Music: The Viennese Classical Style

Topics: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Symphony, Tempo Pages: 6 (2355 words) Published: June 23, 2014
Musi1103 Final Exam Take Home Essay 16 December 2013
Cynthia Laker
This essay will include an introduction, and then use examples of works from Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven to discuss the historical significance and evolution of the six genres of the Viennese Classical Style. I. The String Quartet;

II. the Symphony and the Symphony Orchestra;
III. Sonata;
IV. The Concerto;
V. Serenade
This essay will also describe the four forms found in the four-movement symphony. Sonata allegro;
Ternary;
Theme and Variations;
Rondo
Introduction
The social and political scene during the late 18th century was hardly a setting for a quiet, composed classical age in view of the main revolutionary spirit and imposing rivalry. The revolutionary movement did have a direct effect on music in that music became a new ideal, music that directly attracted a large class of unsophisticated people who had previously been excluded from courtly entertainment. The French obsession with lightness, gracefulness and decoration was offset by the brutal German affinity for drama and tears as expressed in the Sturm und Drung (storm and stress) in the arts of the time. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn and young Ludwig van Beethoven inspired the changes in musical style that distinguished the Classical era from the Baroque. The orchestra and chamber groups such as the string quintet and the piano became consistent with the organization of the musical forms of sonata allegro. In the middle of the 18th century, Europe began to move toward a new style in architecture, literature, and the arts, generally known as Classicism. The new style was also a cleaner style—one that favoured form and balance, and symmetrical design, and in this era the orchestra size increased. There were changes in technology and science, and the middle class started to rise in importance through the business class. The middle class also desired to make music in their homes. Domestic music-making centered on a new instrument, the pianoforte. It was called this because unlike the harpsichord it could play at more than one dynamic level. The rise of opera and public concerts was akin to an attending a movie, with a plot and storyline. What is imaginably most innovative aspect about Classical music is its ability to rapidly change and endlessly fluctuate. The melodic style and texture can vary within a few short bars, and composers began to call for crescendos and diminuendos. This all created a new sense of determination and drama. The melodies they wrote tended to be more motivating, tuneful and short, with patterns of harmony that clearly established a tonal center. There were sing able melodies and antecedent-consequent expressions blended with rhythmic flexibility and symmetrical phrases. Homophonic texture dominated melody with alberti bass and lively repeated rhythmic chords. Counterpoint was often reserved for the development sections of works in the sonata form, which were steeped in grace, simplicity, order and balance. W. A. Mozart : String Quartet in G major Kochel #387 (for 2 violins, viola and cello) I. The String Quartet No. 14 in G major, K. 387, nicknamed the "Spring" quartet, was written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1782 while in Vienna when Mozart was around 26 years old. This is the first of the Haydn Quartets, a set of six string quartets he wrote during his first few years in Vienna in honour of Joseph Haydn, who he viewed as a master of the string quartet form. The String quartet is chamber music performed in salons. The Spring quartet has four movements: 1. a moderately quick tempo Allegro vivace assai

2. Menuetto- a minuet
3. Flowing and songlike Andante cantabile, in C major
4. quick, lively tempo Molto allegro
Even in the Menuetto, all four movements the Spring quartet is ruled by sonata-allegro form. The string quartet is like a conversation among intelligent people. I will break down the finale movement: Molto Allegro in sonata allegro...
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