Sunday, April 03, 2005

Piano Sonata C minor, Op.13 Second Movement


The beginning introduces the motive that it always cycles back to. It is very legato, with a low density texture. The bass is a line of continuous eighths, on repeated intervals. The eighths help to maintain a solid tempo, while the soprano line stretches it to shape phrases. The soprano line is the main focus. The solfege is something like mi-re-fa-do-mi-re-ri-la-do . . . with a sort of long- short- long rhythm. The beginning of phrases is usually signaled by notes of a longer duration in the simple quad time signature, like half notes, and then to signal cad. the notes become shorter, into quarters. The quarters contrast with the long note that delays the resolution of a half step, creating the cadence. This can be heard, for example, on the si-la-re-mi-fa . . . phrase, where the si is held longer. Most of the phrases are shaped pretty squarely, each four measures with PACs. They do not feel very definite, however, because of the holds that stretch the tempo. This motive is repeated an octave higher, and then a new section begins. In this section, the bass is less stagnate, and therefore is becomes a little denser. The rhythm also becomes more complex, branching out from just quarters and half notes. The tempo also picks up a bit. In this section, more a developmental function, there isn't much of a main theme that is emphasized. This section has also modulated to the minor dominant. There is a switch off between the eighths in the bass and the eighths in the soprano that give it a continuous feel. A HC back to A is signaled by a repetition that created a transistional function. After a repetition of the main motive, another, even more contrasting section begins. The base is even more active, with a modulation to a definite major key. There is also a dynamic increase. There is also faster rhythms, and stronger crescendos, some HC. This brief developmental function transistions through a HC on re back to the original motive. This time, however, it is in the compound duple meter of the previous section. It ends on a PAC after a brief transistional function signaled by some repeated patterns and rests. I really like this piece. It was very beautiful. I've always wanted to sit and listen to the entire thing.

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