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Thursday, February 21, 2008


Let's look at a few measures of Mozart's Piano Sonata in C Major. Measure 41 starts with a minor i64 chord going to V in the next measure, then a minor i in first inversion in measure 43. All pretty typical - measure 44 Mozart starts intensifying by placing a V42 harmony with a sforzando piano. Mozart then moves on to a VI6 harmony and uses the c sharp at the end of the measure to slide into the minor iv chord in measure 46. In measure 47 Mozart gives us a Neopolitan6 chord- the climax of this section. It quickly resolves to a i64 within the same measure, Mozart takes a whole measure longer to finally reach the expected V in measure 48. If I were to perform this piece, I would be sure to dramatize the build of climax leading to the N6. Mozart places a giant slur over the entire melodic section of the V42 in measure 44. The next two measures are given slurs for pairs of notes, giving the listener the idea of a bow on a violin. I think it would be good to have these two measures leading up to the N6 be the "mysterious" part- gradually moving up to the shock. Mozart directs the performer to crescendo to the N6 chord, and that's what I would do if I were to play this piece, and since he also places a slur over the melodic section and quickly moves to a i64, which is unusual, I would move along through the N6. I think Mozart meant for this to be different. N6 chords very often come at final cadences- there's definitely a reason that this isn't the case in this section. Perhaps Mozart is trying to give the listener the illusion of a sad ending coming while keeping the piece going.

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