the tonic: C major. The quiet idea ending on a fermata is answered by a bold statement in the tonic\’s parallel minor key: g minor. Theme 2. is only alluded to with alternations between forte and piano dynamics. Closing. is again a chromatic line which is extended by the piano with a cadential trill. Development Theme 1 is heard in the woodwinds with a dramatic answer by the piano. A modulatory section is featured before an orchestral crescendo leads the way to the Recapitulation. Recapitulation Theme 1. is heard in the piano ending on the fermata. This is answered by a dramatic statement featured in Eb major this time. The woodwinds are heard in dialogue again Theme 2. is again only alluded to with alternating forte and piano statements. CADENZA Interrupting the movement, the cadenza provides the pianist with an opportunity to display lyricism before concluding on a cadential trill. Coda Woodwinds play theme 1 once more before a soft appearance of the closing theme to conclude the movement.

III Movement.

Tempo: Allegretto-Presto Meter: 2/2 Key: G major Form: Theme and variations Theme. The theme is in Binary form with eight measures in each part which is repeated. It is an elegant, dancelike character presented by the flutes and violins. Variation One. The theme is presented in the piano with ornamentation. Variation Two. The theme is presented in both woodwinds and piano, which accompanies the melody with triplet figuration. Variation Three. The theme is presented in the woodwind instruments in a dialogue while the piano accompanies with Alberti Bass. Variation Four. The strings present the theme in a darkened mood created by the minor tonality while the piano has a syncopated and chromatic part. Variation Five. A march is presented here for full orchestra which opens the door for the Cadenza … CADENZA. The pianist is again presented with an opportunity to display virtuosic talent by playing variations on the theme. Coda. The coda concludes with a rapid passage featured in Presto giving the pianist ample opportunity to display skill. The opening theme is presented again in the piano, varied.

All information on this article is derived from: Joseph Machlis and Kristine Forney. The Enjoyment of Music, Eight Edition, Standard Version, New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1999. Personal Study derived from original score found at Petrucci Music Library
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3 comments (show) ▼

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Is the second and third movement necessary for the history 2 exam?

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