[Smt-talk] Pieces with improvisatory openings

kos at panix.com kos at panix.com
Sun Oct 23 07:22:23 PDT 2011

> I'm interested in studying the emergence of tempo from the perspective of the 
> listener. One viable case study for this phenomenon is the class of pieces 
> that begin with short, improvisatory passages that precede more temporally 
> patterned movements proper...Do you know of other tonal examples like these?

Beethoven: Piano Concerto no. 5, op. 73, "Emperor"
Beethoven: Choral Fantasy, op. 80
Brahms:  Double Concerto, op. 103

I have a strong suspicion that this phenomenon stems from a recitative-aria 
format (the recitative generally having the feeling of overiding the notated 
tempo with speech patterns).  Of course, there are many hundred of arias that 
begin with such recitatives.

Bob Kosovsky, Ph.D. -- Curator, Rare Books and Manuscripts,
Music Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
blog:  http://www.nypl.org/blog/author/44   Twitter: @kos2
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