Classic Combo Plate
Before there were all the cart options, I remember going to the cafes near campus that offered combo menus. For a reasonable price, the menu usually had two lists of items and you would choose one from column A and one from column B for a very satisfying lunch.
For our musical version of the combo plate, you are asked to select one composer from column A (just the big three) and one composer from column B (a very long Wikipedia page with composers listed by birth year)
Both composers must share the same, or nearly the same, birth year. The latitude for this is no more than + or – 10 years. We want to place both of them solidly within the Classic era and also within roughly the same generation.
Find one movement of a piece of music by each. that is a total of two tracks for this assignment. Include a link to that specific movement of each piece so that readers of your post can quickly click it to listen. You may use Naxos (a bit easier to pinpoint the exact movement in a longer piece) or YouTube but you are responsible for providing the accurate url. Please be careful in YouTube that your music link takes your reader to exactly the movement you write about.
For each of these two tracks provides clearly the full title of each piece and the exact movement title or number if these are from multi-movement works.
Provide background information on both of the movements of music you have selected and some bio information on the lesser known composer from “column B”. Include musical observations based on your own listening as you compare the two tracks. You may find it easier to make a targeted comparison if you select works of a similar genre (for instance, the first movement of a piano sonata by each composer, or the slow movement of a symphony by each, or the minuet movement of a string quartet, or a soprano aria from an opera by each……)
Interesting “fun facts” might include: did the two ever meet? Where did they live, did they study with the same teacher? Were they both performers as well as composers? Did each have a patron?
Music Selection parameters
Column A Classic era composers are limited to the big three we have covered already this term:
Franz Joseph Haydn b. 1732
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart b. 1756
Ludwig van Beethoven b. 1770
Choose just one movement of one piece by one of these “big three” composers.
Column B classic era composers are listed at the page linked below. Scroll to find the birth years you need for a match.
Choose just one movement of one piece by one of the other classic era composers that you find at this page.
After completing your main post, make an interactive reply post to another student’s main post. An interactive reply post shows you’ve listened to the music they wrote about (supply track timings for your musical observations) and find a link to share with them, that you were inspired to search for after reading their post.
Be sure to provide a short bibliography at the end of your main post listing the urls of the sources you consulted. Accessible sources with accurate urls that can easily be consulted by all readers of your post are preferred.
Post to Reply For:
One of the well-known composers from the Classical era was Ludwig van Beethoven (1770) and one composer also born in 1770 was James Hewitt.
Title: Moonlight Sonata- Piano Sonata No.14 Op.27, No.2
Movement 3, Presto Agiato @ 8:05
Click below and it will open a link to Youtube:
Background info: Beethoven was a deaf German composer. In this piece by Beethoven, Throughout the entirety of this movement, there is constant repetition and changes in tonality as the music goes on, from a deeper and slower tone to a softer and quicker pace. Through researching this piece, I learned that this piece was published in 1802 under another name, however today it is referred to as Moonlight Sonata but when published it was under the title “ Sonata quasi una Fantasia.” The name Moonlight Sonata came because a German music critic wrote that it reminded him of the moon setting over Lake Lucerne.
At the beginning of 8:05- this piece directly starts out aggressive and quickness with the piano notes and strikes of lower notes while a higher-pitched note is constantly played in the background.
At 8:55 the tone of the piece shifts from strong, to a much lighter tone with the strokes of the piano as they are quicker and softer and with a lot of precision.
At 9:08 the music becomes more joyous and is followed directly by a repetition except more silent, giving it an echo effect. The notes are continuous and precise. And between 9:16-9:25 the intensity of the piece increases drastically and then decreases. What is interesting to me is during this part in the background you can hear a note on the piano clicked back and forth as other notes are played.
As mentioned before was born in 1770 and was born in Dartmoor, England. He was known as an American conductor, composer, and musical Publisher. Hewitt lived a few years in London and then relocated to America, specifically New York from 1792-1811 where he conducted an orchestra theatre. This then led to his participation in music in Boston where he later resided in 1811. One of his well-known works today is a piece he dedicated to George Washington called The Battle of Trenton.
Composer: James Hewitt
Title: Piano Sonata Op. 5 No.1: I Allegro Spirito
This piece is a lot slower than the one from Beethoven but similar in ways as well. Though this piece has a slower start there is a lot of changes between notes.
At 0:04– The piece begins an upbeat tone and repetition, then moments later it transitions to a softer tone with fast movement on the piano keys. At 1:04, this same beginning is repeated
At 1:04- the delicacy of the notes continue. This part sounds soothing and effortless. The notes are well connected.
At 3:03 the music becomes more mysterious with sharper notes and once again descends to a softer tone. Once again there is repetition notes are held a bit longer here.
Comparison: The Beginning of the third movement in Moonlight Sonata reminds me of the moment in Hewitt’s piece at 3:03, where the tonality amongst both sounds similar in the deeper notes on the piano and of the precision and quickness of going from one note to the next. I would like to point out that though the piece from Beethoven is a lot more fast-paced, Hewitt’s piece is much slower, the similarity that I can pick up is that both (though they have different tempos) have similar style and approach in these pieces. There is gradual change not only in tempo but in the sense that the notes are played faster on the piano(quickness and precision). There are also softer to harsher tones throughout the piece. There is a sense of delicacy in both pieces when the soft piano keys are hit as well a “deep” tone in both.