Cover

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Title, Copyright, Dedicaiton

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

It would be dif¤cult given limitations of space and memory to acknowledge each and every individual who assisted in the completion of this book. I nevertheless would like to recognize those who were at the forefront in helping me develop the book’s intellectual substance and sustaining me through the inevitable ups and downs of authorship. My interest in the dialectic of articulation and continuity in nineteenth-century music was ¤rst sparked by the teaching of Robert Morgan of Yale University. Professor Morgan was ...

Introduction

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1. Quintessential Brahms and the Paradox of the C-Minor Piano Quartet: A Representative yet Exceptional Work

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pp. 3-28

“Imagine a man who is about to shoot himself, and for whom there is no other way out.” So suggested Johannes Brahms to his friend Hermann Deiters upon showing him a version of the ¤rst movement of his C-Minor Piano Quartet, op. 60, in the summer of 1868.1 As advice for music appreciation, this certainly stands out as one of the most unusual suggestions ever offered by a composer. Brahms nevertheless continued to associate the quartet with images of...

PART ONE

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2. Analytical Preliminaries: Brahms’s Sonata Forms and the Idea of Dimensional Counterpoint

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pp. 31-65

Before starting in-depth exploration of the quartet, it will be helpful to describe the theoretical framework that forms the basis for subsequent analytical discussion. My approach to the quartet focuses primarily on musical form as a road leading to the intersection of structure and expression. Form, however, is conceived from a perspective that is more inclusive than is often the case in either theoretical or musicological studies. A movement’s form consists of the total structure that emerges through a counterpoint of musical...

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3. A Schoenbergian Perspective: Compositional Economy, Developing Recapitulation, and Large-Scale Form

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pp. 66-107

Up to this point discussion of analytic matters has focused attention on insights that a Schenkerian perspective can offer when set in counterpoint with traditional views of form. Although Schenker made no secret of his deep admiration, even reverence, for Brahms, very few of his published analyses focus on works of the master. His expressions of veneration, however, were more than a matter of lip service. Recent research into Schenker’s Nachlass has shown that Schenker was fully engaged with Brahms’s music, both...

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4. Brahms and Schenker: A Mutual Response to Sonata Form

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pp. 108-121

At the end of Chapter 2, I suggested that a ®exible view of relationships between thematic design, key scheme, and tonal structure is a hallmark of Brahms’s and Schenker’s conceptions of sonata form. This similarity of perspective is not surprising given their shared values and dedication to tradition in the face of what they both saw as a decline in musical culture. A connection between Brahms’s and Schenker’s musical thought, however, resides not only in their insight into broad characteristics of the Viennese...

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5. Brahms’s Expository Strategies: Two-Part Second Groups, Three-Key Expositions, and Modal Shifts

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pp. 122-180

The sonata form Brahms inherited from the eighteenth century is a form characterized by articulations and the discontinuities required to create those articulations. As no less an authority on Classical style than Charles Rosen has noted, “discontinuities are, indeed, the principal preoccupation of the late eighteenth-century theorists—Quantz, Vogler, Koch, etc.; what concerns them most is the character and the placing of cadence and half-cadence within any musical form.”1 If one were forced to choose a single primordi...

PART TWO

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6. Toward an Expressive Interpretation: Correlations for Suicidal Despair

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pp. 183-233

How is it possible to discuss musical expression? The question has vexed musicians for centuries. Although there is no end in sight to the debate—nor should there be—scholars have made signi¤cant progress in recent years to address the topic. My purpose here is not to survey and critique, in any comprehensive way, the large body of literature that has grown up around issues of musical meaning. Such an endeavor, although fascinating on its own terms, would carry us too far a¤eld from our goal, which is to come to grips with...

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7. Intertextual Resonances: Tragic Expression, Dimensional Counterpoint, and the Great C-Minor Tradition

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pp. 234-284

For the conclusion of this study of Brahms’s C-minor piano quartet, it seems only appropriate to develop and recapitulate several of the expository ideas introduced at the outset of my analytical odyssey. The main animating point for much that has transpired has been the notion that the quartet holds a unique and paradoxical position within Brahms’s oeuvre. It is in so many respects unmatched for both structural idiosyncrasy as well as expressive intensity. Yet as we have had occasion to observe again and again, the quartet...

Notes

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pp. 285-308

Bibliography

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pp. 309-318

Index of Brahms’s Works

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pp. 319-320

General Index

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pp. 321-325

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About the Author

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p. 326

PETER H. SMITH is Associate Professor of Music Theory at the University of Notre Dame. He has also ...