Allegro - Musical Definition
Allegro - Allegro - Fast, lively; also - cheerful-ly, joyful-ly, with joy
The latter are the original (Italian and Spanish) meanings of Allegro (cp. `Alegria` by the `Cirque du Soleil`) and were the only meanings of this term in music of the Baroque period - when each piece of music was associated with one, specific mood or emotion (according to the then-powerful `Doctrine of Affections`). This is why, unlike some specific tempo-markings (Moderato, Presto, Vivace, Largo), Allegro in Baroque was not perceived as an indicator of a specific tempo; such meaning (`fast`) was attributed to it only later, and gradually monopolized it.
However, in the following centuries - up to the present - some composers and music editors have still been applying this marking in its original meaning, cp. Examples of use, below. Today`s widespread narrow reading of Allegro (only as `fast`, and as the sole tempo-marking) turns these often-compiled terms into unnecessary paradoxes (and the inevitable confusion has resulted in numerous interpretive misconceptions). [Pavel Ryzlovsky]
Examples of use
Allegro ben moderato C. Franck
Allegro maestoso E.F. Richter, F. Liszt, etc.
Allegro Moderato J.S. Bach, J. Haydn, W.A. Mozart, L. van Beethoven, F. Schubert, etc.
Allegro Moderato e Pesante V. Williams
Allegro moderato ma con fuoco F. Mendelssohn
Allegro moderato maestoso A. Dvorák
Allegro molto moderato F. Schubert, R. Schumann, J. Brahms, E. Grieg, G. Fauré, J. Sibelius
Allegro molto moderato e grave G. Enescu
Allegro Pesante J.K. Paine, R. Sessions, M. Taylor, A. Schnittke, P. Hindemith, É. Fonseca, etc.
Allegro Pesante e Risoluto L. van Beethoven
Moderato (Non Troppo Allegro) V. Williams
Allegro vivace assai W.A. Mozart
Allegro (Vivace assai) R. Schumann
Allegro vivace e con brio L. van Beethoven