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Michelangeli Plays Beethoven Sonata Op. 2 no. 3

Michelangeli built a reputation as much on the frequency of his cancellation of concerts as on his piano performances. On this video, he plays the first movement from Beethoven's Piano Sonata in C major Op. 2 No. 3, recorded in 1970. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Fauré - Apres un Reve analysis  (Read 2290 times)
deandeblock
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« on: March 04, 2015, 11:14:22 AM »

Hello,



I am trying to analyze Apres un reve from G. Fauré

I have found this:

http://www.nickredfern.co.uk/Publications/Music_through_the_Microscope/Gabriel_Faure_Apres_un_reve/Illustrations/Gabriel_Faure_Apres_un_reve_illustrations.pdf

The author states that the bars 1-9 has the circle of fifths:

see attachment below



But i have this basic musictheory book which says that the circle goes: C F Bb Eb Ab Db (and not D) Gb (and not G)

I am a little bit confused?


* apres_un_reve.jpg (84.79 KB, 660x535 - viewed 148 times.)
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diomedes
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2015, 12:48:05 PM »

What is confusing you? The circle is there, but instead of a D flat it's a D. It is Faure afterall, so I'm not surprised there isn't more chromaticism.
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Ravel, Alborada del Gracioso
Schumann, Kreisleriana
Scriabin, Sonata nr.3
Liszt, Don Juan
deandeblock
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2015, 01:03:36 PM »

that D natural is on the opposite side of Ab

so it doesn't have to be perfect fifths ?
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diomedes
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2015, 02:13:36 PM »

Our communication isn't very effective. I don't know what you mean by opposite side of A flat. From A flat it goes down (very nearly) a perfect fifth. Mind you it can go up an inversion of the fifth (a fourth to the higher D) and it would still satisfy the circle of fifths progression.
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deandeblock
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2015, 02:52:39 PM »

 Smiley

hmm i am probably getting this totally wrong then

I've included a little annotation on the circle in the attachment

How i see it is that the cycle goes anti-clockwise starting from C and arrives at Db while Apres Un Reve arrives at D (top right in the circle)




* circle.jpg (92.88 KB, 663x571 - viewed 37 times.)
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michael_c
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2015, 03:45:01 PM »

You're not getting it wrong. The circle of fifths is a circle of perfect fifths. The simple fact of the matter is that Fauré only follows the circle of fifths up to the Ab in bar 6.
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diomedes
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2015, 04:00:19 PM »

No you're not getting it wrong, it's just that Faure modified the textbook procedure. If he kept it going as you'd normally expect it would go D flat then G flat and then C flat. But it's Faure, and how much you want to consider his detour as belonging to the "circle of fifths" "theory" is sort of debatable to a sense. In a way, to me it's a circle of Fifths but with a bit of Faure's idiosyncratic approach to harmony. Not that i'm a specialist in his mannerisms, but he typically does some outlandish/odd things here and there. That might be a decent example.
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Scriabin, Sonata nr.3
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deandeblock
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2015, 04:24:22 PM »

Thanks guys for clearing this up for me!

great music btw:

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michael_c
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2015, 04:37:46 PM »

I'd like to get something straight: Fauré isn't doing anything in the least bit outlandish here. He isn't breaking any rule. He hasn't modified any textbook procedure, since no textbook stipulates that you must write bass lines that correspond to the circle of fifths.

The circle of fifths is not a standard melody or bass line, although composers may use bits of it when creating harmonic sequences. It's a way to represent the harmonic relationships between the 12 diatonic major keys.
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diomedes
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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2015, 04:49:30 PM »

Quote
Fauré isn't doing anything in the least bit outlandish here.

I'm not sure how much i'd consider this as outlandish, to be sure. But i didn't say this was outlandish. I said he does some rather outlandish things in general. I have profound appreciation of Faure, but wouldn't be able to make strong statements about his tendencies other than they are complex and often without precedent.

A difference in statement and perceived statement enough to deserve being corrected. The passage in question does have a very fairly unusual modulation back to C. The circle of fifths sets up momentum and expectation since it is a sequence which is sort of upset by the D.

I don't think he's breaking any rule either, but most of us expect a circle of fifths to do what it usually does. Hence the confusion of the OP.

Quote
Thanks guys for clearing this up for me!

great music btw:

Yup, happy to help. It is very nice indeed. I remember accompanying this in a viola arrangement, a Slovak girl i was seeing at the time in high school was playig it for an exam. Life is so weird.....
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michael_c
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2015, 06:40:34 PM »

A difference in statement and perceived statement enough to deserve being corrected. The passage in question does have a very fairly unusual modulation back to C. The circle of fifths sets up momentum and expectation since it is a sequence which is sort of upset by the D.

Let me offer an alternative view of the passage. All the bass notes of the first phrase are taken from the C minor scale. The D fits into the harmonic scheme, the modulation is perfectly smooth. It would have been more unusual if Fauré had written a Db and followed it with a Gb (thereby continuing the circle of fifths). Now how do we get back to the key of C minor? Keep going through the circle of fifths? That would be a most unconventional beginning for a song.

Assignment for the day: find a piece of classical music that uses the complete circle of fifths in a melody as the harmonic basis of a phrase  Wink
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diomedes
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2015, 08:00:19 PM »

Hm i had to look at it more closely. The stuff above the bass part isn't as eventful as it first appears to be, mostly because there are quite a few suspensions that initially look strange. Yes, most of the given passage is not unconventional at a closer look.

I think one point of confusion that surfaces is that the original image the OP put up was labeled as a cycle of fifths. What it means is sort of clear, but I'm pretty sure a descending 5ths sequence would have been a better term to describe that passage. To me (i'm interested in being corrected if i am wrong) a cycle of fifths is what the OP put up after with the second image, the whole circular chart. That is a chromatic cycle of fifths. Which clearly led him to the confusion. Depending on terminology and what it means cycle of fifths does not equal descending fifths diatonic progression within a key.
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Ravel, Alborada del Gracioso
Schumann, Kreisleriana
Scriabin, Sonata nr.3
Liszt, Don Juan
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