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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Opus Posthumous Rondo

I never cease to be amazed at what this book asks you to do with so short a piece. All though, to the credit of Beethoven and this book there is quite a lot shoved into this two page piece.

It is obviously a RONDO because 1) that is the chapter/ section we are in and 2) it is labeled that way ;) you gotta love when they make it easy for you, or at least you think they make it easy for you until you dive a little deeper in. When I first heard this piece I was a little confused on the form while following it in the score because there were quite a lot of repeats, including a repeat of both the B and C section. I wondered how this could still stand as a Rondo form with a repeating B and C and then decided that all of the repeating A sections trumped any kind of doubt that I had.

The book then brings up an interesting thing for us to focus on in our writing the idea that this piece is a hybrid, a mixture of multiple forms. First of all it is a RONDO but within that large undefined form we have two possible break downs, a five or seven part rondo. We have learned that a seven part rondo is characterized by of course, having seven parts, but also have a C section that stands its own against ABA and ADA. This greater division of a seven part rondo gives us the feeling of composite ternary. However, this piece only has ABACA, which leads us to believe that it is a five part rondo. The only question that still bothers me is the length of the C section ( I originally felt that after measure 48 that we were headed to D, but since there was no A there could not be a D). We then have measures 67 through 74 that serves as a retransition back into our final A that is repeated and then followed by a coda. We also find a shorter transition back into A after B with the chromatic run found in measures 27 and 28.

The C section has a definite minor feel compared to the A and B section. As suggested by the book they could both have their own feeling and are made up of separate forms. They both could stand alone as separate binary forms, just as the whole thing could also be seen as having qualities of a composite ternary form.

The book also asked us to look at the harmonic rhythm. The harmonic rhythm of the A section is interesting compared to the other sections. A is made up of an 8 bar phrase, a sentence structure with 2 + 2 + 4, and yet section B has an 10 measure phrase and C, well we can just C is much longer than an 8 bar phrase.

Beethoven seemed to like to mix it up for us, give us something to keep us awake since there seems to be no category under which this piece fits exactly, therefore a listener would not fall into the possibility of getting bored with the Rondo form, with the continuos repetition of A.

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