The Classical Period in Music History: 1750 to approx. 1825
– Shorter than other musical eras, yet most influential
– Age of Enlightenment
– Industrial Revolution
– French and American Revolutions
– Ancient Greece and Rome as models for art and architecture
Joseph Haydn, 1732-1809, Austrian
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756-1791, Austrian
Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827, German
Important instrumental groupings:
– String quartet
– Piano quintet, quartet, trio
– Wind quintet
Pieces of music are getting longer!
Vivaldi Violin Concerto “Spring:” ~10 min.
Haydn Trumpet Concerto: ~15 min.
Beethoven Piano Concerto no. 5: ~37 min.
Called “Father of the Symphony” and “Father of the String Quartet”
Began as a freelancer, nearly starved
1761: hired by Esterházy family
– Duties included: composition, running the orchestra, playing chamber music for and with his patrons, organizing operatic productions
1779: Contract renegotiated:
– Compositions previously property of the Esterházy family
– Now was permitted to write for others and sell works to publishers.
1790: Patron died; his son dismissed court musicians, but Haydn received a pension
Travelled to London and had success with his symphonies there
1795: Returned to Vienna, worked part-time for Esterházy family and part-time as freelancer
Haydn String Quartet No.5 in D major, Op.64 ‘Lark’ 1790
Haydn: Symphony No. 94 in G major (“Surprise”) 1791