Classical Music Forum banner
1 - 1 of 1 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
12,060 Posts
Do you like/dislike repeats in your favorite works? Does it depend on the work, or perhaps on the genre? Are there actual musical reasons or are you just trying to save time?

Charles Rosen on Repeats in The Classical Style.

Baroque Era

"The repeat during the Baroque period is a way of accenting the regularity of a dance-form; repeating an entire piece as a unit only serves to continue the dance, but repeating each half separately emphasizes its symmetry."

Classical Era: During the third quarter of the 18th Century:

"In the third quarter of the eighteenth century, the repeat was above all the opportunity for expressive ornamentation, for the display of sentiment or virtuosity… It is largely in the music of Haydn and Mozart after 1775 that structure replaced ornamentation as the principal vehicle of expression. The repeats (particularly in the first movements, the slow movements always retaining some of their ornamental character) then became above all an essential part of proportions, the balance of tonal areas, and of the interplay of harmonic tensions."

During Beethoven's Time:

On the Eroica Symphony, he begins discussing repeats.

"The length of the movement being so unusual, Beethoven briefly thought of omitting the repeat of the exposition: he finally decided the repeat was essential. Without it, as we still sometimes hear the symphony played, the exposition is dwarfed by what follows."

Ignoring repeats and other "desecrations" aren't just a modern practice.

"It might be said that there is almost no possible desecration of a classical work that is not sanctified by a tradition dating back to the composer’s lifetime. Beethoven’s friends indignantly reported to him a performance of the Fifth Symphony which went from the C major Trio of the scherzo directly into the pedal point of the transition of the finale."

Are they necessary?

"A better basis for decision would be the question of significance (and in the classical style, proportions are an essential part of meaning); even if it becomes longer, a work can only gain in interest if it makes more sense. There is no rule: some repeats are dispensable, others absolutely necessary; some succeed in clarifying what is only half-intelligible without them."
 
1 - 1 of 1 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top