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1 =Causeway Performing rts= GCSE Music os 2: Shared Music (vol.3) CLSSICL CONCERTO in conjunction with

2 THE CLSSICL CONCERTO The Classical period lasted from about Composers emphasised simplicity and clarity in their music during this time. Two of the most famous composers of the Classical period are Mozart ( ) and Haydn ( ). Classical concerto is a piece of music fro an instrumental soloist and orchestra. The concerto usually consists of the movements (fast, slow, fast) In these concertos the soloistʼs virtuosity and flair are combined with the orchestraʼs range of textures, timbres and dynamics, creating contrasts of sound that are exciting and dramatic. Classical concertos used to be performed in grand concert halls across Europe, Concertos were first written in the Baroque period by composers such as Bach and Vivaldi (who wrote over 460, The Four Seasons being the most famous). with many of the sought after virtuoso performers criss-crossing the continent to be heard at these venues. Usually toward the end of the first movement (and sometimes in the last movement), the orchestra will pause and there will be a special unaccompanied showpiece for the soloist called a cadenza. The cadenza allows the soloist to display their virtuosity, with fast scales, broken chords and decorated passages. t the end of a cadenza the soloist plays a long trill. This is the cue for the orchestra to get ready to enter again. Cadenzas were normally improvised by the soloist although some composers, such as Beethoven, decided they wanted specific cadenza to be played and so began to write them out instead. In a Classical concerto the conductor usually follows the soloist and the orchestra follows the conductor. This allows the soloist to interpret the music as they wish without having to constantly worry about fitting in with the orchestra. However, the soloist and conductor obviously have to agree on the interpretation by talking to each other before the rehearsals take place. It is then the conductorʼs responsibility to make sure the orchestra follows this interpretation. This relationship between the soloist, conductor and orchestra demonstrates something that is true in all accompanied music: the accompanist follows the soloist, not the other way round! Haydn: Trumpet Concerto in Eb Major This concerto is possibly Haydnʼs most famous. The concerto (composed in 1796) exploited the new keyed trumpet, which could play a full chromatic scale, whereas the natural trumpet before it had a far more limited range of notes. The first movement of the concerto starts with the violins quietly playing the main theme. s the opening orchestral section develops the trumpet plays a few notes as if it is just warming up, more part of the orchestra than the soloist. fter this section comes to an end, the trumpet comes in confidently with the main theme fter this, listen to the way the orchestra is used - sometimes it is just an accompaniment to the soloist, sometimes the

3 orchestra has the main melody as the trumpet has an accompanying role, and sometimes the orchestra enters into a dialogue with the soloist. brief example of this can be seen shortly after the trumpet enters with the main theme. In bar 39 the flute echoes the trumpet (an octave higher), and the trumpet then takes note of the fluteʼs interruption by repeating the flute motif itself: Flute Trumpet The slower second movement has a very lyrical melody, which is given a lilting feel by the time signature of 6-8. This movement exploits the keyed trumpetʼs ability to play smooth chromatic lines. The orchestra has a simpler accompaniment in this movement, and the trumpet is often just accompanied by the string section. The main theme is first introduced by the violins: p p This four bar questioning phrase is followed by a similar four bar answer. The trumpet then repeats the melody while the strings provide a simple accompaniment. The delicate, warm nature of the string accompaniment perfectly suits the lyrical melody. Notice that the pitch of the string accompaniment here is nearly always lower than that of the trumpet part - this, along with the thin texture, means that the soloist doesnʼt have to play forcefully to stand out. This second movement has a ternary structure. In the middle section the wind instruments are introduced, and the trumpet has a more chromatic melody. In the final section the main theme is decorated by the soloist. Notice how at the every end of this movement the main melodic interest moves to the flute, and the trumpet finishes the movement as an accompanist. The third movement is much more high spirited, with dramatic changes of dynamics from forte to piano, variations of thick and thin texture, and busy semiquavers in the violins. Like the first movement, it starts with a long orchestral section introducing the main theme, which the trumpet then plays.

4 Mozart: Clarinet concerto in major This was one of the last pieces Mozart composed, written in the year that he died (1791). It has become one his most popular concertos. The work consists of three movements, in the very common fast-slow-fast pattern. In the first movement, the orchestra introduces the main theme before the soloist enters. fter this orchestral introduction the soloist is usually the focus of attention, although there is one notable point during this movement where the soloist accompanies the orchestra with a bass line made up of semi quaver patterns: Clarinet in Bb Violin 1 Violin 2 Viola Violoncello Imitation occurs when a melodic idea in one part is immediately copied by another part, often at a different pitch. The soloist enters at the very start of the second movement with the main theme, accompanied by a gentle, rocking string section.the light string accompaniment supports the lyrical, peaceful nature of the soloistʼs melody. fter the main theme is taken over by the orchestra, listen out for the imitation between the soloist and the first violins: Clarinet Violin 1 re there any other points during the first two movements where you can hear this type of interplay between the soloist and the orchestra?

5 The third movement is in rondo form. It begins with the soloist playing this theme: Listen to this movement and concentrate on the relationship between the soloist and the orchestra. The structure is given below: Section B C D Description The main theme moves between the soloist and the orchestra in this section - listen to how the orchestra responds to the clarinetʼs busy semiquavers by introducing some itself in the violins. It is almost as if the orchestra and soloist are in competition with each other. Notice too how the dynamics and texture of the orchestra change, depending on whether it is accompanying or not. Listen in this section to how the orchestral accompaniment becomes even thinner when the clarinet has semiquaver runs, to give the soloist more space. The main theme returns again. This is a simple statement of it by the soloist, followed by a loud orchestral passage. The music modulates to F# minor (the relative minor). The soloist plays a lilting melody in this section. Notice the imitation between the clarinet and violin parts towards the end of the section. Normally the main theme would come back at this point. However, Mozart decides instead to go straight into this section, which is similar to section B. Listen to how fragments of the melody are passed between the soloist and orchestra. Mozart eventually returns to the main theme before finishing with the coda. The clarinet part becomes more virtuosic towards the end, with busy scale passages that use the full range of the instrument. Things to do Listen to another Classical concerto. Make a list of the ways that the orchestra supports and interacts with the soloist in the music. Test yourself 1. Name two composers of Classical concertos 2. How many movements does a Classical concerto normally have? 3. What is the name given to the unaccompanied showpiece that often comes at the end of the first movement? 4. Give one example of how the accompaniment can change to suit the nature of the solo part in a Classical concerto.

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