restricted access XIII: Facing Two Directions: Op. 49 Nos. 1 and 2, Op. 54, Op. 78, Op. 90
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:III 0 00 Facing Two Directions OP. 49 Nos. 1 AND 2, OP. 54, OP. 78, OP. 90 The two-movement sonata represents a return, full circle, to the beginnings of the suite in the pairing of contrasting dance movements. Eliminating either an opening Allegro or a traditional Adagio from a typical three-movement sonata rules out an overall departure and return. A two-movement form lends itself to an either/ or contrast that is illustrated by Opp. 49 NO.1, 54, 78, and 90. The ultimate, sublime example of such contrast of character is Op. lll, which will be treated separately . Considered as a group, the opus order of the two-movement sonatas present an ascending dramatic unity and sophistication in the integration of motivic material. Admittedly, the motivic relationship between the two movements of Op. 49 No.2 is more obvious than that in Op. 90, although in comparison with the latter, the G-major sonata projects little sense of drama. Or. 49 Nos. 1 AND 2 Because of the title, Leichte Sanaten, and because of their suitability as repertoire for teaching, the musical substance of these works is likely to be overlooked. The pianist who plays for singers and thinks as a singer will find the angularity of the melodic line in the opening of Op. 49 No. 1 a clue to the substance of the piece. Keyboardists are deprived of the sensation of producing the actual sound and The Sonatas 192 shaping musical ideas within the human body. In the melodic line of the G-minor Sonata, the vocal reaching, often for a pitch stressed with an mfp or an fp, remains meaningless if sixths and fourths represent only the span of notes under the hand. To appreciate melodic distance as a singer, the pianist might practice mm. 5-8 as notated in Ex. 13.1, without pedal, using one hand. For the voice, the appoggiaturas and short slurs in Ex. 13.2 offer an opportunity for communicating warmth and grace. Ex. 13.1. OP. 49 NO.1, I, MM. 5-8. Ex. 13.2. OP. 49 NO.1, I, MM. 14-15. Melodic direction assumes a deciding role from the very beginning of the movement . Reaching upward a fourth to the dominant seventh of G minor and then up a sixth to the subdominant, each time remaining there a full measure, sounds musically strained. In the second theme the melodic reach is downward and freed from effort, permitting the tempo to move ahead, the more so since the line drifts atop an Alberti bass of sustained harmony. While one would not break the melodic line at each barline, the separate slur beginning on c3 in m. 26, the highest pitch in the exposition, may be interpreted as a vocal stress (Ex. 13.3). Ex. 13.3. OP. 49 NO.1, I, M. 26. The musical sense of the development also depends on the direction of the lines. In the sequential material following the B phrase, the line droops; with m. 54 the direction vacillates between rising and falling, the effortful rising line of mm. 58-63 with its pedal point and sforzandos, falling back and climbing again, ultimately Facing Two Directions 193 breaks off short of its goal (Ex. 13-4). Once again, the piano is best treated as a human voice, since, in proportion to what it has to say, the passage is poor in notes, much like a sketch. Here, the reaching-or yearning or desiring-attains its highest point, only to fall short of fulfillment. For a child these measures may be simple or may be difficult; the association of reaching and longing may be beyond the experience of that age. An adult, on the other hand, may find these measures too simple to symbolize anything. Ex. 13.4. Or. 49 No. I, I, MM. 58-64. In m. 92, sforzandos are the physical expression of what would be a huge melodic leap for a singer (Ex. 13.5). The most important reason for the repeated sforzando on the c in the left hand in mm. 98, 100, and 102 is the one just mentioned-expressive effect through physical exaggeration. The sforzando also points out the placement of the closing theme in the bass, and, by sounding ominous, it provides a contrasting background for the G-major ending. Ex. 13.5. Or. 49 No. I, I, MM. 92-93· Although the character of the second movement is new, the musical shapes are...