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Monday, March 07, 2005

Chopin - Prelude in F-Sharp Major Op. 28 No. 13

Once again we are in the simple ternary section of the book, and this is the form of this prelude.

The first phrase consists of the first six measures. This phrase modulates from F-sharp major to C-sharp major ending on a PAC though the PAC is short lived. You could make arguments for some PAC's in F-sharp throughout the first few measures, but the initial chord is immediately followed by the seventh in the bass which takes away the strength of the PAC. The next measure and a half just has the bass line doing a transitory line back into F-sharp major. The second phrase begins parallel to the first; measures 9-12 are almost identical to measure 1-4. However, the downbeat of measure 13 has the seventh in the tonic chord and from here the piece wanders around and no cadence is reached until measure 18, where a PAC in F sharp is achieved. The next two measures make sure the listener knows that the key is F sharp minor and serves as a terminative function for the A section. This makes this section closed.

The B section has major differences compared to the A section. The eighth notes in the left hand become double stops, an eighth note line is added to the right hand, a key change and markings of "piu lento" and "sostenuto" on the music. I don't have a 100% feeling of key for this section, but since most of the bass line is hanging around the key of D sharp minor, it is probably the key. Once again, there are feelings of tonic but not strong enough to be a cadence. This section is nine bars long and modulates back to the original key of F sharp major.

The return of the A section is only ten bars long. The first couple of bars are parallel with the opening A section, but then there is additional development of the main theme and a PAC in F sharp major in the sixth bar, eighth bar, and the last two bars serve a terminative function to end in the key of F sharp major.


jendpu said...

WoW this was so rediculously thorough that I don't even know what to say. The only thing I would add is maybe how dynamics or other structural phenomena help to show the different sections.

John Styx said...

Did you listen to the piece? I don't mean that in a derogatory manner, I'm just curious. I did and definately felt the PACs in F# in the A section very strongly. I'm no pianist (and a hack at best in theory) but the feeling of those PACs was strong in my opinion, the arpeggiations were simply ornamentaion. As for the B section, it does move fluidly throughout the keys, it was very hard to place tonally except for the beginning and end. Good Job as usual!

Spoonaloompa said...

Wow - we had very different interpretations of this.

I agree with John in that I feel like the cadences in the beginning are in F# - the seventh (B) takes away strength from it being a modulation to C#, not a PAC in F#. Also, I felt that the same section was made up of two phrases and not one.

Good job though - very thorough but not too boring (mine was).

Minnie Mouse said...

I don't want to get into this cadence argument...BUT I will say that I agree with the Spoon man when he says he feels that section is definitely two phrases. The first cadence, although not strong unless you were listening closely...was clear to me.

mvittorio said...

I agree with other commenters. Your analysis is amazing. And, if you could combine this with a little personal writing about your own feelings derived from this piece, it would be quite enjoyable.