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Topic: Still on Chopin and Partimento  (Read 798 times)

Offline jlmap

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Still on Chopin and Partimento
on: May 10, 2022, 12:25:49 AM
Still talking about Chopin and Partimento, I found something that may be interesting. In the Ballade in G minor, beginning in measure 24, we get a prolongation of iv harmony (I made the analysis in the attachment as C minor), that unexpectedly brings, after viio7, a Bb major chord in second inversion ( cadential 64). Follows what may be called viio/vi and vi in Bb major. Now we are in measure 28. If we analyse it in G minor, the bass makes the movement 1-5-6. I coudn't make sense of what followed from measure 32. But now I think I can see. This movement in the bass 1-5-6 is very typical of the Romanesca scheme (attachment 2). Any listener familiarized with these schemes would have recognized, even subconsciously, this movement. It creates an insinuation that the next chord could be Bb major, built on the 3rd degree of the scale, in order to fulfill the expectation of the Romanesca scheme. The music seems to suspend in measure 31, as to leave this possibility still in the air. Maybe these notes on the bass on measure 31 (C and D) should not be as marked as the preceding three notes, as to create this feeling of suspention, that maybe they are not part of the structural core, the feeling that maybe we are dealing with a Romanesca. Than this possibility begins to materialize in convoluted ways, and when we get to measure 33 (V7 of Bb major), it is clear that it is what is going to happen. In fact, it happens in the following measure. It is as if, in measure 30 the Romanesca pattern came to the listener's mind as a vague impression, and, in the end, it was this very pattern indeed.

This apparition of III seems to be an important idea of this first theme. It appears 3 times. It is commonly said that the Ballada is something of a Sonata. This first theme, very loose, may bring to mind the Moonlight Sonata, where the "first theme", instead of embodying the tonic C# minor, modulates to the relative major, bringing this tonality (E major) much before it was expected (it shoud come with the second theme, but maybe there is no second theme in the Moonlight Sonata). This last appearance of Bb major in the first theme clearely dialogues with the former two, and is the climax of the sentence.