Analysis Of The Concerto Written For Benny Goodman By Aaron Copland

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The concerto written for Benny Goodman by Aaron Copland has been a piece a popular piece of music. This concerto is a large work for clarinet and the orchestra, or piano. It is very free and expressive. Many jazz elements can be found throughout the piece. Although Aaron Copland’s work, titled Concerto, is given the form concerto by its name, he followed in the path of many twentieth century composers and used the name of a classical form but changed many basic elements of it. The classical example of a concerto form is a sonata with an orchestral accompaniment for an instrumental soloist. The classical concerto form generally consists of three movements, with the first being fast, second slow, and the third fast. The exposition of the concerto would be, “a double exposition played first by the orchestra alone and then with the soloist. The orchestral exposition presents all of the thematic material,” This would continue throughout the piece. Cadenzas were also used to give the soloist an opportunity to show off. During this time period, “it was customary to improvise the cadenzas at the performance.” The classical example of a concerto has set rules that the composer follows when writing. Aaron Copland did not follow these rules exactly. He modified the form to incorporate the style that he wanted. This caused many of the old rules of the concerto form to be broken. This can be easily found throughout the piece. This essay will show how the Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto differs from the classical example of the form. Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto is, “cast in a two-movement form, played without pause, and connected by a cadenza for the solo instrument.” At the beginning of the piece, the first movement is, “an ... ... middle of paper ... ...with a C pedal tone. The soloist plays grace notes to an eight note to beats one, three, and five for two measures. Measure five-hundred and four gives the soloist three held notes without accompaniment, and then plays a chromatic scale from F flat below the treble clef to G4 with a glissando to C6, which is part of the final C major chord of the piece. Aaron Copland’s clarinet concerto is a popular piece for many people today. The work as an excellent example for showing how composers will change the rules of a particular form to make it have the quality they want to have. Copland does this by removing one of the movements, starting the piece with a slow movement, and using a free rondo in the second movement and ending the piece with the B section of the rondo. This is how Aaron Copland, used the name of a popular form, but chose not to use the classical example.
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