STRING QUINTET NO. 2 in G MAJOR,
Recording: Verdi Quartet (Susanne Rabenschlag, 1st
Johannes Hehrmann, 2nd violin; Karin Wolf,
Zoltan Paulich, cello) with Hermann Voss, 2nd Viola
This piece has the
distinction of being what Brahms originally intended to be his
published work. Joachim, with whom he had reconciled
after a long
dispute, had requested a companion piece to the Op. 88 quintet.
Brahms produced a refined masterpiece, and told his publisher
had said all he could as a composer and that no more works
expected. Perhaps the opus number, the same as
piano sonata, was symbolic. A perusal of the works after
shows that clarinetists, pianists, bass
singers, and organists
be eternally grateful that he changed his mind. At any
G-major quintet is a breathtaking piece, almost orchestral in
conception, creating the effect of far more than five
instruments. This is especially true in the first
full opening has placed fear into the hearts of many
Joachim asked him to tone down the tremolo
in the upper instruments, but at this point in his career, he
second guess himself. The movement’s energy never really
despite much quiet material, and Brahms uses the supple 9/8
play his beloved rhythmic games. The other three
all much shorter (each successively so in terms of performance
and all have a distinctive “gypsy” or “Slavonic” element,
the czardas-like finale (which begins in the “wrong”
is in homage both to Joachim’s Hungarian heritage and Brahms’s
earlier works in that style. The slow movement is
admired for its
rich, bold harmonies and progressions. The third
be called a scherzo, but is really a gentle, melancholy
Particularly in the middle section, it often sounds like a
Dvořák, perhaps intentionally so. The brevity of the
movements is no excuse for omitting the exposition repeat in
movement, which has a greater than usual structural
FROM IMSLP (First Edition from Brahms-Institut Lübeck)
SCORE FROM IMSLP (First Edition [monochrome] from Berlin
University of the Arts)
SCORE FROM IMSLP (from
Breitkopf & Härtel Sämtliche
Movement: Allegro non troppo, ma con brio (Sonata-Allegro
G MAJOR, 9/8 time.
0:00 [m. 1]--Theme
four upper instruments begin a strong, richly harmonized tremolo background.
this, in a notoriously difficult challenge for the cellist,
instrument projects the wide-ranging, heroic main theme.
begins in the low register with a downward leap, but it then
upward quite quickly. The rhythm of the theme, with its
three-note and two-note upbeats, sets it apart. The
reaches the high register and hints at the related E minor key
distinctive descent. The upper strings continue their tremolo motion at a
changing harmonies when needed.
0:21 [m. 8]--The tremolo motion
cello continues its melody with the rising motive of a long
followed by two short ones. The two violins imitate this
harmony. The key of B major is suggested here. The
and second violin suggest the tremolo
against a first violin syncopation and a cello descent.
violins then take the long-short material, with the cello
in counterpoint, moving through C major. The first
up for a high descent as the cello and second viola play in
syncopation. The tremolo
motion begins again in the inner instruments as the first
cello build toward the climax.
0:39 [m. 14]--The
have a huge arrival on a C major chord. The violas pass
arpeggios between them in cross rhythms derived from the
The tension increases even more, and is released by a
the theme’s opening in the second viola. It is quickly
the first violin, which soars above the texture. The
introduces a new line as the theme’s rhythm continues in the
second violin. Leaping syncopations lead into the
0:58 [m. 21]--Transition.
instruments come together and sharply force out a D major
chord. The second violin trails downward, and another
forced out, this time a dissonant “diminished” chord.
violin trails down again, and another “diminished’ chord is
out. The first viola now trails, leading to a cascading
on the first violin against an arching ascent and descent in
all on another “diminished” chord while the inner instruments
thick single-note tremolo.
emerges into a quiet preparation for Theme 2, with the second
viola trailing into it.
1:15 [m. 26]--Theme 2,
1. The violas lead the tune in harmony, with short
punctuated by detached responses from the violins, the cello
first viola and cello emerge into a descending cross rhythm (D
1:28 [m. 30]--The
lead on the short melodic fragments. The responses are
by downward-arching lines in the first viola. The first
with the cello, which begins to be bowed at this point,
the cross rhythm heard earlier from the first viola.
1:41 [m. 34]--
violin leads an expansion of the theme in F-sharp minor that
incorporates the cross rhythms. After moving back to D
expansion dissipates into short off-beat sigh figures in the
instruments with the second viola “pushing” into them with
1:54 [m. 38]--Theme 2,
2. The second violin leads this tune, in a skipping
short-long rhythm. The other instruments accompany with
lines, including the first violin. The cello is plucked
again. At the end of the phrase, a rising arpeggio from
violin and first viola leads to the next statement.
2:07 [m. 42]--The
takes over the short-long tune with great gentleness.
arpeggios just heard continue in the inner instruments along
arching lines, both played in counterpoint to the tune.
end of the phrase, there is a rapid buildup in volume, and the
arpeggios emerge in all the instruments, now shooting upward
in a much
faster, powerful triplet rhythm.
2:20 [m. 46]--Closing
Theme. The powerful arpeggios reach a cadence that leads
closing theme. The phrasing and accentuation of this
the beat and meter. The inner instruments play in tremolo on rapidly
continuing the triplet rhythm from the arpeggios. Other
inward pulsation, they move together with the first violin and
beginning in unison but then diverging into harmonies.
begins in a low register, than moves upward. The cello
viola have sharp off-beat chords. The continuation moves
F-sharp minor. There is more syncopation and some
the first violin joins the triplet tremolo
pulsation. Finally, it descends to a half-cadence.
2:41 [m. 53]--Very
major is restored with an echo of the closing theme that
devolves into syncopated chords held over strong beats and bar
lines. These continue, and reach a cadence in D
the first statement of the exposition, the cadence is
is not the case in the second statement. This is why
repeat is absolutely essential in this late work.
2:54 [m. 57, first ending]--The
ending to the exposition moves back to the home key of G major
quietly slipping into the rhythm of the main theme. The
violin and second viola are gently plucked. The first
first viola pass Theme 1 fragments between them until they
a cross rhythm, with the intensity quickly and powerfully
increasing. Here, the cello begins Theme 1 just before
instruments can bring things together again on the tremolo, the two
instruments quickly picking up their bows.
3:00 [m. 2 (59)]--Theme
From this point, the cello having begun the theme without the
preceding it, the theme continues from the downward leap as at
3:17 [m. 8]--Long-short-short
and motion through B major and C major, as at 0:21.
3:35 [m. 14]--Arrival
C-major chord and re-emergence of the theme’s opening, as at
3:55 [m. 21]--Transition
forced chords, as at 0:58.
4:12 [m. 26]--Theme 2,
1. Short viola fragments with detached responses, as at
4:25 [m. 30]--Violin
of the short fragments, as at 1:28.
4:37 [m. 34]--Expansion
F-sharp minor, as at 1:41.
4:50 [m. 38]--Theme 2,
2. Skipping short-long melody, as at 1:54.
5:04 [m. 42]--Gentle
violin statement followed by rapid buildup and triplet
arpeggios, as at
5:16 [m. 46]--Closing
with obscured meter, tremolo
repetitions, and motion to half-cadence in F-sharp minor, as
5:38 [m. 53]--Restoration
major and syncopated chords, as at 2:41. The cadence is
completed, and is left hanging on the “dominant” chord in
for the development section.
5:51 [m. 57, second ending]--The
development section uses the two-flat key signature of G minor
and B-flat major. It begins in B-flat major with a very
quiet tremolo in
triplets, against which
the first viola, then the first violin, tentatively present a
third. The two instruments then alternate again on
thirds. They begin to slowly arch downward. The
slips into the tremolo
other instruments, then the second violin emerges out of it,
the first violin in contrary motion on the arching line.
6:19 [m. 65]--The tremolo figures now
repeated notes. The first violin and first viola surge
with the rising third figures, but now strongly accent and
them. The music greatly increases in intensity, moving
through B-flat minor, then to G minor, both related minor keys
previous B-flat major.
6:31 [m. 69]--A long
counterpoint begins in G minor. Fragments of Theme 1 are
between the instruments, all in arpeggios. Faster
directly juxtaposed with slower ones. They are regularly
punctuated with sharp tremolo
chords. As the counterpoint builds to a climax, the
plays high notes in syncopation along with other cross-rhythm
in the lower instruments. A cadence in G minor leads to
following statement of Theme 1.
7:00 [m. 79]--With tremolo preparation in
the cello suddenly and strongly begins a statement of Theme 1
four-string chord. It starts in E-flat major, but
unstable and veers toward D-flat. The second viola joins
cello in dovetailing fragments, while the upper three
continue the tremolo.
7:14 [m. 84]--The
suddenly quiets down, and a seemingly new harmonized melody
from Theme 1 is heard in a lilting rhythm in the remote key of
major, moving to A-flat. It is then shifted upward and
major, moving to B. After both statements of the lilting
repeated detached notes become more prominent and more
7:38 [m. 90]--The
nature of the detached notes is here fulfilled in a mysterious
with winding harmonized violins and continuing repeated
notes. The passage is stated in G minor, then in B-flat
a reversal of the pattern from 6:19 [m. 65]. The B-flat
statement is diverted to F.
7:52 [m. 94]--In a
outburst, the “ominous” repeated notes become powerful,
re-transition to the recapitulation. The repeated notes
with powerfully downward-winding descents, moving up in
harmony from C
major/minor through D minor to E major. The cello
the downward-winding descents as well, turning them around to
ascents. Upon reaching E major, the repeated notes
heavy, and are expanded, leading through A minor to C major.
8:11 [m. 100]--The
7:14 [m. 84] is now presented powerfully in C major, only to
interrupted again by the heavy repeated notes. The tremolo returns in the
instruments, signifying that the recapitulation is imminent.
8:21 [m. 103]--In the
re-transition, the previous passage is restated in E-flat
major, but is
now interrupted by ascending arpeggios that break off the tremolo and move from the
the violins, introducing cross rhythms similar to those heard
first ending of the exposition. Only at the last moment,
cello suddenly emerges into Theme 1, does the music slip from
major into G major.
8:30 [m. 106]--Theme
The cello begins it, as expected, but the accompaniment, with
violin arpeggios, is different. After one bar, the first
takes up the theme from the cello, the latter instrument
other three on the shimmering tremolo
motion. The first violin continues the theme with its
contour, albeit two octaves higher than the cello
8:48 [m. 112]--Here,
passage analogous to 0:21 and 3:17 [m. 8], the first violin
from the exposition. While the motive with a long note
by two short ones is used here as expected, the harmonies are
different, and while the two violins play together in sonorous
thirds, there is no imitation at first. Almost
cello alone continues the tremolo,
the violas playing in direct counterpoint to the violins and
original cello descent heard after the motive (while the
reverse the direction, moving upward). The motive
with the violas imitating the violins. The passage is
omitting the passage from 0:39 and 3:35 [m. 14], and leading
9:01 [m. 116]--Transition.
previous passage having reaffirmed the home key of G major,
transition is played there instead of on D, as before.
real difference otherwise from 0:58 and 3:55 [m. 21] is that
trailing lines are reversed. The first viola takes the
trailing lines after the “forced” chords, and the second
the last one before the first violin plunge and cello arch.
9:18 [m. 121]--Theme
2, Part 1,
in the home key of G. The scoring of the fragments and
is as in the exposition at 1:15 and 4:12 [m. 26], with the
playing pizzicato as
9:31 [m. 125]--As at
4:35 [m. 30], the violins now lead. There is variation
that the second viola now joins the first on the arching
creating new harmonies.
9:44 [m. 129]--The
from 1:41 and 4:37 [m. 34] is now heard in B minor, as would
expected in an analogous motion to the F-sharp minor of the
exposition. The scoring is nearly the same, but the two
reverse roles in the closing “sigh” figures.
9:58 [m. 133]--Theme
2. In a significant difference from 1:54 and 4:50 [m.
skipping short-long melody is presented by the first violin
the second. This requires the first violin to merge
the melody into the ascending arpeggio at the end of the
10:11 [m. 137]--The
statement is very similar to 2:07 and 5:04 [m. 42], but
arpeggios are now mixed with ascending ones in the
The rapid increase in volume and the upward-shooting arpeggios
triplets follow as expected.
10:24 [m. 141]--Closing
The obscured meter and tremolo
repetitions follow the patterns of 2:20 and 5:16 [m. 46],
leading to a
half-cadence in B minor.
10:46 [m. 148]--The
down, smoothly moving back to G major. The passage from
5:48 [m. 53] is omitted. Instead, the figures from the
theme, no longer obscuring the meter, lead into the very
serene beginning of the coda. They are passed between
violin and both violas, with the second violin adding
descending counterpoint. The first viola later joins the
violin in unison. These instruments continue to pass
figures, with the cello mostly providing a drone bass.
violin reaches quite high and becomes syncopated, veering
the minor key. A cello arpeggio leads into the following
11:14 [m. 157]--A rich
warm, but melancholy passage in G minor is based on Theme 2,
the short-long melody, which is taken by the first violin and
incorporates the arching lines. The second violin and
play faster arpeggios with some syncopation, while the second
cello play slower arching lines. At the end, the melody
fragmented into shorter descending “sigh” figures, leading
next passage in major.
11:32 [m. 162]--Now,
moment of great serenity, figures from Theme 1 and Theme 2,
Part 2 are
combined. The Theme 1 figures (ascending arpeggios) are
the lower instruments, the short-long figures from Theme 2,
Part 2 in
the violins (the first viola actually takes both elements at
11:46 [m. 166]--The
figures are now mixed with smooth arching arpeggios from the
violins. The Theme 1 material continues in the lower
and descending arpeggios now join the ascending ones.
makes harmonic digressions to the related minor keys of E and
F-sharp. It becomes quieter and slower, reaching a
half-cadence in E minor.
12:10 [m. 172]--Suddenly,
volume and speed return to their full levels, and two sharp
the entire ensemble lead quickly from E minor back to G
heard in the inner instruments against a descending first
arpeggio and an ascending cello one. The inner
turn to the oscillating tremolo
associated with Theme 1. The first violin and cello play
powerful cadence gesture that is directly taken from the end
development section at 8:21 [m. 103]. This is expanded,
cross rhythms are heard, and the cadence is punctuated with
12:26 [m. 178]--The
leads to some final joyous reminiscences of Theme 1 in all
passed from top to bottom, the cello appropriately taking the
arpeggio last. The other instruments plunge downward
two last brilliant chords, in which all instruments except the
play triple and quadruple stops.
12:42--END OF MOVEMENT [181
Adagio (Ternary/Rondo hybrid form). D MINOR, 2/4 time.
0:00 [m. 1]--Principal
theme. The violas present it, the first taking the
melody and the
second providing a prominent counterpoint. The cello
with steady, widely leaping plucked notes. The melody is
for its heavily leaning toward the “dominant” key (with the
chromatic G-sharp on a short note) and for the distinctive
turning figure in the second bar.
0:12 [m. 3]--As the
enter, not taking over the melody, but providing harmony to
viola melody, the key suddenly shifts to C major. The
cello plays a sharp ascending dotted rhythm, taken over by the
second viola. The first viola continues to spin out the
making another decorated excursion to B-flat as the cello
takes up the
bow. Slipping back to C major and into languid triplets,
melody leads through a subtle progression to the “dominant”
the home key on a quiet tremolo.
0:43 [m. 9]--Episodic
theme. The first violin plays short, isolated figures
by short notes. The second violin enters in harmony and
quasi-imitation on the same figures. The lower three
provide isolated support on the off-beats. The short
start to constitute a melancholy melody that, like the
leans heavily toward the “dominant” harmony.
1:02 [m. 13]--The
has an isolated transition in a triplet rhythm that is clearly
from the principal theme. The second viola and cello
light off-beat harmonies leading back to the theme itself, and
first viola incorporates some light syncopation.
1:13 [m. 15]--Principal
The first two bars transfer the viola parts to the
violins, an octave higher than the opening, with the second
playing the wide plucked notes originally played by the
is also played quietly and expressively, whereas the opening
1:24 [m. 17]--The
shift to C
major happens as expected, but the material itself is varied,
dotted rhythm passed between descending violins and ascending
instruments at an extremely quiet level. The first
so much prominence earlier, here merely provides harmonic
support. One statement of this alternation in C major is
immediately followed by a second in A minor. A third is
major again, but with a striking internal A-major
Finally, a fourth statement without the ascending lower
moves again to the “dominant” harmony (A major, already
implied) of D minor.
2:05 [m. 25]--Episodic
theme. It begins as before in the first violin, but the
supporting lower instruments are now given short lead-in notes
to those heard in the melody itself. When the second
enters, the harmony and direction are immediately
“dominant” key is still emphasized, but at the end, the home
key of D
minor is more strongly asserted by shifting the entire melody
harmonies down a fifth from their original ending in the
0:43 [m. 9].
2:25 [m. 29]--The
rhythm transition is now played by the first violin and first
octaves, with the second violin and second viola, and later
joining in with the light off-beat harmonies much sooner than
statement at 1:02 [m. 13]. The transition is extended by
bars. The first violin leaps strongly downward, then the
arches down and back up, building strongly in volume and
E-flat major and G minor. The first violin re-enters in
preparation for the principal theme.
2:43 [m. 33]--Principal
played in its entirety in the key of G minor. The
the theme and its counterpoint, and the plucked accompaniment
broken into faster notes played by the first viola and cello
2:53 [m. 35]--The
shift is analogous, moving from G minor to F major. The
dotted rhythms are heard as expected, with the bowed second
joining the cello, the first viola providing a new and more
(still plucked) background. The cello takes up the bow
same place as before, and a brief analogous digression to
to the analogous “dominant” of G minor after the languid
where the first viola finally takes up the bow and Brahms
re-scores the original passage.
3:21 [m. 41]--Transition.
music becomes steadily quieter, and the instruments begin a
colorful progression of chords. An echo of the languid
is briefly heard in G minor, and then the colorful, hushed
progression begins again. It includes several unstable
“diminished seventh” chords and much mode mixture. It
to almost nothing.
3:56 [m. 48]--Beginning
minor, the formerly “languid” triplets burst upon the scene in
fashion, alternating between violins and violas, the cello
leaping bass. The triplets then become syncopated, with
accents. The material is given again a step lower, in F
with the violas leading. After more syncopation, the
plunge downward, leading back to the home key of D minor.
4:11 [m. 52]--The
theme suddenly emerges, but it is in the key of D major rather than
is played by the violins, the cello providing the wide-ranging
accompaniment as expected, but the violas unexpectedly carry
triplet rhythm from the previous passage.
4:19 [m. 54]--Instead
expected colorful harmonic shift at this point, the descending
arpeggios in dotted rhythm from 1:24 [m. 17] appear in a
related key, B minor, in the violins in harmony. The
quite stormy and agitated. The cello immediately takes a
descent in dotted rhythm, shifting back to the home key
4:27 [m. 56]--The home
key of D
minor is firmly established here. The cello turns the
rhythm around, ascending as it did in previous appearances of
principal theme. The first violin begins to play the
of the theme as first heard from 0:12 [m. 3], but now
remaining at home
harmonically. The three inner instruments continue to
the dotted rhythm, but introduce a sharp and feverish
4:34 [m. 58]--The
breaks off as the violin melody reaches its climax. The
violin joins it in counterpoint. The accompaniment
figures of the
lower instruments, still featuring the dotted rhythm, become
feverish. The melody itself reaches higher than before
4:48 [m. 62]--With a
accent on the last beat of the previous bar, the first violin
its motion. The other instruments are even faster,
rapid tremolo (with
notes and chords) in a very fast triplet rhythm. The
violin and first viola soon abandon this, joining the first
harmony. The second viola and cello continue with the
instruments slow down, the first violin descending by
the others supporting it, the first viola ascending against
5:08 [m. 66]--As a
re-transition, the first viola plays a long and elaborate
multiple leaps and cross-rhythms, supported by long notes in
viola and cello. The second violin also holds a note for
the large run. The first viola descends, diminishes, and
down, leaping down into a very strong cadence onto the home
This viola run is similar to a passage at the end of the third
(scherzo) of the third string quartet in B-flat (Op. 67).
5:21 [m. 69]--The
first bars of
the principal theme return in their original form and key,
the violins play the melody and counterpoint rather than the
violas. The theme is quiet and expressive.
5:33 [m. 71]--Instead
expected harmonic shift, the music remains in the home key of
and the first violin begins to play a variant of the
that is both gentle and melancholy. The cello is bowed
plucking the two previous bars and joins the second violin and
viola in syncopated harmonies held across bar lines. The
viola provides echoes of the melancholy variant. The
swell one last time and settle to a cadence on a D major (not
chord. The first violin then slips down for the final
6:04 [m. 77]--The
plays a last statement of the theme’s first two bars, but, in
with the harmonic adventures throughout the movement, it is
version at a subdued volume and lower pitch level. The
emphasis on the “dominant” proves to be prophetic here.
“dominant” of G minor is D major, and the theme stops on that
chord (D minor being
the home key of the
movement), ending with a few reiterations and cello
Because of this last bit of G minor, the final D-major chords
strangely incomplete, and lead rather smoothly into the
G-minor key of
the next movement.
6:33--END OF MOVEMENT [80
Movement: Un poco Allegretto (Ternary form resembling a
trio). G MINOR, 3/4 time.
A Section (“Scherzo”)
0:00 [m. 1]--Part
first violin leads in a very melancholy waltz tune. The
accompaniment is given a skittish effect by the first viola
always playing on the beats while the second violin and second
always play after them. Even-numbered bars have
rests, on the second beat in m. 2 and m. 4, and on the third
thereafter. After the two opening gestures, the first
reaches higher, then gradually descends. The descent to
half-cadence is stretched out, creating a twelve-bar phrase.
0:18 [m. 13]--Part 1,
repeat. The first violin phrase is reprised at first,
accompaniment is changed. Smoother lines replace the
alternations. At first, only the cello plays on the
the accompaniment, but later all the instruments become more
smooth. The skittish nature is restored in the last four
but the smoother lines are still used. Halfway through
phrase, the first violin begins to share some of its line with
second violin, and the melody itself is subtly altered in the
bars to sound more conclusive at the D-minor cadence.
repetition is at a quieter level.
0:34 [m. 25]--Part
complementary contrasting phrases are heard, the first in C
second in B-flat minor. The first viola plays in
quasi-imitational counterpoint with the first violin, and
leads in the second phrase. The second violin and second
largely play syncopated repeated notes, while the cello
sparse bass accompaniment.
0:46 [m. 33]--In a
buildup, the first violin and cello play in unison two octaves
while the inner instruments provide a syncopated background of
harmonies. The passage remains in B-flat minor. At
the other instruments join the rhythm of the outer ones in the
climactic arpeggios with cross-meter groupings suggesting a
2/4. Only the second viola plays a slower line.
1:00 [m. 43]--At the
top of the
climax, the first violin and cello wrench the music back to a
chromatic G minor. The inner instruments have sharp
and the material recalls the opening waltz phrases of Part
Then the music plunges downward with each instrument entering
to bottom except for the cello, which provides a steady
Finally, the first violin is isolated for two highly plaintive
phrases, the second a fourth lower than the first.
1:13 [m. 53]--One
is added as an extended cadence. It is now the cello
repeated syncopated notes. The music becomes gradually
subdued. Halfway through, the first violin slows down
characteristic three-note gesture that ended the phrases of
Part 1 by
lengthening the notes. This happens against more
cross rhythms. The inner instruments then take up the
gesture. Two hushed and suddenly major chords end the
1:24 [m. 25]--Part 2
repeated. Two complementary phrases in C minor and
as at 0:34.
1:35 [m. 33]--Passage
buildup in B-flat minor, as at 0:46.
1:48 [m. 43]--Climactic
ending with plaintive first violin lines, as at 1:00.
2:02 [m. 53]--Final
phrase ending with G-major chords, as at 1:13.
B Section (“Trio”)--G
2:13 [m. 61]--Part
middle section is a gentle, rustic dance with a discernible
character. It is set in the major key. The cello
drone-like bass with arching arpeggios throughout. The
lead, and the violins follow, completing the musical
violas dovetail back for a second phrase that the violins also
complete. This phrase moves to B minor. The
entry shifts this to B major, whereupon an arpeggio on a
seventh” from cello and first viola aids in the transition
back to G
major for the repeat, and completes a twelve-bar phrase.
2:30 [m. 61]--Part 1
2:47 [m. 73]--Part
a passage of harmonic ambiguity, the violins and second viola
notes while the cello and first viola play arpeggios. At
B-flat is suggested, but then the arpeggios are shifted up a
indicating that they will again arrive on B.
2:55 [m. 79]--In
passage of gradual buildup, the harmonies are again shifted,
suggesting C major. The violins and first viola
swinging rhythm against the continuing arpeggios. This
in two descending phrases that both suddenly quiet down.
first suddenly arrives on the previously expected B
second reaches a cadence in the home key of G.
3:09 [m. 89]--A small
that continues the previous swinging rhythm over syncopated
notes emerges into a reprise of the Part 1 material. The
phrase makes a divergence, avoiding the motion to B
phrase is extended, with the instruments suggesting a highly
C major. The second viola and cello become
Finally, the music seems to move back to G major with the
swinging rhythm from Part 2. This speeds up and swells,
quite arrives fully on G.
3:31 [m. 105]--At the
the first violin reaches up and plunges downward. The
violin and first viola retain their active motion over long
the second viola and cello. This downward plunge
transition back to G minor and to the reprise of the main
section. The second viola, then the first violin, turn
reach back upward, and the “trio” ends on a suspended
Reprise of A Section
3:41 [m. 111]--Part
Melancholy, skittish waltz tune, as at the beginning.
3:58 [m. 123]--Part 1,
repeat, with smoother accompaniment lines, as at 0:18 [m. 13].
4:14 [m. 135]--Part
Complementary phrases in C minor and B-flat minor, as at 0:34
4:25 [m. 143]--Passage
buildup in B-flat minor, as at 0:46 and 1:35 [m. 33].
4:39 [m. 153]--Climactic
ending with plaintive first violin lines, as at 1:00 and 1:48
4:52 [m. 163]--Final
phrase ending with G-major chords, as at 1:13 and 2:02 [m.
5:03 [m. 171]--The
coda is a
mildly decorated version of the rustic dance material from the
in G major. After one phrase, the first violin emerges
isolated rising two-note figures with descending responses
inner instruments over syncopated repeated notes (on the
note, D) from the cello. As the music becomes ever
cello, dovetailing with the first viola, plays an ascending
a “diminished seventh,” but this mild disquiet is quickly
with a plucked cello chord and two final G-major chords from
instruments, the first one short, and the second one held
5:26--END OF MOVEMENT [183
Movement: Vivace ma non troppo presto (Sonata-Rondo
MINOR--G MAJOR, 2/4 time.
0:00 [m. 1]--Theme 1
Theme). The first viola, lightly accompanied by the
and cello, plays the hushed gypsy-inspired main theme, whose
characteristic is its trill-like opening on an upbeat.
in the “wrong” key, B minor, and remains there until the three
instruments reach a half-cadence. It is not the
that is unusual (the main key of the quintet is a major key),
fact that it is not centered on G (the center of the 1st
3rd movements and also heavily present in the 2nd).
0:10 [m. 9]--The
and begin the theme at the same pitch level, but at a sudden
volume and with new harmonies that shift it decisively to the
key of G major.
0:14 [m. 13]--The
begin a richly harmonized and joyous dance tune in G major,
playing plucked chords. After this full statement, it is
again at a suddenly quiet level and incorporates the
associated with the Rondo Theme. The first violin and
pass the trill-like figures between them, and the cello drops
the quiet statement.
0:22 [m. 21]--A sort
“closing phrase” with slower chords and repeated notes
obscures the meter. Its repetition rapidly increases in
introducing the trill-like motion again, and plunges downward
harmony with powerful accents.
0:33 [m. 31]--The
material returns, with the trill figures in the first violin
off-beat syncopation in the supporting harmonies. Rather
settling again on B minor, it instead moves to the related
major key to
B minor. This happens to be D major, which is the
the home key of G major and where the second theme would be
appear. The trill figures emerge into a sweeping arch,
three-note descents passed between the two violins lead into
following triplet rhythm.
0:40 [m. 38]--Transitional
The second violin and first viola introduce a murmuring
triplet rhythm while the second viola and cello play plucked
material. The first violin plays isolated three-note
beginning on upbeats. The material is anchored to a bass
A, which is the “dominant” of D major and helps to greatly
an already expected pull toward D for the second theme.
0:50 [m. 47]--The
passage centered on A continues, with two-note fragments
second violin and first viola, the first violin joining the
instruments on the plucked material. The murmuring
0:54 [m. 52]--Theme
major finally clearly emerges here, and the first violin plays
winding Theme 2 in triplet rhythm. It consists mostly of
arpeggios with smooth chord support and light accents on weak
beats. After an initial phrase in which the first violin
shooting farther upward, the triplets are passed to the other
instruments. The second violin descends with them, then
and first viola ascend, and finally the second viola and cello
again. They briefly come to rest on a quietly suspended
dissonance (an “augmented sixth” chord).
1:05 [m. 61]--The
triplets of Theme 2 erupt in a sudden outburst. The
theme is then
extended with strong syncopations in the violins against
triplets in the lower instruments. The first violin then
with a plunging arpeggio on the triplet rhythm This
leads to a
cadence on D major. The syncopated material and the
arpeggio are stated again, with the arpeggio a step lower and
cadence shifted to the home key of G major for the return of
Theme and the beginning of the development.
1:18 [m. 73]--The
suddenly quiet again. In a transition to the Rondo Theme
G-major cadence, the trill figures are passed between the two
and then to the violins. When the violins get them, they
descend against a very quiet background.
1:26 [m. 81]--Rondo
Theme. It is given in B minor, as at the opening, but
is passed from the first viola to the first violin. The
continuation is given to the first viola as at the opening,
second violin is now incorporated into the
theme is lightly varied and extended by a bar. The first
drops out after its isolated participation in the beginning of
theme. As at the opening, the theme reaches a
1:36 [m. 90]--The
in B minor is mysteriously diverted in a new direction with
the jumping motive directly preceding it. The music
quieter, and the harmony moves from B minor toward G minor,
through B-flat and A. The chords are colorful and
the last one is isolated by a rest. It is another
expectant “augmented sixth” harmony.
1:47 [m. 99]--A
quasi-fugal counterpoint begins in G minor. The first
plays the dance tune from 0:14 [m. 13] while the second violin
violas play syncopated lines that incorporate the trill
The cello enters later, also playing the dance tune, the first
moving to the syncopated lines. The first viola briefly
out, and is the next instrument to play the dance tune.
1:59 [m. 111]--The
breaks, and the instruments suddenly quiet down. They
play the trill figures from the Rondo Theme, and suddenly
volume again. Then the trill figures acquire a strong
octave leap, and this form is passed between the violins and
viola over chromatic, syncopated lines in the first viola and
cello. The cello then plays the trill with the octave
passing its syncopated line to the first violin before taking
2:09 [m. 119]--
violin begins another statement of the dance tune in C minor,
but it is
interrupted by another sudden quieting with all instruments
together on the trill figures. Suddenly loud again, the
leap up to descending syncopated lines, then again take up the
figures. The syncopated lines are then played in all
except the first violin, who again introduces the version of
with the octave leap. The music moves toward D minor and
2:20 [m. 129]--In A
trill figures from the Rondo Theme opening are passed
the second violin and first viola in unison to the
first violin and second viola play loud punctuations.
figures then shift down a half-step, and the first violin
them. The now-familiar syncopated lines once again
The same pattern is repeated, this time in C-sharp minor.
2:32 [m. 141]--A
different version of the previous pattern begins in B-flat
It is again in an intricate counterpoint. It culminates
forceful rising passage with heavy syncopation. After
bars of trills, the forceful rising passage reaches even
its syncopations and moves to the “dominant” harmony of B
signaling the return of the opening key and the re-transition
the development section.
2:44 [m. 153]--The
the Rondo Theme itself sneaks into the viola parts over the
harmony of the opening key, B minor. The first viola
the thematic material, and the other instruments introduce
dotted rhythms. The cello plays a syncopated repetition
“dominant” note (which is F-sharp). As the energy
with the upper instruments suddenly moving together, the
is abruptly arrested, leaving the first violin and cello on
F-sharps four octaves apart.
2:56 [m. 164]--Re-transition.
is highly similar to the transition into the development from 1:18 [m.
73]. It is quiet and based on the trill figures from the
theme. The cello drops from F-sharp to D, the “dominant”
home key of G major. The first violin stays on F-sharp,
a common note to the chords of B minor and G major. The
instruments surreptitiously enter on the trill figures.
the violas descend in harmonized trill figures, an actual trill is heard in
3:03 [m. 170]--The
emphasizes the cadence onto G major, and the dance tune from
13], rather than the Rondo Theme (which was worked into the
re-transition material) serves as “Theme 1.” The pattern
reversed from the exposition, however, as the version with the
figures is played first, high in the first violin with smooth
syncopated accompaniment. The first viola then plays the
the second viola dovetailing with the trill figures.
this, the first violin plays the “original” version, but with
strings. The accompanying second violin and cello are
3:12 [m. 178]--The
phrase” from 0:22 [m. 21] is now heard with subtle rescoring,
notably the persistent presence of the trill figures in the
violin and first viola. This causes the meter to be less
than it was before at this point. The “downward plunge”
sharp accents now also uses the trill figures. It
into the three-note descents heard just before the
passage, the intervening appearance of the opening material
[m. 31] being omitted.
3:25 [m. 190]--Transitional
It is similar to 0:40 [m. 38], but is now over a bass
note of D, as the second theme will appear in the home key of
The murmuring triplets are now in the two violins, and the
upbeat fragments are played in octaves by the two violas, the
alone taking the plucked supporting material.
3:36 [m. 199]--Analogous
0:50 [m. 47]. Here, the two-note fragments are passed
two violins, all three lower instruments playing the off--beat
3:40 [m. 204]--Theme
Besides being in the home key, it is now played by the first
instead of the first violin. The first violin joins the
chord support. As the first violin had done, the first
shoots upward. The following triplets are also
The first descent is taken by the second viola, the ascent by
and first violin, and the last descent also by second viola
(alone). As in the exposition, the instruments come
the suspended “augmented sixth” harmony.
3:52 [m. 213]--As at
61], there is a sudden outburst on the Theme 2 triplets.
now played by their original instrument, the first
first violin also takes a greater role in the syncopated lines
had in the exposition. The first plunging arpeggio leads
cadence in G major, as expected, though the arpeggio itself is
varied. The second is greatly altered, and seems to want
away from G major, first possibly to C major and then to the
B minor. The trill figures of the Rondo Theme enter in
viola overlapping with the arpeggio, which they had not done
4:05 [m. 225]--The
trill figures emerge into a long transition using them.
passed from the violas to the violins, becoming ever
Finally, they come together, not in B minor, but in B major. The Rondo
is then unexpectedly played in the B-major key, extremely
quietly, with short, almost tremolo
repeated notes as accompaniment. The theme is expanded,
trills and short notes in different instruments at different
then there is a rapid and dramatic crescendo.
4:20 [m. 239]--The
begins a staggered scale descent over the “dominant” harmony
major. Then the other four instruments join in the
five playing in a massive unison. While the descent is
with turns back upward between groups of four, the following
straight and continuous. The ascending scale cuts off
followed by two huge “dominant” chords that create a great
for a grand arrival and cadence in B major. This is
the arrival of the coda.
4:28 [m. 248]--The
arrives on B as expected, but the harmony underneath it is G
“deceptive” cadence that finally and firmly establishes the
home key. The coda begins with a new “gypsy” theme with
chords after the beat in the violas and a steady cello bass,
violins taking the heavily accented theme itself. It is
twice, using five-bar phrases in a blatant gypsy homage.
4:36 [m. 257]--The
the dance tune originally heard at 0:14 [m. 13] comes
the final downbeat of the new “gypsy” tune. The dance
played more vigorously than ever, and after one four-bar
leads to the trill figures of the Rondo Theme, which also
four-bar phrase. In the dance tune, the violas and
continue to alternate the two-note groups. At the very
end of the
Rondo Theme phrase, the trill figures are passed to the violas
the violins can “breathe.”
4:44 [m. 266]--The
is heard again, beginning with a downward scale flourish on
violin. The violas now play continuous winding notes
based on the
trill figures, and the cello plays leaping octaves. The
phrase is expanded to seven bars by repeating segments of the
first violin reaching ever higher before cascading downward to
strong chords. The Rondo Theme trill figures overlap the
these chords in the second violin and first viola.
4:54 [m. 278]--The
figures from the Rondo Theme have the last word, twice working
and feverishly upward and then back down. Against them,
(faster) trill is heard in the first viola, then high in the
violin. The first violin trill leads to a G-major chord
sharply cut off. There are then two final chords from
instruments, the second of which is held three beats.
The last of
these is a downbeat to compensate for the upbeat with which
5:12--END OF MOVEMENT [287
END OF QUINTET
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