Often these concertos were written for talented friends of the composer, or for the composers themselves to display their own talents and abilities. Haydn wrote many concertos, some for what were referred to as “diverse” instruments. One such instrument was the “keyed” trumpet. Many brass instruments began to have keys placed on the instrument in order to play chromatic scales. Eventually, by 1840 all brass instruments had piston valves which are still in use on brass instruments today. Haydn composed his Trumpet Concerto for a friend. In fact, many of the composers in the Classical era wrote for musically talented, and in some cases, very rich friends. The last movement of the Haydn Trumpet Concerto is in the form of a Sonata-Rondo. As you read in your text, this piece was not really “discovered” until early in the twentieth century. Haydn would be pleased to know this concerto has become his most popular work. Beethoven composed concertos for Violin and Piano (5), as well as a” Triple” Concerto (Violin, Piano, and Cello). His compositions represent the pinnacle of concerto writing in the Classical era. They would influence generations of composers in the Romantic era and beyond. Mozart composed concertos for Violin (5), Piano (27), Flute (2) Clarinet, Bassoon, Violin & Viola ( Sinfonia Concertante ), Oboe, and Horn (4). Quite an impressive output, especially when you consider that Mozart was known to have played as the soloist for the violin concertos and for most of the piano concertos. Mozart composed many of his Piano Concertos for his own performances at “Benefit Concerts”. These “benefit Concerts” usually benefited Mozart and the other assisting artists on these concerts. When you look at the amount of music Mozart composed in the seven month period from October 1785 to May 1786 it is amazing to me he was able to find time to do anything else. Remember, as I mentioned earlier, he was performing benefit concerts, teaching piano and composition lessons, receiving guests at his home, entertaining the wealthy elite of Vienna, and learning new concertos to premiere at his own concerts. During the concert season of 1785-86 Mozart was the reigning performer in Vienna. His piano concertos were thought out in terms of complexity for the performer and the audience. The first movement was always the longest due to the “Double Exposition” in the Sonata Form. First the orchestra would play a theme, only to have it repeated in the piano. This doubling of efforts created quite a lengthy movement. The other two movements of the concerto were rarely as long as the first movement. The second movement was a lyrical aria for piano and orchestra. The third movement would always be a Rondo (ABACA),
or a Sonata-Rondo form (ABACABA). This allowed the audience to leave the theater singing a tune. After all, they had heard the “A” theme no less than 3-4 times! Coda The Classical era remains one of the most popular periods in music. The compositions of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven will continue to be performed by symphony orchestras, string quartets, pianists, and musicians throughout time. Their work represents what philosophers call “Greatness” in music.
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- Summer '19
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Mozart