“P.D.Q. Bach “The Abduction of Figaro” Essay.
This is a grand opera that begins off initially with laughter. This appears to be a theme that reoccurs throughout the piece suggesting that it is a comic opera. The mood is serious yet comical throughout. It was really impressive how the composer orchestrated the story into the opera with elements of comedy in the piece. I can see how the opera plays into the minds of those of the middle class during that time as well. The composer is making light of real life situations that would get people down such as death, sickness, and pain.
That in itself is amazing.
Everything about the composition of this opera is attention getting. There is never a dull moment. The music and instruments follow the dance patterns of the characters as well. From the time Figaro is abducted, there is a clear parody of music from the Baroque and the Classical period. One should particularly enjoy the flutes in this piece. They are like a breath of fresh air.
I imagine them as birds chirping early in the morning giving the overall reflection of the piece a cheery effect while they are played. The flutes are played as a solo while the orchestra accompanies this to enforce certain dynamics throughout the piece. For example, in Scene 1, the dynamics of the opera seem to be geared more towards the Baroque Musical era. The melodies and tone are stable which give the piece structure as the performers insert their comical influences.
There is a numerous amount of dance music throughout the piece as well in which the characters movements accompany the music that is being played. The characters seemingly belletrists dance eloquently while the scenes unfold. The ship scene is a great example of this type of music being performed. This dance music sets the tone for the scene. The use of dance music in this piece is another element that will impress the attendee.
Besides some of the elements mentioned above, the overall plot of the opera keeps the audience tuned in despite its length. The composer’s strong knowledge of music is shown in this piece throughout with the classical examples he uses. The rhythmic patterns of this piece flow seamlessly throughout its duration; which in turn makes it easy for the audience to follow and enjoy. The presentation of this piece is amazing in that it is easy to follow, comical, and tells a story all in one.
In conclusion, the piece is a masterpiece and extremely enjoyable to say the least. I feel that I lucked up and picked one of the best pieces to review. It gives me an all new respect for composers of operas because there are so many different elements of music that have to be considered, ordered, and executed while keeping the attention of the audience. P.D.G. Bach completes all of these tasks to the tee in “The Abduction of Figaro”.
His vast knowledge of music, variation, musical phrases, polyphony, and harmony are shown throughout the duration of this comic opera. This type of skills requires the composers as well as the musicians and singers to be adept at sight and reading with the ability to coordinate with others as the opera is performed. I definitely have a new type of appreciate for composers and creators of operas/symphonies/etc big and small. I can see why these operas were so popular in the 1600s all the way up to 1700s. These had to have been light the rock star shows of that day. This piece lets the listeners recognize it and they are emotionally drawn to it as well. From our studies in this class, I know that those to factors are what Baroque & Classical composers relied on.