By Ryan McClelland, Daniel Dorff
Regardless of the magnificent variety in Brahms' scherzo-type activities, there was no finished attention of this element of his oeuvre. Professor Ryan McClelland offers an in-depth learn of those hobbies that still contributes considerably to an figuring out of Brahms' compositional language and his artistic discussion with musical traditions. McClelland in particular highlights the function of rhythmic-metric layout in Brahms' song and its courting to expressive which means. In Brahms' scherzo-type events, McClelland lines ameliorations of fundamental thematic fabric, demonstrating how the connection of the preliminary track to its next types creates a musical narrative that gives structural coherence and generates expressive which means. McClelland's interpretations of the expressive implications of Brahms' fascinatingly elaborate musical constructions usually have interaction matters without delay proper to functionality. This illuminating publication will entice 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
31 is repeated in m. 32, and then agitatedly repeated in m. 33; mm. 31–3 form a cohesive unit (much like our tendency in spoken language to repeat a word or phrase once slightly louder, and then to repeat it much louder and with variation if still not understood). Hypermetric reinterpretation refers to a beat in the hypermeter that functions simultaneously in two ways; the most common hypermetric reinterpretation is a fourth beat in a hypermeasure that also functions as a downbeat for the next hypermeasure (due to a phrase ending that is also a phrase beginning—an elision).
Since many of Brahms’s scherzo-type movements begin away from the tonic harmony—the most common alternative is a prolongation of the dominant—this same harmony delays the reassertion of tonic harmony until after the thematic return has begun. In several of Brahms’s rounded binaries that start directly with tonic harmony, though, the thematic rounding is recomposed to avoid this harmony. In a couple of trios, the thematic rounding actually begins in the key of the subdominant (Opp. 18 and 25), but most often the tonic key is reasserted and the original melody is simply reharmonized.
Now Brahms expands the phrase not through deceptive progressions but through a stasis on the cadential dominant. The right-hand tremolo evolves into an unaccompanied trill, which prepares a memory of the trio in B major. After three measures, the recollection shifts to B minor and a swift fourmeasure return of scherzo material brings the movement to a close. , Beethoven in his Seventh and Ninth Symphonies). The scherzo from Op. 2 is not ineffective; in fact, its dramatic, well-defined contrasts and exciting pianistic feats have a direct, though not profound, impact.