The pattern is then repeated an octave higher, still over D-flat harmony. The cello moves up yet another octave and meditates on the first four notes. The piano harmonies and the cello meditation shift up another level, to G-flat major. G-flat is of course another way of notating F-sharp, the home key of the movement. The piano, in octaves, takes up the groups of six, which seem to gradually inch and lean upward with their strategically placed repeated notes.
The cello reaches even higher, the G-flat key is confirmed, the agitation increases more, and the piano left hand erupts into a wide, highly syncopated arpeggio against high octaves in the right hand. The music is highly unstable at this point, however. The cello enters with forceful pizzicato , now in its high range and outlining the opening of the marching line, not in F-sharp major, but F-sharp minor.
The agitation quickly subsides. The cello moves down by octaves, but stubbornly persists with its plucked minor-key version of the first notes from the marching line, cutting off the first note on repetitions in each octave. The first note of the cello line is cut off, following the pattern of the previous pizzicato figures in minor. After the first four bars, when the cello reaches its high note, the piano exploits the faster rhythms generated by the broken octaves and moves to more decorative arpeggios above a steady bass line.
The music then deviates even more from the original pattern, replacing the triplets with the faster rhythms and extending the phrase by another bar for a total of eight. The key does not move back to F-sharp, but to B minor and then D major, a key hinted in the re-transition. The piano accompaniment continues in the newly established vein, with the flowing, faster arpeggios.
The piano moves to triplets in the second bar. With the motion of the tune to the piano bass, the cello and the piano right hand are more decorative than they were before, the latter incorporating the triplet rhythm from the epilogue theme itself. Against this, the cello plays a line derived from the marching figure. The piano moves the faster rhythms to the right hand here and includes some syncopation. The piano seems to begin the theme itself, but it is shifted up a fifth and leads to more colorful harmonies.
The intensity quickly builds, and the cello pizzicato is extended, incorporating arpeggios in the faster rhythm, which has not yet been played in pizzicato. The harmony is highly chromatic, touching on the same areas heard at the end of the re-transition at 4: At the culmination, the theme from the B section, with its distinctive opening leap, is heard in the piano a half-step higher than before, in F-sharp minor. The theme is immediately shifted to F-sharp major by the cello, and the music settles down.
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The volume diminishes, and the cello leaps up for its last beautiful cadence as the piano plays its last chords over a slow rising arpeggio. The piano, marked mezza voce , begins the passionate, rhythmically fluid scherzo theme, whose outline closely resembles that of the finale from the Third Symphony and is in the same key. It is played primarily, but not exclusively, in doubled sixths. This becomes even more pronounced when the cello enters in the fifth bar with wide leaps that shadow the piano bass. The piano responds with a cascading descent harmonized in thirds and fourths. This is repeated with the cello leaping to a higher long note.
Two similar but abbreviated cello statements with piano responses follow. Under this, the piano makes a rhythmic shift. The piano plays forceful, almost angry chords in this new rhythm. At the end of its rising scales, the cello also moves to this duple subdivision before its cadences. The piano continues with a transition that moves back to F minor.
The cello plays a melancholy line that begins in F minor but immediately moves back to C minor. Its cadence, decorated with a small trill, is repeated and extended. The piano plays low bass octaves with right hand responses. These responses begin with a double third and then leap downward.
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The repeated cadence is followed by a very brief harmonic transition. The first four bars of the scherzo mm. This frees the left hand to add fuller harmonies to the melody. It now begins in the home key of F minor rather than C minor, the passage with the motion to C minor having been skipped. The harmony is unstable, however, and the abbreviated statements are more unsettled.
They lead to a more sustained ascent that still uses the turning figures from the main scherzo theme. The cello holds a high note F-sharp , while the piano plunges downward, maintaining the dissonant harmony, but diminishing quickly. The cello is absent for these bars. The first four bars of the scherzo, transposed to that key, are now taken by the cello, the piano adding a galloping accompaniment.
These four bars are followed by a repetition of the mysterious, muttering four bars from 0: The left hand is repeated exactly, but the right hand chords are rhythmically displaced, now played on the weak beats. The chords themselves are subtly altered to indicate a motion to F-sharp minor. The cello, in its lowest register, maintains the constant turning, neighbor-note motion typical of the theme.
In four-bar units, the music, steadily building, moves through F-sharp minor, D minor, and B-flat minor. At this last shift, the key signature moves back to four flats, indicating an impending return to the home key. Here, the piano left hand also helps to stabilize the galloping rhythm by playing octaves on the strong and weak beats.
The right hand chords move downward instead of upward. The right hand chords, which re-establish the home key of F minor, are now syncopated, entering off the beat before the weak second part of the bar. These transitional bars lead to the return of the opening material. The opening material is presented with a thicker and more elaborate scoring. The cello continues the melodic presentation at the point where it had entered before in an accompanying role the fifth measure. The two-bar extension is shifted, avoiding the motion to C minor and firmly establishing F minor. Again, the instruments switch roles.
The piano plays the opening gesture in full harmony, including a chord underneath the long note. The cello replaces the plunging piano responses with arching arpeggios.
The role reversal continues with the first scale. The cello moves to leaping figures in the duple subdivision. The second scale returns to the original pattern, with the cello playing the scale and the piano playing thick chords in the duple subdivision before the cadence. The strong cadence in F minor again leads to the transitional passage, now moving to B-flat minor. A three-note descent in the piano, with a contrary ascent in the bass, is imitated a fourth below by the cello.
This pattern is repeated twice more, each time a step lower. The right hand and cello repeat this twice more, each time a fourth lower. The harmonies of this passage move through the circle of fifths to arrive back at F minor. This time, the cello has the duple subdivision, which it maintains in wide leaps until the final chords. These also continue until the last chords. The third chord is delayed by a syncopated pause on a strong beat. It is followed by a closing low octave F, which ends the scherzo.source
The three-bar transition repeats the closing octave F, then moves to two outward expanding F-major chords, quickly changing the mode for the onset of the Trio. TRIO F major 2: It is marked dolce espressivo and has a mostly stepwise, downward contour. It is also in pure F major. The last three notes are repeated. The harmonic and rhythmic interest is in the piano part. In the second half of the phrase, the piano harmonies make a distinct turn toward the minor key, especially as they move lower under the repeated cello notes at the end.
The middle of the phrase turns to C major with a hint of minor. First phrase, as at 2: The key suddenly shifts down to the rather remote D-flat major. The first phrase combines elements from both Part 1 phrases in the cello part. The merging of elements, with a half-close leading directly into the second half, results in a seven-bar phrase, the only such irregular phrase in the trio section. The piano accompaniment in both hands is similar to that of the first phrase from Part 1. Its first half continues in the vein of the D-flat phrase that preceded it. The second half re-spells G-flat as F-sharp, and the pattern shifts.
The cello moves to oscillating figures that lean into longer notes , while the piano, richly harmonized, moves to the rising element from Part 1 that was just heard in the cello.
The phrase recedes and breaks off, avoiding any close in F-sharp. A long passage begins that will eventually move to the return of Part 1. The same pattern continues in both instruments, but Brahms now begins a very slow and steady crescendo. The trio to this point has only had isolated strong accents. The cello soars upward to its high register. Following the preceding climax, the volume diminishes in preparation for the return of the Part 1 material. The piano is mostly the same, but the last bar is a hollow octave C instead of a full C-major chord. This assists in eliminating the motion toward C that happened at this point in Part 1.
This confirmation takes the place of the previous shift toward C in the second phrase of part 1. It is reduced to four bars. The last four bars of the second phrase had served to lead back to F, but in this case, the music is already there, so the phrase is abbreviated and leads into the full repeat of Part 2. Seven-bar phrase in D-flat combining Part 1 elements, as at 2: It appears as if there will be an arrival at an F-major cadence, but the piano right hand comes to a halt, the volume diminishes, and the harmony makes a decisive change from F major to F minor in preparation for the reprise of the main scherzo.
First phrase of scherzo, mainly presented by the piano, with two-bar extension, as at the beginning. Slightly altered repetition of first four bars, as at 0: Opening material with thicker scoring, avoiding motion to C minor, as at 1: Allegro molto Rondo form. It then settles into the rhythmic pattern of a quarter note followed by two eighths long-short-short , which is also used by the accompanying piano chords.
These are set quite low, with the right hand in the tenor range and the left hand in the low bass. Some variety is created by the chromatic note E-flat at the beginning of the third and fifth measures and the full repetition of the sixth measure as the seventh. The theme comes to a full cadence at the ninth measure, but the next statement has already begun. The piano right hand, now in the treble range, takes the melodic lead in this second statement. The left hand plays rising triplet arpeggios that conflict with the straight rhythm of the melody.
These arpeggios become more regular after the first two measures, where they pause halfway through the bar. The cello also plays triplet figures, its first arching ones responding to the piano left hand. After the first two bars, the cello responses to the left hand are more continually active. The melodic line in the repeated measures is altered, making a brief turn to D minor before the approach to the cadence.
The F-major cadence arrives after a brief buildup, and is a satisfying moment of restrained jubilation. The jubilant mood continues for two measures, with a fully harmonized piano melody and a solid cello bass. The jubilant material begins to turn harmonically in the third measure. Its characteristic two-note rising figures become a steady pulse in an inner voice, and are briefly grouped in three-beat units. These octaves begin with a syncopated downward leap in long notes followed by rising scale figures.
Another firm E-minor arrival follows. The cello takes over the syncopated downward leap and the following scale figures. Its notes are the same as the piano octaves until the end of the second set of scale figures. The alteration at the end of the cello line and its accompanying piano chord leads to another sudden, decisive shift, now to C major. Because of the major key, the triplets are of a more jubilant character than the earlier triplet passage in E minor. This time, the triplet figures, all generally rising, are passed from the cello to the piano, whose left hand quickly moves away from the pedal point C.
Then the cello plays two triplet runs beginning at a lower level against piano chords that seem to move briefly to G minor. The piano takes over the triplet runs, now in both hands and a mixture of scales and arpeggios. After playing two pizzicato chords, the cello has another triplet run against strong piano chords passed from the left hand to a syncopated right hand.
A brief pause precedes the return of the rondo theme. While the left hand of the piano maintains the throbbing low notes in long-short-short rhythm, the right hand continues the triplet patterns, now arpeggios, from the previous section, clashing with the rhythm of the theme and making it more dynamic. As the cello approaches the cadence, the volume suddenly diminishes, and the formerly decisive cadence is converted into a gentle rise in long, full-measure notes.
Under this, the colorful piano harmony makes a hint at A major, then A minor, before finally confirming the cadence on F major. This, however, is immediately changed to F minor in the following arpeggio. In the left hand, low bass notes alternate with higher harmonies. The second half of the phrase makes a brighter turn and moves to a cadence in A-flat major.
The cello melody becomes more passionate and yearning.
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It breaks into an upward-striving line, and the piano moves to straight-rhythm accompaniment against it. The phrase is then extended even more, to a total of twelve bars. At the end of the phrase, B-flat minor is again attained, but a cadence is carefully avoided. At the very end, the piano right hand moves to the faster triplet arpeggios in eighth notes that are characteristic of the previous re-transition and statement of the rondo theme. The piano continues with the faster triplet arpeggios moving up the keyboard.
The cello descent is repeated with the piano triplets moving back down. There is one last descent, this time beginning with the long-held F. The descent and the piano arpeggios change the key again, to G-flat major, where the next statement of the rondo theme will be stated. A full cadence in B-flat minor has been almost cruelly averted and avoided.
This appearance of the theme has a more mellow character, partly due to the key, which is less bright. The piano part is very similar to its statement at 0: The cello, however, is completely changed, playing pizzicato throughout the statement.
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Two descending arpeggios replace the arching ones from the earlier piano statement. The plucked cello then moves to the long-short-short rhythm of the theme, providing it with a bass. The meditation on the music from these measures is used for a long motion back home to F major.
First, G-flat is re-spelled as F-sharp and slides into minor. From there, the key moves to G major, then G minor. The left hand continues playing in triplet arpeggios, and the cello continues plucking. The regular pulse is somewhat obscured by longer groupings. Another motion to D minor is implied as the music becomes more forceful and returns to the long-short-short rhythm. The cello also takes the bow at this point, playing wide arpeggios. Its arrival is even more jubilant for having been delayed by the diversion and key changes. The changes are subtle and begin after the first measure, introducing the new direction in the third.
The setting of the theme in D minor means that the low cello note that alternates with double stops and acts like a pedal point is now D. The key change is now to, rather than from A minor. The material with the triplets in the inner voice is in that key, as is the subsequent arrival point.
The decisive key change is now to the home key of F major. The brief motion at the end is to C minor. If, however, Herr Dr Johannes Brahms is set on mystifying his worshippers with this newest work, if he is out to have some fun with their brainless veneration, then that is something else again, and we admire in Herr Brahms the greatest charlatan of this century and of all centuries to come.
This story is also told about the last movement of the E minor Sonata; it is true that both movements need careful handling from both players from the point of view of balance. Today, however, the F major Sonata is quite rightly held as a highpoint in late nineteenth-century chamber music. Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Don't show me this message again. Cello Sonata No 2 in F major, Op 99 composer.
April Total duration: Postcard depicting Brahms composing his Symphony No 1 c Other recordings available for download. And there's much more! Written — along with the Second Violin Sonata and Third Piano Trio — during a productive summer in Switzerland in , the F major Sonata was composed for Hausmann, who was renowned for his large and virile tone.
Related Sonata No. 2, Opus 99 in F Major: For Cello and Piano: 0 (Kalmus Edition)
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