Mendelssohn the progressive
DOI link for Mendelssohn the progressive
Mendelssohn the progressive book
Schoenberg's WELL-KNOWN formula has been reworked more than once since his remarkable study, "Brahms the Progressive," was published in 1947, but at first glance the title of the present article must seem one of its least plausible permutations. This chapter examines two short movements, written within roughly a year of one another. The first is the Scherzo from the Octet, Op. 20, written in 1825—a movement that has been described in a recent study of Mendelssohn's music as representing a textbook example of sonata form. The second is the Scherzo from the A-Major String Quintet, Op. 18, a work written, for the most part, in 1826—an exuberant fugal romp that appears to have nothing whatever to do with sonata form. One of the most vexing problems in Mendelssohn's later works arises precisely from the way his sonata-form movements straddle the line between these two organizational principles.