A Major In my introduction to music class we were assigned to listen and evaluate a particular piece of music In order to reflect on our unique Individuality. For my project I chose Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1756-1791 and his work of the Plano concerto No. 23 In A Major specifically the second movement that was created In 1786. In Dalton to listening, the piece must be broken down and organized Into themes or motives. By the end of the project we should be able to provide an “aesthetic blueprint” of the work by using vocabulary terms that we have learned over the course of the semester.
The piano concerto was written in the classical period that lasted from 1750 to 1820. Without knowing the year that this piece was made there are many other characteristics of this piece that are from the classical period. For example the contrast of mood; throughout the three movements there are countless mood changes as a result of the sonata and rondo forms and the use of minuet and trio. Also the heavy use of the piano was popular in the classical period while It replaced the harpsichord that was mainly used In the Baroque period of 1600 to 1750.
The first day that I decided to listen to the full piece was November nth, at :pm. In my listening diary I wrote that I liked the rapid flow the piece had in the beginning. Although this rapid or allegro pace is expected in a concerto because of its arrangement of three movements that illustrate the order of fast-slow-fast, it was amusing to listen to it played on the piano. I also noticed that the piece had the occasional hint of melancholy but was lost with the return of the more luminous theme that the movement originally began. I also admire this piece because it reminds me of a couple of my favorite movies.
The two that I can think of are Man on Fire, and Cinderella Man. The reason that these particular movies come to mind Is that both of the movies have a depressing or gloomy scene that sounds very similar to the second movement of this piece. This piece also gave me a newly acquired taste for pieces that are heavily Influenced by the Plano. Hence I most likely will enjoy the piano concertos of Mozart and the many works of Frederic Chopin who “was the only great composer who wrote almost exclusively for the piano” according to our textbook (Carnie 225).
On November 10 at 5:pm the following day, I decided to only listen to the first vehement for the sole purpose of making the outline significantly easier. While listening to the first movement for the second time I noticed that it began with two expositions. However on the second exposition the piano was added into the orchestra. I believe the Instruments in the orchestra were as follows: flute, clarinet, bassoon, and strings. As the piece was identified to have two expositions, It automatically led me to believe that it In fact Is In sonata form.
In the first movement the first theme Is In tonic or home key, after the first them Is Introduced there Is a ridge containing modulation from the home key to the new key, In this case It Is the the creation of tension and proceeding is the closing section in the key of second theme. To discuss how this section of the movement made me feel I must use two words: optimism and anticipation. In this movement it was mostly Joyful and sunny; however as I previously mentioned it did have small bits of melancholy.
When the mood switched from being Joyful to sad I had no other choice but to feel optimistic because of the recurrent return of the Joyful theme. As the moods continued to switch back ND forth they created tension, and I remembered that when we learning about sonata form that if tension is created one can only anticipate the returning of the home key. I remember when I was listening to the first theme for the second time that when there was tension I was anticipating the return of the home key or in this case the second exposition; and I was right.
While trying to stay awake on November 11 at 7:ma’am I decided to only listen to the second movement for the same reason as the day before. Since the second movement was slow and adagio it made the struggle significantly more difficult. In his movement the development was slow with long pauses between each key but it Nas progressive. The second them was treated in a new more melancholic manner but later changed to a happier mood later in the piece around 2:35 in the second movement. This happier mood also resulted in the new treatment of the theme.
However around 3:50 the depressing theme returned, from here on in the movement it felt that there was a non-aggressive battle between the both themes. The amusing part was around 6:15 1 used the process called word painting to paint a picture in my head that looked like the Joyful theme was sneaking on the sad theme in order to ever throw it because the strings in the piece had magnificent tone color and sounded like footsteps. However in the closing of the movement it felt like neither mood won the battle because of what seemed to be the absence of chord progression and the use of broken chords was present.
To evaluate the second movement as a whole, the movement seemed to be in ternary form as we mentioned in class. I have come to this conclusion because of how similar the first and last sections of the movement were and ternary form is in A-B-A form. I also made the assumption of the use of Minuet and Trio in the piece despite it not being used in he third movement because in our textbook it reads “the minuet movement of a symphony is written for listening, not dancing. It is in triple meter and usually in moderate tempo. The trio (B) is usually quieter than the minuet (A) section and requires fewer instruments” (Sammie 168).
All of the previously mentioned requirements for the piece to be in minuet and trio form are all evident. The “A” movement does have a moderate tempo and the trio or “B” movement is quieter and has fewer instruments as opposed to the first movement that has the piano with orchestral accompaniment. The way the second movement made me feel was it felt eke I was having a difficult and stressful time; however I had friends and family to help me get through the rough times, sort of like there was “a light at the end of the tunnel. ” These feelings became a reality over Thanksgiving break when my Grandmother unexpectedly past away.
My heart full of sadness and bits of anger caused me to feel lost with a “don’t give a damn” mentality; however I had to be emotions to anyone including my family the “don’t give a damn” mentality stuck with me. That was until I had the support of my fraternity brothers, since most of my brother are older than me they had been through this before and they knew how art it can be. By showing me their confidence in me I saw “the light at the end of tunnel” and I knew that I had to finish this semester strong or all of my hard work and 30,000 dollars would go to waste.
After listening to the full second movement it gave me my idea for my creative response; I decided to draw a sketch of Mozart playing the piano while it was a cloudy yet sunny day if that is possible. Also in the sketch I decided to include various musical symbols like: notes, bass clefs, sharps, and flats. Nile playing the piano the sun would shine away from him onto the flute, clarinet, season, and strings signifying that they were the Joyful theme and the piano were the sad theme.
Also I chose to have musical notes replace the rain drops because it sounded like rainfall with each strike of the key. This same day when I went to class I remember learning about Chopin and his love for Aurora Deviant. After she left him it motivated him to compose the piece that sounded like rainfall; also in class I learned that Mozart was Chopping favorite composer. This knowledge brought forth my attention that this was why a lot of Chopping nocturnes, preludes, and waltzes mounded much like the work of Mozart because that was possibly where Chopin got his inspiration.
While bored at home on November 25 at 11 :ma’am I decided to listen to the third and final movement of the piece. Immediately when I started the piece I knew that it was in rondo form because it “features a tuneful main theme (A) which returns several times in alternation with other themes” (Sammie 169). There are also many other reasons why this can be interpreted as in rondo form because it can be used as an independent piece or a single movement of a symphony, similar to this ease. Also the piece is very lively and without any hints of melancholy in the third and final movement.
Other characteristics of this piece are the many instances when instruments interrupt each other. I believe that this makes the piece livelier because t is without order and a sense of direction, providing no limit on excitement and fun. Rhea third movement supports my assumption because the purpose of having a lively upbeat final movement is to ensure a Joyful sense of conclusion and serves as a great finale. This movement made me feel a lot more different than the other two events due to the fact that it was much livelier.
It made me want to dance and drink red wine like they did in the classical period. The piece sounded much like a celebration from when a war was won or some ones economic troubles were solved. It also feels like a piece that I would play after I get done with all of my school work because I will deserve a reward. To bring this listening project too close, I am truly grateful that I chose one of Mozart most magnificent works. I am also grateful for the experience of studying his work because of all the knowledge I have gained as a exult of doing so.