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String Quartet No. 4 in c minor, Op. 18, No. 4
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Finale, Presto String Quartet No. It is very similar to and [m. The triplet passage now begins at the same level as the previous one instead of higher. Other than the fact that the active accompaniment stays in the first viola instead of moving to the cello, the triplets are completely analogous, with their extension and slowing. Because of the alteration from before, the new arrival key is D major rather than A major. It follows the theme from the exposition rather closely, with some important voicing changes. These include the plucked accompaniment being played only by second cello, and the later, faster rising plucked arpeggio being played by the first viola instead of the second.
Decisive motion back to B-flat and strong arrival. It is played by the first viola instead of the first cello. The accompanying instruments are the same as in the exposition at and [m. Buildup of intensity as the music reaches higher before being interrupted.
The first viola now harmonizes with the long notes in the first violin, leaving the dissonant plucked figure to the second viola and first cello. Very gradual intensification. The plucked chords are played by second violin and second not first viola, and there are other scoring reassignments. Essentially, the viola parts are reversed from the exposition in this passage. CODA [m. It is similar to the beginning of the development, but remains in the major key.
The first cello leads, followed by first viola, and the other instruments join in a final swell of intensity and retreat that includes chromatic notes. The second violin plays an oscillating accompanying, the second cello a long pedal bass note that becomes syncopated during the retreat. Descending figures lead smoothly into the final passage as the music slows.
All instruments except the second cello, which holds over its pedal bass note, are now plucked, punctuating the melody with chords. The first violin takes over from the first viola, and the second cello finally abandons its long bowed note to join the pizzicato. All remains quiet and gentle through a high-reaching arrival and subsequent confirming cadence gestures. Then suddenly, the instruments take up their bows for the strong final chords. The first viola presents the broad, noble, and somewhat tragic theme.
It begins with an upbeat. The violins are absent. The lower instruments have accompanying chords that are steady, strong, and austere. Note the many florid decorations in the melody.
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Part 1 ends on a half-close. The first violin now plays the theme an octave higher, and with the entry of the violins, the accompaniment becomes more rhythmic and full, especially in the first viola, which just gave up the melody to the first violin. It plays very forceful, rhythmic gestures. The second phrase of the Theme is again given to the first viola, with the violins dropping out.
The steady accompaniment continues. Part 2 is somewhat more striving and tense than Part 1. The cadence is extremely satisfying. The viola reaches into its very highest register. The second phrase is repeated an octave higher by the first violin. The accompaniment is again more full and rhythmic. The cadence is even more satisfying as the violin reaches into its very high register. At the close, there is a quick downward motion. The violins, imitated by the violas, intensely play a new, forceful triplet rhythm.
A strong downward cello line in triplets leads to the repeat or to Part 2. The second phrase follows the pattern of the first, with the forceful triplets followed by the more gentle second half and the clashing rhythms. There is a powerful crescendo at the end, with another strong cello line. The cellos stormily rush up and down. The other instruments respond with short two-note figures. There is a buildup in the second half as the cellos play a sequence of rising scales. At the end, the violins and violas play rushing, descending scales to close off the phrase.
The cellos continue their rapid, stormy, arching scales in octaves. Slightly longer responses from the other instruments. The second half has another buildup with rising cello scales. This time, the violins emphatically play the closing gesture of the theme during the last of them. Descending, decorated scales from violins, then violas end the variation. This version of the melody is extremely warm and expressive. It is played by first violin and first viola with a gently descending accompaniment from second viola and first cello.
The second violin only joins at the very end of the phrase with a low harmonization. For the repeat, the first violin takes the melody an octave higher, while the first viola stays at the same level. This time, the second violin plays the descending accompaniment with the first cello, the second viola taking over the low harmonization at the end.
For the second phrase, the music becomes slightly more intense, as in the original theme. It is also highly chromatic, with a long rising half-step scale. The second violin and first viola now play the melody. The first violin is entirely absent for the phrase. The descending accompaniment is again in second viola and first cello. In an intensification, the two violins now play the melody an octave higher than the first statement. The first viola joins the accompaniment.
Brahms indicates great expressiveness in this phrase. This variation remains in the major key. After the swell of emotion at the end of the last variation, it is suddenly very quiet. Both cellos drop out completely. The violins accompany with short figures, usually descending octaves, also in a very high range. The first viola continues its high melody with the violin responses.
Now the cellos join in with descending plucked punctuations.
String Quartet No. 6 (Beethoven) - Wikipedia
In the second half of the phrase, all the four top instruments play in harmony in a lower range, the cellos continuing their short plucked punctuations. A full statement, without repeats, of the Theme in its original minor-key form. It is played by the first cello with light accompaniment. The violins play short plucked figures as echoes. As the theme reaches its cadence, the violins begin an extremely gentle and organically emerging extension. A short phrase derived from the end of the theme is passed twice between violins in harmony and first cello, then the violins play a longer phrase.
The second cello plays a constant, throbbing low D. The previous sequence is repeated with cello and violins responding to the viola pair, the violas then playing the longer phrase. The second cello continues its constant low D, moving only during the last viola phrase. The entire extension mixes major and minor, and the final four closing bars after the last viola phrase move decisively to a warm major-key cadence. The violins play it in harmony with a steady, wide-ranging bass from plucked cellos in unison. The violas enter in the third bar with brief rising figures.
These develop into a more active counterpoint at the end of the twelve-bar phrase. The last half also has a powerful crescendo and key change that propel the phrase to a strong cadence in C major. In a contrasting phrase, the six instruments enter in imitation from top to bottom on the main tune. The music turns briefly to minor. There are strong syncopated accents on the third beats of bars, with notes and chords held across bar lines.
After all the instruments have entered, the top lines become more active, leading to a quick descending arpeggio and the return of the main material. A quick return to major and a reprise of Part 1. The violas play in harmony from the outset, merging into their counterpoint after six bars. After the first eight bars, the remainder of the phrase is altered and extended using material from the contrasting phrase. This extension helps to avoid the key change, and the ending, which returns to the Part 1 material, is in the home key after an even more powerful increase of volume.
The last four rising notes are repeated for emphasis. Reprise of contrasting phrase from The repeated four rising notes merge directly into the Trio. TRIO - Animato [m. The Trio remains in F major. It is much more animated and exuberant than the main Scherzo. It grows out of the punctuating repeated notes at the end of the Scherzo, which are restated an octave lower to lead into the Trio.
The cellos propel things forward with jubilant rising arpeggios as all six instruments play together. The material is based on a descending scale in a long-short rhythm. Part 1 is brief, and quickly moves to C major, as the Scherzo had done. The six instruments play an expansion of the opening figure in forceful unison. The trio material from part 1 is stated and extended in the unexpected and remote key of D-flat. These make a rather striking key change to B-flat major. The key relationships are analogous to Part 1 itself.
The restatement reaches somewhat higher at its climax than had Part 1, and the violas are more active. Ending and cadence in F major [to m. Reprise of unison passage and extended statement in D-flat from No repetition. The repeated four rising notes lead to the coda. This emerges into a series of rapidly repeated first violin notes with accompanying chords moving like the descending scales from the Trio. Two final chords end the movement. The theme has a regular phrase structure and is completely closed.
The first cello again takes the melody, which winds expansively and chromatically. There is a swell in volume during the second half, and the first violin varies this part of the melody by striving higher than the original tune at the climax and holding the top note over a bar line. The volume diminishes at the cadence. Some reiterations of the closing cadence lead to a new detached triplet rhythm in the upper three instruments. This reaches a high point, then a quiet undulating passage moves the music to F major.
It is presented by the first violin and first viola with undulating accompaniment from second viola and first cello. The second cello holds a long F. The second violin drops out during this melody. Motion to C major. It is stated three times with increasing intensity. The succeeding descent is in longer notes, with pulsations in the cellos. It settles to a cadence in F major. It overlaps with the preceding cadence. The first violin and first viola provide very quiet undulating accompaniment.
The second cello again holds a long F that moves at the end. The second violin and second viola are both absent during this statement of the melody, which is extended by one bar and moves to the home key of B-flat. It is based on the upward striving figure, which is presented by the cellos, to whom the violins respond. This merges into a series of quiet repeated violin notes that then become syncopated.
The other instruments provide a very chromatic accompaniment based on the Rondo theme. The syncopations briefly oscillate between two notes. The accompaniment then emerges as Rondo theme fragments passed between the instruments over continued syncopation in the violins. These nebulous fragments emerge joyously and brilliantly into the Rondo theme itself.
The theme is in its original form, without the variations heard at [m. The repeated chords are again played by second viola and second cello, the phrase itself by first cello. The phrase is now extended two bars by echoes in the violins. The accompaniment is different throughout.
The first half has a new line in descending arpeggios from the second violin that obscures the rhythm by beginning the arpeggios off the beat. The second half introduces triplet rhythms in the second violin and second viola, and the pizzicato notes only begin then, later than at [m.
The violas enter with rapidly sweeping accompaniment figures passed between them. The cellos follow the violins on the forceful repeated notes.
These become more active, with smaller note values, but the longer repeated notes return in powerful octaves. B-flat major, moving to D minor. The cellos play a low, throbbing E-flat. The first cello joins the harmony after five bars, leaving the low E-flat to the second cello. Halfway through the expressive phrase, the violins join as well, creating a warm, full harmony. The low E-flat persists in the second cello until the half-close. The repeated notes are now led by the violas and the rapidly sweeping accompaniment figures are now passed between the violins.
Motion to G minor instead of D minor. The rapidly sweeping gestures are passed between the second violin and second viola while the first violin and first viola, followed by the cellos, take the opening repeated notes. These now sound like hammer blows. The material builds to an intense climax as the repeated notes evolve into two-note hammering gestures that fall in the upper instruments and rise in the cellos. This is followed by a rapid subsiding, with the first viola and first cello left alone on the two-note figures.
Motion to A-flat. It is decorated by occasional triplet rhythms. The two-note rising figures continue from the previous section in the accompaniment. The repeated chords are passed between the first violin and the lower three instruments, the first viola continuing the two-note rising figures. This material builds to an intense climax. The music then subsides in preparation for the return of the Rondo theme. The second viola plays a triplet rhythm. The cellos play long held notes in octaves, first on B-flat, then on F, which has a very strong pull toward B-flat, increasing the tension, anticipation, and expectation before the return of the long-absent Rondo theme.
In this statement, the four phrases are separated with alternation. The second viola is completely absent, and only the first viola plays continuously with a flowing line. The violins play in the first and third phrases, and the cellos in the second and fourth. Each pair drops out when the other enters in alternation. It is scored as at , but the extending echoes are played by the first viola instead of the violins.