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Musik-Kolleg
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Mozart Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, 4th movement: Allegro
Duration of performance: c. 3 minutes

Form scheme: Rondo

The Finale, entitled "Rondo" by Mozart, contains all the characteristics of the sonata form. The closing group in the dominant key is formed by the main theme. As the theme of the closing group is identical with the main theme of the 4th movement, the sonata form also corresponds to the principle of a Rondo.

By Rondo we mean a piece of music in which one musical element is constantly repeated.

The recapitulation in the 4th movement is extended, the secondary theme and the closing group are missing for two musical reasons:

1. As the main theme and the closing group are identical and the main theme recurs in the recapitulation in an extended form, a closing group formed by the main theme would be felt as long-winded.

2. The secondary theme has been heard often enough in the development - why play it once again in the recapitulation instead of finding a climactic final chord , driving the public to fiery applause?



bars 1-8
The main theme begins, similarly to the main theme of the first movement, with a fragmented G major chord, sounding like a fanfare in the first movement and like a gentle dance in the 4th, as the final movement in a musical entertainment should reflect a cheerful mood.


bars 8-15
The unfolding of the main theme has the task to modulate into D major.


bars 16-23
The secondary theme of the movement is in D major. This is on the one hand a formal requirement of the sonata form, but can also be regarded as a bridging theme to the closing group.


bars 24-31
The cheerful character of the Finale is stressed by the bridging passage to the closing group.


bars 31-42
To achieve a further emphasis of the cheerful mood of this final movement Mozart uses the main theme as the basic theme of the closing group on the dominant key D major, so that the listener gets the impression of having heard the theme very frequently - which also justifies the title Rondo.


bars 43-49
The unfolding of the main theme is rounded off by a threefold repetition of the head of the main theme.


bars 50-55
The threefold repetition of the head of the main theme ens the exposition.

The development, using the main theme of the movement, modulates into E-flat major, thus producing a new "colouring".

From the continuation of the time he develops a motive with an interesting accompaniment which has its point of gravitation not in the leading bars 1 and 3, but in the bars 2 and 4.

This is something that was called "Off-Beat" 150 years later, i.e. an accentuation directed against the continuous basic rhythm. As the secondary theme has already been used in the development and as the closing group is identical with the main theme, both are missing in the restatement of themes in the reprise.


bars 130-138
The Coda contains again the main theme of the movement.


bars 138-146
A regular movement of eighth notes in the first violins is counterpointed three times by the head of the main theme in the bass instruments.


bars 146-163
The head of the main theme is counterpointed by a contrasting motive and imitated by the viola.

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