Chapter

SCHUMANN AND SCHUBERT'S “IMMORTAL” PIANO TRIO IN E FLAT, D. 929

John Daverio

in Crossing Paths

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780195132960
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199867059 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195132960.003.0002
SCHUMANN AND SCHUBERT'S “IMMORTAL” PIANO TRIO IN E FLAT, D. 929

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This chapter argues that Schumann's Piano Quartet in E flat is situated at a crossroads. On the one hand, it offers the listener a compelling — and strikingly original — synthesis of earlier models and practices. While its structural underpinnings hearken to Schubert, its intense motivicism and rhythmic urgency suggest a Beethovenian source. The contrapuntal tour de force of its closing pages points back even further still, to the fugues of J. S. Bach. On the other hand, the work looks well into the future: the chains of cascading thirds that run through its final paragraphs would become a staple of Brahms's musical vocabulary.

Keywords: Schubert; Schumann; Brahms; Piano Quartet in E flat; Beethoven

Chapter.  10885 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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