Texture And Balance In The Keyboard And Violin Sonatas Of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
This dissertation aims to demonstrate that the textures used by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in his keyboard and violin sonatas are closely connected to the relationship of the instruments and their performers. The study and contextualization of these textures reveals not only an astonishing effort to balance stylistic musical traits on Mozart's part, but also a strong desire to share evenly the music given to each instrument. I will begin by studying the acoustical properties of the piano and the violin of Mozart's time. They in turn embody the balance that is characteristic of these works as both instruments are noted for their versatility and for their capacity to complement each other. Secondly, I will examine the history of the accompanied keyboard sonata, one of the most important genres of the second half of the eighteenth century; Mozart wrote several, probably tempted by the social and commercial relevance of the genre. In turn, Mozart transformed this keyboard-centric genre through the diversification of its musical content, making the repartition of the latter more even between the two instruments. Finally, I will define and enumerate the different textures of the keyboard and violin sonatas of Mozart and link them to various musical genres, styles, and compositional processes. In turn, this variety and its consequent phraseology encourage performers to interact with a heightened awareness, constantly redefining their roles - as accompanist, soloist, collaborators - and edging closer towards the rhetoric of speech (and conversation) that was central to the musical aesthetics of the time. Ultimately, the study of the textures in the keyboard and violin sonatas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as linked to the history of the instruments and the genre, will inspire performers to build a more intricate relationship and to listen to the ways in which they and their instruments communicate to each other and to the broader public.
Mozart; Sonata; Violin
Zaslaw, Neal Alexander; Yearsley, David Gaynor
Doctor of Musical Arts
dissertation or thesis