List of major/minor compositions

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Major/minor compositions are musical compositions that begin in a major key and end in a minor key (generally the parallel minor), specifying the keynote (as C major/minor). This is a very unusual form in tonal music,[1] although examples became more common in the nineteenth century.[2] There are far fewer major/minor compositions than minor/major ones[3] (the latter category of which includes, but is not limited to, all minor-key works that end with a Picardy third, as well as many Classical- and Romantic-period symphonies, concertos, sonatas and chamber works, and individual movements thereof.)

The major/minor compositions in the following lists do not necessarily end with a minor chord; a final passage in minor ending with a sonority that fails to re-establish the major mode (for example, an open octave or fifth) is sufficient.

Works falling into the following categories are excluded:

  • Compositions that would be major/minor but for a final Picardy third stipulated by the composer, such as Bach's Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes, BWV 40 or Francis Poulenc's Vinea mea electa from Quatre motets pour un temps de pénitence (FP 97);
  • Compositions in which the beginning only hints at a possible reading of a major key without really establishing it, such as the Brahms Clarinet Quintet;
  • Compositions in which the opening major chord merely serves a function (e.g. dominant or Neapolitan) in the ensuing minor key, without being tonicized in its own right, such as Saint-Saëns' Danse macabre or Chopin's first Ballade;
  • Compositions that are only incidentally major/minor due to being unfinished, without any indication that the composer intended them to be major/minor, such as Schubert's Piano Sonata in C, D. 840;
  • Frequently performed portions of a larger work consisting of what is technically two separate movements, if the first of these finishes clearly on the tonic (and thus doesn't require continuation), such as the opening pair of movements in Beethoven's Piano Sonata Op. 109;
  • Entire extended works as song cycles, ballets, operas and oratorios that finish in a different tonic than the starting one, unless the two keys carry clear extramusical or programmatic connotions within the work (an explanation of which must accompany any such listings below).

Major/minor compositions retaining the keynote[edit]

Single works and miniatures[edit]

Movements from larger works[edit]

Multi-movement works[edit]

Major/minor works changing the keynote[edit]

  • Albéniz – Córdoba, No. 4 of Cantos de España, Opus 232 (F-d)
  • AlkanGrande Sonate, op. 33 (D-g)
  • Alkan – Prière, Op. 66 No. 7 (C-a)
  • Beethoven – Cello Sonata No. 4 in C, Op. 102 No. 1, i (C-a)[50]
  • Beethoven – String Quartet in e, Op. 59 No. 2 (Rasoumovsky Quartet No. 2), iv (C-e)[51]
  • BernsteinChichester Psalms (B-g)
  • BerliozRequiem (Grande Messe des Morts), Op. 5, viii, Hostias (G-b)
  • Bizet – Symphony in C major, ii (F-a)
  • Brahms – Du mein einzig Licht, WoO 33 No. 37 (A-f)
  • Brahms – Vom Strande, Op. 69 No. 6 (F-a)
  • ChaussonPoème de l'amour et de la mer (G-d)
  • Chausson – Poème de l'amour et de la mer, ii (actually the third movement, counting an unnumbered interlude) (E-d)
  • Chopin – Ballade No. 2 (F-a)
  • Couperin – Ordre 25ème de clavecin (E-c)
  • DebussySuite bergamasque (F-f)
  • DvořákThe Noon Witch (C-a)
  • Enescu – Cantabile e Presto for flute and piano, 1904 (E-g)
  • Enescu – Nocturne e Saltarello for cello and piano, 1897 (F-a)
  • Fuchs – Serenade in D Op. 9, ii (B-g)
  • HandelBelshazzar, Chorus of Babylonians: "Ye tutelar gods of our empire, look down" (G-e)
  • Handel – Concerto Grosso Op. 3 No. 1 (B-g)
  • Handel – Suite for Harpsichord No. 2 in F, HWV 427, i (F-a)
  • Haydn - Arianna a Naxos, Hob. XXVIb:2 (E-f)
  • Miriam Hyde – "Marsh Birds" for Flute and Piano (D-b)
  • Lalo – Rapsodie norvégienne (A-d)
  • MassenetPiano Concerto (E-c)
  • MozartDie Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio), Aria, "Solche Hergelauf'ne Laffen" (F-a)
  • Mozart (completed by Süssmayr) – Requiem, VII. Communio (B-d) (ends on an open fifth in a D minor context)
  • Mozart – Preludes K. 284a/395, iii (B-c)
  • Mozart – Preludes and Fugues K. 404, v (E-c)
  • Mozart – Modulating Prelude, K. deest (F-e)
  • Mussorgsky (completed by Stravinsky) – Khovanshchina (E-g)
    • The key scheme in the opera is constructed on a strict sharp-flat principle; thus the opening, reaching G major, is the sharpest music in the whole opera, and many portentions or descriptions of disaster in the opera are written in six or seven flats or even beyond. Mussorgsky intended an ending in A minor; this was respected by Stravinsky in his completion, although written enharmonically for easier reading.
  • Poulenc – Piano Sextet, ii (D-a)
  • Poulenc – Suite Francaise FP 80, ii (F-d)
  • Poulenc – Trio pour piano hautbois et basson, ii (B-f)
  • Poulenc – Gloria FP 177, i (G-b)
  • Poulenc – Oboe Sonata FP 185, (G-a)
  • Rheinberger – Piano Sonata Op. 47 (C-a)
  • SatieGnossiennes Nos. 5 (G-e) and 6 (F-c)
  • SchoenbergChamber Symphony No. 2, Op. 38, ii (G-e)
  • Schubert – Die Nonne, D. 212 (A-f)
  • Schubert – Grablied, D. 218 (A-f)
  • Schubert – Erster Verlust, D. 226 (A-f)
  • Schubert – Deutscher Tanz, D. 365 No. 22 (Op. 9 No. 22) (B-g)
  • Schubert – Ritter Toggenburg, D. 397 (F-b)
  • Schubert – Der Herbstabend, D. 405 (A-f)
  • Schubert – Klage an den Mond, D. 436 (F-d)[52]
  • Schubert – Edone, D. 445 (E-c)
  • Schubert – Liedesend, D. 473 (E-e, both versions)
  • Schubert – Didone Abbandonata, D. 510 (E-f)
  • Schubert – Auf der Donau, D. 553 (Op. 21 No. 1) (E-f)[53]
  • Schubert – Der Pilgrim, D. 794 (Op. 37 No. 1) (D-b, originally E-c)
  • Schumann – Réplique, No. 8 of Carnaval (B-g)[54]
  • Schumann – No. 16 of Davidsbündlertänze (G-b)
  • Schumann – Kreisleriana, No. 4 (B-d) (first edition only)
  • SmetanaThe Bartered Bride, Aria, "Kdybych se co takového" (B-g)
  • Tchaikovsky – The Sleeping Beauty – Finale and Apotheosis (D-g)
  • Tchaikovsky – Six Pieces Op. 21, No. 1 "Prelude" (B-g)
  • Vaughan Williams – Three Shakespeare Songs, "The Cloud Capp'd Towers" (reverse Picardy) (D-f)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Merrick, Paul. "The Role of Tonality in the Swiss Book of Annees de Pelerinage". Studia Musicologica Academie Scientierum Hungericae, T. 39, Fasc. 2/4 (1998), p. 371
  2. ^ Cone, Edward T. and Robert P. Morgan. "Beyond Analysis". Music. A View from Delft. Selected Essays (University of Chicago Press: Chicago 1989), p. 74.
  3. ^ Trio Solisti – Program Notes 2014 by Miriam Villchur Berg
  4. ^ The Alkan Society, Bulletin 32: April 1987
  5. ^ Alkan: Esquisses Op 63 – Hyperion Records
  6. ^ Hindson, Maurice. Brahms – The Shorter Piano Works. Alfred Music Publishing Co. (1992), p. 10.
  7. ^ Huneker, James. Chopin: The Man and His Music, Courier Corporation (1960), p. 146.
  8. ^ Frédéric Chopin's Nocturnes, Part I, 2015 – ClassicalConnect.com
  9. ^ a b c Waltons Music: Mendelssohn Rondo Cappricioso in E major, Op. 14 (Piano)
  10. ^ CHAN 2025: An Introduction to Felix Mendelssohn
  11. ^ Todd, R. Larry. "Piano Music Reformed: Mendelssohn". Nineteenth-Century Piano Music, ed. Todd, R. Larry, Routledge (2004), p. 191.
  12. ^ Du Bose, Joseph. Rondo capriccioso, in E Major, Op. 14 Yakov Flier.
  13. ^ Purcell, Harmonia Sacra, Rosemary Joshua – eClassical
  14. ^ Hyperion Records – Love arms himself in Celia's eyes, Z392
  15. ^ International Piano Quarterly Volumes 5–6, Gramophone Publications (2001), p. 44.
  16. ^ Satie – Gymnopedie No. 1 | Classical Piano Pieces
  17. ^ Scarlatti: Complete Keyboard Sonatas – Warner Classics, p. 7.
  18. ^ a b Marshall, Robert. "Domenico Scarlatti". Eighteenth-Century Keyboard Music, Routledge (2004).
  19. ^ BBC Music Magazine: Schubert Moments Musicaux D780
  20. ^ Franz Peter Schubert – Moments Musicaux , D. 780
  21. ^ Wollenberg, Susan. Schubert's Fingerprints: Studies in the Instrumental Works, Ashgate Publishing Ltd (2011), p. 24.
  22. ^ Damschroder, David. Harmony in Schubert, Cambridge University Press (2010), p. 104.
  23. ^ Howell, Cory. Schubert's Winterreise Song Cycle, p. 10.
  24. ^ Cooper, Imogen. Chandos – Imogen Cooper – CHAN 10841
  25. ^ Hatten, Robert. Performing Expressive Closure in Structurally Open Contexts: Chopin’s Prelude in A minor and the Last Two Dances of Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze
  26. ^ BBC – Proms – Programme note Strauss – Don Juan
  27. ^ Osborne, Charles. The Concert Song Companion: A Guide to the Classical Repertoire, A Da Capo (1985).
  28. ^ Wigmore, Richard. Beethoven: The Complete Music for Piano Trio, The Florestan Trio – Hyperion Records
  29. ^ Spitzer, Michael. Music as Philosophy: Adorno and Beethoven's Late Style, Indiana University Press (2006), p. 136.
  30. ^ a b Kerman, Joseph. "Beethoven's Minority". Write All These Down: Essays on Music, University of California Press (1994), p. 220.
  31. ^ Chausson, E.: Concert for Violin, Piano and String Quartet / Piano Trio (Meadowmount Trio, Wihan String Quartet) – Naxos
  32. ^ Hicks, Anthony. "Late Additions to Handel's Oratorios". Music in Eighteenth-Century England: Essays in Memory of Charles Cudworth, ed. Hogwood, Christopher and Richard Luckett, Cambridge University Press (1983), p. 150.
  33. ^ Kreuger, Stephen. Handel's Messiah Untold
  34. ^ Deruchie, Andrew. The French Symphony at the Fin de Siècle: Style, Culture, and the Symphonic Tradition, Boydell & Brewer (2013), pp. 114–15.
  35. ^ Wilson, Conrad. Notes on Mendelssohn: 20 Crucial Works, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing (2005), p. 30.
  36. ^ Todd, R. Larry. "Wanderlust". Mendelssohn Studies, Cambridge University Press (2006), p. 225.
  37. ^ Redwood Symphony Program Notes: Sibelius, Symphony No. 4
  38. ^ Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50 (Tchaikovsky) – from CDH55322 – Hyperion Records
  39. ^ Vivaldi: Concertos for Strings – Naxos
  40. ^ a b Classical Net Review – Weinberg – String Quartet #4 & 16
  41. ^ Donat, Misha. Hyperion Records: Trio for piano, violin and cello in B major, op. 8
  42. ^ a b Hepokoski and Darcy. "The Three- and Four-Movement Sonata Cycle". Elements of Sonata Theory (Oxford University Press, 2006). p. 336.
  43. ^ Robertson, David. Sydney Symphony Orchestra – 2015 Season
  44. ^ Fuchs: Piano Sonatas Op. 19 and Op. 88 – Naxos
  45. ^ Amazon.com: George Frideric Handel, Concerto Grossi
  46. ^ Hummel: Piano Trios / Piano Quartet in G major / Cello Sonata – Naxos
  47. ^ Gíslason, Donald G. Vancouver Recital Society: Program Notes – Emanuel Ax
  48. ^ Jones, Evan Allan. Intimate Voices: Shostakovich to the Avant-Garde. Dmitri Shostakovich: The String Quartets (University of Rochester Press: Rochester 2009), p. 8.
  49. ^ Bell, John. Fejes Quartet: Sunday 8 June 2014 at 7:30pm – Music Nairn
  50. ^ Stanley, Glenn. "Goal Directedness in Beethoven's Music". The Cambridge Companion to Beethoven, Cambridge University Press (2000), p. 93.
  51. ^ Steinberg, Michael. "The Middle Quartets", The Beethoven Quartet Companion, Winter, Robert and Robert Martin, ed. University of California Press (1994). p. 188.
  52. ^ Puchi, Richard Navarrete. Performance and Analysis of Lieder.
  53. ^ Platt, Heather. Schubert's Poets and the Making of Lieder. – Free Online Library
  54. ^ Wadsworth, Benjamin K. MTO 18.4: Wadsworth, Directional Tonality in Schumann's Early Works