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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Mendelssohn Op. 19b, no. 1

This piece is in ternary form, and because the first section modulates, I would say composite rather than simple. The initial statement is made in the first 14 measures. This section makes up the A part is an expository unit. The first phrase ends on a half cadence, and then the second phrase is extended until ending on the dominant of the original key to form an asymmetrical, parallel, modulating period. There is a crescendo at the end to heighten the finality. The motive and material of the A section does not return in the B part. Though the left hand is similar to the A section, the contrast is made through the rhythmic and contour change in the right hand. Also, it begins very tonally unstable, sequencing up by scale in the base. It then transitions in to measures to G major but then starts rotating with B major. This whole section is marked by ambiguity in direction and I would consider it a modulating section. The A section returns finally, and a dynamic change to forte adds to its return. It is varied this time by being longer and adding more cadences. Though parts of it hint at periods, I would consider this whole unit to be a phrase group.

3 comments:

mvittorio said...

Great description. How does it hint at periods at the end if you decided to call it a phrase group?

Mr. Luxury Yacht said...

Good job. I found the discussion on the book distinguishing simple from composite to be quite confusing. I think the distinction is that a composite form has each section which is so radically different from each other that they could exist seperately like a menuet-trio movement. This piece has a consistent tempo and overall sixteenth note motive so I'd say it is simple.

Martin Buber said...

nice use of the dynamics to support your point. Clear explanation and wording, made it easy to follow.