chapter  5
40 Pages

Some Intermezzos

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the key concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. The book refers to the paradox of the scherzo from Brahms's Fourth Symphony: it is the only of his symphonic third movements truly in a scherzo character, but it entirely disavows the conventional ternary form in favor of a sonata design. It is thus somewhat similar in conception to the scherzo from the Second Piano Concerto, except that it has a standard development section rather than one that includes a full-fledged trio. The type of sonata form deployed in this scherzo exhibits one of Brahms's typical moves: the development begins like a repeat of the exposition. As in the finals of the First and Third Symphonies, the recapitulation omits the material heard at the beginning of the development. Key choice is one of the ways that Brahms's scherzo-type movements connect with their larger works.