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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Schumann: "The Prophetic Bird" from Waldszenen

"The Prophetic Bird" is an interesting example of simple ternary form. We begin in the key of Bb Major. The A section is very ambiguous to me, and I see it as more of a section than a period or phrase group because I do not hear any clear cadences. Measure 1-4 is definitely a melodic motive, and that melodic motive is shifted up a fifth starting in measure 4 to measure 8. The end of Measure 4 could be seen as an arpeggiated AC. I think that Measures 4-8 could tonicize F Major, since there's a sort of AC in that key halfway through Measure 8. Still, I feel that this is more of a section than anything else. It is important to note that for both A sections, the opening melodic motive repeats at the end of the section.

This piece is certainly not rounded binary because the B section acts as a seperate exposition; it is not a development of the previous A section. Verious structural phenomena, such as a change in key to G Major, change in rhythm, texture, register, and timbre. The B section is lower and broader than the fast 32nd note patterns of the A section. The B section appears to be more of a phrase group. One phrase consists of just measure 19 ane ends on a AC, the following phrase also takes up mostly measure 20 and ends more ambiguously as it modulates to D Major. A clear cadence is heard at measure 22 in D Major. The opening phrase of the B section repeats, yet is used to modulate back to Bb Major for the A section.

The recapitulation of the A section is abrupt and not as obvious as the transition to the B section before it. First of all, the B section feels unfinished, it transitions directly into the A section, as in the melody of the B section becomes the melody of the A section.

The recapitulation of the A section begins the same way, yet uses variations in the left hand accompaniment, as well as subtle changes in the melody.

3 comments:

Kaberle said...

Liz,
good job of really writing the outline of the piece..without even looking at it i could get a general idea of what it would look like..

Anonymous said...

It's not in B-flat. It's in g minor!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is correct... G minor