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Outline the form and features of a typical classical concerto first movement.

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Introduction

Outline the form and features of a typical classical concerto first movement Caroline Bruce A typical concerto first movement would be written in sonata form, for a soloist and orchestral accompaniment. Sonata form is composed of three sections in an ABA sequence - Exposition, Development and Recapitulation. Often a sonata form movement would use a codetta (or coda) to finish it off, and would sometimes include a cadenza. A concerto exposition is written to be repeated - but unlike a symphony sonata, where the exposition is simply repeated, in a concerto, the first time through is only the orchestra playing, and the second time through the soloist joins in and elaborates.. The soloist will repeat themes that the orchestra have played in his or her exposition, but will also use new themes, just as the orchestra will use some themes that the soloist doesn't imitate. ...read more.

Middle

The development section commonly starts with material that directly relates to the end of the exposition section, in order to make the move between the two sections smooth and joined, and you would rarely find a deliberate break or rest between the two. This section usually develops and explores themes form the exposition in a number of ways, e.g. sequential repetition, elaboration, ornamentation, fugato or elongation and often moves through a number of keys, unlike the exposition that usually transitions only once. Another common technique is to start the development in the relative (or parallel) minor of the exposition (An exposition in C major would render a development section in A minor, etc). ...read more.

Conclusion

In early sonatas, this cadenza would be improvised or elaborated on the themes of the exposition, without score. As the classical era progressed, however, the cadenza started to become scored, and just played from the music by the soloist. The cadenza was often written by the composer himself, but was also sometimes written by other composers. This section would always end with a trill, so as to tell the orchestra when to come back in with accompaniment. The coda would begin when the recapitulation has ended. In early sonata forms, there would be a series of codettas, but later on this section became larger, usually quite lengthy and similar to the development section. The coda always has a very strong perfect or plagal cadence at the end, finishing the movement (or piece) off. ...read more.

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