CLARINET (OR VIOLA) SONATA NO. 2 in E-FLAT MAJOR, OP. 120, NO. 2
Recordings: Richard Stolzman, clarinet and Richard Goode, piano [RCA Victor Gold Seal 60036-2-RG]; Pinchas Zuckerman, viola and Daniel Barenboim, piano [DG 437 248-2]
Published 1895 (with Op. 120, No. 1)

For general information about the history and publication of the two sonatas, see the guide to Op. 120, No. 1.

The second sonata in E-flat returns to the three-movement structure used in the first two violin sonatas and the first cello sonata, but contains no true slow movement.  The first movement is perhaps Brahms’s most subtle and fluid sonata form. The development section is extraordinarily rich in content, especially its latter portion, which is used as the material for the magical coda.  The main theme is highly ingratiating and amiable (the movement is in fact marked “Allegro amabile”), as if Brahms wished to give a final repudiation to the serious and severe first movements of not only the first sonata, but also the quintet and trio with clarinet.  The middle movement is the last scherzo Brahms ever wrote.  It is passionate and virile, but has a sort of seething restraint.  Its E-flat-minor key is the same as his earliest published scherzo (and earliest published work), the Op. 4 piece for piano.  Like that piece, it has a trio section in B major, which has a confident, noble, glowing warmth.  Brahms follows his last scherzo movement with his last theme and variations.  Previous works to end with this form include the Third String Quartet (Op. 67) and the Clarinet Quintet (Op. 115).  The theme has a certain relationship with the main theme of the first movement from Op. 120, No. 1, sort of bringing the pair of sonatas full circle.  A four-bar first section with an always varied repetition is followed by a six-bar second part.  The variations increase in activity until the fourth, which comes to a near standstill before the “Allegro” outburst of Variation 5, which is in a new 2/4 meter and the minor key.  The coda is joyous and brilliant.  After meditating on the distinctive closing gesture and main melody for a while, it erupts into a jovial, even comical final flourish to close Brahms’s chamber music oeuvre.


In the guide, the clarinet version is used for the full analysis.  An abbreviated, more rudimentary guide is provided for a recording with viola, with detailed descriptions of the viola part’s deviations from the clarinet.  The most distinctive of these are the double stops and extensions at the end of the trio section of the scherzo.

IMSLP WORK PAGE
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (First Edition from Brahms-Institut Lübeck--includes piano score [with clarinet], clarinet part, and viola part for both Op. 120, No. 1 and Op. 120, No. 2)
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (from Breitkopf & Härtel Sämtliche Werke--piano score with clarinet--Op. 120, No. 2 only)
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (Piano score [with clarinet] and viola part, from a Russian edition, for both Op. 120, No. 1 and Op. 120, No. 2)
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (First edition from Sibley Music Library--violin arrangement of both Op. 120, No. 1 and Op. 120, No. 2--piano score with violin.  NOTE: The violin version is not considered in this guide.)


Clarinet Version
1st Movement: Allegro amabile (Sonata-Allegro form).  E-FLAT MAJOR, 4/4 time.
EXPOSITION
0:00 [m. 1]--Theme 1.  The clarinet begins immediately with the highly ingratiating, memorable theme, which has a distinct vocal character.  It winds down and back up, making heavy use of a long-breathed dotted (long-short) rhythm.  The piano accompaniment is comprised mostly of graceful arpeggios, with block chords against the more chromatic, downward-swinging line at the beginning of the second four-bar phrase.  After a half-close, the opening statement is extended by two bars with a gentle figure in triplet rhythm and then a sweetly soaring arpeggio that reaches up from the clarinet’s lowest notes.
0:27 [m. 11]--Transition.  It begins like a restatement of Theme 1, with the opening melody notes transferred to the piano bass below gentle high arpeggios in the right hand.  The clarinet reverses these, making reference to the theme.  After two bars, the piano arpeggios are changed to a triplet rhythm and the clarinet references to the theme reach higher and become syncopated, steadily building.
0:37 [m. 15]--Before reaching a cadence, the clarinet suddenly drops out, leaving the piano to play an aggressive sequence of full chords and octaves that move toward the “dominant” key of B-flat.  This solo piano passage utilizes the dotted rhythm, along with a rapid turning figure in octaves.
0:45 [m. 18]--The expected arrival at B-flat is averted with a “deceptive” cadence onto the chord of E-flat minor.  Piano arpeggios that move inward in contrary motion between the hands underlie a forceful statement of the theme in the clarinet.  This dissolves into a descending sequence in triplets and faster sixteenth notes as the piano moves to the low bass and tenor registers.  The volume rapidly diminishes, and the harmony touches on D-flat and G-flat major.  The clarinet line slows, becomes syncopated, and breaks off over a dissonant harmony (a so-called “augmented sixth” chord) in anticipation of Theme 2 in B-flat.
0:56 [m. 22]--Theme 2 (B-flat major).  The clarinet plays a halting melody with a recognizable rhythm and with two distinct pauses.  The bass of the piano imitates the clarinet in canon a beat later and consistently an octave plus a fifth below.  The harmonies to the piano canon, especially in the right hand, often move in the opposite direction, but their rhythm follows the piano bass.  Both instruments are marked sotto voce.  The expected four-bar phrase is extended by two quiet “echoes” that maintain the clarinet/piano bass canon while touching on the minor key.
1:14 [m. 28]--The clarinet begins a more lyrical and expansive version of the melody, removing the halting pauses.  The piano abandons the canon, changing to accompanying after-beat and off-beat chords.  These chords are underpinned by low octaves which quickly settle on a “pedal point” on the “dominant” note, F.  In the third bar, the clarinet introduces dynamic triplet rhythms into the melody, which is still marked dolce.
1:31 [m. 34]--After another six-bar phrase, the clarinet trails and drops out as the piano takes over, still maintaining the accompanying rhythm with its right hand chords, but with a more solid left hand, now stubbornly maintaining the pedal point F on the off-beats.  The harmony of the piano mirrors the clarinet in the previous phrase as it had moved to the triplet rhythm.  After two bars, the clarinet itself enters with the original notes of that measure.  After that single-bar restatement, the clarinet flares up into a grand expansion that culminates in a dramatic upward arpeggio in faster sixteenth-notes over a rapid crescendo.  The piano immediately imitates this arpeggio, reaching upward even more strongly as its bass moves away from the pedal point.  At the climax, the clarinet suddenly drops out and the piano is left with a powerful cadence gesture in chords and leaping bass octaves.
1:47 [m. 40]--Closing section.  The expected B-flat of the cadence arrives in the piano bass.  The piano then begins a series of sweeping arpeggios in triplet rhythm against a steady bass.  The clarinet introduces a new and strongly lyrical theme with a broad reach.  Its eighth notes and sixteenth notes are played straight against the piano triplets.  The theme makes another turn to a rapid arpeggio over chromatic harmony, after which the clarinet leaps to its low register as the piano bass moves away from B-flat and the right hand plunges downward.
1:58 [m. 44]--Another statement of the theme begins, now taken by the piano right hand.  The triplet arpeggios are passed between the clarinet and the left hand.  At the third bar of the theme, the clarinet drops out and the piano breaks away from the tune at the point where the clarinet had the rapid arpeggio.  It introduces leaping, detached figures in the left hand and manipulates the theme into a rhythm reminiscent of the beginning of Theme 2, while briefly shifting to D major.  Rapidly diminishing in volume, the accompanying rhythm from the second statement of that theme now also returns.  The piano bass and the clarinet use broad leaping octaves to lead to lead gradually back to B-flat major and another cadence.  This quieter cadence settles into the variant of the main theme that closes the exposition.
2:21 [m. 52]--To round out the exposition, the clarinet note from the last rising octave is held over into the beginning of a new version of Theme 1 in B-flat.  This new version has the familiar accompaniment, but quickly introduces new syncopation and trailing triplet rhythms.  These rather abruptly shift to the movement’s home key, E-flat, where the development section begins.
DEVELOPMENT
2:32 [m. 56]--The boundary between exposition and development is very nebulous.  Its placement here is based on material included in the recapitulation and the movement away from B-flat, where the exposition would be expected to end.  The piano begins a statement of Theme 1 in E-flat, with brief clarinet arpeggios, but the harmony and melody quickly deviate from the theme and the key.  A sudden forte outburst of piano chords with pounding bass octaves shifts back to the realm of B-flat and its related minor key, G minor.  After three bars, these break off into a cascading triplet arpeggio as the clarinet begins yet another unstable version of the theme.  This also breaks into a plunging arpeggio, moving to the areas of G and D minor.
2:57 [m. 65]--The clarinet, suddenly hushed, arrives at the low D, the instrument’s deepest pitch.  It plays a tolling pedal point on that note seven times.  Above it, the piano plays a spectral version of Theme 2, complete with the halting pauses, fluctuating between G minor and D minor.  The D pedal in the clarinet seems to pull more, as a “dominant” note, to G minor, despite the vacillation between the two keys in the harmony.
3:08 [m. 69]--Now the clarinet, sotto voce, plays the transformed Theme 2.  The piano, also very quiet, maintains a hint of the imitation associated with the theme.  The harmony is now a mixture of G minor and G major.  Suddenly, the clarinet breaks away, soaring into a beautiful cadence gesture.  The piano plays chromatic chords underneath it until both instruments strongly confirm the key of G major.  The music will remain in that key at length during the following extended passages.
3:20 [m. 73]--Prolonging the cadence, the piano plays Theme 1 in G major with warm, aching triplet arpeggios accompanying.  The clarinet enters to complete the melodic phrase.  Another, slightly syncopated statement begins a fourth higher, on C major.  The triplet arpeggios continue in the piano bass.  Both instruments gradually settle down, with a colorful E-flat borrowed from the minor key, to a delayed cadence in G.
3:35 [m. 78]--A remarkable passage of lilting, bouncing triplet figures, mostly outlining the G-major chord, begins with the cadence.  Marked dolce, it seems almost like a parenthesis within the development section, since this material was not present in the exposition.  It is passed from the clarinet to the piano, then back to the clarinet.  After moving to the clarinet a second time, the triplets stay there and the piano moves to slightly more forceful chords in clashing “straight” rhythm.  These chords curiously and consistently omit the note F-sharp, which is important for the identity of G major, despite the consistent outlining of that key’s chord.  It is unclear whether G major is still the key center or whether it is functioning as a “dominant” of C major.
3:49 [m. 83]--Now the piano introduces chromatic harmony, including the note F-sharp, but ironically, the clarinet moves to the chord of F-sharp major with the bouncing triplets, temporarily establishing that key, although it also lacks its crucial leading note.  Almost immediately, things shift down another half-step, to F.  Then, in a magical outburst, the piano takes over the bouncing triplets, blossoming back into B-flat, for which F serves as a “dominant.”  The arrival back at the key of Theme 2, where the development section also began, greatly increases anticipation for the arrival back home to E-flat and the recapitulation, but this remarkably long development section is not over yet.  The clarinet enters at the top of the piano’s arrival on B-flat, its two-note descents also establishing the key.
4:06 [m. 89]--The clarinet joyously begins Theme 1 in B-flat, with the exuberant bounding triplets continuing in the piano.  Shortly, the left hand moves to downward leaps in straight rhythm.  The two-against-three rhythmic juxtaposition has now become quite characteristic.  The clarinet statement of Theme 1 unexpectedly strives upward, becoming very exuberant, and emerging into the bouncing triplets.  A greatly anticipated cadence in B-flat is now almost cruelly averted.
4:17 [m. 93]--A “deceptive” chromatic motion to G-flat, almost immediately re-notated as F-sharp, prolongs the development section even more.  The piano begins an extremely chromatic meditation on fragments of the main theme in full harmony.  A “pedal point” is established on F-sharp, which serves as the “dominant” of B, but the extreme chromaticism makes it impossible to distinguish major and minor.  The clarinet adds melodic fragments to this unstable passage, in which Brahms seems to take great pleasure in extending anticipation as long as possible.  Bass motion then seems to confirm arrival at F-sharp major.
4:30 [m. 98]--Another abrupt chromatic shift leads through A-flat in a chordal descent on the piano.  Finally, the bass slides from A-flat up to B-flat, where the chord is quickly and firmly established as the “dominant” of E-flat, the home key that has been anticipated for such a long time.  The harmony settles down with a sense of great relief, as does the general tension.  After the incredible extensions and harmonic journeys of the development section, this re-transition is brief, with piano chords and mildly syncopated clarinet notes moving inevitably to the arrival of Theme 1 in E-flat.  There is an echo of the “false” arrival of the theme in the home key at 2:32 [m. 56] which only heightens the accomplished sense of relief here.
RECAPITULATION
4:47 [m. 103]--Theme 1.  The clarinet line is as in the exposition.  The piano arpeggios in the first phrase are now played in a triplet rhythm, intensifying the two-against-three motion that has become increasingly prominent in the movement.   In the second phrase and the two-bar extension, the accompaniment is as in the exposition.  To begin the new transition, the piano will imitate the soaring clarinet arpeggio that closes the statement of Theme 1.  Its first note is anticipated in the last beat of the bar and held over.
5:16 [m. 113]--Transition.  It is four bars shorter than in the exposition, and has a different tonal destination.  The bass restatement of the theme and the aggressive piano chords are omitted.  Instead, the arpeggio at the end of Theme 1 is imitated a fourth higher by the piano, leading to a clarinet statement of the Theme 1 opening in A-flat major over piano arpeggios in triplets.  The clarinet line also inserts a single gentle triplet rhythm.  The piano then states the theme, shifting it abruptly down to G-flat major, continuing with the contrasting triplet rhythm in the left hand.  A final clarinet entry on the theme dissolves into a descending, diminishing line in triplets as the piano drops out.  It is distinctly similar to the clarinet descent that preceded the entry of Theme 2 at 0:56 [m. 22].  This clarinet descent changes key once again, shifting from G-flat to C-flat as the triplets move to a slower “straight” rhythm for the last descending notes.
5:37 [m. 120]--Theme 2.  The first statement of Theme 2 is given in the unexpected key of C-flat major.  The piano canon and sotto voce markings are analogous to 0:56 [m. 22].  The first of the two “echoes” has a subtle alteration in melody and harmony, and the second is shifted up a third from the exposition, an octave lower than the first echo, moving the key center back home to E-flat, the expected key of Theme 2 in the recapitulation.  This is a wonderful effect after the somewhat darker colors of the C-flat diversion.
5:55 [m. 126]--Lyrical and expansive version of the melody with after-beat and off-beat chords, analogous to 1:14 [m. 28], in the home key of E-flat.  The low pedal point is now on B-flat, the “dominant” note of the home key.
6:12 [m. 132]--Clarinet drops out as piano maintains off-beat rhythm and pedal point.  Then clarinet entry and grand expansion, with dramatic upward arpeggio imitated by the piano, followed by powerful cadence gesture.  Analogous to 1:31 [m. 34].
6:29 [m. 138]--Closing section.  Cadence in E-flat, then sweeping piano arpeggios in triplet rhythm under broadly lyrical clarinet theme in straight rhythm.  Rapid arpeggio, then leap to low register in the clarinet over chromatic harmony and plunging piano right hand.  Analogous to 1:47 [m. 40].
6:40 [m. 142]--Analogous to 1:58 [m. 44].  Second statement of closing theme by piano right hand in octaves, with triplet arpeggios split between the clarinet and the piano left hand (where their initial direction is reversed from the exposition and moves downward).  Clarinet drops out as leaping, detached figures begin in the piano.  Brief shift to G major.  Then accompanying rhythm of second phrase from Theme 2.  Leaping octaves lead to E-flat cadence.  This settles into the variant of the main theme that ended the exposition and launched into the development, which is now used analogously to lead into the coda.
7:04 [m. 150]--New version of Theme 1 in E-flat with syncopation and  trailing triplet rhythms, analogous to 2:21 [m. 52].  The trailing clarinet line appears to move to A-flat, which would match the harmonic motion of the “false” arrival at E-flat that began the development section.  But this expected arrival is diverted at the beginning of the coda.
CODA
7:16 [m. 154]--The expected arrival at A-flat is magically diverted to the distant key of E major.  This is accomplished by re-interpreting A-flat as G-sharp.  In this key, Brahms uses material from an unexpected passage of the movement: the transition from the exposition at 0:27 [m. 11] that was not used in the recapitulation, now shifted up a half-step from its original presentation.  All the elements are here: the bass statement of the theme, the high arpeggios in the right hand, the reversals in the clarinet, the shift to triplet rhythm in the piano arpeggios, and the move to a more syncopated rhythm in the clarinet.  But at the clarinet syncopation, Brahms continues the triplet motion in the piano right hand, which he did not do before and which creates a three-against-two contrast with the left hand.  In the fourth bar, the clarinet lines are also extended higher, and the two-against-three motion in the piano continues.
7:28 [m. 158]--Still in E major, the clarinet syncopation leads to material from Theme 2.  In the clarinet, the triplet motion from the expansive version at 1:14 [m. 28] and 5:55 [m. 126] is heard.  The piano uses the familiar halting rhythms from the beginning of Theme 2, but they are now passed between a low bass line in the left hand and chords in the right hand.  Groups of three notes or chords in each hand are dovetailed with a new group in the other hand, creating a continuous flow despite the pauses between groups.  The music is very tranquil, and it is marked molto dolce sempre.  The clarinet breaks off, and the piano trails, also breaking off.  Both instruments cut off a strongly anticipated cadence in E major.
7:41 [m. 162]--On the upbeat, the piano bass slips from B to B-flat, supporting an E-flat chord and a shift back home to that key, thwarting the E-major cadence.  The music is now headed “Tranquillo.”  The right hand plays the groups of three chords derived from Theme 2, while the left hand moves to a slower rhythm and an alternation between low bass notes and higher mid-range chords.  The clarinet turns to another unexpected element, the lilting, bouncing triplet figures from the latter part of the development section beginning at 3:35 [m. 78].  This creates a three-against-two contrast with the piano right hand.  The piano and clarinet descend together to a cadence as the clarinet moves away from the bouncing triplets.
8:00 [m. 166]--The lilting triplets move to the piano, and the music now more closely resembles the latter portion of the development.  The last beat of each bar moves to chords in straight rhythm supported by a brief clarinet entry.  There are two ascents, each an octave higher, and then two descents back to where the ascents began.  The passage is exceedingly gentle and serene, and it reaches a full cadence.
8:16 [m. 170]--As the piano triplets settle to their destination, the clarinet enters one last time with the bouncing triplets.  Reaching a top high note, it then descends down an arpeggio in straight rhythm.  At the same time as this clarinet descent, the triplets are played for a final time on the piano, ascending as before, but with both ascents condensed to one measure.  This is the last measure of two-against-three rhythm in the movement.  The music has risen and fallen in dynamics while slowing down.  There remain only the last three chords, with the clarinet ending on its lowest E-flat, a half-step above its lower limit.
8:43--END OF MOVEMENT [173 mm.]


2nd Movement: Allegro appassionato (Scherzo with Trio).  E-FLAT MINOR, 3/4 time.
While the piano score is marked “Allegro appassionato,” the clarinet part is marked “Appassionato, ma non troppo Allegro.”
MAIN SECTION (SCHERZO) - Allegro appassionato
0:00 [m. 1]--Part 1.  The clarinet begins alone on an upbeat, leading into an extremely passionate theme whose rapid triple-time motion suggests a waltz, but one of heroic, almost tragic character.    It is characterized by leaps up to longer notes on the downbeats.  The piano part is demanding throughout the scherzo section.  Here at the outset, the theme is accompanied by sweeping arpeggios and, at the end of the phrase, by thick supporting chords.
0:10 [m. 9]--Part 1, varied repeat.  Immediately after the clarinet’s presentation of the melody, the instrument drops out, leaving the piano to present its own solo version of the theme.  This it does with octaves and chords in the right hand.  The sweeping arpeggios are thus transferred entirely to the left hand.  They had been divided between hands under the clarinet.
0:19 [m. 17]--Part 2.  The clarinet enters again with a second theme, a restless swaying figure.  The piano supports it with dissonant chords whose bass lines move narrowly in two-note groups around the note A-flat, the harmony vaguely suggesting D-flat major.  The clarinet then drops out again, and the piano adds the swaying figure to its chords.  The bass has moved a third lower, circling around F.  The piano passage is extended by three bars, becomes more agitated, and reaches an emphatic E-flat-minor cadence.
0:32 [m. 28]--The clarinet makes a leap as if it were going to begin the main theme again, but holds the note while the piano plays a mysterious rising arpeggio on the “dominant” chord of a new implied key, B minor, notated as C-flat (relating it more closely to E-flat minor, which contains that note).  The clarinet trails down, after which the piano forcefully confirms the motion to B minor, now notated as such.  The same pattern begins again (notated in B minor in the piano), but the clarinet line moves lower.  The piano arpeggio leads to an expectant held chord.  Suddenly, the piano uses the chord of F-sharp/G-flat to wrench the key back to E-flat minor with a distinctive and highly agitated version of the principal gesture from the main theme.
0:43 [m. 37]--The passionate main theme starts again, with the clarinet playing as at the beginning, but the piano has a new, more agitated accompaniment with broken octaves in the left hand on the upbeats and downbeats, and harmonized chord figures in the right.  The right hand begins by playing on the second beat, but after two bars, it also plays on the third beat (the upbeat)
0:50 [m. 43]--The clarinet suddenly deviates from the theme, breaking into a series of falling gestures derived from it.  The piano also gradually breaks away from its pattern.  After a couple of bars, the clarinet drops out, leaving the piano to play a plunging, treacherous measure of octaves in both hands followed by two thick and unstable “dominant seventh” chords.
0:58 [m. 49]--Closing Theme (Codetta).  The clarinet introduces the last theme, which is characterized by quiet, quick-breathed descending scale fragments accompanied by rising piano arpeggios.  After it is stated once, the piano takes it up without the clarinet, but quickly diverges harmonically, again touching on the realm of C-flat (B) minor.  Now marked più dolce, the piano right hand begins to circle around the first three notes of that key’s scale, but the left hand persistently plays a clashing arpeggio on E (F-flat) major.  The clarinet imitates the right hand a bar later in canon.  This breaks after three bars.
1:10 [m. 59]--After the canon breaks, the harmony seems to veer back home.  The clarinet begins a series of three-note descents.  The piano now plays in every other bar, resting on alternate measures.  When it plays, the right hand is in contrary motion with the clarinet and the left hand plays a rising arpeggio.  After the first alternation, the key center veers away again, this time to A-flat minor (a key earlier implied by the persistent left hand arpeggios on F-flat), and the volume builds.  Finally, both instruments break off over an arpeggio on an extremely unstable “diminished seventh” chord.  There is a one-bar general pause.
1:20 [m. 66]--After the pause, the clarinet plays a smooth rising leap in full-measure notes.  This blossoms into a highly expressive version of the closing theme in doubled note values.  The piano accompanies with isolated rolled chords, and the home key of E-flat minor is gently re-established.  The clarinet descends lower and lower, becoming quieter and quieter, and the piano moves to alternating left hand low notes and right hand chords that create a cross-rhythm.  Finally, the clarinet descends to its last cadence, leaping down from the sustained “dominant” note, B-flat, to its lowest E-flat.  Against this cadence, the piano plays a long rising arpeggio that leads to a confirming high chord and low bass E-flat.
CONTRASTING SECTION (TRIO) - B Major, Sostenuto
1:40 [m. 81]--Part 1.  The key, character, and tempo of this trio section greatly contrast with the main section, although the triple meter is retained.  The use of B as a key center was hinted in the main scherzo with the several turns toward B minor there.  The piano alone presents the first statement of the noble theme, beginning in the tenor register and marked ma dolce e ben cantando.  The clarinet is absent for a full fourteen measures.  The theme is richly harmonized, its steady motion supported by walking low bass octaves in the left hand.  The first eight-bar phrase, clearly divided into two four-bar units, works upward.
1:54 [m. 89]--The theme continues, making a darker turn to the key of D-sharp minor after an upbeat.  While closely related to B major, D-sharp is a re-spelling of E-flat, an oblique reference to the main scherzo section.  After working downward, the piano chords and left hand octaves begin to oscillate, moving in contrary motion to each other.  The D-sharp-minor phrase is cut off after six bars without quite reaching a full cadence.
2:06 [m. 95]--Part 1, varied repeat.  An expected cadence in D-sharp minor is diverted with a “deceptive” motion back to B major.  The notes F-sharp and D-sharp, common to the chords of both keys, are used, a particularly deft deployment of the deceptive cadence.  The clarinet finally enters after its long absence, playing the top notes of the theme an octave higher.  Transferring the melody to the clarinet in the upper octave allows the piano to play richer chords with higher top notes while its bass and main harmonies remain at their original levels.  The first eight-bar phrase is played with the clarinet on the melody.
2:20 [m. 103]--At the turn to D-sharp minor, the piano returns to its original version from 1:54 [m. 89].  The clarinet moves from the melody to add a new counterpoint that was not present before, beginning with descending arpeggios that precede the piano’s chordal descents.  Then it is placed in contrary motion against the piano’s prevailing directionality.  The six-bar phrase ends in anticipation of a cadence, as before.
2:32 [m. 109]--Part 2.  This time the motion is to D-sharp, but it is a double octave in both hands (the clarinet briefly dropping out), not the chord, so again, a full cadence is avoided.  The bass motion and the harmonies suggest that D-sharp now serves as a “dominant” for the unusual key of G-sharp major (notated with F-double sharp).  The material is similar to Part 1, but the new harmonies are even warmer and richer.  The bass octaves thrust upward insistently, as do the right hand chords.  At first, they alternate with each other.  The clarinet enters after three bars, soaring with a melody above the piano, which is again in the tenor range.  At this point, the key shifts to C-sharp major.  The phrase, extended to twelve bars, settles to a cadence on C-sharp.  The piano then slides to the top note D-sharp and the B-major chord.
2:54 [m. 121]--The main theme of the trio section begins again, but the piano’s top notes are an octave higher.  The clarinet plays in its low register, doubling notes in the piano chords that are in harmony with the melody.  It breaks away from this, creating a new line.  After four bars, the piano itself diverges from the original theme, becoming more intense dynamically and harmonically.  As the harmony touches on A major, the clarinet plays a syncopated dotted (long-short) rhythm, gently leaping upward.  The harmonic divergence is brief, as high harmonized piano octaves, garnished by the clarinet, triumphantly proclaim another B-major cadence.
3:08 [m. 129]--In the last phrase, the clarinet and piano settle down, repeating cadence figures with gentle syncopation while becoming slower and quieter.  The clarinet drops out in the fifth bar.  After a final full, but quiet cadence in B major, the bass slides down to B-flat, doubled with a right hand octave.  The motion from B major to E-flat major by sliding down to B-flat and using it as a “dominant” recalls the bridge between the last two movements of Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto.  The held B-flat extends the phrase to ten bars.
MAIN SECTION (SCHERZO) REPRISE
3:31 [m. 139]--Part 1.  The distinctive, highly agitated version of the principal gesture from the main theme as heard before 0:43 [m. 37], where it was also used to move from B to E-flat, leads into the reprise of the scherzo.  Then the first phrase of the main theme is heard as at the beginning.  At the very end of the phrase, the clarinet part is changed and extended to reach into the first bar of the next phrase.  It also does not reach quite as high as before.
3:42 [m. 149]--Part 1, varied repeat.  The piano plays its solo version of the phrase, as at 0:10 [m. 9], but at the beginning, the clarinet is completing its brief extension.
3:52 [m. 157]--Part 2.  Second theme, as at 0:19 [m. 17].
4:05 [m. 168]--Mysterious passage moving to C-flat/B minor, as at 0:32 [m. 28].  The “distinctive, highly agitated” gesture is heard for the third time in the movement, the only segment to be thrice presented.
4:16 [m. 177]--Main theme with more agitated accompaniment, as at 0:43 [m. 37].
4:23 [m. 183]--Falling gestures in the clarinet leading to plunging octaves and seventh chords, as at 0:50 [m. 43].
4:31 [m. 189]--Closing theme (Codetta), as at 0:58 [m. 49].
4:43 [m. 199]--Alternating clarinet and piano, move to A-flat minor, and pause after “diminished seventh” chord, as at 1:10 [m. 59].
4:53 [m. 206]--Theme in doubled note values, piano cross rhythm, and descent to final cadence, as at 1:20 [m. 66].  The note values of the long, rising piano arpeggio at the end are doubled, extending the arpeggio by two bars.  The notes are played with more deliberation and detachment.  The final piano chord is also extended by a bar, creating a total extension of three bars, all of which are occupied by the clarinet’s low E-flat.  This low E-flat is re-articulated twice, once halfway through the arpeggio and again at the final chord.  The piano chords are also slightly thicker here.  These extensions, re-articulations, and longer note values create a sense of finality that was not as acute before the contrasting “trio” section.
5:22--END OF MOVEMENT [223 mm.]


3rd Movement: Andante con moto - Allegro  (Theme and Variations with coda).  E-FLAT MAJOR, 6/8 and 2/4 time.
0:00 [m. 1]--THEME.  Part 1.  The clarinet presents the first statement of the melody, beginning with an upbeat.  The theme, in 6/8 time, is characterized by a dotted (long-short) rhythm on the 3rd and 6th beats (upbeats) of each measure.  The first part is four bars long, and the melody leisurely strolls along, making a colorful harmonic turn to A-flat halfway through and quickly turning back.  The closing gesture, which leaps up and then moves down a step to the “dominant,” has a questioning feel.  The piano accompaniment has full, rich chords and solid bass octaves.
0:20 [m. 5]--Part 1, varied repeat.  The piano takes over the melody for the first two bars, playing without the clarinet above its own rich harmony, and at a softer level than the first clarinet statement.  The clarinet forcefully joins again on the upbeat to the last two bars and again plays the closing “questioning” gesture.
0:40 [m. 9]--Part 2.  The closing phrase is six bars long and is not repeated.  The piano plays two bars alone, retaining the dotted rhythm, but not placing it consistently on the upbeats.  These two bars make a brief turn to G minor.  The clarinet enters again for the last four bars, returning to the material of Part 1 and slightly elaborating its second half.  It reaches a climax, again touching on A-flat, then plays the “questioning” gesture, ending a third higher but still over the “dominant” harmony.  In a masterful touch, to end the theme, Brahms repeats the “questioning” gesture at its original level, but ending over the home E-flat chord.  This last questioning gesture settles down from the climax and fades away.
1:13 [m. 15]--VARIATION 1.  Part 1.  The clarinet plays without the dotted rhythm, providing the basic outline of the theme.  The piano, however, plays a new and highly syncopated, unharmonized line.  This piano line gradually moves down, then back up, then down again.  The “questioning” gesture now has a downward motion, but still ends on the “dominant.”
1:31 [m. 19]--Part 1, varied repeat.  The piano plays alone now, abandoning the syncopated line and taking up the simplified version just played by the clarinet.  Full harmony is now added to the melody.  The “questioning” gesture is altered, moving down, then leaping up to the dominant.
1:49 [m. 23]--Part 2.  For the first two bars that turn to G minor, the piano returns to the syncopated line, but now with an added bass.  The clarinet plays the simplified outline of the melody.  The clarinet then drops out for two bars, and the piano plays very colorful chords with notes borrowed from the minor key.  These colorful harmonies continue when the clarinet enters with the first questioning gesture.  In a reversal from the pattern in the theme, this first gesture uses the same pitches as the one in Part 1, but an octave higher.  The second closing gesture still has the downward motion but, unlike the close of the theme, ends with a full cadence, the melody ending on E-flat instead of the “dominant” note, B-flat.
2:19 [m. 29]--VARIATION 2.  Part 1.  The clarinet returns to the dotted rhythms on the upbeats, but now holds the downbeat notes for two counts.  The instrument is also in a lower register, using its very lowest pitches.  The piano turns to arpeggios in triplets beginning off the beat, moving down, then up, with a staccato bass.  The closing gesture expands into a six-note arch, leaping up and moving back down, again settling on the “dominant.”  Against the closing gesture, the piano right hand moves to off-beat chords.
2:35 [m. 33]--Part 1, varied repeat.  The roles are reversed, and the clarinet takes the triplet arpeggios while the piano plays the new version of the theme.  The piano plays its melody a full two octaves higher than the clarinet did, retaining its low staccato bass.  The last couple of figures have notes added that were not in the clarinet presentation.  The closing gesture is reversed in direction, leaping down and then also settling downward.  The clarinet ends up playing its original pitches, an octave lower, at the end of the phrase.
2:52 [m. 37]--Part 2.  At the opening turn to G minor, the clarinet returns to the dotted rhythm, holding sustained notes as it plunges from a high pitch down to the depths again.  Against this, the piano plays triplet arpeggios in contrary motion between the hands, again beginning off the beat.  In the second bar, the clarinet takes the arpeggios while the piano plays more static chords.  In the last four bars, the clarinet turns back to the original figures in its lowest register while the piano plays triplet arpeggios.  The clarinet plays the first six-note closing gesture in a low register, leaping up against off-beat piano chords.  It then drops out as the piano takes the second closing figure, reversing the direction, falling downward to a full cadence.
3:18 [m. 43]--VARIATION 3.  Part 1.  In this variation, marked grazioso, the note values are shortened throughout, and the 32nd note—the short side of the pervasive dotted rhythms—is present all through the variation.  In Part 1, the rapid figures, outlining the contour of the theme, are passed between the clarinet, which begins, and the piano right hand.  Each begins on an upbeat.  The left hand plays isolated supporting chords.  At the point where the closing “questioning” gesture would be expected, the instruments come together, the right hand moves to a dotted rhythm, and the left hand plays a couple of rapid upward arpeggios.  The close on the dominant arrives, as expected.  A clarinet arpeggio leads up to the repeat.
3:33 [m. 47]--Part 1, varied repeat.  The opening clarinet line begins an octave higher, as does the piano line that follows it.  But Brahms manipulates the directions of the intervals to move from low to high octaves in both instruments.  In the second alternation, the clarinet begins an octave lower than in the first statement, and the piano ends an octave higher.  The left hand also adds rolled chords at this point.  In the third bar, the alternation is changed so that the clarinet plays shorter figures that are completed by the piano.  The closing gesture also has subtle changes, and the “bridge” is now a descending arpeggio in the piano left hand rather than an ascending one in the clarinet.
3:48 [m. 51]--Part 2.  At the turn to G minor, the clarinet and both hands of the piano move to arching arpeggios in the fast 32nd-note rhythm.  The resulting three voices are in counterpoint, often in parallel, often in contrary motion.  The right hand introduces the dotted rhythm, but the 32nd-note motion is constant in at least one voice at all times. 
3:55 [m. 53]--The last four bars, which turn back to the opening music, again set up an alternation between the clarinet and the piano right hand in the faster motion, with the piano interjecting rolled chords when the clarinet plays.  But after one bar, the piano right hand takes over the fast motion completely, the left hand takes over the rolled chords, and the clarinet gradually re-enters with brief figures in contrary motion to the piano.  Repeated dotted rhythms in the clarinet herald the first closing gesture.  The 32nd-note motion finally breaks as this closes, hinting at the minor key.  The second closing gesture is carried by the piano.  Its dotted rhythms lead to another full cadence as the clarinet again reaches to its lowest notes.
4:18 [m. 57]--VARIATION 4.  Part 1.  This variation is quiet, subdued, and static.  The piano, with both hands in the upper register, plays a skeleton of the theme in syncopated chords.  The clarinet, in a role reversal, plays a bass line with its lowest notes below the piano chords.  The clarinet bass is less syncopated than the piano, being played mostly on the beats while the piano chords are mostly off the beats.  The distinctive closing gesture is now a simple half-close.
4:38 [m. 61]--Part 1, varied repeat.  The instruments reverse their positions.  The piano moves to the lower range, with the left hand playing a solid low bass in octaves, roughly equivalent to the preceding clarinet line.  The clarinet moves above the piano, playing a line that is nearly equivalent to the top voice of the preceding piano chords, but an octave lower.  The right hand chords move in syncopation, together with the clarinet.
5:00 [m. 65]--Part 2.  At the turn to G minor, the piano chords move back to the high register, in syncopation against a clarinet bass line.  The roles again reverse at the beginning of the last four bars, with the clarinet and the piano right hand gradually changing positions and the piano left hand moving to the low bass again.  The chords before and at the first closing gesture are highly chromatic, taking notes from the minor key.  The clarinet descends to the cadence in the second closing gesture, which dies away to nothing.  Brahms indicates a pause before the sudden onslaught of Variation 5, with its new tempo, meter, and mode.
Allegro, E-flat minor, 2/4 time.
5:40 [m. 71]--VARIATION 5.  Even though the 6/8 meter changes to 2/4, with two measures taking the place of one 6/8 bar, the structure of the theme is clearly recognizable.  The “upbeat” is one half of a 2/4 bar, assigned as the equivalent of the last beat of the preceding 6/8 bar (m. 70).  The piano dominates the whole variation.  Although highly agitated, with constant motion, and in the minor key, the outline of the original theme, including the dotted rhythm, is clearer here than in the other variations.  The clarinet only enters with two broken octaves on the leading note D-natural, the first leaping up, the second down, with both then resolving up to E-flat.  This happens right before the closing gesture, which is also very distinct.
5:49 [m. 79]--Part 1, varied repeat.  The clarinet enters again to take the top melodic line as just heard, freeing the piano to play skittering figuration with both hands.  The left hand eventually moves back to a solid bass at the closing gesture, which the clarinet, like the piano before it, plays very distinctly.
5:59 [m. 87]--Part 2.  The clarinet drops out for most of Part 2.  Since E-flat minor uses G-flat instead of G, the harmonic turn here is to G-flat major (which is in fact the “relative” major key).  In a break from previous variations, the piano here elaborates on the closing gesture, continuing the agitation with a syncopated inner line.  The turn to G-flat major is more subdued than the preceding material.
6:03 [m. 91]--The brief meditation in G-flat major is broken by an abrupt transition back to E-flat minor, in which, on the upbeat, the piano leaps up, then plunges down in a cross-rhythm, grouping its descents in four groups of three sixteenth notes instead of three groups of four.  The bass octaves also move with the three-note groups.  This surprising, almost violent cross-rhythm leads back a more expected completion of the variation in the character of Part 1.  Both closing gestures are distinct, the first ending on the “dominant,” as expected.  In the second closing gesture, the clarinet finally re-enters with low descending lines.  The cadence of the second closing gesture dovetails with the arrival of the “Più tranquillo” coda.
CODA--E-flat major, Più tranquillo (2/4 time)
6:13 [m. 98]--The last bar of Variation 5 and its final cadence coincide with the motion back to major and the arrival of the coda.  Despite the marking “Più tranquillo,” the music is basically still moving in the “Allegro” tempo.  After the cadence, the piano elaborates expressively on the closing gesture, accompanied by triplet arpeggios in the clarinet.  After two rising statements of the closing gesture, Brahms moves to the main melody of the theme, upon which the clarinet meditates while the piano moves to the triplet rhythm, playing broad arpeggios that include octave leaps.  Two long clarinet notes, supported by descending bass octaves, slide up and extend the phrase.
6:29 [m. 108]--In a reversal of the previous pattern, the clarinet now plays the meditative statements of the closing gesture.  The piano moves to more solid, yearning gestures in straight rhythm with forceful descending bass octaves.  After the two statements, the piano takes up the main melody of the theme, supported by low, rising clarinet arpeggios.  The fragments of the melody reach upward, becoming stronger and somewhat passionate.  After reaching a high point, the piano briefly pauses, subduing itself.  The left hand holds a low B-flat while the right hand begins a long descent in triplet rhythm on a scale that gradually begins to include all notes (a chromatic scale).  The clarinet harmonizes this descent a full octave plus a third below the piano right hand.
6:47 [m. 119]--In a transitional passage, the piano plays rising chromatic figures followed by brief descents.  The bass octaves move down by half-steps.  The clarinet accompanies in low arching arpeggios.  These figures become more and more agitated in both instruments.  After briefly adding harmonies, the piano bass moves back to octaves.  After a sudden crescendo and a rising triplet arpeggio in the clarinet over a dissonant “diminished seventh” chord, the piano plays a rapid, virtually unmeasured sweeping arpeggio up the piano, landing on a the same chord.  While the piano is holding this, the clarinet repeats its triplet arpeggio an octave higher, then the piano repeats its rapid sweeping arpeggio an octave lower.  The dissonant chord is held over into the next bar in anticipation of the joyous, exuberant final peroration.
7:11 [m. 136]--The piano breaks into a new, jovial version of the main melody, stripping it of its languid dotted rhythms.  After two beats, the clarinet briefly imitates the right hand in canon, then recedes.  Breaking away, the piano gradually moves to three-note descents and some syncopation before erupting into a full cross-rhythm, leaping up the keyboard with five groups of three that are reminiscent of the abrupt transition in Variation 5 at 6:03 [m. 91].
7:20 [m. 143]--The remainder of the coda is given to the distinctive closing gesture, which reaches a sort of jovial apotheosis.  The clarinet, which has briefly been in the background, erupts into two statements of the gesture, the second two octaves below the first.  The piano breaks into an excited accompaniment with bass octaves on the beat, the right hand following with octaves and chords off the beat.  After the two statements of the closing gesture, the clarinet plays two rapid arpeggios over another “diminished seventh” chord, then a more slowly rising, leaping line that is derived from the closing gesture.  Here, the excited piano accompaniment breaks for a beat, then resumes, the left hand on broken octaves, the right on full chords.  After pausing briefly, the piano and clarinet play three last chords, the latter leaping to a final low E-flat.
7:38--END OF MOVEMENT [153 mm.]
END OF SONATA




Viola Version
NOTE: This outline includes all timings from the recording with viola that correspond to the measure numbers as given in the guide above for the clarinet recording.  It is abbreviated, mainly pointing out the discrepancies between the viola and clarinet parts.  The piano part is identical to the clarinet version.
1st Movement: Allegro amabile (Sonata-Allegro form).  E-FLAT MAJOR, 4/4 time.

EXPOSITION
0:00 [m. 1]--Theme 1.  The viola plays the first statement in the same register as the clarinet.
0:30 [m. 11]--Transition based on Theme 1 with syncopation and triplet rhythm.  The viola remains in the original clarinet register.
0:42 [m. 15]--Aggressive piano chords and octaves moving toward B-flat.
0:49 [m. 18]--“Deceptive” cadence and forceful statement of the theme from the viola.  Here, the viola is provided with a rolled chord to add strength to the initial entry, a typical string gesture impossible on a wind instrument.  It is also moved to the lower octave, taking advantage of its low C (a note unavailable on the clarinet) at the end of the descending triplet sequence.  Unfortunately, the clarinet’s last two notes are two low for the viola’s range in the lower octave, so an unusual leap up (inverting the distance and direction) must be made before these two notes.
1:02 [m. 22]--Theme 2.  The viola has leaped back up to the higher octave and the original clarinet notes at the end of the transition.  The sotto voce halting theme with piano bass canon is presented, concluding with its two “echoes.”
1:20 [m. 28]--Lyrical and expansive version of the melody in the viola.  Off-beat and after-beat chords in the piano, along with low bass octaves which create a pedal point.  The viola plays triplet rhythms as the theme continues.
1:39 [m. 34]--Continuation of piano chords with more forceful left hand and pedal point.  The viola entry is in the same octave as the clarinet, but at the “grand expansion,” it leaps down to the lower octave in the middle of the upward arpeggio, again to take advantage of the low C, but obscuring the higher piano imitation before the powerful cadence gesture.
1:57 [m. 40]--Closing section.  The viola remains in the lower octave with its broad tune, which places it below the accompanying triplet arpeggios.  The leap to the low notes (which match the clarinet) is subsequently not as large.
2:09 [m. 44]--New statement of the theme with triplet arpeggios passed between the two instruments and then rhythms reminiscent of Theme 2 that briefly shift to D major.  The viola notes in the passage match the clarinet, which is already in its low register.
2:31 [m. 52]--Statement of Theme 1 in B-flat, closing the exposition and leading into the development.
DEVELOPMENT
2:42 [m. 56]--Statement of Theme 1 in E-flat.  The first two viola notes in the third bar (m. 58) are brought down an octave from the clarinet.  After the forte piano outburst, the unstable onset of the theme in the viola, which breaks into the plunging arpeggio, is given force by another added rolled string chord.
3:08 [m. 65]--Spectral version of Theme 2, with tolling low D pedal point in the viola.
3:19 [m. 69]--Transformed Theme 2, sotto voce.  Soaring viola cadence confirms G major.
3:32 [m. 73]--Theme 1 in G major and C major with triplet arpeggio accompaniment.
3:48 [m. 78]--Lilting, bouncing triplets, dolce, passed between viola and piano, mostly outlining the G-major chord.  In the viola part, the notes of the triplets are marked tenuto to guard against staccato playing.
4:05 [m. 83]--Motion of bouncing triplets to F-sharp, then, via F, to B-flat, a magical moment.  In the third bar of the F-sharp-major arpeggios (m. 85), the viola begins a third lower than the clarinet did (still outlining the same chord).  This allows the viola to use a low C-sharp unavailable on the clarinet.  The following measure (m. 86) follows the clarinet line.  The viola entry with the two-note descents is placed in the lower octave, where it remains through the next passage (m. 92).
4:20 [m. 89]--Theme 1 in B-flat with exuberant triplets that create two-against-three rhythms.    The viola line remains in the lower octave until it emerges into the triplets (m. 92), where the second half of the measure simply remains in the same register rather than leaping down an octave, as the clarinet does, before the averted cadence.  This places the viola back in the original octave.
4:31 [m. 93]--“Deceptive” motion to G-flat/F-sharp.  Chromatic meditation on the main theme over pedal point F-sharp.
4:47 [m. 98]--Abrupt motion to A-flat in descending piano chords.  Then arrival at B-flat (as “dominant” of E-flat) and re-transition.  Tension settles down for the arrival of the theme in E-flat.
RECAPITULATION
5:05 [m. 103]--Theme 1.  Triplet rhythm in accompaniment to first phrase.
5:36 [m. 113]--New transition beginning with piano imitation of viola arpeggio, moving from A-flat to G-flat to C-flat and including two-against-three rhythms.  The viola line throughout is placed in the lower octave, as it is in the exposition transition at 0:49 [m. 18].  Like the earlier transition, the lower octave places the last notes of the final descent (this time three of them) outside of the viola’s range, so another unusual leap up must be made, inverting distance and direction, to bring these three notes into the original clarinet octave.
6:00 [m. 120]--Theme 2 in C-flat, moving to E-flat major.  The viola is back in the original octave register of the clarinet.
6:18 [m. 126]--Lyrical and expansive version of the melody with off-beat and after-beat chords and B-flat pedal point.
6:38 [m. 132]--Viola drops out, then enters with grand expansion and arpeggio imitated by the piano with  the powerful cadence gesture.  Unlike in the exposition at 1:39 [m. 34], the viola does not this time leap down to the lower octave in the middle of the rising arpeggio in m. 136 (analogous to m. 38), even though it would have provided an opportunity to use the low C and the resulting top note is only a third lower than it would have been without the jump in the earlier exposition statement.
6:57 [m. 138]--Closing section in E-flat.  Because the viola is in the original octave now, in contrast to the exposition, the leap to the low notes is much larger (matching the clarinet) than it was there.
7:08 [m. 142]--Second statement of closing theme with brief shift to G major.  The octave leaps in the viola in the lead-up to the final statement of Theme 1 in E-flat (beginning with m. 146) are altered.  The first and third of them remain in the original register, but the second and fourth are moved down to the lower octave.  The fourth leads into the final statement of Theme 1, which is is also placed in the low octave.
7:30 [m. 150]--New version of Theme 1 to close the recapitulation, with implied motion to A-flat.  The placement in the lower octave here somewhat obscures the presentation of the theme, but it is done to avoid the uncomfortable upper range of the viola, since it would be higher here than at the end of the exposition.  Also because of the lower octave, the final note in the descent, at the diversion to E major that begins the coda (m. 154), is omitted in the viola part because it is a B-natural, just below the viola’s lowest pitch.
CODA
7:43 [m. 154]--Diversion to E major and presentation of material from the transition passage of the exposition.  The viola moves back to the original clarinet register for the rest of the movement.
7:56 [m. 158]--Material from Theme 2 in E major, molto dolce sempre.  Anticipated cadence in E is cut off.
8:13 [m. 162]--Shift back to E-flat major.  “Tranquillo” combination of Theme 2 material in piano with the lilting, bouncing triplets from the latter part of the development section in the viola.  Descent to cadence.
8:34 [m. 166]--Lilting triplets in the piano.  Two ascents and two descents leading to extremely serene full cadence.
8:53 [m. 170]--Last viola entry with triplets, then descending arpeggio against last triplet entry in the piano.    Slowing and quieting before the last three chords.
9:25--END OF MOVEMENT [173 mm.]


2nd Movement: Allegro appassionato (Scherzo with Trio).  E-FLAT MINOR, 3/4 time.
Like the clarinet part, the viola part is marked “Appassionato, ma non troppo Allegro.”
MAIN SECTION (SCHERZO) - Allegro appassionato
0:00 [m. 1]--Part 1.  Viola presentation of main theme.
0:10 [m. 9]--Part 1, varied repeat by piano alone.
0:19 [m. 17]--Part 2.  Second theme with restless swaying figures.  Cadence on E-flat minor.
0:31 [m. 28]--Motion to C-flat/B minor, then back to E-flat minor with distinctive, agitated version of gesture from main theme.
0:41 [m. 37]--Main theme with new, more agitated accompaniment.
0:47 [m. 43]--Deviation from main theme, including treacherous octaves and expectant chords.
0:54 [m. 49]--Closing theme (Codetta).  Descending scale fragments and rising arpeggios, then harmonic motion and canon.
1:06 [m. 59]--Canon breaks, then motion to A-flat minor.  Instruments break off over “diminished seventh,” then one-bar general pause.
1:14 [m. 66]--Expressive version of closing theme, then final descent and cadence.
CONTRASTING SECTION (TRIO) - B Major, Sostenuto
1:37 [m. 81]--Part 1.  Piano statement of Trio theme, first phrase.
1:50 [m. 89]--Turn to D-sharp minor and avoided cadence.
2:03 [m. 95]--Part 1, varied repeat.  Deceptive cadence and viola entry on the melody of the first phrase.
2:16 [m. 103]--Turn to D-sharp minor with new viola counterpoint.  Piano as at 1:50 [m. 89].
2:28 [m. 109]--Part 2.  Motion from D-sharp through G-sharp to C-sharp major.  At the cadence on C-sharp, the viola has its first deviation from the clarinet part.  It doubles the top note of the piano on its slide from C-sharp to D-sharp (as part of the B-major chord).  These are full-measure notes in the last two measures (mm. 119-120).  The reason for this doubling will become clear with the return of the main theme  that follows.
2:50 [m. 121]--The added viola notes doubling the piano land on D-sharp, which is played as a double stop with the original clarinet note (F-sharp) at the return to B major and the main theme.  After this double stop, the viola plays the original clarinet line, which was added for this passage, for four more bars without added notes.  Then, at the point where the clarinet played the syncopated dotted rhythm as the harmony touched on A major, the viola adds full triple-stop chords (incorporating the clarinet notes), retaining the syncopation but not the dotted rhythm.  Brahms thus sacrificed one fine effect for another fine, string-specific effect.  In the following transitional measure, the leaping clarinet notes are effectively brought together in double-stops.
3:04 [m. 129]--The viola had no changes from the clarinet in the main scherzo section but here, at the end of the trio section, comes the most distinctive change in either of the sonatas.  Throughout this last phrase, the original clarinet notes are extremely effectively supplemented with double stops in the viola, deftly incorporating clarinet motions into the resulting two-voice texture on the string instrument.  Not only that, but the viola part is actually extended three bars beyond where the clarinet dropped out, with the instrument playing double stops derived from the piano part through all of the fifth measure as well as the sixth and seventh measures, thus taking part in the last B-major cadence.  The viola finally drops out when the piano bass slides down to the held B-flat in preparation for the return of the main scherzo section.
MAIN SECTION (SCHERZO) REPRISE
3:27 [m. 139]--Part 1.  Agitated version of principal gesture from main theme as heard before 0:41 [m. 37], then first phrase of main theme.  The change and extension to the clarinet part is retained in the viola part.
3:38 [m. 149]--Part 1, varied repeat.  Piano version of phrase, as at 0:10 [m. 9], with viola completing the extension.
3:46 [m. 157]--Part 2.  Second theme, as at 0:19 [m. 17].
3:59 [m. 168]--Motion to C-flat/B minor, as at 0:31 [m. 28].
4:09 [m. 177]--Main theme with more agitated accompaniment, as at 0:41 [m. 37].
4:16 [m. 183]--Deviation from main theme, treacherous octaves and expectant chords, as at 0:47 [m. 43].
4:23 [m. 189]--Closing theme (Codetta), as at 0:54 [m. 49].
4:35 [m. 199]--Motion to A-flat minor, “diminished seventh,” and general pause, as at 1:06 [m. 59].
4:44 [m. 206]--Expressive version of closing theme, final descent and cadence, as at 1:14 [m. 66].  Note values of last piano arpeggio are doubled and final chord is extended by a bar.  The viola’s low E-flat is re-articulated twice.
5:14--END OF MOVEMENT [223 mm.]



3rd Movement: Andante con moto - Allegro  (Theme and Variations with coda).  E-FLAT MAJOR, 6/8 and 2/4 time.
0:00 [m. 1]--THEME.  Part 1.
0:21 [m. 5]--Part 1, varied repeat.
0:42 [m. 9]--Part 2.
1:17 [m. 15]--VARIATION 1, Part 1.
1:36 [m. 19]--Part 1, varied repeat.
1:54 [m. 23]--Part 2.
2:22 [m. 29]--VARIATION 2, Part 1.
2:38 [m. 33]--Part 1, varied repeat.
2:55 [m. 37]--Part 2.
3:24 [m. 43]--VARIATION 3, Part 1.
3:37 [m. 47]--Part 1, varied repeat.  For no apparent reason other than avoidance of the viola’s high register, the opening upbeat, including the upward arpeggio that approaches it, and the entire first viola alternation with the piano, are brought down to the lower octave.  Thus, the figure begins (but not ends!) at the same level that it does at 3:24 [m. 43].  This disrupts the rather elegant and symmetrical octave displacement described in the clarinet version above.  In the second alternation, the viola returns to the original clarinet register, which eliminates (necessarily) the leap downward for its beginning.
3:51 [m. 51]--Part 2, first four bars.
3:58 [m. 53]--Part 2, last four bars.  The viola is brought down to the lower octave in the first bar (m. 53), presumably again to avoid very high notes.  The last two notes of the figure, however, are brought back to the original octave, necessitating a new and somewhat awkward upward leap that disrupts the line.  This is necessary because the last note is a B-flat, which is below even the viola’s lowest pitch in this lower octave.
4:19 [m. 57]--VARIATION 4, Part 1.
4:39 [m. 61]--Part 1, varied repeat.
5:00 [m. 65]--Part 2.
Allegro, E-flat minor, 2/4 time.
5:38 [m. 71]--VARIATION 5, Part 1.
5:47 [m. 79]--Part 1, varied repeat.  Lower double stop octaves are added to the first two notes of the closing gesture to add emphasis and strength at this point, as the closing gesture is more heavily featured.
5:56 [m. 87]--Part 2.  Turn to G-flat major.
6:01 [m. 91]--Abrupt transition with cross rhythm, then completion of variation.
CODA--E-flat major, Più tranquillo (2/4 time)
6:12 [m. 98]--Closing cadence of Variation 5 and first part of coda, with piano on the closing gesture, then viola on the main melody.
6:28 [m. 108]--Reversal, with viola on closing gesture, then piano on main melody, extended and reaching high point.  Then chromatic descent with viola below piano right hand.
6:46 [m. 119]--Transition passage with chromatic motions, diminished seventh chords, and rapid arpeggios before final peroration.
7:09 [m. 136]--Jovial version of main melody.  The viola imitation in canon is brought down to the lower octave.  The third group of four notes is brought down two (!) octaves, taking advantage of the low viola C and dropping below even the piano bass.  At the fourth and last group of four notes, the viola leaps back to one octave below the clarinet line.  After the imitation, following the four groups of four notes, the viola notes move back to the original register.  The three-note descents and cross-rhythms follow in the piano.
7:18 [m. 143]--Final passage based on closing gesture.  Brahms lowered the viola by an octave in two spots, changing the interesting one- and two-octave leaps.  The first closing gesture is brought down an octave.  The second one remains where it was, so the original leap down two octaves is now only one octave.  The following arpeggios over a diminished seventh chord are also altered, the second one being brought down an octave and utilizing the viola’s low C.  This has the opposite effect, converting a one-octave jump into a two-octave jump.  Following the arpeggios, the slowly rising line based on the closing gesture moves back to the original register.  The jump from the arpeggio down to the beginning of this line had been two octaves; now it is only one.  The viola notes in the final chords are as in the original.
7:40--END OF MOVEMENT [153 mm.]
END OF SONATA



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