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The Classical Style (1750-1820). Background belief in progress reason, not custom or tradition, was the best guide for human conduct middle-class vs. aristocracy American & French Revolutions changes in visual art rococo: light colors, curved lines, graceful ornaments

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the classical style 1750 1820
The Classical Style (1750-1820)
  • Background
    • belief in progress
      • reason, not custom or tradition, was the best guide for human conduct
      • middle-class vs. aristocracy
      • American & French Revolutions
    • changes in visual art
      • rococo: light colors, curved lines, graceful ornaments
      • neo-classical: firm lines, clear structure, moralistic subject matter
the classical style 1750 18202
The Classical Style (1750-1820)
  • Changes in music
    • Preclassical period (ca.1730-1770) - transitional
      • Carl Phillip Emanuel Bach (1714-1788)
      • Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782)
      • style galant: concentration on simplicity and clarity
    • Classical
      • term borrowed from visual art
        • refers to influence of Greek and Roman models
        • no such reference in music
characteristics of classical style
Characteristics of Classical Style
  • Contrast of mood
  • Flexibility of rhythm
  • Basically homophonic texture
  • Balanced, symmetrical, tuneful melodies
  • Dynamics and the Piano
  • End of Basso Continuo
  • The Classical Orchestra
    • Strings - 1st/2nd violin, viola, cello, double bass
    • Woodwinds - flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon (2 each)
    • Brass - 2 French horns, 2 trumpets
    • Percussion - 2 timpani
classical forms
Classical Forms
  • Instrumental compositions
    • 4 movements that contrast in tempo and character
      • 1. Fast
      • 2. Slow
      • 3. Dance-related
      • 4. Fast
    • symphony
    • string quartet
    • sonata
  • Contrasting themes in movements
  • Balance within larger structure of movement
composer patron and public in the classical period
Composer, Patron, and Public in the Classical Period
  • Social Trends and Classical Composition
    • Effects on musicians
    • More people with more $
    • Middle Class influence
      • public concerts
      • pieces for amateur musicians
      • comic opera
      • familiar tunes in “serious” music
  • Vienna
    • seat of Holy Roman Empire
    • one of the music centers of Europe
    • aristocrat winter quarters
    • outdoor music
sonata form
Sonata Form
  • Exposition (may be preceded by Introduction)
    • First theme in tonic key
    • Bridge - modulation to new key
    • Second (contrasting) theme in new key
    • Closing section in key of second theme
  • Development
    • new treatment of themes; modulations to different keys / retransition
  • Recapitulation
    • First theme in tonic key
    • Bridge
    • Second theme in tonic (or parallel major) key
    • Closing section in tonic / (may be followed by a coda)
classical forms7
Classical Forms
  • Theme and Variations
    • theme repeated over and over with alterations melody, rhythm, harmony, accompaniment, dynamics, or tone color each time
    • A(theme) - A’(variation 1) - A’’ (variation2) - …
    • use of countermelody
  • Minuet and Trio
    • often used as 3rd movt. / 3/4 usually in mod.tempo

Minuet Trio Minuet

A B A

||:a:||:ba’:|| ||:c:||:dc’:|| aba’

    • da capo
    • scherzo - faster than minuet
classical forms8
Classical Forms
  • Rondo
    • as an independent piece or a movement
    • often serves as a finale
    • A B A C A (B A)
    • sonata-rondo
      • B A - development - A B A
  • Symphony
    • 4 movements - FSDF - attributes of each movement
  • Concerto
    • 3 movements - FSF
    • double exposition
    • cadenza
classical chamber music
Classical Chamber Music
  • Characteristics
    • designed for intimate setting of a room (chamber)
    • 2-9 musicians, with one player to a part
    • lighter sound than orchestral music
    • musicians work as a team
    • no conductor
  • Types
    • String Quartet
      • 2 violins, viola, cello
      • usually 4 mvts. - FSDF or FDSF
    • Sonata for Violin and Piano
    • Piano Trio (violin, cello, piano)
    • String Quintet (2 violins, 2 violas, cello)
joseph haydn 1732 1809
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
  • Background
    • Born in Rohrau, Austria
    • musical background until age 6 - folk songs and peasant dances
    • sent to a relative to receive basic music lessons
    • age 8 - choirboy at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna
      • had no composition or instrumental lessons
    • upon his voice change - dismissed from St. Stephen’s
      • barely stays alive by teaching lessons for 8 years
      • also took odd jobs
    • Haydn’s talent gradually noticed by aristocracy
    • music director for court of a Bohemian count
    • age 29 (1761) - enters service of Esterházy family
haydn and the esterh zy family
Haydn and the Esterházy Family
  • 1761-1790 - most of Haydn’s music composed for the Esterházy’s, richest and most powerful Hungarian noble family
    • Eszterháza - family’s palace in Hungary
      • opera house, theater, 2 concert halls, 126 guest rooms
  • Haydn’s responsibilities as musical director
    • compose all music requested by patron
    • conduct 25-member orchestra
    • coach singers
    • oversee instrument conditions and music library
    • two concerts and two opera performances weekly
    • daily chamber music
      • 150 pieces with baryton part for Nicholas Esterházy
joseph haydn
Joseph Haydn
  • Advantages and disadvantages of patronage
  • Personal characteristics of Haydn
    • good-humored and unselfish
    • cared about personal interests of his musicians
  • early 1780’s - met Mozart, became close friends
  • Haydn’s popularity grows while serving the Esterházy’s
  • 1790 - Nicholas dies - Haydn free to go to London
    • Salomon / London symphonies
    • servant to celebrity
joseph haydn13
Joseph Haydn
  • 1795 - returns to Vienna
    • new agreement with Nicholas Esterházy II
    • one mass composed each year (6 written)
  • wrote two oratorios
    • The Creation
    • The Seasons
  • 1809 - dies at age 77
    • during time of Napoleon’s occupation of Vienna
    • memorial service of Viennese with French generals and an honor guard of French soldiers
haydn s music
Haydn’s Music
  • pioneer in development of symphony and string quartet
  • use of folk tunes / original folk-like melodies
  • master of theme development
  • musical “jokes”
  • 104 symphonies
    • many known by nicknames
  • 68 string quartets
    • may have invented the string quartet
  • Other works - piano sonatas, piano trios, divertimentos, concertos, operas, masses.
haydn s music15
Haydn’s Music
  • Symphony No. 94 (“Surprise”)
    • key, form, tempo, notable features of each movement
  • Trumpet Concerto in E-flat Major
wolfgang amadeus mozart 1756 1791
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
  • born in Salzburg, Austria
  • age 6 - playing the harpsichord and violin, improvising fugues, writing minuets, sight-reading perfectly
  • compositions as a child
    • age 8 - 1st symphony
    • age 11 - 1st oratorio
    • age 12 - 1st opera
  • Leopold Mozart (father) shows off his son
    • age 6-15 - Mozart tours Europe almost half the time
      • Empress Maria Theresa of Austria
      • Louis XV of France
      • George III of England
mozart
Mozart
  • Visit to Sistine Chapel
  • age 15 - return to Salzburg - under patronage of Prince-Archbishop Colloredo
    • only given subordinate seat in orchestra
  • lack of initiative
  • insubordinate / requests for dismissal
  • 1781 (age 25) - goes to Vienna to be free-lance musician
    • concerts attended by the emperor and nobility
    • married Constanze Weber
    • friendship with Haydn
mozart18
Mozart
  • 1786 - Vienna loves The Marriage of Figaro
  • 1787 - Vienna dislikes Don Giovanni
    • Leopold dies during the composition of D.G.
  • Mozart’s popularity deteriorates
  • 1791 -
    • The Magic Flute
    • Requiem
      • commissioned by Count Walsegg
      • “strange” messenger
      • thought he was writing his own Requiem
    • dies of rheumatic fever - December 5, 1791
mozart s music
Mozart’s Music
  • More than 600 compositions
    • “K.” = Köchel number
      • Mozart’s output catalogued by Ludwig von Köchel
    • Most notable ~
      • concertos
      • operas (mostly comic)
      • piano sonatas
      • Requiem
mozart s music20
Mozart’s Music
  • Don Giovanni
    • unique blend of comic and serious opera
    • characters / plot
      • Act I: Introduction
      • Act I: Leporello’s catalogue aria
      • Act I: Duet (Don and Zerlina)
  • Symphony No. 40, K.550
    • key, form, tempo, notable features of each movement
  • Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major – 1st mvt
  • Requiem – Dies irae
ludwig van beethoven 1770 1827
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
  • Background
    • born in Bonn, Germany into a family of musicians
    • Johann (father) comes home from tavern late and makes Ludwig practice at the keyboard until morning
    • age 16 – improvises for Mozart in Vienna
    • mother dies, father becomes an alcoholic
    • age 18 – becomes legal guardian of two younger brothers
beethoven
Beethoven
  • 1792 (almost age 22) – studies with Haydn in Vienna
    • Haydn neglects Beethoven / secretly goes to another teacher
  • 1st 7 years in Vienna very productive
  • rebels against social convention
  • age 29 – 1st signs of deafness appear
  • 1803-04 – 3rd Symphony dedication
    • Bonaparte ---- becomes ---- Eroica
beethoven23
Beethoven
  • self-educated
  • drifter in romantic relations
  • earns money through publishing
    • never in the service of aristocracy
    • 1809 – paid by three Austrian nobles to stay in Vienna
  • age 44 – stops playing piano in public, but continues to conduct
  • 1815 – Casper dies
    • becomes coguardian of nephew, Karl
    • 5-year custody battle
  • Karl attempts suicide / Beethoven shattered
beethoven s music
Beethoven’s Music
  • expands range of pitch and dynamics
  • works and reworks music during composition
  • expands forms (i.e. 50-minute 3rd Symphony)
  • continuity between contrasting movements
    • resemblance of themes in separate movements
    • movements linked w/o pause
  • expands sonata form
    • development section
    • develops themes in coda
  • scherzo preferred over minuet
  • larger instrumentation for orchestra
  • uses choir in 9th Symphony
beethoven s music25
Beethoven’s Music
  • Piano Sonata in C minor, Op. 13 (“Pathétique”)
    • key, form, tempo, notable features of each movement
  • Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67
    • key, form, tempo, notable features of each movement