Cyclic form is a technique of musical construction, involving multiple sections or movements, in which a theme, melody, or thematic material occurs in more than one movement as a unifying device. Sometimes a theme may occur at the beginning and end (for example, in Mendelssohn's A minor String Quartet or Brahms's Symphony No. 3); other times a theme occurs in a different guise in every part (e.g. Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique , and Saint-Saëns's "Organ" Symphony).
The technique has a complex history, having fallen into disuse in the Baroque and Classical eras, but steadily increasing in use during the nineteenth century.
The Renaissance cyclic mass, which incorporates a usually well-known portion of plainsong as a cantus firmus in each of its sections, is an early use of this principle of unity in a multiple-section form. [ clarification needed ]Examples can also be found in late-sixteenth- and seventeenth-century instrumental music, for instance in the canzonas, sonatas, and suites by composers such as Samuel Scheidt, in which a ground bass may recur in each movement When the movements are short enough and begin to be heard as a single entity rather than many, the boundaries begin to blur between cyclic form and variation form.
Cyclic technique is not typically found in the instrumental music of the most famous composers from the Baroque and "high classical" eras, though it may still be found in the music of such figures as Luigi Boccherini and Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf.
Nevertheless, in the Classical period, cyclic technique is found in several works of Mozart: In String Quartet in D minor K. 421, all the four movements are unified by the motif, "F-A-C-C-C-C".[ citation needed ] In String Quartet No.18 in A major K. 464, different rhythmic motifs of the concept "long-short-short-short" of the first movement and second movement combine in the finale.[ clarification needed ][ citation needed ] Mladjenović, Bogunović, Masnikosa, and Radak state that Mozart's Fantasia, K. 475, with its multi-movement structure inscribed in a one-movement sonata form, started something later finished by Liszt in his B minor Piano Sonata. [ clarification needed ] Joseph Haydn uses cyclic technique at the end of the Symphony No. 31, where the music recalls the horn call heard at the very opening of the work.
In sacred vocal music of Baroque and Classical periods, there are several examples of cyclic technique, such as Johann Sebastian Bach's Mass in B minor and Mozart's Mass in C major, K. 317, Spatzenmesse in C major K. 220, Litaniae de venerabili altaris sacramento K. 243,[ citation needed ] and especially Requiem in D minor K. 626, where the "DNA"[ clarification needed ] of the Lutheran hymn motif, "D-C#-D-E-F", permeates the entire work. [ failed verification ]
Although other composers were already using this technique, it is Beethoven's example that really popularised cyclic form for subsequent Romantic composers.In Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, a large part of the scherzo movement is recalled to end the finale's development section and lead into the recapitulation; the Ninth Symphony's finale rapidly presents explicit reminiscences of the three preceding movements before discovering the idea that is to be its own principal theme; while both the Piano Sonata Op. 101 and Cello Sonata Op. 102 No. 2 similarly recall earlier movements before their finales.
In the 1820s, both Franz Schubert and the young Felix Mendelssohn wrote numerous important cyclic works: Schubert, in the Wanderer Fantasy (1822) created a "4-in-1" double-function design that would leave its mark decades later on Liszt, while Mendelssohn, in such works as the Octet (1825) and String Quartet No. 2 (1827) created highly integrated musical forms that proved influential for later Romantic composers.Another significant model was given by Hector Berlioz in his programmatic Symphonie fantastique of 1830, whose "idée fixe" serves as a cyclic theme throughout the five movements. By the 1840s, the technique is already quite established, being found in several works by Robert Schumann, Fanny Hensel, Niels Gade, Franz Berwald, and the earliest compositions of César Franck.
Mid-century, Franz Liszt in works such as the B minor Piano Sonata (1853) did a lot to popularize the cyclic techniques of thematic transformation and double-function form established by Schubert and Berlioz. Liszt's sonata begins with a clear statement of several thematic units and each unit is extensively used and developed throughout the piece. By late in the century, cyclic form had become an extremely common principle of construction, most likely because the increasing length and complexity of multiple-movement works demanded a unifying method stronger than mere key relation.[ citation needed ] At the beginning of the twentieth century, Vincent d'Indy, a pupil of Franck, promoted the use of the term "cyclic" to describe the technique.
The term is more debatable in cases where the resemblance is less clear, such as in the works of Beethoven, who used very basic fragments. Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 is an example of cyclic form in which a theme is used throughout the symphony, but with different orchestration. The "short-short-short-long" four-note motive is embedded in each movement.[ citation needed ]
Examples of cyclic works from the classical era and afterwards are:
Sonata, in music, literally means a piece played as opposed to a cantata, a piece sung. The term evolved through the history of music, designating a variety of forms until the Classical era, when it took on increasing importance. Sonata is a vague term, with varying meanings depending on the context and time period. By the early 19th century, it came to represent a principle of composing large-scale works. It was applied to most instrumental genres and regarded—alongside the fugue—as one of two fundamental methods of organizing, interpreting and analyzing concert music. Though the musical style of sonatas has changed since the Classical era, most 20th- and 21st-century sonatas still maintain the same structure.
Sonata form is a musical structure consisting of three main sections: an exposition, a development, and a recapitulation. It has been used widely since the middle of the 18th century.
The Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 44, by Robert Schumann was composed in 1842 and received its first public performance the following year. Noted for its "extroverted, exuberant" character, Schumann's piano quintet is considered one of his finest compositions and a major work of nineteenth-century chamber music. Composed for piano and string quartet, the work revolutionized the instrumentation and musical character of the piano quintet and established it as a quintessentially Romantic genre.
Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 29 in B♭ major, Op. 106 is a piano sonata that is widely viewed as one of the most important works of the composer's third period and among the greatest piano sonatas of all time. Completed in 1818, it is often considered to be Beethoven's most technically challenging piano composition and one of the most demanding solo works in the classical piano repertoire. The first documented public performance was in 1836 by Franz Liszt in the Salle Erard in Paris.
The String Quartet No. 14 in C♯ minor, Op. 131, was completed by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1826. It is the last-composed of a trio of string quartets, written in the order Opp. 132, 130, 131.
Sonata rondo form is a musical form often used during the Classical music era. As the name implies, it is a blend of sonata form and rondo form.
Sonata form is one of the most influential ideas in the history of Western classical music. Since the establishment of the practice by composers like C.P.E. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert and the codification of this practice into teaching and theory, the practice of writing works in sonata form has changed considerably.
Ludwig van Beethoven is one of the most influential figures in the history of classical music. Since his lifetime, when he was "universally accepted as the greatest living composer", Beethoven's music has remained among the most performed, discussed and reviewed. Scholarly journals are devoted to analysis of his life and work. He has been the subject of numerous biographies and monographs, and his music was the driving force behind the development of Schenkerian analysis. He is widely considered as among the most important composers, and along with Bach and Mozart, his music is the most frequently recorded.
E-flat major is a major scale based on E♭, with the pitches E♭, F, G, A♭, B♭, C, and D. Its key signature has three flats: B, E, and A. Its relative minor is C minor, while its parallel minor is E♭ minor.
G minor is a minor scale based on G, consisting of the pitches G, A, B♭, C, D, E♭, and F. Its key signature has two flats. Its relative major is B-flat major and its parallel major is G major.
D minor is a minor scale based on D, consisting of the pitches D, E, F, G, A, B♭, and C. Its key signature has one flat. Its relative major is F major and its parallel major is D major.
C-sharp minor is a minor scale based on C♯, with the pitches C♯, D♯, E, F♯, G♯, A, and B. Its key signature consists of four sharps.
In the compositions of Ludwig van Beethoven, the key of C minor has been regarded by some as significant. Works for which he chose this key have been suggested to be powerful and emotionally stormy.
Homotonal (same-tonality) is a technical musical term pertaining to the tonal structure of multi-movement compositions. It was introduced into musicology by Hans Keller. According to Keller's definition and usage, a multi-movement composition is 'homotonal' if all of its movements have the same tonic (keynote).
The Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor, Op. 60, completed by Johannes Brahms in 1875, is scored for piano, violin, viola and cello. It is sometimes called the Werther Quartet after Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther.
The Symphony No. 2 in F minor was written by Richard Strauss between 1883 and 1884. It is sometimes referred to as just Symphony in F minor. He gave it the Opus number 12, and it also appears in other catalogues as TrV 126 and Hanstein A.I.2. It is not listed in von Asow's catalog.
The Symphony No. 5 in C minor of Ludwig van Beethoven, Op. 67, was written between 1804 and 1808. It is one of the best-known compositions in classical music and one of the most frequently played symphonies, and it is widely considered one of the cornerstones of western music. First performed in Vienna's Theater an der Wien in 1808, the work achieved its prodigious reputation soon afterward. E. T. A. Hoffmann described the symphony as "one of the most important works of the time". As is typical of symphonies during the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is in four movements.
The Piano Sonata in B minor, Op.5, was written by Richard Strauss in 1881–82 when he was 17 years old. The Sonata is in the Romantic style of his teenage years. The first recording of the piece was the last recording made by the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould.
The String Quartets, Op. 50, were composed by Joseph Haydn in 1787. The set of six quartets was dedicated to King Frederick William II of Prussia. For this reason the set is commonly known as the Prussian Quartets. Haydn sold the set to the Viennese firm Artaria and, without Artaria's knowledge, to the English publisher William Forster. Forster published it as Haydn's Opus 44. Haydn's autograph manuscripts for Nos. 3 to 6 of the set were discovered in Melbourne, Australia, in 1982.