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Usage of 6/8 movement by Brahms. Is it slow or fast?

    Brahms left no metronome indication for his music. We must therfore deside Tempo after Italian Tempo indications which Brahms left on the scores. But the question remains, how slow or fast it should be played? It depends upon general acceptance of each word, such as 'Allegro' or 'Andante'.
    But how about is the word 'Un poco sosutenuto' at the begininng of his first symphony? Is it slow or fast? The traditional performance tends to interprete this part as a 'slow introduction', as in the symphonies by Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven. So the 6/8 will be conducted in six, therefore each 8th note one beat. But there is no confirmation! Is it really what Brahms intended?

    A brief study about the usage of 6/8 time by Brahms, especialy in his instrumental music could be a key to comprehend and imaginate his tempo indication 'Un poco sostenuto' of his first symphony.

    Gige, hunt music(caccia) or barcalore are typcal 6/8 beat music. They have vivid or comfortable movement in itself. We can find such examples in the 'Haydn Variations' by Brahms.

    Example of 6/8 instrumental music by Brahms
    Ex.1 ハイドンの主題による変奏曲 Haydn Variations

    Ex.2.ハイドンの主題による変奏曲 Haydn Variations

    In this case they have tempo indications 'Vivace' and 'Grazioso' A similar example for 'Vivace" is his 3rd String Quartet.

    Ex.3 弦楽四重奏曲第3番 第1楽章 String Quartet No.3 1. mov.

    In the first movement of his Clarinet Quintet we can see an exaple 6/8 for Allegro.

    Ex.4 クラリネット五重奏曲 Clarinet Quintet

    4.弦楽五重奏曲第1番 第2楽章

    At the end of this consideration, I would like to mention anout the fact that the coda of the first movement was indicated in the first editon of 1877 'Poco sostenuto'! But Brahmas has changed or had to change this indication into 'Meno Allgro' in the later edition, because it had played too slow! The beginning of the movement was also changed from `Sostenuto' into `Un poco Sostenuto'!
    In my oppinion, that could show us the tempo at the beginning was not very slow as conventional interpretation.

    la fontaine * クラシック音楽 * 00:30 * comments(0) * trackbacks(0)