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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Mainacht By Andrew Chapin

In Johannes Brahms’ Die Mainacht tells the story where the main character of the story is walking on a May night (hence Mainacht) trying to find solace from the world and to find comfort from her sorrows by walking at night. Brahms establishes a sense of restlessness by avoiding root position chords, this begins at measure two. The phrasing is very interesting and unique, it seems as if the entire stanza is the entire first phrase. The performer would have to divide the phrase into sub-phrases. There are some obvious times to breathe and break, but there should always be a sense that the line of the phrase keeps moving to the end of the phrase. The first strong cadence is at the end of measure thirteen. There is also some wonderful instances of text painting. Such as on the word “traurig” (sadly) there is some major motion then a soft diminished seventh chord on “traurig.” On the word “Taubenpaar” (pair of doves) the bass line is in eighth notes suggesting the “fluttering” of the doves and the treble line has a sequence going down from C, and in between high A’s suggesting a flying feeling. On the word “suche dunklere Schatten” the note on schatten is low suggesting the darkness of the phrase and the low point of the characters feelings. The postlude I feel, is like a sense of giving up, because there is no real strong declamatory ending to the piece.

1 comment:

Scott said...

There is a half cadence at m. 8. The cadence at 13 is weakened by the mode mixture (minor tonic chord) and by occurring on beat 3 rather than beat 1. Give measure numbers where these words occur. The chord on "traurig" is half-diminished. Yes, the postlude is not as strong, ending on a plagal cadence rather than an authentic cadence. Though the voice part does end on a strong PAC at m. 48. The postlude is a cadential expansion, stretching out the final tonic chord through a V7/IV, IV64, iiø42, and finally the last I.