chapter  7
16 Pages

Waltzing Away with the Minuet

In addition to the Sonata in E Major, Op. 120, No. 2, two more of Brahms’s four chamber works with clarinet-the Trio in A Minor, Op. 114, and the Sonata in F Minor, Op. 120, No. 1-return to the 3/4 meter conventional for scherzotype movements. With their moderate tempos (Andante grazioso and Allegretto grazioso respectively), these two movements are certainly not scherzos, even though they have the hypermetric regularity exhibited in works such as the pastoral scherzos studied in Chapter 4. Nor are they minuets as their tempos are too fast, with a predominant feeling of one beat per measure rather than three. Some might consider them simply as intermezzos, but both of these movements possess a lightness-perhaps gracefulness-that distinguishes them from the almost exclusively minor-mode movements that I have referred to as intermezzos (see Chapter 5). The closest genre for these movements is the waltz, even though they display greater variety in accompaniment patterns.