Chopin And Felix Mendelssohn Analysis

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The shift from the Classical to the Romantic era signified a new importance on relations within the octave other than the tonic-dominant relation. Often, Romantic composers, in this case, Frederic Chopin and Felix Mendelssohn, use symmetrical divisions of the octave as a platform from which they can launch wandering or very pointed progressions, depending on the direction and magnitude of the potential harmonic energy. Whether it is a continuous circle of minor thirds or a form of axial melody that teeters much like a seesaw, these balanced relationships of pitches have a destabilizing effect on the tonic as it places a more equal weight on other intervals in the key. Not only can symmetry be found on the local levels of melody and harmonic…show more content…
He even further accentuates the G#’s character when he holds it as a pedal tone for quite a lengthy passage of measure 125 to measure 142. For the Mendelssohn, we get the Db in the fourth measure where it is celebrated to the point of undermining the tonal stability that was previously (and briefly) established. The re-domestication of this note, however, comes much sooner on than the Chopin, in measure seventeen to be exact, where it is put back into the context of c minor as a predominantly predominant pitch. Another one of our dramatis personae that is pseudo-symmetrical between the pieces would be ascending/descending chromatic and diatonic lines through stepwise motion. While this motive does not hold the same weight in the Chopin as the Mendelssohn, it can surely be seen throughout the Mazurka. For example, in measure 142 to measure 143, we get this “chromatic slippage” in the bass from our infamous G# to a G-natural. The slippage in this moment is not exclusive to the bass however, as we also get it in the upper voices, shifting the listener’s interpretation of the harmony of the measure from a V6/V on the first beat to a German+6 chord on the following…show more content…
In Rubenstein’s interpretation of the Mazurka, we get a more cohesive journey than other comparable recordings, namely Vladimir Horowitz. This is due to the general sense of pulse that continues throughout the piece, yet is still ebbs and flows. When he takes time to bring attention to a specific chord, note, or resolution, it builds anticipation for the listener. In the symmetrical minor third progression, he speeds up as he reaches the pinnacle of the passage which propels not only the rhythm, but the harmony as well upwards and upwards, making me wonder when it will come crashing down in beautiful dark wet flames. As for the octet, this recording was slightly less rubato than others that I have listened to. For a movement that has so many sequences, diminutions, and flowing lines, I prefer a steadier pulse for the most part. Of course, when getting into bigger sections or arrival points, they do take a bit of time which is much appreciated. There is a lot of attention to detail, most notably in the changing articulation between and within sections. Varying articulations
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