The Classical Style: An Opera (of Sorts)

An opera in which principles of music—harmony, structure—and the big three composers (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven), as well as several completely unnecessary characters, would find themselves immersed or enmeshed or mired in an opera buffa. Scenes of Charles Rosen, declaiming some of the most eloquent passages from his masterwork, are interspersed with surreal riffs and thought experiments. Although this music is incredibly great, at times we have to acknowledge the often absurd degree to which we’ve subjected it to analysis. The opera buffa genre is simply a way of enjoying this absurdity, turning music inside out to reflect on itself, using one of the iconic masterpieces of analysis as a vehicle.Jeremy Denk

Above: The world premiere in Ojai – June 13, 2014 (photos by Timothy Norris for the Ojai Music Festival)

Watch the live stream of June 13, 2014 world premiere of The Classical Style: An Opera (of sorts).

 Reviews of The Classical Style:

“Like all births, there is something new in the room that wasn’t there before. For Stucky and Denk, this is a fleeting instant of transcendence, namely a miracle.” – Los Angeles Times

“With a clever hand, Denk has used excerpts from Rosen’s book as the kernels of a fantasy, with the above three composers as leading characters. With equal elegance and humor, Stucky has built a score that is awash with allusions to (and quotations from) the charms of Haydn, the shadowy breezes of Mozart, the storms of Beethoven.” –  San Jose Mercury News

” The opera is its own miracle of invention and intelligence, and it will be repeated! “ – SFist

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