Thematic Form and the Genesis of Schoenberg’s D-Minor Quartet, Op. 7

Frisch, Walter M.

Schoenberg's D-minor Quartet, Opus 7, is distinctive for fusing elements of sonata and four-movement form into an immense fifty-minute work that coheres primarily by thematic processes and relationships. The numerous sketches for the quartet reveal that the task of achieving both thematic continuity on such a scale and adequate contrast between sections challenged even the normally rapid and "spontaneous" composer, who had to stop at certain points to revise his compositional strategy. Schoenberg resorted at these points to groups of brief concept sketches to work out the thematic associations and their eventual ordering and placement in the larger formal design.



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Journal of the American Musicological Society

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University of California Press
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July 29, 2015