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MUSIC 1AA3 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Opera Buffa, Aria, Child Prodigy

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Dave Gerry
Study Guide

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Music 1AA3 – Midterm #1 Review January 29, 2015
Life of Mozart
- Born in Salzburg; trained by his father (Leopold Mozart a violinist)
- Toured Europe with Father and sister, becoming internationally famous as a child prodigy
- Employed as a court musician in Salzburg until 1781
- Moved to Vienna and struggled to achieve financial security
- Composed piano concertos, symphonies, chamber music, and operas
- Selected works: Symphony No. 40
- Amadeus is a play about Mozart being murdered
Opera Seria and Opera Buffa
- Opera Seria – Serious or tragic opera
Based on mythical or historical subjects, with elevated action and characters who are
gods or members of nobility
- Opera Buffa – Comic opera
Includes servants and nobles
Class distinction were important (controversial) in plays and operas of the period
- Plays and operas had to be approved by official censors
- Subject matter of Don Giovanni was less risky than Beaumarchais’ Marriage of Figaro, given that
it depicts the punishment of Don Giovanni
- Simple recitative is accompanied by the harpsichord or piano and advances the plot through
- Scenes with orchestral accompanied recitative are passionate and musically interesting
- Advances the plot
- Used because it’s freer rhythmically and is able to accompany dialogue
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- Moments of reflection, explanation, or emotional expression or reaction that typically do not
advance the action
- Nearly every character in Don Giovanni has two arias, expressive of their standing and nature
- Don Giovanni sings a serenade and a drinking song yet does not have a reflective, full-scale aria
- Test used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an opera.
- Sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works
Life of Beethoven
- Beethoven’s music is a bridge between Classical and Romantic styles
- Known for symphonies, string quartets, piano sonatas, concertos, chamber music, masses, and
his only opera – Fidelio
- Born in Bonn to a musical family, moved to Vienna in 1792
- Achieved success in Vienna as a virtuoso pianist and composer
- Exemplifies a lot of stylistic features of classical music, but a lot in the next era – Romantic Music
- Described his despair at realizing he was increasingly deaf in a letter written in 1802
- In response to this realization, he turned with greater concentration to composition
- Final decade became deaf, yet continued to compose piano sonatas and string quartets
- Testament – wrote to his friends talking about his deafness
- Turned away from performing, and turned to composition and conducted
- Known as not very friendly
Beethoven in Vienna
- Diverse: pianist, conductor and composer
- One of the first composers to make a living as an independent professional without a regular
church or court position
- Famous as a virtuoso pianist, composer of solo sonatas and concertos for piano and orchestra
- Often moved
- Kept notebooks with him to write down inspiration
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