Musicology Department

Spring 2011 course

MUS-M502 Mozart Operas

Tuesday and Thursday, 10:10 - 11:25 AM

Prof. Daniel R. Melamed

We will examine some of Mozart's mature operas, focusing on textual and musical analysis and on the context of Mozart's works. We will look mainly at four compositions, pairing each with a piece by a contemporary: Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Salieri's Der Rauchfangkehrer; Le nozze di Figaro and Martin y Soler's Una cosa rara; Don Giovanni and the setting by Gazzaniga; Die Zauberflöte and the multi-author Der Stein der Weisen; and briefly at Cosí fan tutte. We will spend much of our time on close textual and musical analysis, aiming to understand conventions of the time and how Mozart's music works within them. Other topics will include German and Italian poetry and the construction of librettos; aria forms and types; the organization of ensembles; analytical approaches; characters and Mozart's singers; the history, genesis and revision of individual works; topic and "rhythmic gesture"; and film versions of each of the operas we study.
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