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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000462.txt from 1997/09

From: Fred Jacobowitz <>
Subj: Re: Brahms 2nd Sonata question
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 1997 16:06:32 -0400

It's a very good question. In general, I believe that there is no
relationship between the Minuet and the Trio tempi in a classical work.
That's what this movement is, essentially. Don't forget, Brahms was not a
revolutionary in musical style. He revered the old masters and used those
forms. In a classical symphony Minuet-Trio, one of the two is in a marked
triple meter feel and the other feels like it is in one. In fact, the
Minuet is usually in 3 and the Trio (despite it's name - which refers to
the DANCE and not the music), is usually in 1. Go examine Haydn and Mozart
symphonies. You'll see this clearly. Brahms does the same thing. As I
see it, The Minuet is in 3 and the
Trio in 1. If one thinks of the movement in these terms, the tempi become
rather clear and easy to figure out. While I see no relationship, I
believe that the Trio is definitely slower than the Minuet (even tho it is
in 1) because of the huge piano chords and that wonderful bass line which
otherwise would sound too hurried.
That's one person's opinion. Hope it works for you.

Fred Jacobowitz
Clarinet/Sax Instructor, Peabody Preparatory

On Tue, 9 Sep 1997, Frank Garcia wrote:

> I have a question regarding the 2nd movement of the Brahms 2nd Sonata.
> The first third of the movement is marked Allegro appassionato. The middle
> section is marked Sostenuto. Then back to Tempo I. In rehearsing this
> movement with my pianist, she had posed a question that I could not answer.
> She wished to know if there is as relationship between the Allegro tempo
> and the Sostenuto tempo.
> Her interpretation of the Sostenuto section is a little faster than usually
> performed, but I like the way she plays it. The problem is, she wishes to
> relate the two different tempos somehow. I have always thought (prehaps
> nievely) that the Sostenuto was completely new music and should be treated
> as such. But, it is the piano alone that establishes the tempo in the
> Sostenuto section. Any thoughts on this subject would be very much
> appreciated by both of us.
> Thanks in advance. I hope those of us who are "back to school" are having a
> stress-free time getting into the swing of things.
> Frank

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