Listening Log

Classical forms of composition

Symphony No. 1 in C – major

  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Year of composition: 1799 – 1800
  • Instruments: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, strings
  • Performed by:Vienna Philharmonics
  • Listened to: 18.07.2020

The first movement has a slow introduction before the first subject area introduces a exemplary sonata form. Beethoven started the symphony with a sept-chord, a dissonance, which was a rather unusual approach during this time. Thus, it is initially not completely clear which key the piece is in. The tonic, C, is almost not played at all during the introduction. Nevertheless, the effect of the C coming with the first subject area is therefore even stronger. The secondary subject is very interesting to follow in terms of its instrumentation, as its melody seems to be passed on from one instrument group to the next.

Within the following development the two introduced themes are harmonically explored and sometimes even put against one another in a contrapuntal form. The recapitulation seems very similar to the exposition, whereas the coda mainly works with parts from the first subject.

The second movement sounded to me slightly more lilt than I initially expected. Looking at a score, one might assume, that it was written in sonata form again. Nevertheless, the first and second subject don’t create a contrast to one another as they normally do. The first contrast created, is when the music transits to a minor key, otherwise the melodic movement is overall very similar.

For the title Menuett, the third movement is incredibly fast, and can therefore be described as a scherzo as well. I was surprised by the unusual emphasism on several notes as well as often occurring dynamical changes, which were marked in the score. Interestingly, it is difficult to define any motifs or themes.

The fourth movement starts, mirroring the first movement, with a slow introduction. The violins are playing an ascending scale without any accompaniment, until the orchestra joins in with the first subject after a fermata note. The rest of the thematic material also relies on ascending scales.

I really enjoyed the light and simple atmosphere of this piece. The alteration between the different instruments sounded to me almost like a conversation between the instruments.

String Quartet in B – flat major, Op.1 No. 1

  • Composer: Joseph Haydn
  • Year of composition: 1757 – 1762
  • Instruments: String Quartet (two violins, viola, cello)
  • Performed by: Zagreb Quartet
  • Listened to: 18.07.2020

The first subject area consists of an ascending arpeggio, starting on Bb, whereas each note is played twice. To this buildup in forte, a quieter theme can be heard as an answer. The second subject area stands in direct contrast to the first. Overall the exposition is rather short. Several question – answer motifs follow, modulating between the major and minor key, lead by the fist violin. Overall Hayden worked with very simple harmonies, mainly focusing on major or minor triad constructions.

The second movement, menuetto, is more lively than the first one and has a clearly distinctive melody. Here again, Haydn went for a very light character, which doesn’t involve much tension, but it is still very enjoyable to listen to.

In contrast to the previous two, the third movement is incredibly slow. The first violin is playing a melody with a hopeful character whilst all the other strings accompany 16th notes, forming chords. I personally thought that this movement created a nice change to the previous two, nevertheless, after a while it sounded slightly monotonous.

The last movement is thematically very similar to the first one again. After the first introducing theme, and its repetition, a very similar one follows, this time in minor. Also working in the same way to the first movement, Haydn works mainly with question – answer motifs instead of themes which build each other up.

Piano Concerto No. 21

  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Year of composition: 1785
  • Performed by: Orchestra filarmonica della Scala, Maurizio Pollini Riccardo Muti
  • Listened to: 18.07.2020

The marsh – like first subject area is presented in three ways, firstly by using only a small group of instruments, then in a tutti and finally in a contrapuntal way. In between those variations of the main theme, another short and bright sounding theme appears. The following soloexposition works only partially with the first theme and even introduces a third theme. During the development Mozart works with the two themes from the beginning in a very playful, creative way until a pedal point leads the music to the recapitulation. Here, the first theme appears several times again. Overall, the movement sounds very bright an optimistic.

The second movement has a more floating character. The accompaniment plays almost continuously in triads, combined with tender pizzicati coming from the strings. The melody seems to be always leading to a certain point but doesn’t want to end.

Within the final movement the first theme appears again, played initially from the orchestra, and taken over by the piano. Similar to the first movement, this one is really cheerful and light.

String Quartet Op. 18, No. 1 in F – major

  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Year of composition: 1799
  • Instruments: String Quartet (2 violins, viola, cello)
  • Performed by: Suske Quartet
  • Listened to: 18.07.2020

The first movement works mainly with question answer – motifs. Firstly introducing with with a forward moving, slightly pressurising theme in unison, one can hear a first lighter answer. The theme is continued by the first violin, leading to the second theme, which is structured with several syncopes.

The second movement is really wistful sounding. Only towards the end of the movement this sadness is interrupted by a dramatic sounding motif, until ending in pianissimo. The following movement starts with a new 10 – bar theme, working with an ascending chromatic movement. The trio starts with an unison octave – movement.

Within the last movement, I initially expected some thematic material from the first movement to come back, but instead Beethoven focused on descending semiquaver triads. Nevertheless, in terms of its cheery mood, it somehow still mirrors the first movement.

Piano Sonata No. 23

  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Year of composition: 1804 – 1805
  • Instruments: piano
  • Performed by: Daniel Barenboim
  • Listened to: 20.07.2020

The first movement is dominated by extreme contrast in register, dynamic, tempo and agogic. The instroducing theme in the first four bars is constructed with the notes of an f- minor triad. Through the unison – movement of two octaves a dark, scary mood is created. Bars 3 and 4 lift this mood up temporarily, mainly caused by the shift to C – major. Within bar 5 to 8 a repetition of the theme follows, put higher by a semi – tone. The following sequence reminded me of the main theme of Beethoven’s 5th symphony. The side theme is slightly more passionate than the main theme. It has the same punctuated rhythm, but manages to create a contrast to the first theme due to the accompaniment and key. Furthermore, a completed melody can be heard.

During the development the themes from the beginning are intensified. Similar to the first theme, Beethoven worked with the thematic development of the themes by modulating them into different keys, playing with the rhythm, dynamics and changes of register.

The recapitulation starts with the first unison theme in a triad – rhythm. Overall, this part is very similar to the exposition, although, some changes in therms of major and minor keys were made. Generally this movement has a very stormy and entertaining.

The second movement reminded me of a choir piece. It is, completely in contrast to the first movement, incredibly slow, calm and has a warm character. Noticeable is the melody line within the first eight bars, which only used four notes (Ab – B – Db – C), which is emphasized by the accompaniment from the bass line.

The last movement starts with a sept – chord, which prepares for the following stormy movement. A semiquaver movement leads the music forward, slightly reminding me of a horse running. Overall this movement mirrors the first one with its harsh, rapid character and the semiquavers make it sound like it doesn’t want to end. After several climax points, the piece is stopped with three short f – minor chords.

Symphony no. 94

  • Composer: Joseph Haydn
  • Year of composition: 1791
  • Performed by: The Orchestra of the 18th Century
  • Listened to: 22.07.2020

The introducing notes of this symphony reminded me of Austrian folk – music, which was mainly due to the brass instrumentation, this short theme is answered by another short motif, lead by the strings. The first movement has overall a dance – like character caused by the 3/4 – rhythm and Haydn often includes alterations between piano and forte.

Within the first few bars, the new theme of the second movement is introduced, with a very easy structured, memorable melody. This melody consists of 8 bars with always 4 bars creating a question and – answer motif. Initially, the melody is only accompanied by one note coming from the bass. Afterwards, the theme is repeated, this time in a pizzicato – pianissimo. Generally, several variations of this theme can be heard throughout the rest of the movement as well, sometimes with a side theme parting them.

The third movement has a 3/4 – time signature and is thematically very similar to the first movement again. The Ländler – like character is caused by the flute, bassoon and first violins leading the melody.

Even though the third movement already had a fast pace, the fourth movement is even faster. The first theme again has a dance – like character. The main melody is passed on from one instrument group to the next. This movement is again in sonata form. Overall , this symphony was very enjoyable to listen to, although, all the movements seem very similar to one another.

Symphony No. 20

  • Composer: Joseph Haydn
  • Year of composition: 1758 – 1760
  • Performed by: The Academy of Ancient Music
  • Listened to: 22.07.2020

The symphony starts in forte with the whole orchestra playing a symmetrically structured question – answer motif. Due to the fast pace and quaver – movement the movement has a cheery but also stormy sounding character. The second movement is only played by the strings and has three layers: The first violins play the melody created by very short motifs which are put together. The second violins accompany the melody through a forward moving quaver – note pattern. The viola and bass play in pizzicato. Overall, the movement is really calming.

The third movement is in a 3/4 rhythm, playing a festive sounding melody. This part already reminds a lot about a style Haydn only used later during his lifetime. The triads and dynamical contrasts are continued in the trio as well, which is also played only by the strings (like the second movement). The last movement has an A – B – A structure. Each of those parts can be divided in another three parts. Part A is almost continuously in forte and is mainly played by the whole orchestra. The second third of part A modulates to the dominant G – major and works with the material from the beginning. The third part is a reprise of the first. Within the B – part, the key changes to C – minor, the melody is dominated by the strings again.

I personally thought, that the whole symphony was slightly monotonous, although it would be perfect to relax to, as Haydn used simple structures and an overall calm atmosphere.

Symphony No. 104

  • Composer: Joesph Haydn
  • Year of composition: 1795
  • Performed by: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Listened to: 23.07.2020

The symphony starts with a sequence of 4 chords played in forte by almost the whole orchestra. The first three chords are on the tonic Db and the last on the upper dominant. As an answer to this sequence appears the same sequence again, only this time ending on the dominant below. This distinctive theme appears several more times within the movement. The dotted rhythm of the theme also can be heard throughout the rest of the movement. The development starts in piano with the first motif, which starts in b – minor. The recapitulation mirrors the exposition.

The theme of the second movement is introduced by the strings in piano. After a short while the bassoon is added to a repetition of the theme. Overall, Haydn often modulates between different keys, introducing several versions of the theme. He sometimes used chormatism in order to shift to another key. The whole movement is kept rather calm.

In comparison to the other movements, the third one is kept rather short. Due to its fast pace it reminded of a scherzo. The dance like, cheery main theme is lead by the strings and accompanied by the rest of the orchestra. The trio on the other hand is mainly played by the woodwinds and accompanied by pizzicato strings.The last movement starts with a pedal point lying on d, to which the rest of the orchestra joins in firstly in piano, but becomes much louder rather suddenly.

I noticed, that Haydn often send the leading motifs through several instrumental groups before letting the whole orchestra play a side theme again, this, and the forward moving, overall rather dramatic character kept the piece really entertaining.

Symphony No. 1

  • Composer: Joseph Haydn
  • Year of composition: 1757
  • Performed by: The Academy of Ancient Music
  • Listened to: 23.07.2020

In comparison to the other symphonies, this one is with around 14 minutes quite short, it furthermore only has three movements. The first movement has a light character, which is dominated by contrast and involves several motifs attached to one another. The second movement is also kept simple, one of the most outstanding features is the triad movement introduced right at the beginning. This theme appears almost constantly played by different instruments. The last and very short movement, has a faster pace again, although thematically it doesn’t seem to reflect the first movement as it was the case in the previous symphonies. The character sounds more heroic.

As this symphony is still very adapted to the style from the Baroque, it sounded slightly different than the previous symphonies I’ve listened to. Overall, cadences where much clearer, and there weren’t too many dynamical changes. Nevertheless, it created a nice change and I genuinely enjoyed listening to it.

Symphony No. 101

  • Composer: Joseph Haydn
  • Year of composition: 1794
  • Performed by: The Orchestra of the 18th Century
  • Listened to: 23.07.2020

The first slow movement includes ascending and descending chromatic scales, always played alongside a pedal point. The whole movement is mainly kept in piano.Rather suddenly a new theme, more cheery sounding and with a much faster pace can be heard, introducing the first theme. The second subject mainly uses up and down moving sequences, similar to the beginning, but in a more tense way. During the development some parts of the second subject are used. The beginning of the recapitulation reminds of the exposition, nevertheless, it modulates to a minor key.

The second movement reminded me of a slow dance. The main theme is played by the violin in a slow forward – moving melody. In between three sequences of this theme two different side themes appear, the first one being in a minor key. This structure of A – B – A – C – A, even creates a rondo form.

The third movement is rater cheery and heroic sounding again. As the third movements are normally kept rather short, this one is with around 9 minutes unusually long. The main theme is clearly defined as it is introduced by several instrumental groups.

I found it difficult to put the fourth movement into a defined form. One theme, introduced at the beginning clearly stands out, as it appears several times in different ways. Some other contrasting themes, sometimes only played by one instruments are put against this theme. This movement is filled with dynamical and thematic contrasts, it ends with ascending notes accompanied by a pedal point in forte and three loud chords at the end let the audience know, that the piece is now definitely over.

I personally didn’t enjoy this symphony as much as the previous one, even though it had a warm sound and a lively mood, I thought it sounded rather monotonous after a while.

First Symphony

  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Year of composition: 1764 – 1765
  • Instruments: 2 oboes, 2 horns, stings, continuo
  • Performed by: San Francisco Academy Orchestra
  • Listened to: 28.07.2020

The first movement opens with a major triad starting on Eb, which is played unison by the whole orchestra. This harsh, forte theme is put in contrast with a following calmer theme lead by the strings. The second movement consists of two parts, which are each repeated once. The main motif ins an ascending and descending movement played by the basses. Layered above, is a semiquaver triad – movement from the violins and half notes from the oboes and horns. The last movement is more cheery sounding again.

It is remarkable to see, that Mozart wrote this symphony with only eight years, already following most of the dynamical rules of the classical era, the style sounds very similar to Haydn’s. I especially enjoyed the different sound colours of the second movement, as Mozart modulated between different keys, but managed to keep and overall minimalistic structure.

Symphony in b – minor

  • Composer: Franz Schubert
  • Year of composition: 1822
  • Instruments: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani, strings
  • Performed by: hr – Sinfonieorchester
  • Listened to: 30.07.2020

The first movement starts with a unison – motif played by the celli and basses in pianissimo. The melody moves into a forte and ends with an open phrase which is answered by a dark sounding semiquaver movement from the violins. The key shifts from b – minor to g major. This new major theme is interrupted halfway though. Some of the themes from the beginning can be heard again. The calmer second movement stands in contrast to the dramatic sounding first one. Three different themes are presented, which are repeated continuously.

Unfortunately, Schubert wasn’t able to finish this symphony and therefore only has these two movements. Nevertheless, it is still very refreshing to listen to.


  • Composer: Franz Schubert
  • Year of composition: 1815
  • Instruments: piano, singer (baritone)
  • Performed by: Dietrich Fischer – Dieskau
  • Listened to: 30.07.2020

This piece is written for piano and a male voice. Right from the beginning, one can hear a forward moving rapid movement, played by the lower piano notes. Combined with the story, these rapid movements represent a running horse, which only slows down right at the end of the piece, where the equestrian comes to a halt. Looking at the structure of the piece, there are no patterns repeating in the exact same way, nevertheless, the tense and dark mood is being kept throughout. Due to the missing repeating patterns, one can notice, that Schubert wrote this piece explicitly according to the poem.

The story is based on a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. A father is trying to carry his dying son to the next town to find a doctor. During the journey the Erlkönig (erlking, king of death) tries to persuade the son to come to his kingdom. He initially talks to him in a very nice and calm way, but as the son gets scared of him and denies his offer the erlking becomes more forceful and demanding. The child dies just before the father reaches the town.

I already had the opportunity to perform this piece myself a few years ago, playing the piano part. As mentioned above, the piano continuously imitates the footsteps of the horse. Furthermore, I noticed already back then, that the singer has a very difficult role, as he has to switch between the different roles of the father, son and the Erlkönig. I was introduced to this piece quite early and I always was really moved by it.

Die Forelle

  • Composer: Franz Schubert
  • Year of composition: 1816 – 1817
  • Instruments: piano, voice
  • Performed by: Dietrich Fischer – Dieskau, Gerald Moore
  • Listened to: 30.07.2020

The text of Die Forelle (=The trout), is based on a poem written by Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart. The trout here stands for a man’s destiny. The movement of the piano accompaniment reminds of small waves on water and the sung melody is cheery almost throughout the whole piece.

I already had the opportunity to perform this piece and always have enjoyed the cheery tune and atmosphere.

Symphony no. 1 in D – major

  • Composer: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
  • Year of composition: 1775 – 1776
  • Performed by: Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana
  • Listened to: 30.07.2020

This relatively short symphony has three movements. The first movement is started by the strings starting with a unison theme, from which I had the impression it sounded more like it came from the Baroque era. Several themes are presented throughout the symphony, sometimes with a short break in between the different parts. It overall seemed as if the composer was combining several ideas within one piece and even though I really enjoyed listening to it. After a while I had the impression, that it became slightly difficult to follow. Nevertheless, for the first main theme, I really enjoyed how he played with the dynamics to create the illusion of the instruments breathing.

Oboe concerto in F – major

  • Composer: Johann Christian Bach
  • Year of composition: 1739
  • Performed by: The Academy of Ancient Music
  • Listened to: 30.07.2020

This piece really reminded me of Mozart’s style, although as the cembalo could always be heard quite clearly, it also created a Baroque – like sounding style. Similar to the previous one, most of the instruments also seemed to breathe. I generally really enjoyed the dark but energetic atmosphere of the first and third movement.

The second movement is much longer than the outer one and is furthermore played in a much slower pace. To create contrast I initially expected the second movement to be in major, but the composer stayed in minor and created with the slow piece a more heroic and dramatic sounding melody.

Rule, Britannia!

  • Composer: Thomas Augustine Arne
  • Year of composition: 1740
  • Performed by: London Festival Orchestra And Chorus
  • Listened to: 30.07.2020

This song is overall really heroic sounding. I wouldn’t have expected for it to have such a long intro before a choir can be heard. The first half of the instrumental part already creates hints for the coming main theme, which is presented shortly after in its original version, but still only played by instruments. When the choir enters, it sing two stanzas before coming to the main theme again, singing Rule Britannia.

Initially it took me a while to recognise the melody, but when it was played clearly for the first time, I noticed that it appears in a wide range of modern media. This created a rather refreshing contrast to the previous part.

Concerto No. 5 in G – minor

  • Composer: Thomas Augustine Arne
  • Year of composition: unknown
  • Performed by: The English Concert, Trevor Pinnock
  • Listened to: 31.07.2020

The first movement is really slow paced and I was surprised about some of the chord movement – as they wouldn’t have been compatible with the classical rules of composition and where all coming rather unexpected. Apart from some very rapid violin movement, most of the first movement consists of slowly played chords which are played simultaneously by all the instruments.

The following faster movement sometimes shifts between major and minor and has several solo parts, which are only played by the organ. I had the impression that some of them are even structured like a fugue, as one theme could be heard several times in varied ways. The third movement is very vivid and has a strong temper.

Fandango – Goya

  • Composer: Luigi Boccherini
  • Year of composition: unkown
  • Instruments: 2 violins, viola, cello
  • Listened to: 31.07.2020

This piece has an incredibly lively character, mainly working with question – answer motifs. Whereas in the first half of the piece, the first violins ask and the celli answer. Towards the centre of the piece, it is the other ways round. One doesn’t initially notice the sound of the guitar, although it plays a really important role to create a more southern sounding atmosphere. The castanets are quite dominant throughout the whole piece.

One can notice, that Boccherini’s style differs from the central European classical music of the same area. This piece sounded much more lively and had a strong – dance character. I was surprised by the use of castanets and guitar, which made it, alongside the forward moving rhythm, sound typically Italian.

Concerto for oboe in c – minor

  • Composer: Domenico Camirosa
  • Year of composition: unkown
  • Instruments: Oboe, 2 horns Strings
  • Performed by: Grand Orchestre de Radio-Télé-Luxembourg
  • Listened to: 31.07.2020

Most of the melody of the first movement consists of a slow slur played by the oboe, accompanied with warm harmonies, played by the strings. Apart from a few exceptions the whole first movement is almost entirely constructed with just this one theme. The second movement is very lively and cheerful. The third movement was especially entertaining to listen to. Apart from a few sequences in between, the oboe played clear, longing melody accompanied by a quaver – movement played by the higher strings.

As I personally really enjoy the colorful and slightly unusual sound of the oboe, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the first and third movement of this piece.

Eine kleine Nachtmusik

  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Year of composition: 1787
  • Performed by: Slovak Chamber Orchestra
  • Listened to: 31.07.2020

This piece is probably one of the most well known compositions from Mozart, which may be due to the memorable melody. It has overall a very cheery and light character. The first movement is in sonata form and has overall a very simple structure. The second subject area is more graceful and is written in the dominant D – major. During the development Mozart modulates to d – minor as well as c – major before moving back to the tonic G.

The second movement is much slower and stands in contrast to the first one. There is one theme repeating itself several times with other parts in between, thus, the piece is in a A – B – A – C – A rondo form. Interestingly I played a piano version of this movement a few years ago and wasn’t aware until today, that it was part of Die kleine Nachmusik. The following movement is a minuet and a trio with two themes. It is played in the tonic G – major and has a very fast pace.

The last movement has a sonata form again and the lively character of the first movement seems to be coming back. The exposition presents both main themes, and interestingly the development ends on G – minor instead of major. The two themes come back during the recapitulation and the movement ends in a coda, in which the first theme is repeated once again.

Die Hochzeit des Figaro

  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Year of composition: around 1780
  • Performed by: Vienna Philharmonics
  • Listened to: 01.08.2020

The plot of the opera takes place around the same year of its composition, 1780, near Sevilla. The story is theoretically a continuation of Beumarchais’ theater Le Barbier de Seville, which was written in 1775. The valet Figaro and the abigail Susanna are preparing their wedding. Unfortunately the count of the castle is prepared to do anything to seduce Susanna. With the help of his own wife, who really suffers under her husband’s perfidy they try to set up a plan to stop the count. On the other side, the count is supported by Marcelina, Bartolo and Basilio, who are all trying to stop the wedding. After a row of rather incredible events, some of them really moving and melancholic most of the characters show their true face. 1

Overall, the music from the opera has a light and cheery character. Behind the humorous sounding parts one can still “hear” Figaro’s anger as well as the arrogance of the count.I especially enjoyed how Mozart connected people with different groups of instruments. Often the voices and instruments were combined with question – answer motifs, but occasionally the instruments were also just used to support the voices. I furthermore thought, that the use of the harpsichord alongside the orchestra created an unusual but welcoming sound.

1 Die Hochzeit des Figaro – Le Nozze di Figaro. [online] Opera Online – Das Universum Oper. Available at: [Accessed: 01.08.2020]

Große Messe in C – moll

  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Year of composition: 1782
  • Performed by: Monteverdi Choir, Eric Ericson Chamber Choir, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Listened to: 01.08.2020

The most interesting thing about this mass was the huge range of its stylistic variety.

The kyrie starts with 5 bars of an orchestral intro, which leads with a descending chromatic movement to the first entry of the choir. The mood is overall really dark and gloomy, which stands in a strong contrast to the following, cheery and strong Gloria.  I was surprised by the use of much more instruments during the Qui tollis. Unfortunately Mozart didn’t manage to finish the mass, it is nevertheless very entertaining.

I personally already had the opportunity to sing a few masses but have only listened to this one once before. I overall really enjoyed listening to it and was especially entertained by the already mentioned high variety of styles which seemed to shift with every new movement.

Piano concerto in d – minor

  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Year of composition:
  • Instruments: piano (solo), flute, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, strings
  • Performed by: hr – Sinfonieorchester
  • Listened to: 01.08.2020

The exposition starts with ascending basses moving towards syncopated strings. Initially it is difficult to spot a characteristic melody, as it would have been usual during this time. On the other hand, through the syncopation a rather unsettled sounding theme is produced. Only in bar 16 a distinctive melody is heard for the first time. Especially interesting is the always repeating ascending theme from the celli and basses, which gives the whole movement a forward moving rhythm.

The second movement is much calmer and stands in the major relative Bb – major. The movement is written in a rondo – structured. The main theme is presented by the solo – piano and has a simple melody.

The last movement seems to be a connection between a rondo – form and a sonata form. The piano introduces a forward moving d – minor theme, which is taken over by the orchestra shortly after. A change is created when the woodwind play a rapid, song – like major theme, but as the main theme comes back the music becomes, now with the horns added, even more dramatic.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the dramatic and longing atmosphere of this piece. Similar to the previous piece, this one was also high in variety and lovely to listen to.

Piano Sonata Nr. 11

  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Year of composition: 1783 – 1784
  • Instruments: piano
  • Performed by: Jeno Jando
  • Listened to: 01.08.2020

This sonata is probably one of the most well known pieces from Mozart, especially popular is the third movement which is also known as the Türkischer Marsch.

Interestingly, the first movement doesn’t start in sonata form but with variations. The theme, which is played in six different versions is rather simple and reminds of a Baroque sounding theme. Interestingly Mozart doesn’t only created different melodies for the variations, he also changes the paces and modulates to other (minor) keys.

The second movement is relatively short and simple with a, in my personal opinion,rather monotonous melody. Nevertheless, the transitions between major and minor were already working directly towards the third movement, which carries most of the thematic material.

The third movement is in rondo form. The whole piece unfolds itself not only in the left hand, by playing arpeggios or other accompanying methods.  I have the impression, that especially the frequent changes between major and minor keep it constantly interesting. The well known start of this movement (part a) is a broken, ascending and figurated a  – minor triad.

Symphony No. 45 in f- sharp minor (First movement)

  • Composer: Franz Joseph Haydn
  • Year of composition:
  • Instruments: 2 oboes, 2 horns, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass, bassoon, continuo
  • Performed by: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment / Orchestra of St. Luke
  • Listened to: 02.08.2020

The movement starts with a dark, strong main theme. The theme is constructed of a descending triad which moves upwards again shortly after. The first violin is leading, whilst the second violin accompanies in syncopes. The theme is repeated after a general rest, but moves after the 8th bar into a forte and thus creates the transition to the second subject area. The following motifs mostly seem to stand in connection with the first, descending theme.

The deeloemt can be divided in two parts. The first part is a shorted version of the first theme, played with different harmonies. After another general rest, the second part starts, which is a new, melodic theme.

After a further general rest, the recapitulation starts, presenting the main theme once again. Overall the recapitulation is very similar to the exposition but slightly more expanded.

Concerto in G for flute

  • Composer:Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Year of composition:
  • Instruments:
  • Performed by:
  • Listened to: 02.08.2020

This piece had an overall very cheery tune. Most of the short phrases, which consisted of four 4 bars created different ideas. Interestingly, the solo flute can only be heard for the first time in bar 31, after a long intro.

The distinguishable theme, which appears several times in the second violin, is a rapidly played scale. Overall the rhythm is steady and there was rarely any syncopation used.

Serenade for 13 Winds in B – flat major, K. 361 “Grand Partita”

  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Year of composition: 1783 – 1784
  • Instruments: 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassett horns, 4 horns, 2 bassoons, bass.
  • Performed by: Members of the Orchestra of St. Luke’S
  • Listened to: 07.08.2020

This piece consists of 7 movements. The piece opens with a clearly defined theme, which appears several times throughout the first movement. Interestingly, movements 2 and 4, which are both minuets each include 2 trios instead of just one. For the second movement, the two trio sections are very contrasting to one another. The third movement was especially nice to listen to, it had a slow and calm forward moving rhythm provided by the lower woodwinds, with the clarinets playing a melodic first voice. The fifth movement starts with a simple but powerful theme. The held pedal point, played by the horns, creates some tension alongside the other melodic lines, which are often played in octaves, counter movements and mainly have the same rhythmic patterns. The sixth movement is a set of several variations of a slow cheery tune. In comparison to the other movements, the last one is the shortest one and also the one with the fastest pace.

I personally liked the light approach to this piece, creating a calm and relaxing character. On the other hand I had the impression, that only small contrasts were used, for example short shifts into a relative minor/major key, whilst this created a certain amount of change, the overall mood of the piece stayed the same. I noticed, that with every movement, Mozart tried to create the sounds with different combinations of the instruments, which created a slightly different effect for every movement.

Partita in E – flat major

  • Composer: Kramár Krommer
  • Year of composition: around 1790
  • Instruments: 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 French horns, 2 bassoons, double bassoon
  • Performed by: Czech Philharmonic Wind Ensemble
  • Listened to: 07.0.2020

This piece had a very elated and lively start, mainly created by the fast pace. I noticed, that the composer often used short sequences, which are echoed, shortly after, often lower and slightly alternated. The melodies over the alternating accompaniment can always be heard clearly, and through the shifts between the tonic and dominant, an interesting atmosphere is created. The second movement is rather calm and also provides a clearly defined melodic line. Unlike the previous piece, though, Krommer used the instruments in a similar way, letting the lower ones accompany the higher pitched melody. Thus, I personally had the impression, that the contrast wasn’t quite as severe as it could have been, if he had used another form of orchestration. The last to movements both have a steady, forward moving melody. I especially enjoyed the light but somehow dramatic harmonies of the third movement, which often create pedal points with overlying harmonies.

Harmoniemusik zu Le Nozze Di Figaro

  • Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Year of composition: Unknown
  • Performed by: Zefiro Ensemble
  • Listened to: 07.08.2020

Even though this arrangement was written mainly for wind instruments, the impact of the music was overall the same, which I personally was really surprised about. The strong harmonies where emphasized by the horns playing long, low notes.