Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Brahms- Romanze, Op. 118
I’ve always loved Brahms because of the great melodies and exciting energy and his piano pieces, but now I have even more reason to like him for making the form of this piece so clear. This piece is in textbook composite ternary form. Sure, I could make my assumptions anyways since all the pieces in this assignment are supposed to be in Ternary form, but I could have recognized the form even without the music after just one listening. The A section is itself in rounded binary form. The first phrase ends on a half cadence made clear by dynamic change, and then the motive returns in the next phrase to close out the A section. The ending is made clear by the crescendo and ritardando to the final note. Theme a short transition leads into the B section. The B section is very similar and has a developmental function. It does not clearly modulate but is tonally stable. The change from espressivo to piu espressivo and changes in dynamics, rhythm, and texture make it clear that this is a new section. The section lasts only 4 measures before returning to the A section, and therefore also has a transitional feel to it. The A section motive returns with rhythmic variation in the tenor voice of the left hand. The entirety of the A section then ends with a diminuendo and ritardardo on an A major chord, the dominant of the new key. The B section begins in the new key of D major, in cut time, in molto e dolce sempre, introduces new texture and rhythmic design, and does not repeat the old motives. All of these make it clear that we have arrived onto a new section. The B section goes on for quite a while without sounding anything from before. Then finally, with a short transition hinting at the material of the A section, the motive of the A section finally returns. It returns to expressivo. This time, there is only one theme and it does not stand on its own as a complete form. There is a short terminative section with a ritardando and diminuendo that closes the piece out on an extended authentic cadence. And voila, you have Composite Ternary form.