The period between 1750 and 1820 is known as Classical period. The art of the period is characterized by grace, beauty of line, clarity of form, and balance of structure.

The characteristics of Classical music are:
~ tuneful melodies
~ more flexibility of rhythm
~ basically homophonic
~ clarity of structure in musical form
~ greater variety and contrast of mood

The most renowned composers of this period are Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.

 

1. Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)haydnportrait

~ Austrian composer
~ “Father of the Symphony”
~ showed music talent at an early age
~ established the 4-movement design of symphony
~ works include symphonies, oratorios, sonatas, chamber music
~ works are characterized by simplicity, humour, gaiety and clarity of the form

 

Celebrated works:
~ “The Surprise” (Symphony)
~ “The Creation” (Oratorio)
~ “The Emperor Quartet” (Chamber Music)

 

 

 

2. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)wolfgang-amadeus-mozart_1

~ Austrian composer
~ greeted as a “wonder child”
~ he could play harpsichord, organ and violin
~ toured Europe with his father and sister giving piano recitals
~ works include symphonies, concertos, sonatas, operas, chamber music
~ works are characterized by elegance, delicacy and structural balance

 

Celebrated works:
~ “The Marriage of Figaro” (Opera)
~ Piano Sonatas (Instrumental Music)
~ “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” (Chamber Music)

 

 

 

 

3. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)beethoven

~ German composer
~ born in a musical family in Bonn
~ assistant organist and violist in the court orchestra
~ became hard of hearing in 1800’s
~ contributed much to the expansion of the orchestra and enlarged the scope of the forms
~ works include symphonies, sonatas, concertos, string quartets, opera
~ works are characterized by emotional content, depth, dramatic elements

 

Celebrated works:
~ “Moonlight” (Piano Sonata)
~ “Fidelio” (Opera)
~ “Fate” (Symphony)

 

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