Expressive Forms in Brahms's Instrumental Music

Expressive Forms in Brahms's Instrumental Music

Structure and Meaning in His Werther Quartet
Distribution: World
Publication date: 07/07/2005
ISBN: 978-0-253-02355-1
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This book is a substantial and timely contribution to Brahms studies. Its strategy is to focus on a single critical work, the C-Minor Piano Quartet, analyzing and interpreting it in great detail, but also using it as a stepping-stone to connect it to other central Brahms works in order to reach a new understanding of the composer’s technical language and expressive intent. It is an original and worthy contribution on the music of a major composer." —Patrick McCreless

Expressive Forms in Brahms’s Instrumental Music integrates a wide variety of analytical methods into a broader study of theoretical approaches, using a single work by Brahms as a case study. On the basis of his findings, Smith considers how Brahms’s approach in this piano quartet informs analyses of similar works by Brahms as well as by Beethoven and Mozart.

Musical Meaning and Interpretation—Robert S. Hatten, editor

Author Bio

Peter H. Smith is Associate Professor of Music Theory at the University of Notre Dame.

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Table of Contents

1. Quintessential Brahms and the Paradox of the C-Minor Piano Quartet: A Representative yet Exceptional Work
Part I
2. Analytical Preliminaries: Brahms's Sonata Forms and the Idea of Dimensional Counterpoint
3. A Schoenbergian Perspective: Compositional Economy, Developing Recapitulation, and Large-Scale Form
4. Brahms and Schenker: A Mutual Response to Sonata Form
5. Brahms's Expository Strategies: Two-Part Second Groups, Three-Key Expositions, and Modal Shifts
Part II
6. Toward an Expressive Interpretation: Correlations for Suicidal Despair
7. Intertextual Resonances: Tragic Expression, Dimensional Counterpoint, and the Great C-Minor Tradition