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Nappa 1 Chris Nappa Dr.

Helvering Musicianship II December 1, 2013 Analysis Paper of Sonata XIV by Mozart Mozart was born in 1756 Salzburg, Austria. He started showing musical prowess at the tender age of 5 when he began composing and performing in front of important officials. His father, taking note of his sons immense musical talent, decided that he knew what was best for young Wolfgang and had him sent to both Vienna and Paris in order to attain higher standing in life. The trip to Paris in the summer of 1778 ended tragically with the death of his mother and also a lack of good fortune. While Paris he wrote several sonatas and symphony no. 31. All of these were minor successes, however they did not meet his fathers standards and he was subsequently pulled out of Paris. One of these Sonatas was Sonata k310 in a minor. This piece is one of only 2 minor sonatas that Mozart ever wrote. This is more than likely attributed to the intense depression that Mozart felt for his mothers languish. Its forceful first movement illustrates the inescapable darkness that he experienced at the time. Sonatas have a very specific form. It is broken up into three sections, an exposition, development, and a recapitulation. In the exposition a melodic line is introduced and played through in the tonic of the piece. Then a second contrasting theme is introduced in either the relative major/minor or in the

Nappa 2 dominant key. After both themes have been played, they are both then repeated. Next comes the development. The development is an exploration of the first and second themes in various keys and mainly using sequences around circle of fifths progressions. It will also typically end on a V chord at the end, which will lead directly to the recapitulation. In the recapitulation the first theme is brought back almost exactly as it was in the recapitulation. It quickly starts to stray into new content. This new content is heavily related to its corresponding theme from the exposition and will usually have the same types of cadences. Although, these cadences will not be exactly the same as in the recapitulation due to the fact that the first and second themes will be in the same key in the recapitulation. This is because the piece wants to end in its tonic key and since the second them in the exposition modulates, the second theme in the recapitulation cannot. Piano sonata k310 follows the rules of sonata writing to the letter, with only one exception. The ending chord in the development section is a IV chord instead of V. From that IV chord Mozart does a chromatic run up the scale to land on the dominant of the new key, a minor. This is odd because by ending on a V, it directly tonicizes the new key. A IV does not have as strong of a pull, however, Mozart pulls it off to great effect as the transition between the development and the recapitulation is almost seamless. This could be due to the fact that he doesnt jump directly from the IV chord to the I chord, but instead smooths the transition with a fluid half step run upward to the tonic chord in a minor.

Nappa 3 In general the transitions in this piece are flawless. The beginning of each section of the sonata begins with content from the first theme. In the development section the theme is played in the relative major, C major. Even though it quickly shifts into a tumultuous section rapidly shifting keys that give the listener a faint sense of vertigo. Despite the contrast between the two sections however, the presence of the first themes content allows the listener to have a melodic rock to cling onto, thus creating a flawless transition between sections. There are several intriguing parts to this piece. One thing is that, especially in theme 2, Mozart gives the listener giant cadential V64 chords but always shies away from I. For example, in measure 39 he has already by this point given multiple fake V to I cadences where does play the I chord but is very insignificant and softer than the rest. In 39 however he finally uses the IV chord to lead to a cadential V64. Every other time prior he uses a ii6 chord to lead to a regular V. One might expect a giant cadence at this point, but yet again Mozart leaves his listeners hanging and instead of giving them a I gives them a single sixteenth note C in the soprano line. He goes on to toy with the cadential passage for another 10 measures and in this time he has V to I played 5 more times. Finally in the end of the second theme he brings back the rhythm of the first theme and plays a standard I IV V I progression and ends the exposition. One other part that was also interesting was how he altered theme 2 in the recapitulation. Since the second theme must stay in the key as the first theme in the recapitulation, Mozart was able to all kinds of new chords in place of the major chords of the second theme in the exposition. One particularly cool section

Nappa 4 is measure 119. Here he plays an extremely intense chromatic progression in the right hand. The two chords in this section are a N6 and a Viio43. These chords are unusual together but work because Vii is acting as a dominant going to the i6 in the next measure. The effect that the melody in the right hand has is quite astounding. It sounds almost like a wail in an upward motion, and due to the relation of these chords to tonic, sound very depressing and hopeless. This hopelessness is never resolved as the piece ends shortly after this on a minor i chord. The overall mood of this piece is obviously pretty depressing, which would make sense as his mother had just recently died. The piece was not very successful, probably mostly due to the fact that Mozarts composition style was very different from what French connoisseurs of music were used to listening to. They thought that there were far too many notes being played and found it distasteful to listen to. Another reason that this piece may have flopped the way it did could have been due to its aggressive. Nature. People of this era were not accustomed to such an intense piece of music. Its heavy foreboding sound and minor ending chord more than likely left audiences unfulfilled, as if Mozart had asked a question that had no answer. This is clearly shown throughout the entire movement where Mozart only gives hints of candences when the audience is expecting something bigger, its as if he is painting how things in life never work out as they are meant to and instead have a darker twist. Though the main timbre of this piece is dark, he does show in the recapitulation little spurts of lighter tonalities. These show that he eventually will

Nappa 5 overcome his sadness and continue to do what he does. That life goes on even in the face of impending doom.

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WORKS CITED
Chrysotom, Johann. "Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2013.

"Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Biography." Kidzworld. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2013.

Kirev, Milen. "LA Phil." LA Phil. 2013 Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2013.

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