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Pierre's Tuesday Blog

Scherzos and Minuets

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"S" for "September" continues with "S" for "Scherzo", as in the dance-like, musical joke that has come to replace the minuet in three or four-movement works. The transition from the minuet (espooused by Haydn in particular) to the scherzo is a key step in the evolution from the classical period to the early romantic.

I don't now if we can call this the first instance of a scherzo, but certainly the third movement of Beethoven's First symphony (deceptively marked Menuetto. Allegro molto e vivace) is really a scherzo:

The playlist I assembled proposes a set of scherzos (and minuets) for different combinations of instruments - going from the solo piano to the full orchestra - from Bach to the 1960 Scherzo pour cordes by Canada's André Prévost. I grouped the scherzos into two groups, acting as bookends to a series of minuets.

Among these YouTube selections, I would like to single oiut the great performance by Rafael Kubelik of the Dvorák Scherzo Capriccioso, a truly capricious and mischievous piece, the vintage recording of the minuet from Haydn's Lark quartet and a young Yehudi Minuhin performing Wieniawski's scherzo-Tarantella.



Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904)
Scherzo Capriccioso in D flat major, Op.66 (B.131)
Philharmonia Orchestra under Rafael Kubelik

Pyotr Ilich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Scherzo à la Russe, op. 1 No. 1
Earl Wild, piano

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971)
Scherzo à la Russe (1945)
Orchestra of St. Luke's under Robert Craft

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Menuet 1 & 2 and Gigue from Partita No.1 in B Flat Major, BWV 825
Glenn Gould, piano

Georg Friedrich HÄNDEL (1685-1759)
Minuet from Berenice, regina d'Egitto, HWV 38

Franz Josef HAYDN (1732-1809)
Third movement (Menuet: Allegretto) from String Quartet in D Major, Hob.III:63 (Op.64, No.5) 'Lark'
Capet String Quartet

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Thoird movement (Menuetto 1) from Divertimento No.17, K.334
Jascha Heifetz, violin and Isidor Achron, piano

Antonio SALIERI (1750-1825)
Third movement (Tempo di Menuetto) from Concerto for fortepiano in B flat major(1773)

Maurice RAVEL (1875 – 1937)
Menuet antique, MR 7 (orchestrated, 1929)
Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal under Charles Dutoit

Henryk WIENIAWSKI (1835 - 1880)
Scherzo-Tarantelle, op. 16
Yehudi Menuhin, violin
(Uncredited pianist)

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911)
Second Movement (Kräftig bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell) from Symphony No.1 in D Major 'Titan' (1884-88)
Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest under Mariss Jansons

André PRÉVOST (1934 - 2001)
Scherzo pour orchestre à cordes (1960)
CBC Vancouver Symphony Orchestra under Mario Bernardi

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Scherzo No.3 in C-Sharp Minor, Op.39
Martha Argerich, piano

YouTube URL:

September 13 2013, "I Think You Will Love This Music Too" will feature a new podcast "Leopold Stokowski" at its Pod-O-Matic Channel . Read more September 13 on the ITYWLTMT Blogspot blog.
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Updated Sep-10-2013 at 10:26 by itywltmt

Classical Music , Recorded Music