WVU Music 271 Podcast


Feb. 21, 2007

Music 271: 2/21/07
II: German Opera: (Bonds p. 469)
A: From Mozart to Weber
• Early German operas had Italian texts (Mozart and Haydn)
• Mozart composed 2 Germanic operas (Abduction from the Seraglio (1782) & The Magic flute (1791))
• Beethoven’s Fidelio (1814)
B: Karl Maria von Weber: Biographical Sketch
• Born in 1786 and died in 1826
• Composed 3 Operas (Euryanthe (1823) & Oberon (1826))
• Known for instrumental music as well
• Was primarily a conductor in Prague and Dresden
C: Der Freischütz: The First German Romantic Opera
• Completed in 1820, 1st performed in 1821
1. Romantic Elements (GB p. 58)
• Conflict between good and evil - Good prevails
• Role of Nature
• Supernatural elements
• Redemption of the hero by the heroine’s prayers and self-sacrifice
2. Sources of Unity
• How to transform the opera into something more
• For the first time, his overture was based around the themes of the 2 main characters
• Use of orchestration to portray symbols (Horns = hunting)
• CM = Good Cm = Evil
• Post WWII Hollywood scores used the German Romantic opera sound
III: Richard Wagner - Part I: (Bonds p. 482-82)
• Born 1813
• Wagner’s operatic influence was greatest
• He was a primarily an opera composers
• Wrote a treatise concerning opera and it flaws, as well as his list of reforms
• Post-Romantic period 1850-WWI (1914)
• “Instrumental music cannot paint pictures”
• Believed that he was superior to all of humanity
• Also believed that operas before him never attained a sense of unity
“The elements of Wagnerian Music Drama” (Bonds p. 469-481)
• The idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk
• Drama as “Deeds of Music Made Visible”
• The Leitmotiv
• The relationship of voice and orchestra
• The Structure of the Dramatic Text
• Endless Melody

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