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Blog Historical Performance Music Musicology

18th Century Pianos: Design, Style, Music

Although the earliest pianos were invented at the beginning of the eighteenth-century, it was not until the 1780s that the piano began to usurp the harpsichord as the keyboard instrument of choice (Rowland, 1993, p.13). There were two distinct schools of piano building – English and Viennese – and it was only late in the […]

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Blog Education Historical Performance Music Music Analysis Musicology Partimento Review

Review: The Pianist’s Guide to Historic Improvisation by John Mortensen

“If I have one regret about my traditional education, it’s that it wasn’t traditional enough. We have forgotten that in the eighteenth century – those hundred years that form the bedrock of classical music – improvisation was a foundation of music training. Oddly, our discipline has discarded a practice that helped bring it into being. […]

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Partimento Realisation

Durante – Regola 27

Technique in focus:“On the tie of a 2nd and a perfect 4th” Introduction My simple realisation of Durante’s regola 27 “On the tie of a 2nd and a perfect 4th”. This partimento is to train the player to resolve the 4/2 (by moving to 6/3) and the perfect 4th (by falling to the 3rd). I […]

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Analysis Blog Music Musicology

Così Fan Tutte: Context, Philosophy and Musico-Dramatic Relationships

Così fan tutte was composed during somewhat of a compositional drought for Mozart. He had written only 4 major works in 1789, the year prior to the premiere of this opera (Steptoe, 1988, p.71). This, as well as Mozart’s financial difficulties and reputational difficulties for Da Ponte, meant that much was dependent on Così fan […]

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Analysis Blog Music Musicology

Analysis: Haydn Andante and Variations in F minor, Hob XVII:6

Written in 1793 in Vienna “between his two stays in London” (Ax, 2012), the ‘Andante with variations in F minor’ “underwent several revisions” (Sisman, 1993, p. 193). It was an “alternating strophic-variation set in six parts” intended to be a movement of a sonata (Sisman, 1993, p. 193). This was later changed to a reprise […]

Analysis: Don Giovanni no.15, trio ‘Ah! taci, ingiusto core’

We join Donna Elvira in Act II at her balcony, scorning herself for still loving the notorious philanderer, Don Giovanni. Meanwhile, the Don has set his eyes on his next conquest, the maid of Donna Elvira. To be successful in this latest exploit, he must lure Elvira away. Don Giovanni and Leporello exchange outfits and […]