The Concerto: Dialogue and Discord
This is not the current course catalog
The concerto is the musical genre most akin to the novel, and like the novel, explores the individual’s relationship to society. A musical protagonist–a solo instrumentalist or a group of individual players–engages the larger orchestral ensemble, and a story unfolds in a dramatic narrative told in sound. This course will trace the history of the concerto from its beginning in the Baroque period to today. We will explore the spirited exchanges of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti, the urbane conversations of Mozart’s piano concerti, the impassioned struggles of the Brahms violin concerto, the ferocious arguments of the Shostakovitch cello concerto, the polyglot discussions of John Adam’s clarinet concerto, and many more. Along the way we will also investigate transformations in patronage and performance contexts, the cult of the virtuoso, and aspects of musical form and style. Students will experience the excitement of hearing concerti performed on campus by the Berkshire Symphony and student winners of the Department of Music’s Concerto Competition.
The Class: Type: lecture/discussion
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation based on several short papers, a midterm and a final, and on class participation
Enrollment Preference: students with a demonstrated interest in music
Department Notes: MUS Group A Electives--class of 2016
Distributions: Division I;