Santa Claus: : an opera in one act
The musical structure of Santa Claus is similar to Alban Berg's statements about his opera Wozzeck, that the audience does not need to be aware of the underlying processes that are in motion.Seen from the highest level of stratification, Santa Claus the opera is essentially a single sonata-allegro movement. The first scene is the exposition, scenes two through four are the development, and the fifth scene the recapitulation. Also at this level can be seen the overall arch shape of the formal structure. This arch reflects not only the melodic material, but tempo, texture, and structural design.At the next level of stratification each of the five scenes is a movement of a fivemovement sonata form. The first scene is a sonata-allegro form. The second scene is a scherzo and trio with a repetition of the scherzo during the interlude. The third scene is a fantasy and canon; the fourth scene is an Adagio in ABA form. And lastly the fifth scene, again not strictly a sonata movement, contains an aria and a march and trio.The third layer of stratification is the continuous development and variation of four melodic/harmonic units. The development of these units forms the structural base of the entire opera at both the local level and the global level, and it is through this process that the both global and local structures can be identified.