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The Classical Symphony  

Alexandra Amati "This course introduces the classical symphony -- the central musical genre of the 18th and 19th centuries -- , its history, its musical characteristics, and contributions as a place to experiment and innovate. To explore the birth of this beloved, authoritative, innovative genre as associated with the rise of the public symphonic concert, the development of our modern concept of “orchestra,” and the progressive codification of the genre. The goal of the class is to analyze some representative examples of the first decades of the genre, by placing them in the cultural and social environment where they were created (composed, maybe commissioned, rehearsed, performed, and perhaps published)." 24 Jan. - The emergence of the symphonic genre as a central one in the Classical period, in Vienna. The composer as a house servant. Analyzing Haydn’s earliest symphonies, Nos. 6-7-8 “Le matin” “Le midi” “Le soir” 31 Jan. - Mozart’s Salzburg works. The development of our modern concept of orchestra in Mannheim. Analyzing Mozart, “Little G minor symphony” 7 Feb. - Haydn and the paying public in London—the great last 12 works. Public orchestras and playing techniques. Analyzing Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 14 Feb. - Mozart and the sublime. 1788 and the last 3 symphonies. Analyzing Mozart’s symphony No. 41 “Jupiter” 21 Feb. - Beethoven and the symphony. Thematic and motivic manipulation. Cohesion and unification of the symphony. Analyzing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 28 Feb. - The culmination of the first half of the symphonic century—introduction of the voice. Performance practice and audiences in the pre-technology era. Analyzing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 Supplementary readings will be made available. Alexandra Amati hails from Naples, Italy. She holds a BA/MA in Slavic Studies and Philology from the University of Pisa (Italy), and a Ph.D. in Musicology from Harvard University. She is a Professor of Music at the University of San Francisco, and teaches in the community in various venues, including OLLI @ Berkeley. Her interests include the Italian Renaissance, Italian opera, Feminist criticism, Romantic piano music, and German Baroque choral music. ShShe is a professional program annotator and pre-concert lecturer for many Bay Area organizations, including the SF Symphony, the SF Opera, the SF Bach Choir, Philharmonia Baroque, and others where she leads her students to hear new things in well-known works.