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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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Analysis Blog Music Musicology

Analysis: Schubert D. 899 No. 1 ‘Impromptu in C Minor’

The first set of Impromptus (D.899) was written in the penultimate year of Schubert’s life, the summer of 1827. It was Schubert’s publisher, Haslinger, who titled this set of piano works. Initially, only the first two Impromptus were published in late 1827 (Fisk, 2001, p.115). Schubert wrote the two sets of Impromptus in the same […]

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Analysis Blog

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 […]

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Analysis Blog Music Musicology

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 […]