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Schumann's A-minor Mood Late-Style Dialectics in the First Movement of the Cello Concerto

Schumann's A-minor Mood Late-Style Dialectics in the First Movement of the Cello Concerto Schumann's adaptations of eighteenth-century instrumental forms have long been regarded as problematic, as have the works of his late style period of the 1850s. The Cello Concerto op. 129 (composed 1850, published 1854) is a late work based on classical models that has earned a place in the concert repertoire. Still, one searches in vain for analysis of the Concerto that takes advantage of the advances of Schenkerian theory and recent theories of musical form. Such an analysis acquires urgency in light of the renewed interest in Schumann's late style, the relative neglect in analytical circles of Schumann's large-scale instrumental forms, and the tendency for concerto form to attract less interest among theorists compared to other instrumental genres. Historical grounding for the analysis arises from the value Schumann and members of his circle placed on musical close reading, and a heuristic framework of dialectical topics derived from late-style criticism. Comparison with several of Schumann's chamber works in A minor, and with his Piano Concerto, underscores the technical refinements of the Cello Concerto. These comparisons also suggest that Schumann may have composed in something akin to an A-minor mood, similar to Beethoven's C-minor mood, and that he did so across the boundaries of genre and style period that critics have drawn as part of his reception history. Recognizing the continuity is crucial since the inclination to sharply subdivide Schumann's compositional evolution has tended to serve larger critical agendas, namely, advocacy for the piano compositions of the 1830s at the expense of late works like the Cello Concerto. Schumann concerto sonata form tonal pairing Schenkerian analysis late style http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Music Theory Duke University Press

Schumann's A-minor Mood Late-Style Dialectics in the First Movement of the Cello Concerto

Journal of Music Theory , Volume 60 (1) – Apr 1, 2016

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Duke Univ Press
ISSN
0022-2909
eISSN
1941-7497
DOI
10.1215/00222909-3448755
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Schumann's adaptations of eighteenth-century instrumental forms have long been regarded as problematic, as have the works of his late style period of the 1850s. The Cello Concerto op. 129 (composed 1850, published 1854) is a late work based on classical models that has earned a place in the concert repertoire. Still, one searches in vain for analysis of the Concerto that takes advantage of the advances of Schenkerian theory and recent theories of musical form. Such an analysis acquires urgency in light of the renewed interest in Schumann's late style, the relative neglect in analytical circles of Schumann's large-scale instrumental forms, and the tendency for concerto form to attract less interest among theorists compared to other instrumental genres. Historical grounding for the analysis arises from the value Schumann and members of his circle placed on musical close reading, and a heuristic framework of dialectical topics derived from late-style criticism. Comparison with several of Schumann's chamber works in A minor, and with his Piano Concerto, underscores the technical refinements of the Cello Concerto. These comparisons also suggest that Schumann may have composed in something akin to an A-minor mood, similar to Beethoven's C-minor mood, and that he did so across the boundaries of genre and style period that critics have drawn as part of his reception history. Recognizing the continuity is crucial since the inclination to sharply subdivide Schumann's compositional evolution has tended to serve larger critical agendas, namely, advocacy for the piano compositions of the 1830s at the expense of late works like the Cello Concerto. Schumann concerto sonata form tonal pairing Schenkerian analysis late style

Journal

Journal of Music TheoryDuke University Press

Published: Apr 1, 2016

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