[Smt-talk] Sequences

Olli Väisälä ovaisala at siba.fi
Mon Mar 2 23:45:35 PST 2009

Two striking instances of ascending minor-third sequences in Romantic 

Schubert, Piano Sonata in D Major, Op. 53, D 850, Scherzo, Trio, second 
reprise. A naked progression C–E-flat–G-flat (reinterpreted as 

Brahms, Immer leiser wird mein Schlummer (op. 105 no. 2). Close to the 
end there is a magical major-chord sequence E–G6/4–B-flat6/4–D-flat6/4; 
the last chord functions as the cadential 6/4 of the final cadence. 
This sequence has a correspondence with a sequence in the first half of 
the song: E–G6/4–D–F6/4–C, which resembles Dmitri's type 2 (ascending 
5th followed by an ascending 3rd = descending chromatized 5–6, like at 
the opening of Waldstein), but with chord relationships reversed from 
the usual pattern.

The latter example might be closer to fulfill Dmitri's wish for a  
"pretty explicit stepwise descending voice leading."

Olli Väisälä
Sibelius Academy

ovaisala at siba.fi

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