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Flashcards in Final Listening Examples Info Deck (38):

String Quartet Op. 76, No. 3, (Emperor) 2nd movement

Joseph Haydn
String Quartet
- Haydn retained old patronage system
- Based on "God Keep the Emperor Franz"
- Thought to be based on Croatian folk song


Symphony No. 40, 1st movement

W.A. Mozart
- Mozart liked contract system rather than patronage
-First movement is in normative sonata-allegro form
- Given the name Romantic, since it looked forward to Romantic music


Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music)

W.A. Mozart
String serenade
- Contains a double bass, as it was designed to be performed outside
- Originally had five movements
- Contains a rocket theme.


Symphony No. 5, 1st movement

Ludwig Van Beethoven
- Beethoven adds a surprise fourth theme in the recapitulation
-Beethoven described the motive as “fate knocking at the door;”
- 3rd mvt. Is a scherzo and trio, because Beethoven hated the aristocracy and the minuet.


Piano Concerto K. 453, 1st mvt.

W.A. Mozart
Concerto for piano
- Contains notably exquisite writing for woodwinds.
- Written for his favorite student, Babette von Ployer
- Taunted his enemy, Giovanni Paisiello, by inviting him to its premier.


Trumpet Concerto, 3rd mvt.

Joseph Haydn
Concerto for trumpet
- Trumpet concertos were uncommon for the period
- Trumpets were keyed, not valved at the time
- ) the concerto is in a compact three movement form.


Piano Sonata “Moonlight” 1st mvt.

Ludwig Van Beethoven
19th c.
- Not given the name “moonlight” by Beethoven
- Dedicated to a young pupil who Beethoven was enamored with
- Called a “fantasy sonata” because it broke the normal forms.


Don Giovanni, Act I, Scene 2, “Leporello’s Catalogue Aria.”

W.A. Mozart
Opera buffa, aria
- Leporello is reading a catalogue of Don Giovanni’s sexual conquests
- Despite being a “Comic” opera, Don Giovanni is not overly funny, and deals with very serious themes
- Casanova was in attendance for the premier of Don Giovanni.


Magic Flute: “Papageno/Papagena”

W.A. Mozart
Singspiel, aria
- Mozart wrote The Magic Flute at the same time as Requiem in D Minor, at the very end of his life
- Papageno is roughly the equivalent of the buffo character for The Magic Flute
- Papageno resolves not to kill himself only when his Papagena finally appears.


Magic Flute: Der Holle Rache (Queen of the Night Aria Two)

W.A. Mozart
Singspiel, aria
- The Queen of the Night was hunting Pamina
- In Der Holle Rache, the Queen of the Night charges Pamina to kill Sarasto, who was trying to protect her
- Mozart deliberately made the aria as hard as possible to spite the soprano who claimed the aria was too easy, and not showing off her abilities.


Erlkönig (“Erlking”)

Franz Schubert
19th c.
- Erlkönig consists of four voices all sung by one performer, and thus requiring substantial vocal range.
- It tells the story of a father and son riding through the woods while the Erlkönig (often mistranslated “Elf King,” literally “Alder King”) chases after them.
- There is debate over the role of the piano in the piece, and whether it represents the hoof beats of the horse or the fluttering heartbeat of the boy.


Mazurka in B-flat Minor, Op. 24, No. 4

Frédéric Chopin
Mazurka for Solo Piano
- Chopin’s music, and this mazurka, are notable for their use of rubato, or “robbed time.”
- He fled Poland for Paris as a young man, but he was still nationalistic and felt a love for his homeland, which is reflected in his Polish music like his mazurkas and polonaises
- The Mazuka is a dance originating in the Mazovia district of Poland, and normally in ternary form, although Chopin’s mazurkas tend to be longer.


The Banjo

Louis Moreau Gottschalk
Piano fantasy
19th c.
- The Banjo is, unsurprisingly, meant to emulate the banjo, similarly to how Scarlatti’s Sonata K. 149 was meant to emulate the Spanish guitar.
- The banjo was widely associated with minstrel shows and was common in the folk music of the cultures Gottschalk grew up around, and was naturally familiar to him.
-As such, while self-consciously striving after high art status, they contain lots of syncopation, rhythmic variation, and can be seen as anticipating ragtime.



Franz Liszt
Symphonic Poem for Piano and Orchestra
- The symphonic poem was an orchestral piece of music invented by Liszt. It is usually one movement and programmatic in nature.
- Totentanz is built around the lyrics and characteristic theme of the Gregorian Chant “Dies Irae,” from the Requiem Mass.
- . Liszt exhibited a fascination with death from an early age, and went back to early Christian roots in his exploration of death in this symphonic poem.


Symphonie Fantastique, mvts. 4 & 5

Hector Berlioz
Program Symphony
- . The “Beloved,” the woman for whom the artist pines, is identified by the idée fixe, a short musical phrase
- In his pain over being rejected, the artist murders the Beloved, and is executed.
- He descends to hell and witnesses a Witches’ Sabbath in which the Beloved participates.


Peer Gynt Suite: In the Hall of the Mountain King

Edvard Grieg
- Grieg was born in Norway and is one of few famous composers to come out of Scandinavia (although he studied music in Germany).
- the protagonist faces off against the King of the Trolls and his army of daughters, who are angry at Peer for seducing one of their sisters.
- The piece concludes with a cacophonous crash as the mountain comes down on the trolls.


Symphony No. 3 in F Major, 3rd Mvt.

Johannes Brahms
19th c.
- Brahms was the leader of the Romantic movement in favor of “Absolute Music” (music with no program), as opposed to Liszt and the more programmatic Romantic composers.
- Brahms opens the symphony with a sonata-allegro first movement, followed by a waltz, a deviation from the typical scherzo.
- The third symphony is Brahms’ shortest and most Romantic symphonic work.


“La Donna e Mobile” from Rigoletto

Giuseppe Verdi
Opera, Aria
- His middle period opera tend to be more conservative in size, but his later operas, notably Otello, Aida, and Falstaff are dramatic in scope, with Aida calling for an entire Egyptian army.
- It chronicles the attempts of Rigoletto, the jester, to project his daughter from his master and prolific womanizer, the Duke of Mantua.
- In “La Donna e Mobile” the Duke woos Maddalena, a harlot hired by Rigoletto to demonstrate the character of the Duke to Gilda, by singing about the fickleness of women.


“Ride of the Valkyries” from Die Walküre

Richard Wagner
Music Drama
- Wagner’s music and his concept of the “music drama” is guided by the idea of Gesamtkunstwerk, or “the total work of art.”
- Wagner’s later music dramas (notably Tristan und Isolde and Der Ring des Nibelungen) were famous for their use of leitmotif, a short musical phrase used to represent a person, place, thing, idea, theme, et cetera.
- It is centered around the gods of Norse mythology repurposed as part of a German heritage and the events surrounding the creation of the world and then its consumption by fire.


“Habenra” from Carmen

Georges Bizet
- Bizet favored a style classed “exoticism,” which focused on alien cultures a far away lands, and appealed to the Romantic taste for adventure.
- Carmen tells the story of Carmen, a gypsy woman living in Seville, and Don José, a soldier who falls in love with her.
- . Enraged and ruined José tries to persuade Carmen to come with him, but when he is rebuffed, he kills her.


“Trepak” from The Nutcracker

Pytor Ilych Tchaikovsky
- Tchaikovsky was the first Russian composer to be popular outside of the motherland.
- The Nutcracker is not normally associated with Christmas elsewhere in the world, and initially not well received.
- “Trepak” is the Russian-themed piece from the national showcase portion of Act II of The Nutcracker, and is usually choreographed with people dressed as candy canes or in Cossack garb.


“Un Bel Di” (One Beautiful Day) from Madame Butterfly

Giacomo Puccini
Opera, Aria
- Opera in the Post-Romantic era was characterized by the idea of verismo, or “truth.”
- Madame Butterfly tells the story of a geisha (roughly the equivalent of a Western courtesan) named Butterfly who falls in love and carries the child of an American sailor named Pinkerton, who returns to America.
- The work represents an attempt by a Western composer to mimic the style of a foreign culture.


Libera me, from Requiem, Op. 48

Gabriel Fauré
Requiem Mass
- Fauré's music is more restrained and meditative than his late Romantic Germany contemporaries, notably Wagner.
-Requiem masses represent almost all of the high art sacred music being composed in the Romantic era, primarily and the behest of wealthy patrons or the Catholic Church.
- The Libra me movement of Fauré’s Requiem predates the compostion as a while, and was original composed for baritone and organ.


Prelude to “The Afternoon of a Faun”

Claude Debussy
Symphonic Poem
- Musical impressionism spawned from the visual Impressionism of Monet, Degas, and Manet and their desire to capture “impressions” of nature and everyday life.
- Debussy embraced music as a sensuous experience, and contributed to the evolving style of piano performance.
- The piece was to serve as a “backdrop” to the poem, which vaguely depicts the adventures of a faun.


Maple Leaf Rag

Scott Joplin
19th c.
- Ragtime was originally African-American dance music associated with the cakewalk, two step, and the fox trot.
- The genre is characterized by its syncopation and memorable melodies.
- After the Maple Leaf Rag gained national fame, Joplin worked to elevate ragtime to the level of art music but was never particularly successfully, and his only opera was poorly received.


Pierrot Lunaire – The Moonfleck

Arnold Schoenberg
Song Cycle
20th c.
- Schoenberg is famous for being the first composer to not only move away from major-minor tonality, but to reject tonality altogether (atonality).
- Schoenberg left Germany when Hitler came to power, and continued refining the twelve-tone system during tenure at UCLA
- It is about a clown with a white face who is obsessed with the moon.


“Dance of Youths and Maidens” from The Rite of Spring

Igor Stravinsky
- Ballet dates back to the Renaissance where it was a courtly dance, but it gained popularity as an interlude between scene in French opera.
- Stravinsky was primarily active and composed most of his famous works during the short period from 1908-1916, before the Russian government fell in the 1917 revolution.
- The music is harshly dissonant, and the material was so shocking that the audience of the premiere literally rioted.


Wozzeck, Act 3, Final Scene

Alban Berg
- The themes are often dark and the music is highly dissonant or lacks major/minor tonality.
- Berg was one of the two favorite students of Schoenberg, and a member of the Second Viennese School.
- The dark story paints a picture of the prevailing mood in Weimar Germany.


Billie’s Blues

Billie Holiday
20th c.
- Blues is rooted in the musical traditions of African-Americans and their work songs, ring shouts, and spirituals
- She was notably one of the first black women to break through the color barrier and sing with a white orchestra
- Her life ended early after poor choices in association and drug addiction took a toll on her health.


“Summertime” from Porgy and Bess

George Gershwin
Folk Opera
- Gershwin’s folk opera is the merging of American jazz styles with European operatic tradition.
- No one ever has the success Gershwin had at painting jazz as high art.
- Porgy and Bess deals with live in a black tenement called “Catfish Row” in South Carolina.


Appalachian Spring, Section 7

Aaron Copland
Ballet Suite
- Copland is often credited with being the composer who finally found the American style.
- Copland was also a communist, and was investigated later in life for his leftist sympathies.
- The 7th section of Appalachian Spring is a variation on Simple Gifts, a familiar Shaker hymn.


Sonata V

John Cage
- Cage's most famous experiment was 4’33”, four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence while a musician sits on stage, which was intended to explore the question of what is music and what is noise.
- Sonata V is for prepared piano, and invention of Cage’s where certain objects are inserted into the piano to change how the strings make sound.
- Cage developed the idea after a friend said he needed a percussion ensemble for rehearsals but could only afford one performer.


Symphony 5, mvt. 4

Dmitri Shostakovich
- Shostakovich lived his life on the edge of ruin as he struggled between his desire to express his artistic spirit and the dangers of doing so under the Soviet regime.
- Symphony 5 was written in response to a prior work, Lady Macbeth of the Mtensk District, which made rave reviews until an article in Pravda smashed it to bits and put the fear in Shostakovich.
- Symphony 5 was (supposedly) designed to appease the Soviet government, but music critics looking at the final movement feel something is off about it, and that perhaps Shostakovich was hinting that he didn’t really want to be writing pieces for the glory of the party.


Electric Counterpoint, III

Steve Reich
Chamber work for guitar and tape
- Reich’s music is primarily process music, where the piece starts off with a simple idea and slowly progresses and changes gradually over time.
- He recorded music on several magnetic tapes and changed the speed of the tapes so the loops combined in various ways.
- ): Electric Counterpoint is normally performed by one live guitarist and several recorded guitarists.


blue cathedral

Jennifer Higdon
Orchestral tone poem
- Higdon’s music is neo-Romantic in nature, and she is one of the most widely-performed living composers.
- Her music echoes the American style of Aaron Copland and Samuel Barber.
- blue cathedral was written to honor Higdon’s brother who died of skin cancer. His middle name was “Blue” – thus the title of the work.


“Mambo” from West Side Story

Leonard Bernstein
Musical theater
- American “Broadway” musical theatre evolved from a combination of the Vaudeville shows (which had evolved from the minstrel shows) and the European operetta.
- Bernstein had a talent for composing music for the stage, particularly staged dramas focused on urban settings.
- West Side Story is the plot of Romeo and Juliet set on the West Side of Manhattan with the Montagues and Capulets replaced by warring gangs.


Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme) from The Empire Strikes Back

John Williams
Film score
- Film scores accompany works of cinema, and can fall into one of two categories.
- John Williams is the most famous film composer of all time, having written for over ninety films.
- The Imperial March is the theme and leitmotif for Star Wars antagonist Darth Vader.


Farewell from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Tan Dun
Film score
21st c.
- Tan Dun was born in China and studied music at the Central Conservatory of Beijing,
- He has worked to blend Western avant-garde and traditional Eastern styles to form unique compositions.
- The cello and the erau represent the star-crossed lovers that are the primary subject of the movie, Jen Lu and Lo.