Skip to main content
Read page text

Page Text

Ex.2: Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik, third movement, bars 1–8

Ex.3: Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik, third movement, bars 1–4, with notional consequent

Ex.4: Mozart: Symphony no.40 in G minor, first movement, bars 44–51

Ex.5: Mozart: Piano Concerto in Bb, K.456, first movement, bars 1–4

A core resource in Mozart’s technical vocabulary is what might be called the deflected sequence, which begins as true sequence but deviates from its expected path in mid-course. The moment of deviation can be particularly pleasurable for the listener, as the case of the K.456 Piano Concerto in Bb demonstrates (ex.5).

With these two devices as our tools, we may explore more complex passages in Mozart. Let us imagine a period as in ex.6, where the consequent begins by repeating the antecedent, until the delicious C# initiates a liquidation towards a tonic full-close. If we then turn to the minuet of the ‘Linz’ Symphony, we find Mozart deploying this period as a frame for the piece, its consequent reserved, to appear only at the very end (ex.7). Meanwhile sandwiched between is a second theme (B), a militaristic rhythm and affirmative cadence, repeated, as though to bring this first section to a close; but a further cadential figure (C) cements the close. The melodic gist of the antecedent (A) is then subjected to development; but B undergoes even more extensive development. This brings matters to a potential conclusion, with a forte full-close. But a piano closing theme creeps in, as a typical Mozartian ‘closing theme ’. It is more than that, however: it is a the musical times Summer 2019 5

Skip to main content