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Thread: First theme group changing from minor to major (or vice versa) in recapitulation

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    Senior Member Dim7's Avatar
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    Default First theme group changing from minor to major (or vice versa) in recapitulation

    Can anyone think of any examples of this happening in sonata form movements? Seems like an obvious way to bring some variation to the recapitulation while keeping it sounding like a recapitulation. I know this happens sometimes with the second theme group like in Mozart's String Quintet in G minor but I don't remember ever hearing this with the first theme group.

    edit: I mean first theme group in minor key in the exposition, but major in recapitulation, or the other way around (not changing in the middle of the recapitulation), or perhaps changing between other modes.
    Last edited by Dim7; Mar-01-2015 at 17:27.

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    In the first movements of both the Sixth and Seventh symphonies, Mahler opens the recapitulation as if it were to be in the tonic major (both movements also have codas that end in the tonic major) before turning back to the minor.

    I'm not sure about any works where the whole recapitulation of the first theme group is in another mode from the exposition, though. I would be interested if one could find an example.

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    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    The earliest example I know is the first movement of Haydn's Symphony no. 47 in G, which recapitulates the principal theme in G minor. There are modal adjustments in the second theme as well, if I remember correctly. The symphony is also remarkable because its minuet movement includes retrograde passages (see the thread on retrograde melodies in this forum).

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