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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Blog # ... whatever is near the end

Mozart String Quartet #15.
We are so close to the end but this blog seems to be one of the longest ones we have seen all semester. Guess they're trying to shove all the good stuff in at the end.
The book has already divided the piece into the three sections for us. The first being the exposition in measures 1-41. And like most Sonata forms there is of course the first and second tonal area. The first being measures 1- 8 which consists of an initial a followed by an a' both 4 measure phrases. There is then a very significant ( at least in length ) transition, that feels very tonally unstable. The second tonal area begins in measure 25 and concludes in measure 31. It is followed by another short transition that leads into the closing material, measures pick up to 36 until 41. As the first key is d minor we expect that the second tonal area will be in the relative major, in this case F Major, which Mozart follows through with. The two sections differ not only in key but in their general feel as well. If I was a performer I would feel more drawn to the emotional contrast between the two keys, we all know that minor is a much more depressing key, but the style of both sections seems to highlight this idea. I believe that it is a closing theme because it is before a strong cadence instead of after one. The book then leads us to the recapitulation, measures 71-117, an odd choice, since we are studying sonata form, we should look at the sonata the way it is written. So, I decided to do it in order and go straight to the development. The development starts in E flat Major and begins with the development of the first tonal area. It begins by developing the motive from the first measure and goes on to develop some of the themes from the closing theme, or I guess it would be to say the closing theme. Then we move into the recapitulation. The recapitulation returns with a pretty much unchanged first tonal section. The second tonal section we should anticipate to be the same motives but transposed into the minor, original key instead of the relative major. The transition should also be the same but should not leave the key of one so will probably have some kind of different ending. The second tonal area is indeed in the same key however the difference is that during the recapitulation the transition is shortened by a half a measure, there is not a strong cadence because there is no reason to declare the new key, instead the second theme area tonal area thing begins at the begin of measure 94 instead of in the middle of the measure, like it was in measure 25. From the beginning of the transition we see that we are going to be staying in the key as it starts on a D in the first violin part instead of on a C, which it did the first time. We then conclude with some nice closing themes like we did in the exposition followed by a coda to give us a nice strong conclusion. Gotta love Mozart, and strings :).

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