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Help analyzing Haydn Piano Sonata! (Read 3872 times)

Offline marijn1999

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Help analyzing Haydn Piano Sonata!
« on: August 28, 2016, 08:49:18 PM »
Hi guys,

So I decided to take a step back from the intermediate repertoire I've been working on for the past few months and take some easier pieces into my repertoire that I never played or learned when I was younger. I picked o.a. Haydn's Piano Sonata in C major, Hob. XVI:1 (really simple one, I know) and, as I always do when learning a new piece, I'm right now attempting to thoroughly analyze it to really get a connection with the piece.

However, I'm experiencing some trouble analyzing the first movement, so any help would be very much appreciated. Let me tell you what I've got so far:

So, the first movement (Allegro) is written in a very compact sonata-allegro form. The first problem I'm encountering trying to do a traditional sonata analysis, is from which bar to which bar the first theme spans. I would say it goes from bar 1 through 7 because there it ends on a half cadence, but I'm not sure. Could it also be that the first theme spans from bar 1 through 5?

Anyway, if I'd say the first theme is bars 1-7, that would mean there is not really some kind of transition from the first to the second theme. After the half cadence in C major, you would expect it to go back to C major but it simply jumps into the second theme, which is where the second problem arises. Is the second theme bars. 8-11 or 8-14. I'd say bars 8-11 and bars 12-17 a coda but again, I'm not sure. Any ideas?

Third problem, in the development section which is almost as long as the entire exposition, Haydn develops three different sections (themes): First he develops the first theme by putting it into a harmonic progression from G minor to a half cadence in A minor (?). Next, he develops material from, which I would call, the first bar of the coda (bar 12), again by putting it into a harmonic progression which starts in A minor and ends on a half cadence in A minor. The problem arises after this. The third section he develops can be one of two. To me it sounds like here he develops both the second theme (bars 8-11) and the last bars of the coda (15-16). In the left hand there is a pattern that is the same as in the coda and in the right hand there is a pattern that's similar to the pattern of the second theme. Could this be? Is he developing the remainder of the material he didn't develop yet at the same time? Again, please help?

The last problem arises in last few bars of the development which, I think, are bars 30-34. Haydn doesn't make a harmonic progression from A minor to a half cadence in C major and then starts the exposition with the beginning of the first theme. He cuts out the first three bars of the first theme and blends them into the final bars of the development. Very clever, I must say. But where does the first theme, and thereby the exposition, start? Is it in bar 34, where we are clearly back in C major again, or is it in bar 35 where actual material from the first theme is used again. Or maybe it is earlier. Once again, please help?

That was the last of the four problems I'm encountering. So, basically I think I figured it out, I'm just looking for some confirmation of my ideas by experienced musicians. Thanks so much if you can help me out in advance!

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Offline xdjuicebox

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Re: Help analyzing Haydn Piano Sonata!
«Reply #1 on: October 14, 2016, 07:23:28 AM »
I'm not exactly Mr. Analysis, but I'll try to see if I can help you out.

I would say that the first theme spans until bar 5, and consider bar 6-7 as the modulatory part, since traditionally second themes of sonata-allegro form are stated in the dominant key (or some closely related key, V in major usually). I think the first phrase lasts from bar 1 until 7 though, because the I - IV64 - I, I would consider the IV64 as a double appogiattura, and then all of a sudden ii -> vii/V -> V, or a vii - I of V. So an imperfect authentic cadence (leading tone) in V, not a half cadence, since we've "tonicized" G.

Also, I don't think it "jumps" to the second theme, since that was a pretty conclusive cadence in G (metric accent, it lands on a strong beat, the line is descending, the motion is stopping, soprano and bass voices both have G). I think instead, he moves us to the new key, and then starts us off.

Bars 8-14 are as follows: (in G) I -> V65 -> I -> V65 -> I -> V65/IV -> IV -> I64 -> V -> I, and bars 15-17 are just a bunch of V-I's until it ends with the same concluding cadence in G. Bars 8-14 I would consider the second theme, since you can essentially consider it once big sweeping movement from I -> V -> I (in G), and then the exposition is summarized with the little codetta type thing (I forgot what they're called) to close the section off. The reason being that this is the first big cadence (the I chord lands on beat 1, as opposed to beat 3, which the other ones were).

I may be wrong about this (I'm still learning after all), but I would consider this to be a single period, with the antecedent moving from I to V, and the consequent moving from I to V to I in G. The reasoning is that the second cadence is significantly stronger than the first (it lands on beat 1, it's prepared with a cadential six-four, and also the dominant chord is even prepared with the subdominant which was approached by secondary dominant, and is significantly longer). So you can think of the exposition as a single period, with two different themes with the first moving from C to G and the second in G. Then it's closed by a little codetta type deal in G.

I'll analyze the rest later, but that's all I got for now.
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Offline xdjuicebox

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Re: Help analyzing Haydn Piano Sonata!
«Reply #2 on: October 15, 2016, 12:15:12 AM »
Aaaaaaaand here I am on my lunch break LOL.

So the development is as follows:

We ended the exposition on G, and we do a mode change to g minor. The first phrase goes:

Gm -> A7/G -> Dm/F -> E7 -> Am/E -> E7 -> Am/E -> E.

If we analyze this in a minor, it's:

bvii -> V42/iv -> iv6 -> ( V7 -> i64 -> V7 -> i64 -> V ) ( I hear the bvii as a iv/iv but I've never heard anyone call it that so...).

This part is a little weird, but it's a sequence. Notice that Gm -> A7/G is a minor chord, and then the dominant chord with the root a whole step higher. He does this twice, the second time the roots are a fifth higher, and then repeatedly a bunch of V-I's in A minor before he ends the phrase with a half-cadence.

I don't know too much about how development sections go quite yet, so I'll skip this question for now.

To be honest, I don't really know if this piece is considered an actual "sonata" (if you look on IMSLP they call it a divertimento), but you're completely right. The end of the development and the beginning of the recapitulation are blended together! Keep in mind...that not everyone always followed the rules! (See Beethoven's Moonlight I)

Hope this helps.
I am trying to become Franz Liszt. Trying. And failing.