Idomeneo, rè di Creta, Act 2, No. 17 Qual nuovo terrore! - Full Score

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It is particularly appropriate for the group of Mozart's mature piano concertos. They were composed in the mid-eighties as part of a subscription series, and very much the same audiences would have present for the premieres of successive works and would have picked up on these compositional choices. Recommended recordings: Brendel, Kempff, Perahia, Schiff.

The other minor concerto and a very solemn work too. The last movement is a set of variations, which is unusual for a concerto. Recommended recordings: Kempff, Schiff, Brendel, Perahia.


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This is the companion piece to the g-minor piano quartet. The key relationship of the works--the minor and its relative subdominant major--tells you something about the relative character of the pieces. One is anguished in the manner of Mozart's "special grief" key.

The other is detached and majestic. The grandest, and for Charles Rosen, the greatest of the piano concertos, this is a formidable work that does not go out of its way to appeal to you on a first listening. It avoids being tuneful and spends much time on motivic elaboration. In the first movement, especially, the deeply structural and almost obsessive use of the simple rhythmic motif da-da-da-dam makes me wonder whether it is among the sources for Beethoven's monomaniacal concentration on minimal motifs in the great works of his middle period.

What is the Fifth Symphony, after all, but a gigantic exercise of putting "da-da-da-dam" through its many paces?

Modernising Mythology: A Historical and Cultural Study of Mozart’s Idomeneo – Christopher McAteer

And if you thought you had enough of it after the first movement, it comes right back in the third, in a varied but even simpler form. A magnificent and elaborate work in three movements. The slow introduction of the first movement is close in spirit to Don Giovanni. Recommended recordings: Britten. A relatively short piece of great emotional intensity and harmonic daring. Some peple consider it Mozart's most perfect work for solo piano.

This is the longest of Mozart's chamber music works, and like the great C-major piano concerto it is not immediately appealing, but compelling in the long run. It is a work to listen to with concentration. Recommended recordings: Grumiaux, Melos. This is the most famous of Mozart chamber music works for strings and one of his greatest and most anguished works. One of the questions about the relative valuation of Mozart's works is whether anguished is better than happy.

Mozart wrote relatively few works in minor keys, but his works in those keys tend to be particularly powerful, or so listeners in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries thought.

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Is the association of anguished with powerful an illusion or is it real? Recommended recordings: Grumiaux, Melos Quartet. A splendid and brilliant work with a very unusual slow movement and a hair-raising finale of great rhythmical complexity. The first of the three last symphonies. A very stately and complex work that contributes to the establishment of E-flat as a "third person" or cosmic key about the order of things. Recommended recordings: Colin Davis.

The "great" g-minor symphony and a very severe work: its last movement stays in the minor. The most written-about of Mozart's symphonies. This is one of Mozart's greatest and most unusual works. It is a trio for violin, viola, and cello. A divertimento or serenada is a sequence of movements intended for social occasions. Listener-friendly and certainly not demanding music is what you associate with the title.

But this sequence of six movements is quite different. It is the longest string trio in the literature and is as grand in its ambitions as it is sparse in its instrumental resources.

In its strained relationship to the genre of the divertimento it may be said to be a cousin of the great Serenade for 13 wind instruments K. Also written for the clarinetist Anton Stadler, this work for clarinet and string quartet is similar in character to the later clarinet concerto. The other great work in this genre is the Clarinet quintet by Brahms Recommended recordings:. The last of Mozart's piano concertos, and a characteristic B-flat work: expansive, lyrical, and humane.

The theme of the last movement is a variant of a German folksong: "Come May and make the hills green again. This is one of the last works completed by Mozart. He was very fond of the clarinet, an instrument perfected during his life time, and he ws inspired by Anton Stadler, a particularly fine performer. This work is the essence of A-major as the amiable key. There is a mystery around this work, which was comissioned anonymously. By accident or design, Mozart wrote it for himself and died before it was finished. It is the most famous of his large-scale sacred works.

Modernising Mythology: A Historical and Cultural Study of Mozart’s Idomeneo

The Indiana University Music Library has a very nice collection of scores online. There are scores for each of the operas in this class:. Andante is the central tempo indicator. Other tempi are defined as faster or slower than an andante. The word literally means "walking", and you can get pretty far by reflecting a little on that fact.

Rhythm is one of the fundamental categories of music, perhaps the most fundamental. We experience rhythm in relation to the motions of our body such as the beating of our heart and the motions of our legs in walking. An andante tempo is likely to sit between 60 and 80 beats a minute, which is not accidentally the speed of a human pulse more or less at rest. A very interesting anecdote about the conductor Herbert von Karajan makes this point. He listened to one of his Bruckner recordings in the mountains and was puzzled by the tempo, which did not strike him as right.

Then he realized that the altitude had changed his pulse and he habitually chose or perceived tempi relative to the normal rate of his heartbeat. The standard fast tempo is "allegro", typically a tempo between and beats a minute. A slow movement is an "adagio", "lento" or "largo"and will sit somewhere between 40 and 60 beats. It becomes progressively difficult to maintain a very slow tempo.

The Italian diminutive forms "-etto" and "-ino" are often attached to temp indicators, but these tell you more about character than speed. Thus an Allegretto is not necessarily slower than an Allegro, but it is likely to be a movement that wants to charm you. Something similar applies to an "Andantino".


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  • A "Presto" is a very fast movement, and a "Prestissimo" is alsways a movement in which you hurtle along at the limits of the performer's powers. A technical Italian term, literally sudden attack.

    It refers to the special effect achieved when a new piece follows on a previous piece without any pause. An aria lite. Typically a piece that is relatively short and relatively simple in structure. The dominant or fifth is the most important interval in Western tonal music, and a piece of Western music at virtually level of organization can be described as a movement from the tonic to the dominant and back to the tonic.

    The theme of the finale of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is paradigmatic. Western music is like the Duke of York in the nursery rhyme: " The Duke of York with twenty-thousand men Marched up the hill and then marched down again " The second most important interval is the fourth, which is called the subdominant, because it is just a fifth downward. When a piece of music changes keys, it will move either upward or downward in a cycle of fifths. A move upward is perceived as a raising of tension whence "sharp" keys , and a move in the subdominant direction is is perceived as a lowering of tension "flat" keys.

    The slower or more contemplative middle section of a march, for instance, is very often set in the subdominant of the home key F-major in a C-major march etc. In Western music, the normal distance between one pitch and the next is a "whole step" , and a "scale" , the seven steps that take you from a note to the "same" note one octave higher, consists of a sequence of whole steps, except in two places, where the distance to the next note is a "half step.

    If you look at tonality as a political order, you would have to call it monarchical and anti-democratic. Chromaticism refers generall to the introduction of half-steps where they harmonically "don't belong. Chromaticism is also "subversive" in the sense that it challenges or destroys the listener's orientation in the harmonic space. If this sounds abstract, go to any keyboard and play a "chromatic scale," i. Compare this with playing a C-major scale.


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