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Thread: Favorite perpetual motion pieces/listing off

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    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
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    Default Favorite perpetual motion pieces/listing off

    A side note before I begin to pontificate, listing off can be our new talkclassical term. Polednice, if you ever get weary by too many lists, perhaps you can't think to yourself, oh, those perverse people are just "listing off" again.

    Right, maybe that was funny, now, for an interesting new categorical list. The Perpetuum Mobile. It doesn't necessarily have to be entitled Perpetuum Mobile, but it does have to be an incessant uninterrupted fast tempo all the way through or else have a particularly constrained and consistent rhythmic structure for a long time before being interrupted. Sometimes these piece have something really catchy about them, I don't know what though, perhaps they just have to be catchy to be any good. Perhaps even if you just intuit a quality of perpetual motion in the piece, it can qualify.

    Great examples to my knowledge include Carl Maria von Weber's Perpetuum Mobile finale to his C major piano sonata

    And Prokofiev's 7th Sonata(War Sonata) Finale

    And CPE Bach's Sonata in C, Wq 55:1

    Or the more famous Solfegietto

    Also, the Finale to WF Bach's E flat sonata has a quality of perpetual motion(see the finale in this video)
    Last edited by clavichorder; Oct-20-2011 at 18:10. Reason: replacing "a" with "an"

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    Senior Member kv466's Avatar
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    Does this count?


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    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
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    ^^^I was thinking of that one, and I'm not sure, but I don't see why not. So, yes!

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    The last movement of Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra. I'm glad it's not me playing.

    Last edited by Manxfeeder; Oct-20-2011 at 19:15.

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    Senior Member clavichorder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manxfeeder View Post
    The last movement of Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra. I'm glad it's not me playing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtiWzLXsySc
    I was also wondering about that one. Good orchestral example.

    I wonder if the finale to Beethoven's 7th kind of qualifies? Or the finale to Shostakovich's 6th(excepting the interruption in the middle).

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    I like Poulenc's mouvements perpetual, not fast but they are perpetual.


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    Senior Member Rasa's Avatar
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    Ligeti's the devil's staircase comes to mind.

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    My absolute favourite of this kind (plus probably a hundred other tarantellas):


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    Senior Member norman bates's Avatar
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    the second Villalobos study for guitar



    and James Tenney's For Ann (ok, i know this one is not exactly what you are looking for, but in a certain way...)
    Last edited by norman bates; Oct-20-2011 at 20:13.

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    The first thing that came to my mind was the last movement from Chopin's 2nd sonata.

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    Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, Movement 3 strikes me that way, except for a few spaces for the musicians to catch their breath.


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    I guess the Appasionata Finale has something to it as well. Also, though Beethoven's 7th is unrelenting, I'm not sure it qualifies, so perhaps I take it back. I'm thinking of uniterrupted 16th notes in the melodic line or something to the effect.

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    Senior Member Nix's Avatar
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    Actual perpetual motion movements that are titled as such include the finale to Barber's Violin Concerto and a movement of Britten's Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge.

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    Senior Member Ravellian's Avatar
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    Adams's Short Ride in a Fast Machine:




    Absolutely the 2nd movement of Beethoven's Op. 54:




    Chopin Op. 10/4:

    Last edited by Ravellian; Oct-21-2011 at 05:45.
    Man is an intelligence in servitude to his organs.

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    The one that immeidately came to mind was taken by Nix, Barber's VC finale. Another one is THIS, J. Strauss Jnr's piece called Perpetuum Mobile. Rimsky the Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee can also be classed as this kind of thing...

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