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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.


Kaberle said...

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