SIX PIANO PIECES (KLAVIERSTÜCKE), OP. 118
Recording: Martin Jones, pianist [NI 1788]
Published 1893

As with Op. 116, this set, more generically labeled “Klavierstücke,” displays a convincing coherent unity, and works very well when performed as a whole.  Nonetheless, the individual pieces, especially the A-major Intermezzo, No. 2, have become very popular in their own right and are effective individual miniatures.  As a whole, Op. 118 is perhaps the most popular of the four late piano miniature sets.  The key structure in Op. 118 is carefully organized.  The overall key scheme represents a descent in whole steps, A--G--F--E-flat.  The set can be divided into two groups of three.  The first piece in each group (Nos. 1 and 4) has an introductory character and is rather short.  Both in minor keys, they are each followed by a slower, more lyrical piece (Nos. 2 and 5) with the same key center, but in major.  The third member of each group (Nos. 3 and 6) are of a more heroic, epic, and even tragic character, both in minor keys one step below the key center of the first two pieces.  There is also a one-step descent between the two groups, from G to F.  Except for No. 1, the pieces all display a ternary (ABA) form.  All except No. 3 and No. 5 (which have the titles, unique in the late pieces, of “Ballade” and “Romance”) are intermezzi.

ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (First Edition from Brahms-Institut Lübeck)
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (from Breitkopf & Härtel Sämtliche Werke):
Complete, with original German heading
Individually, with English headings (lower scan quality):
No. 1: Intermezzo in A minor
No. 2: Intermezzo in A major
No. 3: Ballade in G minor
No. 4: Intermezzo in F minor
No. 5: Romance in F major
No. 6: Intermezzo in E-flat minor


1. INTERMEZZO.  Allegro non assai, ma molto appasionato (Rounded binary form with coda).  A MINOR, Cut time [2/2].
First binary section or A
0:00 [m. 1]--The main melody in large descending octaves and chords is split between the hands, with wide-ranging, sweeping arpeggios moving from the low bass to above the melody.  It is intensely passionate.  There are two statements, the second a third lower, of the descending four-note melody (the last note of which is in the left hand), neither of which clearly defines the key of A minor, instead suggesting F major.
0:08 [m. 5]--The arpeggios now stay below the melody and chords, which remain in the right hand.  There are countermelodies embedded in both hands.  The music settles down somewhat, slowing to a cadence in C major (relative to A minor).
0:16 [m. 1]--Repetition of opening with the descending four-note melody.
0:22 [m. 5]--Continuation with slowing to C-major cadence.
Second binary section, consisting of two subsections, B and A’A’ is similar to A, but B is not as contrasting with A as one would expect in a standard ternary or rounded binary form.
0:30 [m. 11]--Part B.  The right hand melody now moves upward instead of down.  The two statements of the upward striving melody (still four notes with rich supporting chords) are followed by downward sweeping arpeggios, mirroring the generally upward-moving ones in the left hand.  The second statement is a fifth lower.  The key of A minor is more strongly suggested after the first statement, but again undermined in the second.  The intensity of the arpeggios increases after the second statement, leading to the return.
0:43 [m. 21]--Part A’.  The opening returns after a strong hint immediately preceding it.  The second statement of the descending melody with supporting chords is now higher and more urgent, and is varied with faster decorating notes that resemble the descending arpeggios in part B.
0:48 [m. 25]--The music settles down, as in part A, finally slowing to a cadence in A minor [1st ending, mm. 29-30].
0:56 [m. 11]--Part B repeated.
1:09 [m. 21]--Part A’ repeated. 
1:14 [m. 25]--The repetition continues as at 0:48, but the A-minor cadence is averted.
Coda
1:19 [m. 29, 2nd ending]--The end of the repetition does not resolve, but increases in tension.  A low E in the bass [m.31, the first “new” numbered bar] is followed by a huge single-line ascending arpeggio (a “diminished seventh” chord), which then reverses direction, changes harmony, and is joined by the left hand in contrary motion.  The descent shifts the phrasing off the beat, creating strong syncopation.
1:30 [m. 37]--The final statement of the descending four-note figure is heard as the music slows and dies away over another wide-ranging left-hand arpeggio.  The left hand hits the lowest note of the piano as the right hand plays the fourth note/chord (at 1:35 [m. 39]).  The last sweep outlines A major (not minor), followed by a quiet A-major chord, in strong preparation for the beginning of Intermezzo  No. 2.
1:53--END OF PIECE [41 mm.]


2. INTERMEZZO.  Andante teneramente (Ternary form).  A MAJOR, 3/4 time.
A Section--A major
0:00 [m. 1]--First statement of the principal melody.  It is a lyrical, beautiful, richly harmonized tune in two phrases with a rocking accompaniment  The second phrase moves to the “dominant” key of E.  A wide upward leap (a seventh) is prominent.  The end of each phrase features a dotted (long-short) rhythm.
0:25 [m. 9]--A slightly varied repetition of the principal melody that adds poignant internal motion.  Brahms indicates that it should be played softer than the first statement.
0:49 [m. 17]--A somewhat more ominous transitional passage features up-down figures in the harmonized melody (upper-neighbor motion) with rocking arpeggios in the left hand.  Beginning with an abrupt C-major chord, it moves back to A major.  The left hand has an internal countermelody at the end of the phrase.
1:00 [m. 21]--A second phrase of the transitional passage with neighbor-note motion makes a sharp turn toward the minor key and slightly increases in agitation.
1:10 [m. 25]--Material from the principal melody returns and strives upward by half-steps over continuously arching arpeggios.  The intensity dramatically increases during the strong approach to the arrival point.
1:19 [m. 29]--“Arrival” statement of the melody in a greatly varied form.  The opening figure is heard in the low bass after the climax on the wide upward leap.  The continuation, which includes left-hand syncopation, quiets down considerably, then again turns to the minor key as it dies away.
1:37 [m. 35]--This very tender melody is actually an exact inversion of the principal tune, turning it upside down.  It is richly harmonized, with a yearning internal motion and a strong A-major cadence.
1:51 [m. 39]--The transitional material from 0:49 [m. 17] with rocking left- hand arpeggios, set at a higher level and in pure A major, is now soothing, taking on a closing nature but still becoming animated.
2:01 [m. 43]--The second phrase of the transitional material is actually quite similar to 1:00 [m. 21], but without the motion to minor and with a milder increase in tension before settling to a full cadence.
2:11 [m. 47]--Two statements of the opening figure round out the A section.  They are marked “più lento.”  The left hand arpeggios reach down to a low E.  There is complete closure with a rolled chord.
B Section--F-sharp minor.
2:22 [m. 49]--F-sharp minor is relative to the home key of A major.  The B section is largely based on two-against-three rhythm and strict imitation (canon).  The opening passage features a yearning melody in the right hand (beginning with an upbeat held into the first main bar) against triplet arpeggios in the left.  The top notes of the left hand subtly imitate the first few notes of the right-hand melody at a slower speed.  The second phrase is similar, but reaches higher at first, then dips lower as it slows to a half-cadence.
2:39 [m. 49]--Complete repetition of two-phrase passage from 2:22.
2:56 [m. 57]--This is the emotional center of the entire piece.  The soft pedal is depressed.  It is a very intimate variation of the yearning B section theme, now in F-sharp major.  The imitation, left-hand following the right, is closer and more exact.  There is interlocking of fingers between the hands in the very close harmonies.  A slowing to a half-cadence leads to a highly anticipatory pause.
3:19 [m. 65]--Final variation of the B section melody.  The original right hand tune is now moved to the center of the texture, between left-hand arpeggios and a slower, imitative upper melody (which is the same as the top notes of the left hand at 2:22 [m. 49]).  Brahms has basically just re-arranged the vertical placement of the lines.  The variation grows rapidly in volume.
3:27 [m. 69]--The second phrase of the final variation is intensified, returning to the original vertical alignment and becoming more active.   The harmony is varied, with more major-key inflections.  The ending is also more active, and is extended by a bar to reach the only full cadence in F-sharp minor.
3:36 [m. 74]--Upward arpeggios lead back to A major and the return of the A section.   The first arpeggio is played by the right hand, followed by a downward “sighing” gesture.  The left hand takes the second arpeggio, and the last one is split between hands.  The music diminishes and slows to an achingly expectant pause on a dissonant chord.
A Section Reprise--A major
3:46 [m. 77]--The principal theme is now stated only once, but each phrase is varied and intensified from its original presentation at the beginning (basically a continuation of the process between 0:00 [m. 1] and 0:25 [m. 9]).  The first phrase adds more descending motion and activity to the dotted rhythms at the end.  The second phrase does the same after stretching the upward leap by a step to a full octave.  After this initial statement, the reprise is an exact repetition of the first A section.
4:10 [m. 85]--Ominous transitional passage, as 0:49 [m. 17].
4:20 [m. 89]--Second phrase of transitional passage, as at 1:00 [m. 21].
4:29 [m. 93]--Upward half-steps intensifying to an arrival point, as at 1:10 [m. 25].
4:38 [m. 97]--“Arrival” statement of varied melody, as at 1:19 [m. 29].
4:57 [m. 103]--Tender inversion of principal melody, as at 1:37 [m. 35].
5:11 [m. 107]--“Closing” transitional material, as at 1:51 [m. 39].
5:21 [m. 111]--Second phrase of transitional material, as at 2:01 [m. 43].
5:32 [m. 115]--Slow statements of opening figure and cadence with rolled chord, as at 2:11 [m. 47].
5:52--END OF PIECE [116 mm.]


3. BALLADE.  Allegro energico (Ternary form).  G MINOR, Cut time [2/2].
A Section (Displays its own “aba” form within a form)--G minor
0:00 [m. 1]--First part (a).  A tragic/heroic type of melody on top of large, moving chords.  There are two irregular parallel phrases in a question/answer (antecedent/consequent) relationship.  The first ends on the “dominant” chord, creating anticipation, and the second ends with a brief turn to G major.  Both phrases begin the same way, with an upbeat, and each has five bars.  The low bass octaves lend weight to the theme.
0:19 [m. 11]--Second part (b).  The melody continues above moving chords and low bass octaves, as before, but there is now a sense of building and anticipation from a suddenly quiet and more ominous beginning.  Again, there are two parallel phrases or waves.  The first of these begins and ends in E-flat major and remains rather calm.  The phrase is extended to six bars.
0:30 [m. 17]--The second phrase of b is concerned with buildup, transition, and return.  It is also six bars long.  The approach to the return of a includes strong syncopation in both the melody and the supporting chords.  The motion back to G minor from E-flat major is extremely dramatic, with a powerful crescendo.
0:39 [m. 23]--Third part (a’).  The main theme returns at the climax of b, and the two-chord upbeat continues the syncopation at the end of that passage.  The second phrase is greatly intensified by the addition of new notes and harmonies, particularly a new upper voice at the top of the texture when the phrase reaches its high point.  The phrases have the same harmonic goal and the same five-bar length.
0:56 [m. 33]--Transition to large B section.  The moving chords continue as the music subsides.  The cadence, which leads to a G major chord, is reiterated twice using biting “diminished seventh” chords.
1:05 [m. 38]--Transition continued.  The chords cease, and the smooth texture of the B section is anticipated.  While the note B is reiterated in the bass in preparation for the new section centered there, it remains part of a chord based on G and there is no real modulation to the rather remote key of B major.
B Section--B Major
1:10 [m. 41]--First part.  There is a smooth duet texture in the right hand over rolling arpeggios in the left.  The mood is very subdued, gentle, and quiet, with soft pedal indicated.  There are, however, some biting dissonances, including one instance (m. 45) of notes a half-step apart crushed together before resolving.  The lower voice of the duet texture in the right hand has strong syncopation in the second four-bar phrase, and twice has notes held over bar lines.  The left hand arpeggios also change to ascending groups of four.
1:24 [m. 49]--A second statement of the melody begins.  It is, however, suddenly interrupted by a striking motion to D-sharp minor in the accompanying arpeggios.
1:30 [m. 53]--The B section material is invaded by the main theme of the A section in D-sharp minor (but still in the hushed character of B).
1:38 [m. 57]--Second part.  The A section material has cadenced and shifted back to B major with a gentle melodic figure.  The first two phrases are exactly the same as at 1:10 [m. 41].
1:52 [m. 65]--The second statement of the melody begins, as at 1:24 [m. 49], but this time it avoids the interruption and digression.  There are some dissonant chromatic notes and wide spacing between the two voices of the right hand.  The left-hand arpeggios also take on a more “melodic” character than they have thus far displayed.  The statement is expanded to a full eight bars and reaches a pause on a half-cadence.  The music has slowed and quieted even more, greatly increasing the anticipation at the pause.
2:09 [m. 73]--Transition back to the A section.  The texture with moving chords returns and very gradually builds as the music modulates back to the home key of G minor.  The approach to the return expands the opening upbeat of the main theme to three beats, two for the first note and one for the second.  At the beginning of the piece, both notes were the top of short chords in one beat.
A Section Reprise--G minor
2:17 [m. 77]--Point of arrival.  From here, the A section is exactly reprised.  First part (a).
2:33 [m. 87]--Second part (b), first phrase, as at 0:19 [m. 11].
2:43 [m. 93]--Second part (b), second phrase, as at 0:30 [m. 17].
2:53 [m. 99]--Third part (a’), as at 0:39 [m. 23].  The only difference is at the very end, where the cadence remains in the minor key instead of moving to a G-major chord.
3:09 [m. 109]--A small Coda replaces the former transition.  A few more moving chords, which remain strong, are followed by soft hints of the left-hand arpeggios from the B section.  The last of these expands upward.  The music becomes quiet, and the beginning of the B melody, complete with the duet texture, is now transformed into a minor-key version that sounds pathetic rather than soothing.  A quiet four-note descent in the bass concludes the piece in a tragic mood.
3:35--END OF PIECE [117 mm.]


4.  INTERMEZZO.  Allegretto un poco agitato (Ternary form).  F MINOR, 2/4 time.
The piece is built almost entirely on the principle of canon, or strict imitation between parts.
A Section--F minor.  The entire section is subdued, agitated, and often very delicate.
0:00 [m. 1]--The top notes in each hand strictly imitate each other, left following right an octave below at a distance of one beat.  They ring out over supporting notes in each hand that are a near-canon in contrary motion: groups of three notes move in opposite directions in each hand (down-up in the right, up-down in the left). There are seven imitative statements involving long notes at the top, all beginning on an upbeat.
0:09 [m. 8]--The imitative voices at the top of each hand become more active, and the supporting harmonies are no longer in near-canon.  Straight duple and triplet rhythms are closely juxtaposed.  This is the only appearance of duple rhythm in the A section.  The intensity briefly swells, but quickly becomes subdued again.  There is a brief motion to C minor.
0:15 [m. 13]--The first four canonic statements of the opening are repeated.
0:19 [m. 17]--A new passage of near-canon in contrary motion begins.  It has no supporting harmonies.  There are three similar phrases at different pitch levels (the last two are analogous), moving toward the distant E major.  These phrases employ broken octaves in the triplet rhythm established at the opening, as well as other leaps both smaller and larger than an octave.  The passage is light and delicate throughout.
0:30 [m. 34]--This passage is a true contrary-motion canon (at the fifth) and involves some harmonies (mostly thirds).  The left hand rises and the right hand falls.  Like the previous passage, it is completely in triplets.  Beginning on a motion to E major, it never quite arrives there, and starts to move back home.  There is a slight intensification and retreat.
0:37 [m. 42]--A transition in triplets rises to a repeat of the opening, whose first note enters before the downbeat as a syncopation and is held through the bar.  The imitative note is also held exactly the same length, entering with the upbeat instead of after it.  The seventh “statement” is moved lower and leads to a resolving eighth statement that arrives on C major.  This is followed by two (still imitative) octave C's that transition into the B section.
B Section--A-flat Major (at the beginning--the key is “relative” to F minor)
0:54 [m. 58]--Unlike the A section, the B section is completely canonic at the octave, including all the harmonies.  Each canonic “statement” consists of a chord, its imitation, then a single note (lower than the second chord) and its imitation.  There are five phrases, each consisting of four “statements” of this pattern.  Hand-crossing is used throughout the B section.  From the second phrase, the initial chord obtains a second “resolving” note.  The section is as subdued as A, but not as agitated.  Pedaling is carefully indicated to make the canons sound clearly.  As in the A section, phrases begin on upbeats.
1:02 [m. 66]--Second phrase.  It includes a few chromatic notes.
1:10 [m. 74]--Third phrase.  It makes a colorful shift to E major.
1:19 [m. 82]--Fourth phrase.  It makes another shift, this time to C major.
1:27 [m. 90]--Fifth phrase.  Similar to the second phrase, and still in C major.  There is some slight intensification.
1:36 [m. 98]--Transition back to greatly varied A’ section.  It is based on the last phrase of B, but abandons the total canon.  There continues to be a very strict two-voice canon, but instead of always being at the top of the left hand, the imitating voice is buried in the middle of the thick texture, still at the distance of one beat (which continues through much of the A’ section).  The music moves back to F minor.  At this point, it becomes suddenly and violently passionate, and will remain so until the very end.  Duple rhythms appear again (including the rapid arpeggios at the end), and are again juxtaposed with the more prevalent triplets.
A’ Section--F minor
1:44 [m. 106]--Return to the seven opening “statements”, but with three major differences: (1) the accompanying three-note groups now move in the same direction in each hand (down-up); (2) the harmony is more filled out; and (3) the second and fourth “statements” move lower than the first and third (similar to the single low notes following the chords in the B section).  This pattern is broken with statements six and seven.  The music is agitated, as at the beginning, but now loud and powerful rather than quiet and delicate.
1:51 [m. 113]--Similar at 0:09 [m. 8], but with much thicker texture surrounding the canon.  The last three of the previous seven “statements” varied the harmony from the opening music, allowing this analogous passage to begin higher and remain in the home key of F minor rather than moving to C minor.  Duple rhythm is again introduced both against and juxtaposed with the prevalent triplets.
1:56 [m. 118]--Four “statements” similar to 0:15 [m. 13], but not a repetition of 1:44 [m. 106].  They are quite feverish, and briefly hint at B-flat minor (analogous to the C minor--F minor motion at this point in the A section).  The surrounding harmonies are thick, and played with both hands throughout.
2:00 [m. 122]--New material introducing a sort of “coda.”  The strict canon continues with the imitative voice in the middle.  Probably the most difficult passage in the piece, it greatly exploits two-against-three cross rhythms.  This could be seen as the climax of the piece.
2:04 [m. 126]--Four more “statements” as at 1:56 [m. 118], but an octave lower.
2:08 [m. 130]--Material from 2:00 [m. 122], with the canon still continuing.  The passage at 2:12 [m. 133] is very complex and difficult to execute properly.  It has heavy syncopation and close canonic entries steadily moving down.  The right hand plays both the leading and the following voice, with three overlapping entries before the left hand finally takes the fourth.
2:15 [m. 135]--The music suddenly subdues itself for four final chords, which resolve the canon, move to F major and die away.  It is a wonderful preparation for  the beginning of the Romance, No. 5.
2:33--END OF PIECE [139 mm.]


5.  ROMANCE.  Andante - Allegretto grazioso - Tempo I (Ternary form).  F MAJOR, 6/4 and Cut [2/2] time.
A Section--F Major, 6/4 time.  The A section, while sounding like a simple lullaby, is built on a principle of invertible counterpoint.  Two melodic lines are always combined together, and either one can be on top.  One line is simply a descending scale followed by a jump and a downward sweep.  The other is a more songlike melody, often varied and always doubled in two voices, ending with three repeated notes.  There is usually more harmony than just the two (three if the doubling is counted) lines.
0:00 [m. 1]--First phrase.  The descending scale line is in the top voice.  The songlike melody is doubled in the alto- and tenor-range voices.
0:21 [m. 5]--Second phrase.  The songlike melody remains in the middle, but is varied by adding more notes and motion.  The descending scale remains in the top voice.  The harmony changes from the first phrase at the end (suggesting the “relative” key of D minor), with the downward sweep at the end of the scale line now sweeping slowly upward.
0:41 [m. 9]--Third phrase.  The “songlike melody” emerges at the top of the texture in its original unembellished form.  The descending scale line is now in the middle of the doubled voices of the “songlike melody” and completely subordinate to them.  This line reemerges on top only with the "downward sweep" at the end.  The accompanying harmony is now much more active.
0:58 [m. 13]--Fourth phrase.  It is basically a repetition of the second phrase, but with the harmony altered to facilitate a motion to D Major for the B section.  There is a moment of suspended tension.
B Section--Allegretto grazioso, D Major, Cut time [2/2].  The B section is based on the principle of variation by diminution.  The basic four-measure phrase is stated and varied six times (three pairs of two), usually by decoration and decreased note values.  This occurs over a persistent left-hand pattern (ostinato), which only varies in a few measures (usually the first or last of a phrase).  Each phrase ends with a trill (the first and third with a scale run).  The whole section is quiet, light, and delicate, if rather quick in speed.
1:21 [m. 17]--First phrase.  A second right-hand voice becomes clearly audible in the second measure.
1:28 [m. 21]--Second phrase.  Consequent
answering phrase to first.  It begins identically, changing slightly at the end with lower motion and a later trill without the scale.
1:35 [m. 25]--Third phrase.  Basically analogous to first phrase, but the diminution has now begun.  The melody is now in triplets (groups of three), creating six notes to a beat instead of four.
1:42 [m. 29]--Fourth phrase.  Analogous to the second phrase, but continuing the triplet motion of the third.
1:49 [m. 33]--Fifth phrase.  The diminution continues.  The melody is now highly decorated in notes twice as fast as those of first phrase (now eight notes to a beat).
1:57 [m. 37]--Sixth phrase.  It is analogous to second and fourth phrases, but does not continue the motion of the fifth phrase, instead presenting the tune in a stripped-down version with quick arpeggios that are much more difficult to play than they sound.  This phrase liquidates itself in repeated trills that begin the transition to the A’ section.
2:08 [m. 43]--At the “climax” of the trill motion, two rapid, highly decorative descending passages lead back to 6/4 time at 2:12 [m. 45].  The trills move to the bass and combine with recognizable “sighing” figures from the “scale” line of the A section to complete the transition.  At the end, the right hand trills.
A’ Section --Tempo I, F major, 6/4 time.  It is reduced to two phrases instead of four.
2:23 [m. 48]--It is virtually identical to the first phrase , but with slightly thicker harmony.
2:43 [m. 52]--This is the phrase that solves the puzzle of the piece--which of the two lines is more important?  The descending scale is on top more often, but the “songlike” phrase is more melodic and appears in doubled voices.  This final phrase is very similar to those at 0:21 [m. 5] and 0:58 [m. 13], but the “songlike” line is now doubled in THREE voices in its more moving, “embellished” form, basically confirming its dominance over the descending scale (which, however, is now also doubled in the bass).  The phrase is varied and extended by one measure before the final concluding chord, and the distinction between the two lines is blurred at the end.  It is the only one of the six “invertible” phrases from the A and A’ sections that reaches closure and resolution.  The increased doubling of the phrase creates a full, warm, and rich, yet quiet and subdued conclusion.
3:28--END OF PIECE [57 mm.]


6.  INTERMEZZO.  Andante, largo e mesto (AABA’ or expanded ternary form).  E-FLAT MINOR, 3/8 time.
A Section--E-flat minor
0:00 [m. 1]--The “motto” of this dark and brooding, yet heroic piece is immediately stated in a bare single line.  It is clearly based on the Gregorian “Dies Irae” familiar from the Requiem mass.  As the “motto” finishes, the left hand enters with quick, quiet, sweeping arpeggios.  The A section is quiet and mysterious throughout.
0:15 [m. 5]--The “motto” is repeated an octave lower.  The arpeggios appear much sooner in the left hand and eventually become undulating waves.
0:25 [m. 9]--A new phrase based on the motto enters one beat “too early” as the waves in the left hand are concluding.  This new phrase is stated in thirds.  It is imitated at a distance of an tenth lower before it finishes (0:31 [m. 11]).  The left hand arpeggios are less rapid.  The harmony moves toward B-flat minor.
0:39 [m. 13]--A fragment of the new phrase enters.  It is imitated first above, then below again, always before the last “statement” finishes.  The final “statement” reaches “closure” in the full form introduced at 0:25 [m. 9].  There is much hand-crossing here, and the accompaniment figures become more bare and sparse.
0:51 [m. 17]--Full statement of the “motto” doubled in octaves and harmonized by chords on down beats, now in the key of B-flat minor.  There is a “hemiola” at the end (three groups of two beats superimposed on two 3/8 bars).
A Section (slightly varied, not enough to be called A’--similar to second A section of Intermezzo No. 2 above)
1:04 [m. 21]--Sudden shift back to E-flat minor.  Opening motto as at the beginning, but the sweeping arpeggios are replaced by a slower, sinuous descending left hand line, which is often chromatic, with many half-steps.
1:16 [m. 25]--The motto is stated an octave lower, as at 0:15 [m. 5].  The sinuous line continues, now ascending and soaring above, then arching back below the motto theme in an especially elegant hand crossing.  This line merges into the former wave-like arpeggios, and from this point, the section is identical to the first A.
1:25 [m. 29]--New phrase with imitation, as at 0:25 [m. 9]
1:38 [m. 33]--Fragment of the new phrase with imitations, as at 0:39 [m. 13]
1:51 [m. 37]--Full statement of the “motto” doubled in octaves with hemiola, as at 0:51 [m. 17]
B Section--B-flat minor
2:03 [m. 41]--The music suddenly obtains a heroic character.  The right hand becomes march-like (but still retaining the 3/8 triple meter).  The left hand figures are very low and ominous, but do not disturb the “heroic” style.  The dynamic level is still soft.  Just before 2:19 [m. 48], the volume suddenly and dramatically increases.  The section begins by hinting at G-flat major, but is quickly confirmed as the B-flat minor in which both previous A sections ended.
2:22 [m. 49]--The first climax of the B section.  The first martial figures are repeated, now at full volume and striving further upward.
2:29 [m. 51]--A cascading arpeggio interrupts.  It is doubled (tripled) in three separate octaves until the left hand takes over and the third voice drops out.  The right hand anticipates the following “motto.”
2:33 [m. 53]--Sudden entrance of the “motto” theme from the A section, much transformed and at full volume, with rich harmony.  The home key of E-flat minor returns earlier than expected here.
2:38 [m. 55]--Return of the martial figures, now even more intense, and in the home key.  Amazingly, this is the first appearance of the note C-flat (which actually belongs to the home key of E-flat minor).
2:44 [m. 57]--Cascading arpeggio, as at 2:29 [m. 51], but with stronger right hand chords at the end instead of the anticipation of the “motto.”
2:49 [m. 59]--An even more dramatic statement of the “motto” theme.  There is then a very sudden decrease in volume over descending syncopated chords.
A’ Section
3:00 [m. 63]--Return of the bare “motto” theme in the LOWER octave as at 0:15 [m. 5] and 1:16 [m. 25].  Fragmented left-hand arpeggios lead to the “waves.”
3:10 [m. 67]--Similar to 0:25 [m. 9] and 1:25 [m. 29], but the music suddenly makes a warmer turn.  This is accomplished by the entrance of the note C-flat at the lowest point in the bass (at 3:12 [m. 67]).  This note has been treated carefully (first appearance around 2:38 [m. 55]), and now moves the A’ section in an entirely new direction.  It moves briefly to a soothing C-flat (!) major before turning back to minor at the imitation (3:19 [m. 69], similar to 0:31 [m. 11]).  The phrases begin in sixths instead of thirds (wider spacing), but move to thirds before finishing.
3:25 [m. 71]--Instead of the fragments and imitations from 0:39 [m. 13] and 1:38 [m. 33], the music now intensifies to the final aborted climax (and remains in the “home” key).  The left-hand arpeggios are slower, but obtain a very wide scope.
3:35 [m. 75]--The climax is aborted, leading to a phrase similar to the final “statements” of the passages from 0:39 [m. 13] and 1:38 [m. 33].
3:41 [m. 77]--As at 0:51 [m. 17] and 1:51 [m. 37], but now in the home key of E-flat minor and adding a third (lower) octave doubling for a very dark and sinister sound.  The “hemiola” is also intensified with richer harmonies.
3:56 [m. 81]--Final statement of the motto.  The upper voice is on the original pitch.  It begins doubled, but adds another “middle” octave as it intensifies.  There is a rich texture with full harmony, increasing in volume until the chord at 4:06 [m. 83].  Two more chords of E-flat minor take the volume back down to a low level.
4:16 [m. 85]--A bare, desolate arpeggio of the E-flat minor chord beginning in the low bass, each note held to create a chord that fades away (the last note is struck at 4:23 [m. 86]).
4:49--END OF PIECE [86 mm.]
END OF SET


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