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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Sic hoc adfixum in obice legere potes, et liberaliter educatus et nimis propinquus ades


mea. 1 – i

mea. 2 – iv6

mea. 3 – i

mea. 4 – V6

mea. 5 – VII

mea. 6 – IV6

mea. 7 – Gr+6

mea. 8 – V7 i6

mea. 9 – V64-53

mea. 10 – i

mea. 11 – vii*7/V

mea. 12 – v

mea. 13 – v7

mea. 14 – II

mea. 15 – vii*/II

mea. 16 – II7

mea. 17 – vii*6

mea. 18 – v7

mea. 19 – i

mea. 20 – vii*7/V

mea. 21 – i V

mea. 22 –

mea. 23 – I

mea. 24 – IV

mea. 25 – VII7

mea. 26 – V7/VI

mea. 27 – VI

mea. 28 – Gr+6

mea. 29 – V

mea. 30-39 – literal repeat of mea. 1-10

The harmonies of the chromatic descending bass line are relatively tame; only a IV6 in mea. 6 and the German augmented 6th chord in mea. 7 pop out as examples of mode mixture; otherwise, the chords develop as one would expect for a classical composer (even the famous cadential 6/4). The B section of this movement has a pedal point in the cello, which provides a dramatic backdrop for the rather odd chords that progress on top of it. It’s a developmental section that flirts with major keys and provides an obvious shift in harmony versus the first section. I say “dramatic” because the kinds of chords created are II and v, both of which, in theory terms, are like saying ‘666’ to religious fanatics. (that’s an overstatement, but you get the idea). Nevertheless, Mozart comes out of this section, reaffirms his domination of minor keys and then gives a repeat of section A. I like that kind of analysis where there’s not a repeat, but writing out the original melody. In theory, it looks like there’s been more work done than I’ve actually accomplished. Anyways…

Key points: be aware of your role within the chord. Because strings are not equally tempered, those darned inner voices can make the difference between the light and proverbial sludge. Leading tones are huge and help set up important chord shifts when Mozart writes for non-diatonic chords (aka mode mixture). As always, play what is written but be creative and constantly have opinions about performance and interpretation – make your recording stand out from the rest!

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