Second Viennese School (IX) – Suite for Piano Op. 25 (3)

In this post, I try to present my own rhythmic analysis of the Prelude of Suite Op. 25. There are few stereotypes, appearing in different instances of the music, either in the same manner with their first statement, or as modified version of it. The most rife rhythmic pattern is the repetitive 16th notes, appearing in groups of 2, 3, 4 or 6 same pitches. This pattern is first stated in measure 3 and repeated in 4, 7, 8, 9, 12 (two groups of 32nd notes shifting to each other), 13 and 14 (the longest instance of occurrence of this pattern), 18,19. The other typical rhythmical pattern is group of successive dotted eighth notes, first used in the very first bar, repeating either with the same number of repetitions and rhythmic values, smaller less repetitive groups or smaller values, such as dotted 16th notes. In addition to bar 1, this figure is used in bars 7 (group of 2 dotted eighth notes), 8 (between left and right hand) 14,16 (dotted 16th notes) and 17. Also right hand’s phrase in 1-2 measures is repeated in several ways throughout the piece, in some cases exactly the same, and in many instances modified through augmentation, diminution, small value changes, and fragmentation and inversion. For instance, in measure 2-3 left hand imitates exactly the same pattern with right hand in measure 1, but the inverted  manner. In measure 5, left hand plays similar pattern this time with rests between the notes and diminution in the tail of the motif. The head-motif (two successive eighth-notes and a quarter note) appears in measure 5, right hand, with inverted motion and rest (which equals a quarter note). It is followed by the tail of the phrase appeared in measure 6 in left hand, which results in hearing the whole phrase divided between two hands and in two different registers. In measure 10, just the tail of the phrase is heard in the right hand. The second beat of measure 12 presents the head-motif in double notes, with the same rhythmic value, but in opposite motion and different intervals. In measure 13, the pattern is enharmonized in the right hand and measure 15 emphasizes it by using double-notes, fermatas and leaps. Measure 17 presents a modified version of the tail of measure 1’s phrase in left hand. Instead of (8th, dotted-8th, 32nd note), there comes (dotted 8th, 32nd, 8th), followed by the original version in measure 18 again in left hand.

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