Give an account of the contribution of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to the understanding of the Classical concerto, making specific reference to a variety of his musical compositions in this genre. Concerto by definition Is usually a musical work In which one solo instrument is accompanied by the orchestra, or as stated In The Grove Online Dictionary “An instrumental work that maintains contrast between an orchestral ensemble and a smaller group or a solo instrument or among various groups of an undivided orchestra”.
There are three kinds of orchestral concertos written in the sass orchestral concerto, concert concerto and solo concerto. The concerto Solo is dated back to the Baroque Era along with the concerto Crosscheck In contrast consisted of a small group of instruments with the rest of the orchestra. The word concerto comes from Italian decent “concentrate” which can mean “to contend, dispute” but also it has contrary meaning of “to agree” but the meaning has not been constant. There are many famous composers of concerti including Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, List, Brahms and Tchaikovsky.
There have also been many concertos scored for a wide variety of Instruments, violin, cello, clarinet, harpsichord, trumpet, trombone, oboe and many more. The most important instrument in the history of the 18th and 19th;century concerto was the piano. More concertos were published for the piano than for any other instrument. The concerto originated from the concerto gross of the Baroque Era. The concerto gross Is where a small group of players combined, contrasted or alternated with the larger orchestral group these were In several movements.
The most celebrated early concerti gross are those by Cornell and those by Handel and. J. S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos Nose. , 4, 5, and 6 are traditional concerti gross. Although the concerto was involved In many eras I would like to concentrate on the concerto, In the classical Era. The Classical era Is dated from 1 730 to 1820. The Classical era seen the rise of homophony (music with distinct melody and accompaniment) which required the growth of new melodic forms and polyphonic texture was no longer In focus.
The Classical concerto is a very extreme piece for the soloists, representing musical life lived at the edge, as Instruments and the musicians who play them are pushed to the very limit of what is possible by imposers, exploring the extremes of the instrument. A concerto is exciting in ways that no other instrumental music can match. A symphony excites us with themes that are contrasted, varied, transformed and developed while a concerto adds the extra dimension of human drama. The Spotlight is always on the soloist.
The Audience waits for the soloist to begin and when she (he) stops playing they wait for him/her to begin again with little thought for what the orchestra is doing in the meantime. In this respect the concerto has a similar effect from to the operatic aria or solo reference In a musical. The concerto was Invented long before the Symphony and some might say that elements have often invaded the Symphony; it was the most 1 OFF The Classical concerto follows a three movement sequence of fast-slow-fast. The first movement is generally in routinely which is reminiscent of sonata form in that the first subject always returns.
The idea of Routinely still remained in the classical period. The development of the opening Tahiti was by the soloist and orchestra; this idea came from the earlier concerto and still remained although there were some preferences: the opening tutu was much longer, and the tension caused between the soloist and the orchestra was made much stronger. The soloist plays an introductory phrase, but then the soloist is silent until the opening routinely has been repeated. The routinely is usually scored in the tonic key. Next the soloist enters and attracts the audience’s attention.
Sometimes the orchestra and the soloist play together but the main idea is that the orchestra accompanies and supports the soloist. The soloist plays their own version of the theme and this leads to the second subject. The themes are then developed and recapitulated. Like sonata form the recap returns the themes to the tonic. The recap has the soloist and the orchestra playing together, in the opening they were separated. Three quarters way through the recap the orchestra builds up to a huge climax and pauses on the second inversion of the tonic triad.
This pause is called a Fermata and this then gives the signal to the soloist for the cadenza to begin. A cadenza is where the soloist shows off his/her ability as a musician, they would play amazing scale like passages and broken chords. The second movement of the classical concerto can be in a few different forms like: ternary, aria, rondo or modified sonata from (where there is the same structure but it is not as expansive in its themes). The tempo is usually andante, lorgnette, or allegretto. The final movement of a classical concerto is generally in sonata-rondo or rondo form.
Themes are very energetic and lively and usually consist of maybe a few cadenzas so as the soloist can show off their talents. Usually a balance is kept between the musical interest of the orchestra and the solo parts. A lot of composers had great influence on the concerto but one of the greatest composers who most prominently influenced the concerto in the classical era was Mozart. It is said that the most important late 18th-century concertos are those of Mozart. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on 27 January 1756 and died 5 December 1791.
Mozart significant contributions to the development of the concerto include novelties of piano figuration and texture, also a new conception of the relationship between soloist and orchestra. Developments in figuration can be seen in his earliest LOL concertos: kick marks a break from kill 75 by including a greater variety of left- hand textures, while a noticeable increase in difficulty is apparent in the concertos the performer sweat’.
One of Mozart great talents was his simultaneous use of the full range of the Keyboard and the ways in which he divided his material between the hands for example this is evident in his kick and kick pieces. The most significant development, however, is Mozart orchestral writing; the orchestra does not merely accompany, but also takes part in dialogue, sometimes as a group or sometimes individually. Then Mozart expanded this trend even further in later concertos from 1784 onwards-the symphonic characters of the concertos from kick are amazing.
This is also evident in kick, 488 and 491. Coalman in 1799 wrote that The best specimens of good modern concertos for the Piano-Forte are those by Mozart, in which every part of the accompaniments is interesting, without obscuring the principal part’. Mozart keyboard works dominated concerto performance and publication in Vienna from 1785 to about 1810. These examples above show Mozart simultaneous use of the full range of the Keyboard using both hands. K. 88: New Theme in the Development (m. 43) It is followed in measure 149 by a beautifully ornamented version of this theme in the solo piano. The original notes of the theme are marked with an “x’ in the following example to facilitate comparison with the preceding example. This embellished statement adds one measure to the original version. K. 488: Piano variation of the new theme (m. 149) Following So having studied and considered the concerto in the classical era, I think it is safe to say that the concerto most definitely had the biggest influence on classical music and composers of the classical period.