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Hi, for my string quartett I wrote 20 years ago this Scherzo, which somewhat has the character of a wild horse ride, with a development part at 0:36 which I am very fond of and a lovely Trio:
Later on I replaced this Scherzo with another (this one on a short Beethoven sketch for an unfished quintett). Which one would you prefer?
I prefer the new one.
The earlier one is exciting enough and as you say is like a galloping ride, the trio a welcome break for both horse and rider. You rightly proclaim it a lovely trio.
But the trio in the new scherzo is just as lovely and as much a break from the frenzied energy of the surrounding. The piece seems more developed and varied, the loud interjections at bars 44 and 52, as examples. I would have welcomed a tempo marking at the arietta! (Perhaps in music of this era the new tempo could be assumed - just me unfamiliar with classical styles.) Brilliant scoring - but then you know that, well accomplished in this style! :)
How does this new scherzo seem to fit with the rest of the work?
Best wishes and keep well,
I much prefer the second one, as well. The opening, with those short ff cello declamations, is really arresting and the development is indeed more varied. Those interjections that Dane refers to (m. 44 and m. 52 are harmonically much more adventurous and striking in effect than anything in the first version. And I agree, the Arietta is just as lovely as the Trio in the first version.
My only criticism would be that the Arietta seems too richly scored, with all four instruments playing nearly throughout, and they seem in places to step on each other. Is the Arietta also from a Beethoven sketch? It sounds as if it could almost be a variant of the Ode To Joy theme from the 9th.
It's always a pleasure to hear your work, Gerd. You have a classically-based style and voice all your own that's as instantly recognizable (I think) as any better-known composer. Thanks for sharing.
Dear Dane and Liz,
thank you again for your insightful words to my 2 Scherzi - your assesment means very much to me!
And I agree, eventhough the first scherzo is somewhat an earworm recently in my mind I also adore the second more. Good that you see it also this way...
"The opening, with those short ff cello declamations, is really arresting" - yes, Liz, that's what I also thought when I discovered this 6 bar opening (equal 3/4 notes in 1.Violin and the answering "fate"-motif in the Cello) among Beethoven's last sketches which is really unique and challenged me to work this out ... Your reference of my Arietta theme to the Ode-theme is really interesting and never came to my mind before :-) I never would "hear" this, but if I compare the line of the notes there is indeed a parallel...
Dane, you ask: "How does this new scherzo seem to fit with the rest of the work?"
I think, very well, see:
Overall, I think I like the first one, also. But I prefer the slower portion in the second one.
I find the first one real good fun and indeed quite Beethoven-ish by itself, but with another angle to it. It has a nice clarity (not simplicity) about it, I think, when compared to the second.
Rather strangely, in contrast to the other feedback so far, I found both trio sections very "chatty", almost a bit unsettled, particulalry when they start. I wondered what it might be like, if the ornamentation in the first violine was skipped / replaced by steadier harmonic approach until the new melody in the cello had its first introduction completed. It possibly would become a bit more mysterious and then could unfold some more from there. But that seems to be just me (or my mood today).
I hope there will be chance soon to have it played by a real quartet!