Crossover genres, syncretic form: understanding Mozart’s concert aria “Ch’io mi scordi di te,” K. 505, as a link between piano concerto and opera

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Michelle Elizabeth Ayres (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Elizabeth Keathley

Abstract: Mozart’s concert aria Ch’io mi scordi di te K. 505 bridges the genres of piano concerto and opera seria aria by combining elements of sonata rondo, sonata concerto, and ritornello. Mozart’s experimentation with Classical form emerging in the late eighteenth-century is characterized by unique transitions and retransitions, surprising modulations to secondary keys, and polarization of tonic and dominant tonalities. K. 505, a two-tempo rondo for soprano with piano obbligato, is the only one of its type in Mozart’s oeuvre and shares many of the same ritornello form and dialogue between the soloist and the orchestra found in Mozart’s piano concerti. Composed as a duet for himself, an accomplished pianist, and his close friend Nancy Storace, a highly regarded opera singer, as part of her farewell concert in Vienna, K. 505 highlights their virtuosic abilities celebrating artistic kinship. After establishing the historic contexts for its composition, this study applies the theories and models developed by James Hepokoski and Warren Darcy (2006), Martha Feldman and Rosa Cafiero (1993), John Irving (2003), and Simon P. Keefe (2001) in order to analyze K. 505 as a work in a composite genre utilizing compositional techniques later associated with more conventional applications of sonata-form. K. 505 is one of several compositions rooted in Mozart’s tonally adventurous Idomeneo (1781/1786). An analytical comparison of K. 505 with related works – the concert aria Non piu tutto ascoltai…non temer amato bene K. 490 for soprano and violin obbligato, a replacement aria in the revised Idomeneo (1786) and the Viennese piano concerto no. 25 in C Major K. 503 (1786) demonstrate how Mozart’s syncretic genres played a part in the creation and expansion of the maturing conventions of sonata-form in the late eighteenth-century.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Concert Aria, Idomeneo, Mozart, Opera Seria, Piano Concerto, Sonata Form
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, $d 1756-1791. $t Non temer, amato bene, $n K. 505
Songs (High voice) with orchestra $x Analysis, appreciation

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