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Change and development in two contrasting operas "The Magic Flute" by Mozart and the "Iphigénie en Tauride" by Gluck with specific reference to the orchestration and in particular the writing for violin.

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Introduction

Change and development in two contrasting operas "The Magic Flute" by Mozart and the "Iphig�nie en Tauride" by Gluck with specific reference to the orchestration and in particular the writing for violin In this essay I will be looking at changes and development in orchestration of the overtures in two operas, by Gluck and Mozart. I am particularly interested in the role of the violin in these operas as it is my main instrument and I can see how difficult or easy the parts are to play and what significance that part has within the opera.First I will briefly describe the orchestration in earlier operas. I will then look at the orchestra in Gluck followed by the orchestration of Mozart. In earlier operas such as Monteverdi's a small string group dominated by violins replacing the viols were placed at the front of the stage. Drums and trumpets were used for martial music and flutes or recorders for the more romantic scenes of the opera. In the baroque the oboe was the favoured wind instrument and remained so through most of the century because unlike the bassoon it is a high ptched instrument whose tone, could approach the softness of the recorder and the brilliance of the trumpet at the same time giving an edge to the violin tone. ...read more.

Middle

are always playing something however dominant their melodies are simultaneously in the Baroque era, this adds to the dramatic tension above making it very breathtaking. The violins will also play semiquavers inbetween the vocal lines interweaving at a counterpoint the effect of this is to sound light and to build up a crescendo at each of these scalic phrases an example of this tune is shown below. There are some dramatic high pitched passages of this overture played on the flute which often follows the violin which has a common melody imitating around the parts, the flute part creates a very dramatic effect building up tension as this flute part is different to the other parts making it even more significant and emotionally expressive. On the next page is the score for the tune and the flute parts. The overture would have been written like this to portray the desperation and sense of power for Tamino to save the queen of the night. The intervals of pasages when playing semiquavers has an interval of an octacve between each set of notes this needs to be played at the bottom of the bow with long bows so they are easier to play so to be at the middle of the bow when playing each note. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mozart used a lot of expression in his works which was even more expressive than glucks which was a model for future composers such as Wagner who brought together a new form even more expressive than Mozart and Gluck. The effect of Mozart's operas was to influence composers such as Wagner who defined and changed the conventions in such operatic rules; his operas were like "music dramas." His purpose was to unite music, poetry, action and scenery into perfect productions for the lyric stage, and in this respect his dramas will always be the model for future opera composers. Wagner's music is continuous, not divided into arias, duets, and reflects the slightest movement or change of situation on the stage. He used a poetical, not a musical, form. He gave the leading melodies to the orchestra as well as the voices. "Die Tetralogie der Ring des Nibelungen" is composed of four parts, each requiring several hours for performance ultimately Wagner produces a work of incredible complexity and shows Mozart's influence after the complexity of "The Magic Flute." In conclusion Mozart was greatly inspired by Gluck's opera's and if it wasn't for him then Mozart's operas wouldn't have been as brilliant to inspire composers like Wagner who developed particularly his feeling for drama but many other composers liked aspects of Gluck's and Mozart's operas too. ...read more.

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