Music Theory Speakers' Series: Ed Klorman
October 11, 2013
Fine Arts Center
UMass Amherst Campus
Guest speaker: Edward Klorman, Chair of Music Theory/Analysis at The Juilliard School
Multiple Agency in Mozart’s Chamber Music: A New Angle on Sonata Theory
Many musicians have compared Classical chamber music to an impromptu conversation. Building on this, this talk introduces a new analytical method that views each instrumental part as a distinct persona engaged in social intercourse. "Multiple Agency" conceives of a game among the various characters that is enacted, moment to moment, as the piece is played, with these "personas" sometimes working together toward common musical goals, but in other moments opposing each other, subverting one another's expectations or other musical conventions.
This study examines two movements (Mozart's K.304/i and 493/ii), in which barriers to cooperation threaten the ability to achieve a successful expositional closure, involving strategies of feigned cooperation, witty deception, and ultimate reconciliation.
Through such interpretations, the multiple-agency method synthesizes modern form studies with the Enlightenment spirit of sociability that was so central to 18th century chamber music culture.