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By comparing and contrasting instrumental tones, orchestral textures, harmony and structural devices in Haydn's symphony No.26 and Wagner's Prelude to Tristian, show how far approaches to composition have changed between Classical and Romantic eras.

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Introduction

By comparing and contrasting instrumental tones, orchestral textures, harmony and structural devices in Haydn's symphony No.26 and Wagner's Prelude to Tristian, show how far approaches to composition have changed between Classical and Romantic eras. Give detailed examples to support your observations. The first obvious difference between the instrumentation of these two pieces in that the Haydn is arranged for a small orchestra. This contrasts with the Wagner which has 10/12 violins and large sections including a bass clarinet and 3 bassoons. The sections are far more independent in the Wagner, show by the brass not being dependant on the strings. It also exploits individual colour with far more exposed parts e.g the solo cello at the beginning of the piece. ...read more.

Middle

There is a great deal more doubling in the Wagner than the Haydn giving it a much thicker texture. However, there is much contrast in the texture within the Haydn, sections of thick texture contrast with silent bars e.g paused rest at bar 11. This is also evident in the contrasting dynamics, with dramatic climaxes and softer passages. The Haydn is far more uniform and continuous in its texture with few rests to be found in the parts. There is also much less dynamic variation. The Haydn is Diatonic whereas the Wagner is much more ambiguous in its key, the keys are implied rather than stated. The use of chromatic harmony (1-26), imperfect cadences (bar 16) ...read more.

Conclusion

The structure of the Haydn is in obvious sonata form, consisting of three sections and a coda (exposition, recapitulation, development). The Wagner is similarly structured, three sections and a coda (tertiary form) but this is less apparent due to the extensive motivic development which creates an unending melody, thus it is harder to make the distinction between sections than in the Haydn. The entire of the Wagner is based on three motifs, every phrase is in someway related to one of the motifs. These motifs are found at: bar 1-2 in cellos, bar 2 in wind (this is an inversion of the 1st motif), bar 17 in cellos. Whilst there is occasional motivic development in the Haydn in the development section from bar 45, it is not as extravagant as in the Wagner. ...read more.

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