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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Extended Analysis C: Brahms

Here's my chord analysis, I apologize for any mistakes:
msr. 33: I64; V7
msr. 34: iii6; I64
msr. 35: I6; vi;
msr. 36: ii65; I7
msr. 37: iv6; IV
msr. 38: vii halfdim7/V; V
msr. 39: V; I65
msr. 40: vi; IV; vii65
msr. 41: vi; vi6; I7
msr. 42: vi7; vi; ii43; FR+6
msr. 43: I64; I7
msr. 44: iv7; ii65; bVI
msr. 45: V/V
msr. 46: V7
msr. 47: V7
msr. 48: I7
msr. 49: I7
msr. 50: I7; IV64
msr. 51: iihalfdim42; I

For Brahms's "Die Mainacht" I am looking at the song's final stanza. Here we see the climax in measure 41 with the high F# with the arpeggiated fall downward in 42 and up to the C in msr. 43. We saw this before in msr. 29, but that was the end of the second stanza. Here this repeat of that pattern is a set up for the end of the piece. This was set up by the V chord is msr. 39-one of the few root triads in the piece. To keep up for a dramatic ending, the harmony flows through msrs. 43-45 with a bVI and mode mixture of the V/V chord. Brahms moves from msr. 47-48 with an authentic cadence of V-I, while the piano postlude uses the I7 chord to build to an unusual ending of a plagal cadence with the iihalfdim42-I. Backing up a bit to msr. 33 to the word "Morgenrot." What's interesting here is that the pause in the text doesn't coincide with the phrase ending. The phrase actually ends in msr. 38 with the half cadence on "dich?". When performing this bit, as a singer, i would make the eighth rest at the end of 35 more of a lift than an actual breath as to continue the line all the way through to "dich" to end the question. Same in msr. 44, I would treat the rest after "heisser" as a lift or slight pause, to continue the line to the end. This is the awesome dramatic end of "And the lonely tear trembles, burning, down my cheek." I would really emphasize the harmonic embellishments in msr. 45 and bring out the sadness in this ending, making full use of the piano dynamic and ritard in the postlude.

1 comment:

Scott said...

36: ii65 - V43/IV
42: iiø43 rather than Fr6
44: iv - V7/bII
45: bII - bII6
48-50: V7/IV

Good performance ideas.