Rise of the Enlightenment after the Baroque: shared rule of the Bourgeoisie and the Aristocracy. For example, in England, Parliament (including the class of industrialists, business owners, professionals) and Monarchy.
What language can help to unify and streamline communication among these contending parties? The Classical era, partly homophonic music: melodies now within simpler harmonic structures.
Invention of Sonata form: themes in tonic & dominant, midpoint development, recapitulation. Invention of the new Opera as drama opening up conflict between individuals and society.
The new Classical Forms emphasize cohesion and integration of the whole as a communality: coherent, harmoniously ordered, testing and connecting the individual’s relationship to society.
Music – though supported by both the aristocratic court and the owning class – is by its wordless nature freed from the prosaic & didactic, from explicit aristocratic or bourgeois social representation.
Mozart (1756-1791)– Don Giovanni (c 1789)
Act 1/15 ‘Fin ch'han dal vino’ (Hvorostovski)
Mozart’s gift is to cast a light of harmonious and beneficent acceptance on all he composes, no matter how dark or disordered.
Don Juan as a product of the Renaissance:
Tirso da Molina, El Burlador de Sevilla -the trickster of Seville and the stone statue
-a 1630 quasi-tragedy about the exploits & punishment of a Renaissance libertine.
Moliere’s play of Don Juan (1665) exposed the hypocrisy of the aristocracy.
Don Juan became the subject of a 1680 novel about a picaresque rogue.
Mozart’s librettist Da Ponte drew on many sources for his tragi-comic drama: collision between the vulnerable but finally triumphant “normal” world of couples, family, both aristocratic and middle-class mores about women and money
versus the figure of the unique individual sensibility, which can model and define the emotions and spirits of the community, investing them with new power and energy, inviting others to enter a new life, and yet which like Don Quixote can seem foolish and grotesque: this is the figure of the Romantic Genius, an intense force of energy and imagination, beyond good and evil, yet capable of inspiring.
Act 1, #10 Renee Fleming as Donna Anna, prelude to “Or sai chi l’onore”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp8UTemmlq8
At 2:10 – “Silently he approached me and tried to embrace me. I tried to free myself but he seized me all the harder. I screamed, but no one came! With one hand he tried to quiet me, and with the other he seized me so hard that I already thought myself lost….Finally my despair, my horror of the deed so strengthened me that by dint of twisting, turning and bending I freed myself of him.”
Act 2/2 ‘Ah taci, ingiusto core’ – Donna Elvira (Carlos Alvarez, Anna Antonacci)
Act 2/14Finale: Commendatore (Samuel Ramey, Kurt Moll)
Ending of complete opera (Furtwanger, Salzburg, 1953) at 2:50:00
Requiem – (Peter Schreier - Staatskapelle Dresden)
“Requiem Aeternam” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsyPhvrEzPU
“Dies Irae” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARO7ZjsXSkE
Beethoven (1770-1827) –
Music focused on developing the basic elements of the classical vocabulary - and also focused on projecting the power of the individual - in large upwelling passages displaying emotional force and zeroing in on play with elemental motifs.
Appassionata sonata – Barenboim: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ak_7tTxZrk
Last sonata op. 111 – Trifonov: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcFFxvG8pWg&t=6s
Symphony No. 9, finale (1824) – [text 1785: Ode to Joy, by Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805)]
Anja Harteros, Waltraud Meier, Peter Seiffert, René Pape, National Youth Choir of Great Britain, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim (Royal Albert Hall, July 2012) [7:30-12:00]