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How did Mozart's orchestral music take the classical age to its peak?

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Pippa-Jayne Flaxman 29th December 2002 How did Mozart's orchestral music take the classical age to its peak? Mozart never composed music exactly to the mathematical structure and style that his friend Haydn and other composers used in the classical period. Mozart took the structure the others used and added his extravagant flair. In his orchestral piece 'Piano Concerto in A major', Mozart doesn't use any oboes and only has one flute instead of the usual two. He uses a new instrument the clarinet, which he uses two of. Two bassoons and two horns complete the wind section. He has the strings in the normal four parts with the double basses playing the same notes as the cellos but sounding an octave lower. The form of this piece is exposition, development and recapitulation. Mozart begins with an orchestral exposition using periodic phrasing, in which the strings play an eight bar phrase which ends on the dominant and the wind answer this by playing eight bars an octave higher ending on the tonic. Periodic phrasing could sometimes get a bit predictable, so instead of the eight bar consequent ending at bar sixteen Mozart repeats those two bars using added decoration and starts the next phrase at bar eighteen. ...read more.


This pause prepares the way for the unaccompanied piano to restate the second Subject. This tune was originally heard in A major at bar thirty-one but is now in E major at bar ninety-nine. Again the piano uses ornamentation for the repeat of the theme at bar one hundred and seven. At bar one hundred and fourteen the melody returns to the piano with the left hand playing a decorated version of the horn pedal. At bar one hundred and twenty-four Mozart changes the music and the soloist plays a virtuoso figure. Even though the music has changed Mozart still uses the original harmony. It was traditional in classical concertos to finish off the solo exposition with a passage of solo 'bravura'. At bar one hundred and thirty-five Mozart uses two of his favourite techniques to announce the start of the 'ritornello'. The first is a chord progression called a 'cadential 6-4' and the second is a long trill. The 'ritornello' starts on the last chord of the cadence at bar one hundred and thirty-seven as Mozart overlaps the ending of the section with the start of the new in the dominant. The start of the ritornello is the opening melody from bar eighteen but this time written in the dominant. ...read more.


Then he uses a section from the development theme in bars two hundred and sixty-seven to two hundred and seventy-five in clarinets and bassoons. At bar two hundred and eighty- two Mozart returns to the exposition music and includes the cadential 6-4 figure, trill and interrupted cadence heard before, the development theme follows this but is cut very short. The orchestra then halts in bar two hundred and ninety-seven on a chord of A. this chord announces the start of the cadenza. At the end of the cadenza we have a long trill on a dominant seventh chord. The orchestra comes back in and rounds off the movement with material which hasn't been heard since bars forty-nine to sixty-six. Mozart cuts off eight bars from this repeat and then adds four additional bars for the tutti at the end. As you can see Mozart definitely has his own way of composing and does not stick to the basic outline. Mozart doesn't like to write conventional pieces. He loves showing off and writes complicated prices that show how good he is. He pushes the classical age to its peak by taking music as far as he can at this time. There is no doubt that Mozart influenced lots of composers of the future by his extremely artistic ways with composing. After his death many composers like Haydn and Beethoven used his ideas to write their own pieces. ...read more.

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