Cyclical Literature in early19th Century A song cycle is a group of songs designed to perform in a sequence during classical music. All of the songs are by the same composer and often use words from the same poet, lyricist, or relating a story. Each song sang separately, but the composer imagined that they would be performed together as one work. They are for solo voice and piano accompaniment, however, they also can be without accompaniment or instruments. It started before the Romantic period, but it become popular with German composers of the nineteenth century.
Sonata form mainly focuses on the harmonic and thematic expression of music that sets the mood in the exposition. The development is contrasted and elaborated, and usually resolved with a safe sound of harmony in the end, recapitulating the main ideas. Among all of the examples we have heard in class like Mozart’s Symphony 25, or the Moonlight Sonata, I believe that Ludwig Van Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 represents sonata form with the most accuracy. The exposition of Symphony No.
In Mozart’s K.333 the cadences are used to reinforce the tonality, such as in bars 9-10 where the cadence is in the tonic key. Dominant pedal notes are also used to add strength to these cadences, for example in the bars 57-58. In Poulenc’s Sonata these perfect cadences are not so clear and there are occasional discords that weaken the strength of the key. An example of this is in bar 4, where a perfect cadence is suggested, however it is interrupted by the horn. These kinds of interruptions would not occur in Mozart’s pieces as they were written in the stricter classical period, whereas
THE CLASSICAL PERIOD (1750-1825) THE CLASSICAL PERIOD OF MUSIC 1) TIME OF GREAT MUSICAL EXPERIMENTATION AND DISCOVERY 2) CENTERS AROUND ACHIEVEMENTS OF VIENNESE SCHOOL A) HAYDN B) MOZART C) BEETHOVEN 3) THREE CHALLENGING PROBLEMS A) EXPLORE MAJOR-MINOR SYSTEM TO ITS FULLEST B) TO PERFECT A LARGE FORM OF ABSOLUTE INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC (THE SONATA CYCLE) C) TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN ITS (SONATA CYCLE) VARIOUS TYPES 1) SONATA 2) CONCERTO SYMPHONY 3) ELEMENTS OF THE CLASSICAL PERIOD 1) ELEGANT AND LYRICAL MELODIES A) ELEGANT AND LYRICAL MELODIES B) CLEAR-CUT CADENCES 2) THE HARMONIES THAT SUSTAINED THESE MELODIES A) FIRMLY ROOTED IN THE KEY RHYTHM 3) A) MUSIC WAS IN EITHER 2, 3, 4, OR 6/8 B) STAYED IN RHYTHMIC STYLE IT BEGAN WITH 4) FORM A) UNFOLDED
Vivaldi was progressive musically. He established the concerto form as an instrumental standard, played with the idea that the soloist was at war with the larger orchestra and using the contrasts to dramatic effect, not only between players but in speed and volume levels as well, and he pushed the envelope on violin technique, something in which he probably remained untouched. His usual writing style was antiphony, a simple style, which allowed him to experiment with instrument solos and maintain a light and innocent texture to the music. Vivaldi was one of the rare Italian composers interested in woodwind instruments. He composed several concertos for the bassoon, oboe, recorder and flute, as well as the rarer clarinet.
These tone rows use the 12 notes of the chromatic scale. In this notes can only be used once thus creating the mathematics of the piece. In the Second movement the theme is ‘very calming,’ it uses all instrument but strings and is very symmetrical in rhythm, tone colour and dynamics. Variation 1 is ‘livelier’, uses only strings. It is symmetrical in dynamics as all dynamics are mirrored.
After a two-bar woodwind link, where the key modulates to D minor, the opening melody is repeated a tone higher than original (bars 19 - 23). In contrast to the introduction, Beethoven establishes the tonic key by engaging a harmony which is strongly related to C major. The harmony is in root position and the tonic-dominant link is mainly emphasised towards the end of the first subject (bars 29 - 33) with repeated G and C notes in the brass and timpani and a full orchestral texture. Just as the original idea had the function of linking the Introduction to the first subject, the related idea in bar 18 links the C major version of the tune with its repeat a tone higher, in D minor. The link of thematic ideas was an important feature of later Classical pieces and it would not be unusual for Beethoven to continue the practice.
I will be drawing from historical facts and also my own conclusions in this essay. The first thing I shall consider is composers- the twentieth century gave birth to many new ideas and so composers of that era also utilized new techniques and styles. Composers of the past, such as baroque composers (like Bach and Handel) would have been commissioned by nobles to compose music for a certain occasion, all the while keeping within the style of the time and what the client wanted. These restrictive attitudes were continued throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, making the musical periods of these times very easy to generalise. Music did evolve and change, but boundaries were never pushed to the point of where it invoked powerful emotions in the audiences it was played to.
7. Intermezzo. In past years (i.e. before my meager piano technique had completely atrophied from long neglect) I had actually played this beautiful intermezzo of Brahms, and my teacher at one point made the highly insightful comment that often with Brahms, the ‘melodic’ interest lies not in the melody so much as it does with the harmony. This is especially true is this case, and looking at the piece now from a more analytic standpoint, I have a clearer picture of why.
However, texture is treated as flexibly as rhythm. Pieces shift smoothly or suddenly from one texture to another. Melody - Classical melodies are one of the most tuneful and easy to remember. The themes of even highly sophisticated compositions may have a folk or popular flavour. Occasionally, composer simply borrowed popular tunes, but more often, they wrote original themes with a popular character.