Dating from , the very year in which Beethoven accepted that he was going deaf, it gives scarce evidence of coming from a composer remembered for his rebellious unorthodoxies, one who bequeathed a deeply personal intimacy to instrumental music.
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This sonata, by contrast, is sociable and chatty, marked by an uncomplicated joyfulness. It appears to typify rather than challenge the achievements of the Classical era.
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Its clear phrasing and transparent textures point to Mozart while its vigour and wit are classic Haydn. It opens with a run scurrying back and forth, issuing into a rising arpeggio capped o by a comical chirp from the violin, like Tweety Bird chiming in late, after the beat, in a Bugs Bunny skit. The second theme is surprisingly in a minor key, but every bit as energetic as the first. Finally, a nonchalant closing theme, skipping merrily over a drone bass, completes the line-up. A steady eight- note pulse and many tremolo figures, exploited thoroughly in the development section, keep this movement bustling and bubbling along in a style that pre-figures the buoyancy of Mendelssohn.
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There is no slow movement. Instead comes a real, danceable minuet, moving in even careful steps, with all the graceful pauses that would allow courtiers to exchange polite glances, and a wealth of turns and trills to go with their frilly cuffs and collars.
Or so it seems, until Beethoven takes this courtly dance for a stroll in a few other directions, with many a diversion into the minor mode and even an oom-pah-pah rhythm. But the straight-laced minuet tune keeps coming back again and again, and maybe this contrast is the whole point. The last movement has been called a Rondo alla musette and for good reason.
Chewing over the two parts of its theme — one in 16ths, the other in 8ths — it conjures up images of village dancing and presents a daunting challenge to those who frown on toe-tapping during recitals. The sonata, originally written for flute and then adapted for violin, is diatonic in its harmonies, as immediate in its appeal as any film score, and its layout in the four movements of the traditional sonata, each clearly structured, makes it especially accessible to audiences familiar with the major works of the classical canon.
March in D Major, Op. 108 Sheet Music by Felix Mendelssohn
The first movement Moderato opens with a dreamy violin melody suspended in the air above a solid steady-as-she-goes piano accompaniment. The second theme in a dotted rhythm is more jaunty, but eminently whistleable. And you can hardly blame him. Nonetheless, it manages to be full of almost dancelike sections, and even stops to smell the roses in a more lyrical but still quirky middle section. The third movement Andante opens with a wide-ranging but pleasing melody of a beguiling simplicity. It picks up the pace, however, in an almost jazzy middle section that seems obsessed with all the di erent combinations of notes you can invent within the space of a major third.
These two melodies, the broad lyrical one and the busy decorative one, are brought together to close off the movement in a spirit of chumminess and mutual cooperation. The exuberant fourth movement Allegro con brio presents and balances an extraordinary range of themes, beginning with a strutting, nostril-flaring march in the violin. A further section sees the piano stuck in the mud, plodding along repetitively in the bass while the violin performs pirouettes in the air above it.
A complete contrast is provided by a lyrical section that bursts gloriously into song halfway through. Gluing the whole movement together is a constant, faithful pulse of 8th notes in the piano that swells in the final pages to end the work in a state of joyous exaltation. Representing as they do all the major and minor keys, in strict order, the set invites comparisons with similar collections by Bach and Chopin.
The personal, individual stamp that each prelude receives is wholly Chopinesque, while neo-baroque Bachian contrapuntal textures abound.
The finale goes with spirit, rhythmically vibrant and with finely judged dynamics. The other work on this first disc is the Mendelssohn Concerto with the same orchestra but this time directed by Serge Baudo. This is a digitally accomplished but rather relentless reading, and altogether a bit glum. As per Heifetz, Friedman unleashes coiling intensity in the slow movement which consequently lacks simplicity.
The finale is very efficient. His finale is especially dashing.
March in D major, Op (Mendelssohn, Felix) - IMSLP: Free Sheet Music PDF Download
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