Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria on January 27, 1756. He was born into a musical family being the son of a successful composer, violinist and assistant concert master. He learned at the young age of three how to play the piano and by the age of five had mastered multiple instruments. At the young age of six he was touring European concert halls and opera houses dazzling the audiences with his works that included sonatas, symphonies, masses, concertos and operas, marked by vivid emotion and sophisticated textures. His timing to erupt into the classical music scene was perfect because the music of the Renaissance and Baroque periods were transitioning toward more full-bodied compositions with complex instrumentation which played into Mozart’s genius musical talents. Mozart is considered to be prodigy and one of the most talented musical composers of all time producing over 600 pieces of work. Mozart died in Vienna, on December 5, 1791.
Why I chose Mozart’s piece from the Classical Period:
I chose to listen to and highlight Mozart’s Symphony No #40 in G Minor, K 550 – 1. Molto Allegro. The reason I chose this piece is because I’m not all too familiar with classical music (Although I do like to listen to Pandora’s Classical Music for studying station.) and this is a piece I’ve heard before and can relate too due to its popularity from background music for television commercials and a being constantly played on my new favorite Pandora station. The piece was completed July 25th in 1788 and has been described as one of Mozart’s most passionate and dramatic pieces with an emotional intensity.
History and description:
This piece is divided into four sections or movements. The first is fast (molto allegro), the second is slow (andante), the third, minuet (allegretto), and the fourth, fast and tense (allegro assai). The instruments used are flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, french horns and other strings. The duration of the piece is 8:12. “In his last three symphonies, the second of which is the great Symphony no. 40 in G minor, Mozart infused this form with a passion and expressiveness unheard of in symphonic writing until the advent of Beethoven” (Sherrane, 2012) The first theme has a rhythmic pattern that has a little hint of urgency. You can hear the melody in the music that’s easy to follow because of its balance and symmetry in relationship to the music. He staccato was built into the melody as seen in: 22 of the music. It has flow. The lyrical theme has an agitated feeling. The tone, texture and color are enhanced by the added instruments. Strings and woodwinds are the guilty pleasures of tone and color. Mozart brings a new rendition to the theme music during the lyrical to bring forth emotion slight variations of feeling. As the piece develops, he uses a polyphonic texture that increases with high and low strings that bring drama throughout the music. He successfully combines it with staccato countermelodies which add to the excitement. My feelings and thoughts:
The piece was like waves of energy or urgency that kept me interested but not excited about anything. I wasn’t sure of the purpose throughout the piece. It reminded me of temptation or getting into mischief when I was a kid. I can hear the music as I tried to get away with something, then get caught, and then do it again and have the satisfaction of getting away with it. The end, although it had a little build to the cadence, it really didn’t build or go anywhere. It left me feeling flat or like the piece was unfinished. I like pieces that end in a big crescendo that rips at your soul to the big crash or roar at the end that leaves your feeling exhausted from accomplishment throughout the piece.
Listening Outline Mozart, Symphony No.40 in G Minor
the main theme opens with violins in a minor key then which is accompanied by violas : 22
music changes to a full orchestra which...
Cited: Orchestra, M. S. (2015, March 2). Retrieved from You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hJf4ZffkoI&list=RD-hJf4ZffkoI&feature=player_detailpage
Sherrane, R. (2012, March 2). Music History IPL2. Retrieved from A gude to Western Composers and Thier Music: www.ipl.org/div/mushist/clas/mozart.htm
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