The Viennese Minor-Key Symphony in the Age of Haydn and by Matthew Riley

By Matthew Riley

In past due eighteenth-century Vienna and the encompassing Habsburg territories, over 50 minor-key symphonies by means of at the very least eleven composers have been written. those contain the various best-known works of the symphonic repertoire, corresponding to Haydn's 'Farewell' Symphony and Mozart's Symphony No. forty in G minor, okay. 550. The riding strength, extreme pathos and restlessness of those compositions call for shut cognizance and participation from the listener, and pose pressing questions on that means and interpretation.

In reaction to those questions, The Viennese Minor-Key Symphony within the Age of Haydn and Mozart combines ancient views with contemporary advancements in song research to shed new mild in this distinct a part of the repertoire. via an intertextual, analytical strategy, writer Matthew Riley treats the minor-key symphony as a subgenre of a number of strands, reconstructing the compositional global it occupied. His paintings permits signs to be understood, places attribute innovations in transparent aid, and finally finds the importance this track held for either composers and listeners of the time. Riley offers us a clean photo of the established masterpieces of Haydn and Mozart, whereas additionally concentrating on lesser identified composers.

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Example text

The main theme, stated at the opening in the tonic, often loses energy—rhythmic, dynamic, or both—or seems to falter towards its end. ” In Classical sonata expositions, the pointed articulation of a half cadence would be reserved for the end of the transition; indeed, main themes that end with a half cadence are uncommon by the 1780s. In contrast to the typical main theme of later Classical sonata style, the main themes of minor-key symphonies around 1770 are often relatively loosely organized.

3 Vaňhal g1/i, bars 14–19 The Viennese Minor-Key Symphony19 Ex. 4 Vaňhal g1/iv, bars 12–16 Ex.  183/i, bars 25–32 which, rather incongruously, are made to express an initiating function based on a complex voice-leading pattern and substitute for the expected grand tutti. If this example is relatively subtle, the treatment of the mediant tutti in the finale of the same symphony is an unmistakable burlesque (Ex. 6). The stormy main theme is constructed from obviously shop-worn material—descending arpeggio eighth 20 The Viennese Minor-Key Symphony in the Age of Haydn and Mozart notes—while the continuation phrase (bars 17–29) is subjected to exaggerated dramatization and extension.

Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1971), 432–35.  285). First published in Symbolae historiae musicae: Hellmut Federhofer zum 60 Geburtstag, ed.  Riedel and Hubert Unverricht (Mainz: Schott, 1971), 194–203. See also the other essays in the section “Viennese Classical Style,” in Handel, Haydn; and “The Viennese Classical School: A Challenge to Musicology,” Current Musicology 9 (1969): 105–12. 49 Larsen was taking a stand against German nationalist historiography that traced stories linking one great German master to the next.

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