Analysis of Haydn's String Quartet: Op. 76, No. 4 Essay example

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Analysis of Haydn’s String Quartet: Op. 76, No. 4, in B-flat Major “Sunrise” Haydn composed his Op. 74 quartets in the later years of his life between 1796 and 1797 and it was the last of his completed string quartets. The set of quartets were dedicated to the Hungarian Count Joseph Erdödy and were published in 1799. It was said that this selection of quartets was one of his “most ambitious chamber works” with his attempt of “emphasizing thematic continuity, seamlessly and continually passing motifs from one instrument to another” 1. The fourth of these quartets is nicknamed “Sunrise”. This is due to the exquisite rising theme heard in the first violin part at the beginning of the first movement from bar one to bar four as seen in Figure…show more content…
Instead of the dotted crotchet followed by a quaver phrase, it has now been modified to become a quaver then a crotchet followed by a quaver as seen in Figure 4. Haydn most likely did this to emphasise the forzando he wrote on the first quaver of the bar. Bar sixty shows the introduction of one last new motif in the exposition. It is first heard in all the parts halfway through bar sixty and is made up of four quavers with a quaver rest between each of the notes. Sometimes this motif starts on the beat or off the beat and in some occasions during this movement both the on the beat and off the beat motifs are played together creating the sense that continuous quavers are being played, this first occurs at bar sixty, another example of when this occurs can be seen later in the development. This concludes all of the motifs that appear in the exposition. The development starts very similarly to the exposition with the first violin part once again playing the sunrise theme with the only differences being the distribution of the motifs ‘x’ and ‘y’ (The opening sunrise theme of the exposition was in the order of motif ‘y-x-x’ then ‘x-x-y’ compared to the opening sunrise theme of the development which is ‘y-y-x’ then ‘x-x-x-x’) and the fact the second melodic phrase of the sunrise theme is one bar longer. The development then continues again similarly to

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