The cello offers support in longer notes. These are transformed into a quiet, skittering accompaniment that hints at the major key even while the viola uses poignant chromatic notes. After two measures, the piano turns back to the soaring cadence line, now in major, with the right hand imitating the left. The two violins add pulsating triplets beginning off the beat. The violins then take the soaring cadence line, the second following the first, but it is changed to incorporate two soaring gestures.
The piano right hand plays the pulsing triplets while the left hand adds a solid bass. The key moves from A back to C-sharp, now more clearly major. The rapid arpeggios, with accompanying rising lines, take over in the piano. While this passage begins dolce e leggiero , it quickly becomes agitated, rising in volume.
The first violin then breaks into an extremely heartfelt version of the soaring cadence line while the cello enters to continue the variant of the phrase with the triplet figure. The piano arpeggios in the right hand become wider and more intense, while the left hand supports them with chords and some doubling of the cello. The soaring line is stated twice, extended the second time into a beautiful cadence with aching chromatic notes. With C-sharp major firmly established, Brahms uses the cadence to change the notation to the more convenient D-flat major. This also allows him to return to the four-flat key signature of the home key.
The piano then holds long notes. The strings follow with arching arpeggios, then a new, somewhat martial dotted rhythm. The piano echoes the marching dotted rhythm in descending lines, coming to a full cadence. The martial dotted rhythm is expanded.
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The descending piano echo comes to a cadence, but a less convincing one. The strings add an extra second echo to make it more conclusive. These obscure the bar line, with the third pattern of each group beginning on an eighth-note upbeat. The first such group is in the piano, with the right hand harmonized in thirds and the left playing wide upward arpeggios. The strings, without the viola which was also largely absent from the preceding arching arpeggios and dotted rhythms , overlap and follow at a higher level, the cello playing the wide bass arpeggios. The intensity builds over these piano and string groups.
Finally, in a third overlapping group, the strings without viola join the piano, building over rich, chromatic harmony. The first lengthened three-chord pattern immediately follows the last, richly harmonized faster group. The viola joins the harmonies here. The second pattern is separated from the first by a rest on the downbeat.
The intensity begins to wane with this second longer pattern, and all instruments except the first violin play long-short chords instead of the three-note descent. The two patterns are repeated an octave lower in the strings with less active piano harmonies, and the volume continues to diminish. Both patterns begin after a downbeat rest. This leads to a full close in D-flat major with two quiet weak-beat pulses. The five-measure first ending continues the off-beat pulses.
The first of these is simply a third repetition of the closing D-flat harmony in the strings, but the piano adds an ominous rising line in octaves against it. This already suggests the home key of F minor. Another group of three off-beat pulses follows in the strings, still on D-flat, but without the first violin. Overlapping the last pulse is another piano line in octaves, a third higher than the first one. A third group of three pulses again lacks the first violin, and the cello drops a half-step, creating an F-minor harmony. Again, the ominous piano line coincides with the third pulse and is a third higher, the hands now two octaves apart as in the opening main idea and joined by the first violin.
Its second note now joined by the cello takes the place of the upbeat leading into the main idea, and the repeat leads into its downbeat. Yearning violin melody and expressive octave leaps in triplet rhythm, as at Oscillating bass triplets under jerky melody and upward-reaching line, as at Downward slides, arching arpeggios, and martial dotted rhythms, as at The material is similar to the first ending, but the rising piano octave patterns begin a third higher than before, initially suggesting A-flat minor instead of F minor.
The second and third of these piano lines begin on the same notes where the previous ones ended instead of a third higher. The piano reinforces the bass here, which it did not do in the first ending. The third piano line is only one octave apart, and is only in the right hand without violin. The low bass notes are reinforced by the plucked cello. After soaring to a high G, the violin now doubled an octave lower by the second holds it as the piano chords continue. The cello, taking the bow, plays two low three-note descents that create a continuous downward line and move the key a half-step lower, to B minor.
The viola adds harmony to this statement. The piano accompaniment is barer here, until the viola leaves its harmonies. The piano then begins to play a descent with doubled thirds in both hands, the right hand moving to the treble range. Instead of soaring to a high F-sharp, as expected, the violins leap down to a lower one. The cello, which has entered late with plucked notes, again plays the three-note descent, now doubled an octave higher by the viola. After the second low string descent, the piano continues this elaboration and adding sixths of fourths as well as thirds.
Then there are more low string descents, and they now shift upward instead of continually moving down. They alternate with the piano figures. The violins, meanwhile, add soft, punctuating harmonies on the weak beats. The key of this atmospheric passage is B-flat minor. After four alternations between piano harmonies and low string descents, the piano expands its harmonies and soars high. The strings join it in a long, drawn-out cadence in B-flat minor. The left hand and right hand of the piano alternate, as do the viola and cello. The violins participate in these figures, but it becomes immediately clear that the violin motion is the disguised onset of a new, melancholy harmonized melody.
The piano and lower strings continue the upbeat-downbeat motion. The violins play three similar phrases of the new melody. The melancholy phrases are abandoned. The piano introduces an anguished chromatic half-step on the upbeat-downbeat figures, and then it begins to imitate the first violin more precisely, including more such piercing half-steps. The second violin, meanwhile, moves to intense tremolos. The lower strings and piano bass continue their established patterns.
At the climax, the upbeat-downbeat figures completely take over, and the patterns are similar to those at and [m. These chords suddenly emerge into material from Theme 2. The music rapidly diminishes, and the second violin is left alone for a one-measure bridge. The piano begins a mysterious variant of Theme 2 in B-flat minor with the hands in alternation and moving in opposite directions. The viola adds long notes.
The soaring line typical of Theme 2 is harmonized in both hands, mostly in thirds, with the hands still going in opposite directions. At the end of the phrase, these, along with plucked descending octaves in the cello and first violin, move the music up a half-step to B minor, reversing the tonal pattern from the beginning of the development.
The entire Theme 2 variant is then repeated a half-step higher. The strings come together in unison, leading the piano. The strings play the characteristic figures with motion up and back down, with the piano moving in the opposite direction. The piano figures are also harmonized. This continues for two measures, after which the strings split from their unison playing. The upper four, along with the piano right hand, begin to play breathless long-short rhythms. The piano bass plays wide, very low octaves, doubled by the cello on most of the higher notes of these octaves.
There is then a huge crescendo and buildup on these patterns. The viola and cello join the piano bass on the oscillating triplets, lending them even more weight. This is the climax of the development section, and in its last measure, it begins to dissipate and diminish in preparation for the re-transition. Now hushed, the Theme 2 material is presented in imitation between the piano left hand, the first violin, and the piano right hand. The first phrase of imitation turns toward B-flat minor and major, but with the cello holding to the pulsing C. The second phrase of imitation shifts up a step and moves back definitively to C minor, then C major.
A third phrase begins, following the sequence, beginning on C major. The theme itself sneaks in on the second violin and viola, but only the first gesture of it. The chromatic, mysterious piano harmonies continue their descent. The second violin drops out. The cello then takes the continuation of Theme 1, which stalls, adding chromatic major-key inflections and syncopation. Abandoning the effort, the cello joins the viola back on the pulsing C. The piano harmonies suddenly lurch upward with half-step motion at the top. The volume rapidly builds, and these short upward gestures lead into the passionate arpeggios and the more conventional continuation.
Except for this new upbeat, they follow as at and [m. The cello is now added to the heavier downbeat arrivals to reinforce the harmony and add weight. With no mediation, the yearning melody from and [m. It is also transferred from first violin to cello, changing its character. The second measure of the melody has an altered contour, downward reach, and displacement down an octave.
The first violin adds long patterns beginning after the downbeat. These seem to replace the smooth second violin counterpoint from the exposition. The active piano and the cello play the triplet rhythms and sighing figures. After two bars, the piano right hand takes the melody for the buildup. This had previously been played by the first violin. The chords formerly played by the piano here are now assigned to the cello and second violin. The first violin and viola are given the sighing triplet leaps as the buildup and key change to F-sharp minor, here already indicated at m.
The viola is the only instrument that basically has its original role here. The cello and piano bass do move to their supporting roles as the arrival point approaches. The oscillating triplet rhythms of the two-bar bridge are in the viola, supported by plucked cello bass notes, instead of the piano bass. The pattern from and [m. The piano left hand takes much of the previous viola part. The expressive phrase with triplets moves largely back to the original scoring, with the oscillation moving back to the piano along with the following arpeggios , and the lead taken by viola and cello.
The restatement, however, is varied. The second violin takes the place of the viola. As expected, it shifts up a half-step and turns to G major. But after the first piano arpeggio, the viola inserts a buzzing repeated octave on F-sharp. The second arpeggio moves back down to F-sharp instead of remaining on G. But after this, the buzzing viola octave follows its sequence and moves down another half-step to F. This prepares the motion back to the home key of F minor. The first two measures establish F minor, the long-absent home key. The opening part of the theme is replaced by a new, but similar passage for strings alone.
In contrast to the jerky melody and its long-short rhythms, the passage is smooth and almost mysterious. The expansion from the third measure returns to the original material, but the soaring line is played by the piano in octaves instead of strings. The violins and viola the latter holding a long note play the original harmonies of the piano right hand.
The cello continues its pulsing anchor, moving briefly to F before the expected downward motion to E-flat. In this case, the piano continues its own rising line rather than taking over from the violins. The broken octaves in the piano bass and the plucked cello notes are mostly as before. The key touches this time on D-flat before the soaring line and full cadence in F minor. The repetition of this soaring line and cadence is again given to the viola. The piano is slightly more urgent here than it was before, but the plucked cello remains the main propulsive force. The scoring is mostly as it was in the exposition, except that the viola replaces the second violin on the pulsating triplets under the cadence.
The first two measures are scored as in the exposition, but the expanded violin cadence is changed to include all instruments and begin the buildup earlier. Brahms changes the key signature to F major here, earlier than in the exposition. Both violins play the leading line in octaves. The trailing line formerly taken by the second violin is in the piano right hand, also in octaves.
The pulsations that had been played by the piano are now in the viola and also in octaves. The cello harmonizes the piano bass above. The first two measures have the most changes in scoring. The first statement had been played by second violin. It is now played by the piano right hand, continuing its replacement of the second violin in the previous passage.
The second violin and viola, then, take over the passionate arpeggios, replacing parts of them with tremolos. The first violin holds its high note from the previous passage, which it did not do before. From the point where the first violin took over the expressive statement from before, the scoring is similar to what it was. The first violin plays the second statement again, and the piano returns to the dramatic arpeggios. At the climax, the first violin is doubled an octave lower by the viola, making the buildup even more intense. The piano bass focuses more on the low octaves.
The last cello notes approaching the cadence are slightly altered in contour. Analogous to and [m. The downward slide is played by the piano bass and the cello. From that point, the strings and piano reverse roles from the exposition. The arching arpeggios are played by the piano, as are the martial dotted rhythms. The strings hold long notes.
The descending echoes that were played by the piano before are taken by the strings without viola. The slide down to the leading tone is played by cello and viola doubling the piano bass. From there, the role reversal from the closing theme in the exposition continues. The piano plays the outward arching arpeggios again, reaching higher, along with the marching dotted rhythm. The first echo is played by the strings, and the extra second echo, the expansion, is played by the piano. The harmonized descending groups of three-note patterns in straight rhythm, obscuring the bar line and building in volume, continue in an exact role reversal from the exposition.
The strings play the first group of three patterns, the piano the second, and the strings join the piano on the third thus causing the scoring to match the exposition at the end of this third group. The lengthened descents begin with the same scoring as in the exposition. The repetition an octave lower is thinned out by removing the second violin and viola. There is no full F-major cadence here, as the weak-beat pulses that closed the exposition are omitted. Instead of a cadence, the coda immediately begins with this material, building on the three-note descents. CODA [m. The piano, in the tenor range with bass support, echoes the last first violin descent.
From that point, an intricate web of imitation between piano and strings follows on the three-note descents, with the top line of each gradually moving up by step. There is a steady buildup. After three such exchanges, a climax is reached, the top lines stall on F and the imitative motion becomes more continuous, adding a downbeat before each descent. The cello breaks from the continuous string harmonies and plucks broken octave descents on F. Three of these more continuous imitations then follow. It still leaps down while the second violin, viola, and piano right hand mostly move up by step or leap.
The piano bass arrives on a very low F and plays slow, rising broken octaves, supported by the now static plucked cello notes also on its low F. The two-beat phrases steadily move down in the first violin, and half-steps are again emphasized. The tension steadily abates. The second violin begins to imitate the first, but deviates quickly, adding characteristic syncopation. The two violins emerge into a contrary motion, with the first floating upward.
The second violin and viola hold the harmonies. The statement is extended by two measures, lingering on the contrary motion, which changes direction and which the middle strings join. The cello finally lands on its low F and holds it. The piano bass subtly drops out, and the strings hold notes over a bar line, extending the statement by another measure. The strings reach a delayed, unstable, incomplete, and chromatically-tinged cadence on B-flat.
From here, the piano is absent for a time. The cello slowly emerges into syncopated Theme 1 material, and all instruments gradually move back toward F minor, slowly abandoning the major key. The cello repeats its last gesture, which is clearly recognizable as the opening figure of Theme 1. The other strings become detached on their off-beat chords. The descending line from Theme 1, beginning with an upbeat, takes over. After the cello lead-in, the piano enters with the hands playing in unison with the cello and an octave apart.
Brahms indicates a steady acceleration here. The piano takes over from the cello. It accommodates the acceleration by speeding up to a triplet rhythm, still in octaves. The other strings, including the cello, play upbeat figures leading into strong beats and emphasizing them. The piano triplets begin to arch, working steadily upward and increasing in intensity and speed.
This leads directly into the main tempo and the passionate arpeggios, at which point Brahms finally changes the key signature back to the four flats of F minor. The passionate piano arpeggios from , , and [m. The string chords still use much half-step motion, although the heavy emphasis on major harmonies makes the passage more triumphant than tragic.
The fourth measure works decisively back to F minor. The piano moves from the fast arpeggios to a version of the slower ones that were heard under the string statement of the theme which usually followed the fast arpeggios. The strings now take the fast arpeggios, passing them back and forth from first violin and viola to second violin and cello. The slower piano arpeggios move steadily downward to another big F-minor arrival. The scoring of the three-measure pattern is then reversed. The piano takes back the fast arpeggios, leaping from the high to the low register with both hands in octaves to approximate the previous string interplay.
The violins and cello play the slower arpeggios here while the viola adds rapid repeated notes to solidify the harmonies. A third huge arrival on F minor follows as expected. All four string instruments join in unison octaves, still on the slow arpeggios. The piano breaks from the fast arpeggios and plays longer, heavy chords that leap back and forth, low to high. Its bass emphasizes a low octave F. The harmonies create an extended cadence on F minor, but not a typical one.
Piano Quartet No.3, Op.60 (Brahms, Johannes)
After two measures, the piano plays three grand F-minor chords under the continuing slow string arpeggios. The strings stop and join the piano on the last of these highly dramatic final chords. A Section [m. The piano right hand, playing espressivo and sotto voce in the tenor register, presents the main theme. Its principal gesture, an upward skipping short-long rhythm that is followed, after the long note is sustained a beat, by a distinctive short-short-long pattern, remains almost constantly present.
The same is true for the harmonization in thirds or sixths. The first violin and viola, in octaves, play a halting accompaniment whose distinctive gestures include notes on the second halves of all three beats in the measure and the beginning of the second beat.
Piano Quartet No. 3 in c minor, Op. 60, "Werther" - Johannes Brahms
The piano bass plays with them, but reverses the direction of the gestures. The cello adds plucked notes on the downbeats. The first two measures are identical. The third moves down toward the half-close, and the fourth establishes a cadence measure pattern by changing the short-long rhythm on the downbeat, in this case reversing it to long-short.
The second measure of the phrase adds notes from the minor key. The third and fourth measures blossom into a new arching approach to the half-close. The next phrase begins with the minor-key inflection, emphasizing it by omitting the short-long rhythm in the first measure. The phrase intensifies in both volume and harmony, and moves strongly toward C minor not the initially suggested A-flat minor.
The last measure of the phrase actually reaches a half-close in C minor, emphasized by the first forte marking. The second violin makes its first entrance here, joining the viola and cello in plucked off-beat chords. The first violin plays at the top of these, but retains the bow [m. The viola again bows the accompaniment patterns with the first violin, and the second violin rests again.
But the music already deviates and intensifies before the second measure. As in the preceding phrase, the last measure reaches a new key, this time D-flat major, and with a strong full cadence rather than a weaker half-close. Again, the second violin joins the viola and cello in rich plucked chords under the high, bowed first violin.
As before, the beginning recedes back to the quiet level. The first measures resemble the second phrase of Part 1, but without the change in contour of the short-short-long patterns. The previous patterns are followed, but the cello has gradually moved away from the downbeats. The harmonic motion is even more adventurous here, but the volume remains quiet. The A-flat-minor inflections are used to pivot to its related major key, C-flat.
The third measure adds a second skipping figure, and the fourth adds a very expressive piano turn at the half-close in C-flat. The two-measure extension also emphasizes the skipping short-long figure, and quickly moves back home to A-flat major. The piano speeds up toward long-delayed full cadence. The greatly anticipated cadence is embellished with an expressive downward resolution an appoggiatura. This leads into the closing material. It is extremely warm and beautiful. The piano is still in the tenor range, still playing mostly in thirds and sixths. The appoggiatura lends itself as a defining feature.
The left hand and strings play off the beat, the former in low octaves. The second violin, which has only played at the louder cadences with plucked viola and cello, is still absent. The last two measures of the first phrase accelerate slightly and add colorful chromatic inflections. The piano bass and plucked cello become more active. Another yearning turn figure, leading into a triplet rhythm, concludes the phrase and leads into the next one. The two violins, the second playing with the bow for the first time in the movement, join the piano on the harmonized cadences and appoggiaturas.
The plucked cello plays in double-stops in the off-beat accompaniment patterns to compensate for the added strength of the violins. After the first two measures, there is intensification as before, but the colorful inflections are heightened and actually lead toward a new key.
The goal is the key of the B section, E major, notated as F-flat in this transitional passage. The cello takes the bow for the first time in the movement here, and another triplet figure leads into the following transition. At the climax, the instruments all suddenly hold back in tempo and diminish in volume.
While the piano emphasizes the lead-in to E major, the strings slowly descend into that key, all now playing with the bow. The piano plays octaves with some syncopation and internal harmonic motion. Over the held piano bass B, chromatic descending thirds in the right hand and a syncopated line in the first violin smoothly bridge into the theme of the B section. B Section --E major [m. They then continue in unison on descending patterns in triplet rhythm. The theme is marked molto espressivo and is more intense than the A section melody.
After two measures, the piano right hand takes the lead with a continuation in straight rhythm, harmonized in sixths. The unison triplets in second violin and viola continue under the piano as an accompaniment pattern. The first violin plays two more isolated rolled chords. The piano bass adds rising octaves like the upbeats that led into the melody. The first violin drops out, then the second violin also subtly exits, leaving the now accompanying triplet rhythm to the viola. The piano reaches a half-close in E minor with only the viola and cello remaining from the strings. At the half-close, the cello takes the bow and plays a descending line.
The piano then drops out. The second violin and viola join the cello, quickly moving back to E major and leading into the next statement of the melody. The second violin adds a new counterpoint in clashing straight rhythm, bringing in the two-against-three conflict earlier than before, but vaguely imitating the first violin.
The piano alone plays the rolled chords with both hands doubled an octave apart. The continuation in straight rhythm that had been played by piano alone is again taken by the piano, but unlike the beginning of the statement, the continuation is an octave lower than before. Its harmonies are doubled by the viola and cello, which enter here. The first violin continues the triplets in the accompanying role. The second violin continues its straight-rhythm line, now subordinate to viola, cello, and piano.
All strings except the viola drop out, and the piano presses with the minor-key continuation in a more agitated manner. Brahms indicates a steady, gradual acceleration. These triplets then pass to octaves in the piano right hand in a role reversal, and the cello joins the viola in an extension of the minor-key continuation. After one more measure, the two violins join in as well. The extension, with a steady buildup, continues for three more measures. The first violin and cello are an octave apart, as are the viola and second violin, which harmonize them.
The piano triplets continue, as does the solid bass. The strings recede in volume and tempo, settling back to a cadence in E major as the piano triplets dissipate. The piano plays chords, dolce , in the rhythm of the accompaniment to the main A section theme. Its upbeats are then twice joined by first violin and viola on descending ninths using the chromatic note D-natural.
After four measures, the viola moves to a new half-step pattern, using the dotted rhythm and another chromatic note, C-natural which also appears in the piano chords. On the last upbeat, the cello leaps down to D-natural as had the first violin and viola before. Re -Transition [m. Very quietly and mysteriously, the piano again plays chords in the rhythm of the accompaniment to the A section theme. The strings again add their dotted-rhythm upbeats, now mostly the urgent, dissonant leaping ninth.
Now the cello descends and the two violins ascend. The second violin has smaller leaps of a fourth and a fifth. The violin leaps resolve downward, easing the tension. The harmony moves down by half-step from the previous E major. The first two measures strongly suggest E-flat minor and major. They are then shifted down another half-step for two measures that seem to fall in D minor and major. Another half-step descent appears to begin, but it is immediately diverted back to D by the winding cello and the piano chords. The violins drop out. The note D is isolated in the viola and cello, the latter plucked and the former using the familiar accompaniment rhythm of the A section.
The quiet, mysterious mood prevails. After two measures, the violins enter in thirds, dolce , with the opening gesture of the A section theme itself, not in G minor, but G major. The violins use the G-minor harmony to pivot artfully to A-flat major, the home key of the movement. The piano drops out for two measures. The cello and viola continue their established pattern on the new pitch. The violins begin to spin out a yearning passage, harmonized in thirds, that is clearly targeted toward the arrival of the main A section theme in the home key. After a brief acceleration and swelling of volume, the piano re-enters, with its low bass doubling the viola.
At that point, the first violin reaches its highest pitch, the harmony between the violins expands to sixths, and then both speed and volume quickly recede, settling into the well-prepared, natural arrival. The first phrase is played with no alterations. The first phrase transfers the main theme to the first violin and cello, which maintain the original piano harmonies, stretched from thirds to tenths. The accompaniment is given to the piano, which adds a gentle rising arpeggio to each entry after the first beat of the measure. Otherwise, it is similar to the original string accompaniment, with some added chords.
In the last two measures of the phrase, the second violin joins in to double and strengthen the cello line in a higher octave. The second violin does not join, but the accompaniment in the piano, which retains the decorative arpeggios, adds more chordal harmonies, including rolled chords at the end of the phrase. At this point, the analogous relationship returns, and this phrase corresponds to [m. But it is really a continuation of the varied repetition, since Brahms retains the scoring of that repetition, with the melody in the strings and accompaniment in the piano.
The piano, in fact, continues its established pattern of adding gentle arpeggios to each entry of the accompaniment rhythm. For this phrase, the viola is added to first violin and cello, doubling the violin in a lower octave. The phrase builds, as it did before, moving to C minor, and the piano continues to add richer chords to the accompaniment, rolling them at the climax.
The second violin enters and doubles the cello, the viola continuing to double the first violin. The piano continues its established accompaniment pattern with the initial arpeggios, and it adds even wider rolled chords at the strong arrival on D-flat. The half-close in C-flat and the full cadence in A-flat are retained. The strings continue to take the melodic lead, with first violin doubled by the viola and the second violin doubling cello.
The piano finally abandons the graceful ascending arpeggios at the beginning of its accompaniment patterns. Rolled chords give way to block chords at the expressive turn figure in C-flat. At the very satisfying cadence in A-flat, the last three first violin notes are doubled in speed from their previous piano presentation.
This causes the cadence to arrive on the last beat of the measure rather than the first. The new Coda that takes the place of Part 3 begins on the upbeat with this cadence. This new material is actually derived from the wide dotted-rhythm upbeat at the beginning of the B section theme, specifically as this upbeat appeared in the epilogue and re-transition. The first violin plays the first upbeat, a rising octave, and continues with this.
The viola and cello follow with descending ninths an octave apart. Meanwhile, the piano plays rising thirds in both hands, introducing some chromatic motion to match the chromatic leaps of a ninth in the low strings. Suddenly, the right hand blossoms into joyously arching triplet octaves and a syncopated appoggiatura as the first violin reaches upward.
All four instruments the second violin is absent reach a broad climax here, then settle down. The piano again uses thirds in this descent. The viola and cello remain an octave apart, but turn upward. The viola leads with the first upbeat octave while the piano right hand takes the descending ninths, now in high octaves.
The first violin, cello, and piano bass play the rising lines, the harmonies now spread out. The joyously arching triplet octaves and syncopated appoggiatura are now taken by first violin and cello. The piano, also in octaves, takes the role previously played by the low strings here. The second violin is still absent. This ending passage is suddenly expanded. The closing gestures do not settle down, but increase in speed and urgency, repeating patterns with new chromatic inflections.
This continues for three measures. Brahms thwarts that expectation with a sudden and striking detour to F major at the climax. The piano leaps down in syncopated octaves against its rising bass. The viola drops out, leaving the first violin and cello to settle down from the climax. They also play in syncopation on repeated notes.. Under them, the piano leads through very active and colorful chords back to the home key of A-flat. Everything rapidly becomes slower and quieter. The two strings descend, again in syncopation, toward a cadence.
The piano plays chords on the off-beats under the cello. It then joins the melody, along with the viola, adding the familiar harmonization and leaving the off-beats to the bass. There is a rapid buildup. Gloriously, the two violins enter, diverging from the original material and expanding the opening gestures with rich, full harmony and volume the second making its first entrance after a long absence.
The piano right hand and viola subtly shift to trail after the violins on these gestures. The cello, now plucked, along with the piano bass, plays broken octaves on the keynote A-flat, signifying a final arrival. The violins come to a close and the viola continues to trail, still including the dissonance. It is supported by the piano right hand. The octaves in the plucked cello and piano bass continue as the viola and the piano right hand, which plays in comforting thirds, lead to the last chord. The scherzo begins ominously and extremely quietly with a thumping plucked cello on its low C.
After two measures, the viola and first violin enter on a highly syncopated unison arpeggio that seems to suggest A-flat major the key of the slow movement rather than C minor. After the arpeggio, they slide into a sinuous melody, also syncopated and unison, that finally confirms the C-minor key. The cello continues to pluck the low C, keeping a steady beat. It is narrow and almost sinister, a quality enhanced by its syncopation. After two identical gestures, the piano follows the violin and viola on arching lines, always syncopated, that reach high and close off the first statement of Theme 1.
Still in unison, they utter a highly distinctive and rhythmic idea. Still quiet and ominous, the percussive, driving force of this idea will later reach its full potential. The second sequence reaches higher, changing the turn to a brief arpeggio. In a third sequence, the cello and making its first appearance the second violin enter in support with plucked chords that remain close to G.
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- String Quintet in C minor (after Piano Trio, Op. 1/3), Op. 104;
The first violin joins these, leaving the viola alone on the persistent long-short rhythm. After the hushed and ominous opening, all five instruments suddenly break out into a loud and joyous chorale in C major. It begins with an upbeat, in this case a half-measure after a rest on the downbeat. It is richly harmonized and has a march-like quality. The three-chord upbeats propel the chorale forward. Instead of providing low bass support, as in the first statement, the left hand doubles the chords an octave lower, with both hands in the treble register.
Halfway through, the piano abandons the imitation and simply supports the strings with chords, although its top voice does not play the melody as it did before. The viola and cello add punctuating octaves. There are two statements of the arpeggios with the thumping Theme 3 octaves.
Part 2 [m. The cello quietly enters with the syncopated arpeggio in first violin and viola. The second of these, however, reaches a step higher, as do the first violin and viola. The ensuing high syncopated arching lines build rapidly. The cello and second violin join. The violins, in thirds, double the viola and cello below them. The piano right hand follows. The cello having abandoned its low plucked notes, the thumps are passed to the piano bass in low octaves. The arching lines reach higher, and make a true motion to G.
It is also given in full harmony, with piano chords doubled by the lower strings. The top lines of the piano and the first violin have the actual melody, including the turn figures and arpeggios. The chords support the long-short rhythm.
Full score, parts
The third, closing sequence is replaced by a repetition of the first two in a new key, B-flat minor. It begins at a suddenly much quieter level. This detached line marches downward, leaps back up, and marches down again. It slides from E-flat minor to B-flat minor. The original marching, detached countersubject is in the viola, with some changes of contour. The theme is in the newly entering first violin. The original detached countersubject is in the piano right hand, but the piano bass adds a new line moving in contrary motion to the original line.
The second, syncopated countersubject is in the viola, continuing from the first one. The theme is again in the piano right hand, an octave higher than the second statement, the detached countersubject in the first violin, and the syncopated one back in the piano bass. The viola adds a new line in conjunction with the detached countersubject in the first violin similar to that given the piano bass in the third statement.
This statement, unlike the second, is not extended by a measure. Instead, the end of the last measure is slightly altered. The theme is in its original instrument for the fugue, the viola. The original detached countersubject is back in the piano left hand, but it is now in the treble register. The syncopated countersubject is high in the piano right hand.
The second violin and cello make their first entries. The second violin plays the viola line from the fourth statement. The ending is altered to approach a different goal instead of B-flat minor. But this is really the beginning of a large ascending sequence that serves as a transition. Elements of the two countersubjects alternate between hands of the piano.
This transition is a type of fugal stretto stacking of subject entries. The cello enters, harmonizing the syncopated countersubject and original countersubject in the piano and viola. These two elements are basically combined here. The fragmented main theme is in the unison violins. The thematic fragments work up to the secondary key, B-flat minor, and at that point the volume, which has been hushed throughout, suddenly and rapidly builds.
The theme is fragmented even more urgently, reduced to a half-step. A last shift to E-flat minor brings a sudden climax. It is played in unison by all strings and the piano bass. It is the piano right hand that intensifies it. It also briefly imitates the turn figures, also in octaves. This time, the third, closing sequence is also included, but at that point the unison playing breaks and only the first violin takes the lead on the long-short rhythm, supported by the piano bass. The closing phrase itself essentially follows the pattern of the first, hushed statement in Part 1, but is extended to the downbeat.
The joyous chorale makes a welcome return. Other than the key, the first statement essentially follows the pattern from [m. The piano follows the strings, as it did there. Again, the statement is rounded off with punctuating octave B-flats. The pattern from [m. As before, there are two statements of the syncopated arpeggios. The bridging octave B-flats after the second statement move down a step, to A-flat.
Blues Classical Country. Electronic Folk International. Jazz Latin New Age. Aggressive Bittersweet Druggy. Energetic Happy Hypnotic. Romantic Sad Sentimental. Sexy Trippy All Moods. Drinking Hanging Out In Love. Introspection Late Night Partying. Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip. Romantic Evening Sex All Themes. Features Interviews Lists. Streams Videos All Posts. Genre Chamber Music Classical. Period Classical Romantic. Comp Date Avg Duration Share on facebook twitter tumblr. The Quintet was first performed on December 13, , in Vienna. Complete Excerpt. Beethoven: Complete Edition. Beethoven: String Quintets, Opp.