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Guided Tour - Schubert D784: Mvt 1(1) - Katia Skanavi

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This movement is marked Allegro Giusto meaning "fast and in a strict manner". Yet oddly enough, it is never played all that fast. But the rhythm must be kept very steady throughout. This is the first theme in the Exposition. Notice that Katia's left hand is maintaining a "LONG-short" rhythm. Schubert never says so, but it's hard not to hear a funeral march in this music. A trill begins in the left hand... The funeral march is played again, but with twice the intensity. Listen to the quick dotted rhythm ("dum-da-dum-da-dum"). This becomes important in the Development. The "LONG-short" rhythm starts to dominate everything. Everything calms down. Are we about to hear the second theme? No...instead, we get rapidly repeating notes in both hands. It's a rather jarring transition moment... ...into the exquisitely beautiful second theme. It's so quiet and simple, and yet we feel that Schubert is expressing very private feelings to us. Especially as the theme moves up to the high notes here. But note carefully that the "LONG-short" rhythm is still there - connecting this theme with the funeral march. The "LONG-short" rhythm keeps interrupting the beautiful theme... ...but the gentle theme struggles on despite the interruptions. The second theme draws to a close. And Schubert asks the pianist to repeat the Exposition. We move again through the familiar funeral march... ...the dark trills... ...the dotted rhythm... ...the intensity of the repeated march... ...the jarring transition... ...and finally the moving sound world of the second theme. Schubert begins the Development with a rising "LONG-short" rhythm... ...which he then combines powerfully with the dotted rhythm. Then Schubert transforms the dotted rhythm into a new type of music - almost triumphant. At first this sounds like a new theme... ...but then... ...gently, in the left hand, the beautiful second theme returns... ...and the right hand becomes a decoration dancing above it. The opening notes of the first theme return.

Video Details

Duration: 8 minutes and 57 seconds
Country: Russia
Language: English
Views: 162
Posted by: bromley on Apr 20, 2009

This first movement is in sonata form. It features an Exposition where the main themes are laid out (in this case, a funeral march and a beautiful delicate theme), then a Development (where the themes are broken down and played around with), a Recapitulation (where the themes return) and a Coda (where everything comes to a close.

This is Part 1 of the first movement.

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