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By Ryan McClelland, Daniel Dorff

Regardless of the terrific variety in Brahms' scherzo-type activities, there was no finished attention of this element of his oeuvre. Professor Ryan McClelland offers an in-depth research of those hobbies that still contributes considerably to an figuring out of Brahms' compositional language and his artistic discussion with musical traditions. McClelland specifically highlights the position of rhythmic-metric layout in Brahms' tune and its courting to expressive that means. In Brahms' scherzo-type activities, McClelland strains differences of basic thematic fabric, demonstrating how the connection of the preliminary track to its next models creates a musical narrative that offers structural coherence and generates expressive which means. McClelland's interpretations of the expressive implications of Brahms' fascinatingly elaborate musical constructions usually interact concerns at once correct to functionality. This illuminating ebook will attract tune theorists, musicologists engaged on nineteenth-century instrumental track and performers.

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Extra resources for Brahms and the Scherzo: Studies in Musical Narrative

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The discussion of Brahms’s F–A–E scherzo later in this chapter will again touch on Beethovenian influence and Brahms’s early handling of metric dissonance. 11 Beethoven, Piano Sonata, Op. 14, No. 1, II, mm. 1–4, 17–18, and 41–4 Piano Sonata in F Minor, Op. 16 after the measure in which the final pitches sound, in order to complete the four-measure hypermeasure. 16 Important studies of the first movement of Op. 5 include Frisch, Brahms and the Principle of Developing Variation, pp. 36–40, and Krebs, Fantasy Pieces, pp.

2, String Quartet, Op. 13, and String Quintet, Op. 18, each contain an intermezzo. 38 Despite Brahms’s singular usage of “intermezzo” in Op. 25 and the relatively infrequent presence of this term in his letters, I follow the common practice of referring to several of his moderately paced inner movements as intermezzos. It is not inherently significant that about half of Brahms’s scherzo-type movements are notated in meters other than 3/4. 39 Further, when a scherzo notated in 3/4 meter takes a lively tempo, the listener often perceives 6/8 or 12/8 meter (or a 2/4 or 4/4 meter with triplet subdivisions).

With a structural return to the background tonic harmony occurs rather often in Brahms’s music. I will treat this topic in detail in Chapter 4 in the discussion of the scherzo from the Horn Trio, where the structural interpretation is perhaps less certain than in the present case. 11 The term Stufe, or scale step, refers to a harmony that has significance at the level of the tonal middleground. 12 In the previous digression towards A major, there is considerable emphasis on G as a bass note (of V of A), but several factors argue against a prolongational connection between that G and the one at the onset of the thematic rounding.

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