Dissertation Index

Author: Oinas, Cecilia E.

Title: \'Magic points\' and evaded cadences. Analysis, performance, and their interaction in four opening piano trio movements of Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann.

Institution: The Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki

Begun: January 2010

Completed: February 2017


This study will examine the opening sonata-form movements of the piano trios by Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847) and Robert Schumann (1810–1856) concentrating on the interaction between analysis and performance. The aim is to consider and explore musical motion from various analytical perspectives – such as formal, structural, metrical, and a more general dramatic aspect – and see how they interact with each other. In addition, these analytical insights are related to the issues of musical ‘shaping’ in performance, and the study examines both how the analytical findings might be reflected in performers’ shaping and, vice versa, how the analytical interpretation might be influenced by the experience gained while rehearsing the works for performance. The practicing process of the piano trio ensemble (with myself at the piano) is documented in an informal rehearsal diary.

By capturing the ways in which performers themselves discuss the pieces fresh and new ideas are brought to the analysis and performance studies that traditionally have been dominated by the analysis-to-performance discussion, not the other way round. As a conclusion, the study includes both a more analytical, scholarly viewpoint and an introspective, performance-related viewpoint making the study a mixed method research.

Keywords: analysis and performance studies, piano trios, Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, sonata form, Schenkerian analysis, music analysis, ensemble rehearsals


Overview and main research questions
The study material
Rehearsal diary as a way of bringing out the performers’ voice
Chapters in outline

Part I: Theory

1 From analysis to performance; from performance to analysis

1.1 From analysis to performance
1.2 Examples of analysis to performance interaction
Cone: maintaining continuity and motion in performance
Schachter: expressive details vs. large-scale connection
Rothstein: hierarchic structure vs. hierarchic rubato playing
1.3 From performance to analysis
1.4 Simultaneous interaction?
1.5 Swinkin’s ‘performative analysis’
1.6 Performer’s studio language – how to include it in analytical discourse?

2 Musical motion as analytical metaphor
2.1 Historical background
2.2 Experiencing musical motion: distant observer or active participator?
2.4 Three different layers of motion: local, in-between, and overarching
2.5 Deceiving expectations: ‘unfulfilled’ motion

3 Searching for a common framework
3.1 Introduction
‘Goal-oriented’ vs. ‘here-and-now’ viewpoints: initial remarks
3.2 Goal-oriented method, No. 1: Schenkerian harmony and voice-leading analysis
Schenker and performance
3.3 Goal-oriented method, No. 2: Hepokoski and Darcy’s Sonata Theory
On Sonata Theory deformations and Romantic sonata-form works
Sonata Theory and performance
3.4 Goal-oriented method, No. 3: examining dramatic motion and its high points
Global high point vs. structural goal? Rink’s ‘structural momentum’
3.5 In-between goal-oriented and here-and-now motion: secondary parameters and metrical analysis
On secondary parameters
Metrical analysis
Metrical ambiguity
3.6 Abandoning overarching goals: ‘here-and-now’ viewpoint

Part II: Analysis

4 Background and overview of the piano trio movements
4.1 Mendelssohn: Piano trio in D minor Op. 49 (1839)
Overview of the opening movement
4.2 Mendelssohn: Piano trio in C minor Op. 66 (1845)
Overview of the opening movement
4.3 Schumann: Piano trio in D minor Op. 63 (1847)
Overview of the opening movement
4.4 Schumann: Piano trio in G minor Op. 110 (1851)
Overview of the opening movement

5 Local motion: Mendelssohn Op. 49, I (Molto allegro ed agitato)
5.1 Introduction
5.2 The opening phrase P1 (bars 1–39)
Goal-oriented viewpoint: examining structure, form and dramatic motion
Here-and-now viewpoint: the tacit agogic interplay of the antecedent (bars 1–16)
5.3 Two examples of metrical ambiguity
New meter or syncopated meter? The case of conflicting downbeats in the beginning of P2 (bars 40–67)
Disagreement with instrumental parts: ‘conflicting downbeats’ or hypermetrical transition?
5.4 Summary 1

6 In-between motion: Mendelssohn Op. 66, I (Allegro energico e con fuoco)
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Unequivocal in-between motion: the motion from P1 to P2
6.3 An unusual in-between motion? The new contrasting theme as a global high point of the exposition
6.4 In-between tonal progression: the overarching harmonic path of the exposition
6.5 In-between formal sections: examining the dramatic shape of the development section
6.6 Summary

7 Overarching motion: Schumann Op. 63, I (Mit Energie und Leidenschaft)
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Examining the overarching structural, formal and dramatic goals
Participant viewpoint: adding temporality and salient details to the overarching motion
7.3 An intruder in the movement: surprising episode and its ramifications in overarching motion
7.4 The ‘hold-on’ vs. activating moments within the overarching motion
7.5 The Opening phrase and its relations with overarching motion
7.6 Summary

8 Unfulfilled motion: Schumann Op. 110, I (Bewegt, doch nicht zu rasch)
8.1 Introduction
8.2 Unfulfilled motion in the opening movement of the G-minor trio: initial overarching considerations
8.3 Examining in-between motion: the obscured boundary between the transitional zone and the secondary-theme zone
8.4 Local motion: the multi-evaded process towards the B-flat major tonic during the secondary-theme zone (bars 35–72)
8.5 Structural evasion and its ramifications: from recapitulation to coda
8.6 ‘Bitter fulfillment’: dramatically incomplete structural closure?
8.7 Concluding remarks

Final thoughts – or a new beginning?




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