Essay on Classical Music In Practice

Submitted By DanK1267
Words: 1395
Pages: 6

Corelli’s Trio Sonata in D (last movement)

This piece was published in 1689 and is the last movement of a four movement sonata and one of a set of twelve sonatas. Correlli was an Italian violinist and composer of the late Baroque period of the 17th century. He was taught composition by a well known singer in the Pope’s chapel in Italy and he was employed by the cardinal to deliver Sunday music concerts which would imply that the church had great influence on his music. During this period he was considered a favoured composer of many influential people including the Queen of Sweden and Pope Alexander viii. This piece was considered as a church sonata and was played in church or in religious concerts in chambers. Some criticized Corelli for using limited portions of a violin capability as the majority of his work was in D. This piece doesn’t’ stretch the violins capabilities but keeps within its safe boundaries. Even so, his work is considered significantly influential within the Baroque period.

As a trio sonata it consists of 3 instruments, 2 are solo melodic instruments, the violins and the third the ‘basso continuo’, capable of harmonic structure such as the use of chords, is the violone. Some pieces have duplicate instrument options for the ‘basso continuo’ and in this case the organ can also be used. The use of the organ implies the association with the church; the composer after all did play for the Pope and aristocracy. The two violins in this instance seem to have equal parts although violin 1 leads and violin two imitates most of the time, violin 2 ends the piece. The pitch range for violin 1 is two octaves and a semi tone and for violin 2 its compound minor 7th. The pitch range for the violone is two octaves and sounds similar to today’s cello.

The ‘basso continuo’ provided the harmony as indicated by the figure base provided by the violone and organ in relation to the violins. The basso being the violone, and the continuo the organ. The organs input is sparse only being in bar 7 and 22. The figure base can be seen under the ‘basso continuo’ in the score. It shows the inversion of the chords that the composer wants to use, the inversion relationship of the tonic in the chord to the other tones of the chord. This can be seen in the diagram below in bars 7 and 24:

The texture is monophonic, Delaney (2006) and the melodies move more or less at the same time without accompaniment or harmony; however, in bar 20 the first violin plays the tune which is imitated a bar late by violin 2 and is also mimicked 2 bars later by the violone. This fugal form is shown through mimicking the same rhythm but at different pitches, the main subject being violin 1 as it starts the tune off. The piece is kept interesting through the use of a pedal notes in bars 15 -17. Corelli avoids the lower registers or anything above third position. He keeps within the safe boundaries of the violin, hence D major. The movement is binary form, in two parts which both repeat and section A is in D major however there are modulations, for example bar 27-28 which is B minor. In relation to the harmony there are frequent perfect cadences as in bars 18-19.

The rhythm is in the style of a gigue with its lively music style as indicated by the time signature 6/8 which is ‘compound duple’. Within 6/8 time signatures there are two pulses (duple) and each dotted crochet within a bar can be divided into 3 inner beats, (compound). However in bars 27 and 31 there is the impression of ¾ time signature, which is called a hemiola. The melody is basic motif, made up of quavers and semi quavers, thirds and step movement. The melody has been elaborated through the use of sequencing as in bars 8-10 which extend the notes B and A which are the same melody but different pitch.

Beethoven’s Septet (first movement)
In comparison Beethoven’s piece was composed over a hundred years later in 1799 when Beethoven was