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DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2249.2011.00305.

roman ivanovitch
Mozarts Art of Retransition

In Toward Mozart, an editorial for a set of 1991 Mozartjahr essays, Richard


Kramer voices a profound fear: At its deepest, [Mozarts] music moves us by a
power that is beyond the grasp of scholarship (1991, p. 93).1 This acknowledgement of a crucial inadequacy of scholarly paraphernalia is a painful way to open.
Yet the chastening truth of the observation is leavened by its implication of what
draws us back to the music nonetheless: bittersweet, Kramers formulation
stands as both warning and encouragement. There are surely few subjects more
ineffable, simultaneously attractive and resistant of explanation, than the notion
of the beautiful in Mozart; and yet it is to this that scholarly attention has
gradually been attuned in recent years. Interrelated studies by Scott Burnham,
Mary Hunter and Maynard Solomon have all drawn attention to passages of
exquisite beauty, often rendered with an extravagance which seems quite selfconscious, a hallmark of the composers style.2 Taken together, these studies
highlight the striking diversity of configurations which the beautiful can take in
Mozart Hunter focusses on the dramatic deployment of too beautiful music
in Cos fan tutte (1999, p. 291), Solomon on a mingling of seemingly opposing
tendencies and Burnham, building upon Solomons insights, on a special
Mozartian dissonance, a marker of a new kind of consciousness yet they all
share a determination to resist through technical analysis the temptation merely
to stand and point. As Burnham puts it, Most musically trained critics are
content simply to acknowledge the sheer beauty of this music as they move on
to more tractable topics (2005, pp. 401).3 The present essay is intended to
supplement these concerns, focussing on a characteristic Mozartian gesture,
conspicuous for being at once prosaically functional and richly (over-)composed:
a type of retransition procedure, quintessentially expressed in slow movements,
involving a contrapuntally braided linear descent over a dominant pedal. This
gesture gives rise to some of the most exalted moments in all of Mozart, but
the aim here is to elucidate some technical features of these passages, to show
how they are grounded in everyday compositional procedures. I intend also to
broaden our understanding of their contexts and affiliations within Mozarts
style by connecting them with non-retransitional treatments of pedal points and
by tracing some of their pedagogical associations.
As is to be expected when issues of nomenclature intersect with shifting
stylistic trends, the concept of retransition entails some intricacies. Although the
utility of the term itself is proven, the question of exactly where a retransition
begins is still contested. In sonata-form movements, for instance,William Caplin
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locates it at the point in the development where the modulation back to the home
key begins, often after strong cadential articulation, rather than at the later
connective dominant, by which time the home key has already been achieved.4
Beth Shamgar has shown how the tendency to associate the retransition with the
culminating dominant pedal arose in nineteenth-century theoretical writings as
a response to Beethovens practices, which, eschewing the medial cadential
articulation of earlier eighteenth-century development sections, often press
seamlessly toward the dominant arrival as the point of climax. (Poundie Burstein
estimates that the elaboration of this culminating dominant can occupy as much
as 30 per cent of some Beethoven developments.5) It is inevitable that the
shadow of Beethoven looms large in any discussion of retransitions, for the
temptation to treat his spine-tingling, mythic retransitions as archetypal of
returns in general, and to read this archetype back into music of an earlier time,
can be hard to resist.6 Yet countercurrents exist. Most notably, Michael Spitzer
has demonstrated a special double-retransition type in Haydn formal, then
informal which plays with old and new returning formulas; and Burnham also,
having done so much to elucidate the workings of the heroic construction, has
drawn attention to instances where the Beethovenian burden of return is
deflated, both in Haydn and in Beethoven himself.7 That Mozart too might have
a special way of returning can be gleaned from scattered comments in the
literature Charles Rosen notes how after K. 450 the return to the tonic is
generally one of the most gracefully accomplished, and often one of the most
memorable moments in Mozarts forms (1997, p. 208), and Elaine Sisman has
observed the directional descent that characterizes many of Mozarts preparations for the recapitulation (1993, p. 50) but nothing substantial has yet
coalesced.8
This last point in particular the construction of alternative retransition
narratives to the powerful heroic type will be developed further below. Fortunately, for now some of the technical aspects of retransition reception can be put
aside, since the kind of procedure considered here takes place emphatically in or
on the preparatory dominant and leads directly to the tonic of the reprise. If a
retransition can be described as a potentially multistage process whose function
is to return to the tonic (from a point of furthest remove if there is one, or from
the dominant if there is not), then we are interested in one of a small family of
procedures at the very end of such a process, involving what has come to be
called a standing on the dominant.
Generally speaking, three strategies can be identified in Mozarts music for
handling this standing on the dominant, although these categories are neither
exhaustive nor mutually exclusive. The first is characterised by a rising melodic
line, stepwise or arpeggiated, beginning on the root or third of the dominant
harmony and aiming at the chordal seventh, from which typically ensues an
Eingang into the reprise (Ex. 1a).9 Sometimes the ascending line is counterpoised by a descending line in an inner voice, a feature which often involves a
voice exchange with the rising line (Ex. 1b).
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Mozarts Art of Retransition

Ex. 1 Retransitions (standing on the dominant) with ascending gesture


(a) W. A. Mozart, Sonata in F, K. 332/iii
(b) Mozart, Violin Sonata in F, K. 376/ii
(a)
135

(Eingang)
140

(Recapitulation)
145

paradigm:

(8

7)

A second strategy, perhaps most commonly a sonata-form technique, when


emerging from a development section whose path to the dominant has passed
through the minor mode, is a neighbouring inflection of the dominant pedal with
lowered 6 (Ex. 2a; a related procedure places the modal inflection in an upper
voice, altering the sixth above a stationary dominant pedal, as in Ex. 2b). This
technique too can lead to a connective Eingang; it can also be used in combination with the first strategy, often preceding it.
A third strategy involves a descending line over the pedal point. Unlike the
other two techniques, this one does not usually set up an Eingang, but instead
proceeds directly to the tonic of the reprise. (It can sometimes be regarded,
therefore, as an extremely elaborate kind of Eingang itself; William Rothstein has
called this a lead-in at a larger level [Rothstein 1989, p. 52].) It is this type of
retransition procedure which will be explored below. Invested with its own skein
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4
Ex. 1 Continued
(b)
51

(Eingang)

54

(Recapitulation)
Tempo primo

calando nel tempo

calando nel tempo

Tempo primo

paradigm:

(8

7)

of connotations and so far lacking any sustained treatment in the literature, its
effect is quite different from that produced by the first two strategies.
A simple illustration comes from the first movement of the Piano Concerto in

E , K. 482 (Ex. 3; the accompanying examples all include textural reductions).
After a couple of preliminary runs to mark the arrival on the dominant in bar 253
(inflected with the 65 motion of the second strategy described above), the
piano gathers itself for two bars (bars 257258) before the rest of the orchestra,
less the strings, enters for the final stage of the retransition. The characteristic
features of this retransition type are all here: the hushed dynamics, the descending line at the top of the texture (heard in this case in the flutes), the 23
suspensions (in the clarinets; suspensions here are measured against the top line
rather than against the bass), the leading notes in the bassoon and, in concerto
movements, the strand of figuration in the piano. In context, however, there is
more to this excerpt than meets the eye. In a witty take on the convention for
retransitions occasionally to anticipate elements of the impending recapitulation,
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Mozarts Art of Retransition

Ex. 2 Retransitions (standing on the dominant) with prominent chromatic inflection


(a) Inflecting the dominant pedal: Mozart, Sonata in B, K. 333/i
(b) Inflecting the melody: Mozart, Quartet in A, K. 464/iv
(a)
86

(Recapitulation)
90

(Eingang)

[ ]
(b)
133

crescendo

crescendo

crescendo

crescendo

139

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(Recapitulation)

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Ex. 3 Mozart, Piano Concerto in E, K. 482/i, retransition and beginning of recapitulation
(a) Bars 253272
253
Fl.

Cl. in B
Bsn

Hn in E

Tpt in E

Timp.

Pno

Vn 1

Vn 2
Vla
Vlc.,
Cb.

(descent)
257
Fl.

Cl. in B

Bsn

Hn in E

Tpt in E

Timp.

Pno

Vn 1

Vn 2

Vla
Vlc.,
Cb.

this stock retransition turns out to mimic one of the most striking and delightful
features of the opening theme: the learned descending-fifths sequence, with 23
suspensions, scored for horns and bassoon a connection cemented texturally
both through the stringless scoring of the retransition and through the bassoons
role in the counterpoint, which is identical in each case.10
Further examples from fast-tempo movements could be adduced see, for
instance, the first movement of the Jupiter Symphony or the contrapuntal dazzle
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Ex. 3 Continued
(Recapitulation)
261
Fl.

Cl. in B

Bsn

Hn in E

Tpt in E

Timp.

Pno

Vn 1

Vn 2

Vla
Vlc.,
Cb.

learned sequence
266
Fl.

Cl. in B

Bsn

Hns in E

Tpts in E

Timp.

Pno

Vn 1

Vn 2

Vla
Vlc.,
Cb.

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Ex. 3 Continued
(b) Reduction of retransitional descent
Fl.
Cl.
2

Bsn

(c) Reduction of learned sequence at opening


Hns

Bsn

of Leporellos Ah piet, signori miei from Act II of Don Giovanni; or, as


complicated variants, the first movement of the G minor Symphony and the
outer movements of the Prague Symphony. But, as already suggested, this kind of
retransition comes into its own in slow movements, whose pacing allows the
gestures tiny harmonic and contrapuntal jolts to resonate and be fully absorbed.
(And as many commentators have noted, Solomon most prominently, slow
movements are often the loci of some of Mozarts most beautiful effects.)
An emblematic instance occurs in the Andante of the Piano Concerto in D, K.
451 (Ex. 4).This is actually the second retransition of the movement: it prepares
the third and final statement of the main rondo theme. It has significant weight
behind it, for, in accordance with one of Mozarts favoured rondo practices, the
preceding episode has arpeggiated down from the tonic through the submediant
and the subdominant, articulating each stage with its own characteristic theme.
The subdominant theme cadences in bar 63, whereupon a short connective link
(the beginning of the retransition proper) seeks out the dominant, gained in bar
69 via an augmented sixth chord. It is the next passage, beginning in bar 71,
which concerns us. Above the low pedal, the strings weave together strands of
imitative counterpoint based on the movements sinuous main theme.11 This
textural swell crests with the entrance of the winds in bar 75, activating the
characteristic descending gesture of this retransition type: flute and oboe locked
in 23 suspensions, bassoon zigzagging and a layer of figuration (improvised
here) superimposed by the piano. In this instance, the descent carries the seventh
of the V7 chord down a full octave, resolving at the beginning of the reprise.
From a nuts-and-bolts perspective, at the heart of this descending retransition
type is a family of three interrelated techniques: the elaboration of parallel thirds
into suspensions (which can themselves be elaborated), the working out of a
descending-fifths sequence and the treatment of a pedal point. Ex. 5 sketches out
some of these relationships. Ex. 5a begins with simple parallel thirds over a
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Ex. 4 Mozart, Piano Concerto in D, K. 451/ii, second retransition


(a) Bars 6377
63
Fl.

Ob.

Bsn
Hns
in G

Pno

Vn 1
Vn 2
Vla
Vlc.,
Cb.

69
Fl.
Ob.
Bsn
Hns
in G

Pno

Vn 1
3

Vn 2
Vla

Vlc.
Cb.

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10
Ex. 4 Continued

(descent)

(Reprise)

74
Fl.

Ob.

Bsn
Hns
in G

Pno

Vn 1
3

Vn 2
3

Vla

Vlc.
Cb.

(b) Reduction of retransition


Fl.
Ob.

71 Vn 1, 2

[
Vla, Vlc.

[
Cb.

75

Fl.
Ob.

Str.

Bsn

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Ex. 5 Family of descending retransition-type procedures


(a) Parallel thirds
(b) Staggered thirds (23 suspensions)
(c) Descending fifths
(a)

(b)

etc.

(c)

dominant pedal; in this form, these thirds typically either transfer a seventh down
an entire octave or begin closer to the goal, using only a few segments of thirds.
Ex. 5b staggers these thirds to form suspensions (as before, these will be referred
to as 23 suspensions).To the shorter of these suspension chains, Ex. 5c adds an
extra voice, which realises the possibility for the chain to form a descending-fifths
sequence. Although versions of the fifths sequence not derived from these
staggered thirds are sometimes used (76 suspensions occasionally predominate), it is this idiom which is often used at the very end of this retransition type.
Mozarts resourcefulness in drawing upon this family of techniques in ever
new combinations and guises is dazzling. Even in movements which contain
more than one such retransition, they are never presented in the same way twice.
For instance, the first retransition of K. 451 (Ex. 6) actually begins with a
descending-fifths sequence over a dominant pedal (the reduction suggests its
connection to the paradigm in Ex. 5c), followed by a plain octave transfer of the
chordal seventh in parallel thirds. If the two retransitions of K. 451 in fact share
genetic material each begins with a prominent reference to the neighbour notes
of the movements main theme, followed by an octave descent from the chordal
seventh it is the differences which tell here, most notably the sense of pacing.
The later retransition is three times the size of the first, with the octave descent
in particular transformed into an almost impossibly long exhalation.
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12

Ex. 6 Mozart, Piano Concerto in D, K. 451/ii, first retransition


(a) Bars 3538
(b) Reduction of descent
(a)

(descent)
35

Fl.

Ob.

Bsn
Hns
in G

(Reprise)

Pno

Vn 1
Vn 2
Vla
Vlc.,
Cb.

(b)
36

Fl.

Ob.
Bsn
Vlc., Cb.

paradigm (descending fifths)

No introduction to this distinctively Mozartian retransition type can afford to


overlook the slow movement of the Piano Concerto in C, K. 503: its retransition
constitutes probably the longest, most elaborate standing on the dominant
Mozart ever composed. No matter how fleetingly the movement is treated,
commentators rarely fail to mention something of this moment (bars 5974;
Ex. 7). Donald Francis Tovey calls attention to a really colossal passage on a
dominant pedal (1970, p. 160); Cuthbert Girdlestone likens it to an idealized
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Ex. 7 Mozart, Piano Concerto in C, K. 503/ii, retransition


(a) Bars 5674

56
Fl.

Ob.

Bsn

Hns
in F

Pno

Vn 1

Vn 2

Vla

Vlc.,
Cb.

2
60

( )

Fl.

Ob.

Bsn

Hns
in F

( )

Pno

Vn 1

Vn 2

Vla

Vlc.,
Cb.

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14
Ex. 7 Continued

4 (descent)

3
68
Fl.

Ob.

Bsn

Hns
in F
3
3

Pno

Vn 1
Vn 2
Vla
Vlc.,
Cb.

71
Fl.

Ob.

Bsn
Hns
in F

Pno

Vn 1

Vn 2

Vla
Vlc.,
Cb.

example of those extemporizations on A with which organists enable an orchestra to tune up before a concert (1970, p. 166); William Kinderman observes a
brief but weighty retransition in place of a development (2006, p. 211);12 and
Messiaen finds room in his programme notes to characterise what he calls a
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Ex. 7 Continued
(b) Reduction of descent
70

Fl.
Ob.

Bsn

(c) Hypothetical version of descent, as initiated in bar 70


70

wonderful transition, with piano figuration worthy of the most beautiful Etudes
of Chopin (1997, p. 197).13 Four stages can be identified in this retransition,
which happens to incorporate all three of the strategies outlined above for
standing on the dominant.The first stage is an ascent (bars 5963), aiming at the
chordal seventh (the large leaps in the piano are presumably to be fleshed out in
performance).14 The second stage (bars 6368) extends this V7 plateau, absorbing the effect of the arrival through different instrumental textures.15 The third
stage (bars 6870), which employs the common 565 fluctuation, also confirms and extends the rhythmic animation introduced in the piano a couple of
bars earlier, with arabesques in running triplet semiquavers.The fourth and final
stage (bars 7074) is the characteristic descent which we have been exploring.
Like that in K. 451, this one involves an octave transfer of a seventh, the final few
segments of which embody the circle-of-fifths pattern. But there is a subtle
aspect of variable pacing within this descent which is absent from K. 451, a sense
of compressing and elongating as the timing of the suspensions contracts, then
broadens at the very end (changes which are coordinated with the pianos
pattern of figuration). The subtlety of Mozarts craft here is revealed though the
observation that the upper-voice pattern begun in bar 70 could in fact have
continued all the way through to bar 74, ending exactly on time (Ex. 7c).What
would be lost in this simplified version is the descending-fifths pattern near the
end, which is achievable according to the time scale established in bar 70 only by
doubling the suspension rate in bar 72 exactly what Mozart does. The effect of
the syncopation in bar 73 (the elongation mentioned above) derives from its
ability to be seen as a natural result of this doubling process while being heard
against the backdrop projected from bar 70, according to which the seventh in
bar 73 arrives early. This illustration of what Leonard Meyer has termed coordination (see n. 8) shows Mozarts flexibility in handling these conventional
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formulas: a contextually established process is altered and supplanted by a rote


schema, which nonetheless, emerging as an intensification of the original
process, acquires a charge of particularity that renders it deeply moving.
The basic features of this retransition type should by now be clear. Still, we
might wonder what these passages do that is, what work they perform. Spitzer
has observed that, from a hypermetrical standpoint, retransitional pedal points
have the task of transforming a structural downbeat (the moment of arrival at
their inception) into an upbeat preparation for the reprise.16 The staging of the
dominant seventh so important in the descending retransition gesture is
clearly crucial in making this transformation plausible. In fact, the hypermetrical
perspective is an intriguing one from which to view the pedal point of K. 503,
because one of the quirks of the main theme is that it begins with what sounds
inescapably like an upbeat bar, despite its simple arpeggiation of the tonic triad.17
Indeed, in principle, it is not clear how one would return convincingly to this
opening from the dominant: the first bar is both tonic and anacrusis. (The
opening orchestral tutti skirted this problem or solved it in a different way by
closing on the tonic, so that the pianos first articulation of the theme continued
the sounding harmony). Toveys beloved dictum that [s]lowness is bigness
(Tovey 1949, p. 277) aside, then, we might not have to go far to understand the
proportions of this retransition: it is surely not a coincidence that one of the most
elaborate retransitions in Mozarts oeuvre should prepare a theme which is so
difficult to begin strongly.
But let us put the question differently: why should Mozart go to such trouble
over these spots? Why should he lavish such attention on them? Functionally,
they are quite prosaic. Indeed, as Burnham has observed, the act of returning to
the home key in Classical tonal language, particularly the return from the
dominant, is the easiest thing in the world (Burnham 2001, p. 140). This being
so, one key to these passages might be the simple notion of display. Mozart, one
of the most pretentious composers in history, in Charles Rosens words (1997,
p. 467), is showing off. Commenting on a stunning investment of a descendingfifths sequence actually the retransition of the slow movement of the Quintet in
D, K. 593, bars 5257 (Ex. 8) Rosen writes: [i]t is typical of Mozart that he
lavishes his most complex and exquisite contrapuntal art on the banal descent.
The progression is used by absolutely everyone, but Mozart aims to demonstrate
that no one can do it so well (1997, p. 471, n. 8).18 In this light, the simple
functionality of these passages constitutes the foil which places into heightened
relief Mozarts demonstration of mastery.19
A better sense of this latent demonstrative quality can be gained from widening
the contextual field, which we shall do in two stages, first by drawing in pedagogical concerns, then by following a series of related examples. Eighteenth-century
thoroughbass and composition manuals can shed a certain amount of light on the
subject, since they routinely treated the handling of a pedal point referred to
variously as Orgelpunkt, point dorgue and corona.20 From a practical perspective,
virtually all writers agreed on two points: first, that the figures associated with
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Ex. 8 Mozart, Quintet in D, K. 593/iii, retransition


(a) Bars 5058
(b) Reduction of retransition
(a)
49

(Retransition)
52

pizz.

55

(Reprise)

coll arco

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18
Ex. 8 Continued
(b)
53

pedal points were usually so complex and performing errors so frequent that it was
better to play these passages tasto solo; and secondly, that under the fearsome
figures often lay a regular harmonic progression (the fundamental bass being a
particularly useful tool for showing this). In addition, even though, among the
major treatises of the eighteenth century, the signature 23 pattern of the
retransitions did not appear in print untilTrks Anweisung zum Generalbaspielen
of 1800, several authors noted the propensity for pedal points to yield a heightening of contrapuntal artifice (in part on account of its long-standing association
with fugal practice).21 Heinichen, for instance, observed that the term point dorgue

Ex. 9 Two treatments of a dominant pedal from the Attwood Studies.


(a) Attwoods version
(b) Mozarts reworking
65

(a)

65

(b)

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arose without doubt because it is very common to hold a note for a long time with
the pedal, and above it with both hands to make all kinds of variations [Variationes]
and foreign [fremde] syncopations (Heinichen [1728] 1969, p. 948).22 Trks
explanation of the pedal point was also rooted in counterpoint: [w]hen the bass,
especially before the close of a piece, holds the dominant or tonic for many bars,
while in the remaining [upper] voices various contrapuntal arts [Knste] are
displayed [angebracht ... werden], and, so to speak, packed together on a point
[Punkt], that is called in short as with so-called pedal points [Orgelpunkten]
(Trk 1971, p. 321).23 In addition, in his chapter on modulation in Die Kunst des
reinen Satzes, Kirnberger linked the pedal point specifically with tonal return,
although he did not appear to have had a formal retransition in mind: If the
composition is very long and the memory of the main key has been lost to some
extent by dwelling on other keys, one can use a so-called point dorgue on the
dominant before the final cadence, whereby the desire for the main key is notably
increased (Kirnberger 1982, p. 136).24
An alternative contextual framework for the retransition pattern can be found
within the eighteenth-century partimento tradition, our nascent understanding of
which has been boosted by Robert Gjerdingens recent study of galant schemata.25 In Gjerdingens terms, the retransition pattern is a contrapuntally
worked out variant of the ubiquitous Prinner schema (typically 6 5 4 3 in
the soprano, in parallel tenths with the bass). Dubbed the Stabat Mater on
account of a notable instance of it in the closing Amen of Pergolesis famous
work, the schema is characterised by its intricate 23 suspensions and properly
Ex. 9 Continued
73

80

73

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contains the distinctive inner-voice leading notes which we have frequently seen
in the bassoon parts in the examples above. (According to Gjerdingen, this tenor
voice is implicit in many partimento examples he adds it in own his realisations
and explicit in Bachs reworking of Pergolesis composition.) Indelibly marked
with a residue of high church music, the Stabat Mater frequently occurs over
a dominant pedal (as it does in Pergolesis model).26 Since Gjerdingen
approaches the pattern from the opposite direction to the route taken by this
study we began here with the phenomenon of the pedal point and its elaboration, while Gjerdingen starts with an outer-voice pattern which occasionally
acquires a pedal point our network of illustrations overlaps only in the middle.
He does not connect the pattern to retransitional procedures, for instance
(although his network does account for the prominence of 6 as a melodic starting
point). But the common ground reinforces the basic point: the fundamental
premises of partimento scholarship that the formulas drummed into composers
over their years of training were also familiar and audible to listeners, and that a
proper understanding of the most mundane aspects of composerly craft can shed
light on more exalted realms apply here, too.
Probably the most compelling pedagogical insight into the handling of these
pedals, however, comes from Mozart himself, literally the product of the relationship between a master and his pupil. Ex. 9 reproduces a passage for string
quartet from the Attwood Studies.27 Although this is not a retransition it is a
passage within the second key area which is shaping up for an important cadence
it illustrates well the treatment of a dominant pedal. Part (a) shows Attwoods
original version; Part (b) is Mozarts reworking, composition as commentary
(the bar numbers reflect the position of the passage in Attwoods larger movement).28 The basic plan of Attwoods version (which can be assumed to take
conceptual precedence) involves two phrases above the dominant pedal.The first
phrase, eight bars closing with an imperfect cadence, features a sequential
descent in the first violin, with imitation in the second violin. The second phrase
repeats the first an octave lower, but with a deceptive harmonic departure in the
fifth and sixth bars, which sets up a cadential 64 and a close on the local tonic two
bars later (Mozarts reworking does not include this final close).29 No more than
competent, Attwoods version contains little of interest beyond the imitation of
the two violins: the cello is completely static, its articulation seemingly haphazard, while the viola is simply filler, with little integrity or distinction. If the
Attwood passage seems almost sketch-like, Mozarts rendering, on the other
hand, sounds as though it were torn from a fully worked out piece. In the first
phrase, based on the familiar descending-fifths sequence, the imitation between
the violins is supple, the cello breathes and the viola participates fully. The
second phrase recomposes rather than repeats the first; the imitation is now
between second violin and viola, the sequence reclothed, new possibilities
revealed. Even the sustained cello in bars 7376, superficially identical to
Attwoods in articulation, emphasises the gulf between the two versions: in
Mozarts, as the upper voices move down an octave for the second phrase and the
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Ex. 10 Mozart, Quartet in B, K. 589/iii, Trio, bars 4866


49

cresc.

simile

cresc.

cresc.

cresc.

1 7

52

55

imitation moves to the middle of the texture, there is a sense of going to the heart
of the passage, uncovering something within; the cello is the anchor.
As a glimpse into the composers workshop, and as a demonstration of Mozarts
prowess, this pair of examples is fascinating; one suspects the snippet did not take
Mozart long to write. And it is not hard to find real-life analogues situations
where this Attwood configuration of a long dominant pedal before a conclusive
cadence coincides with an apparently irrepressible urge to demonstrate. A striking
instance occurs in theTrio of the Quartet in B, K. 589 (Ex. 10).The reprise builds
6
to the final cadence via a drawn-out ii 5 chord, releasing finally into a glorious
dominant plateau, a huge expansion of what could based on the analogous point
in the first half of the movement have been a simple cadential 64 . With exuberant didacticism and full contrapuntal mastery, however, Mozart seizes the
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22
Ex. 10 Continued
58

61

64

Menuetto da capo

opportunity to stage no fewer than three different ways, of increasing complexity,


to dress up a chain of 76 suspensions over a stationary bass.
The layers of demonstration are thick, too, in the Et incarnatus est from the
Mass in C minor, K. 427. Mozart almost certainly composed the movement with
the voice of his wife in mind: Solomon calls the mass a gift of love to her (1995,
p. 270), and she was one of the soprano soloists in a performance of it at Salzburg
in October 1783.30 Hermann Abert thought the Et incarnatus itself vulgar, its
coloratura trappings recalling all the worst excesses of Neapolitan opera.31
Most other authors are kinder for Robert Levin, the movement contains some
of the most radiant, tender music [Mozart] ever penned32 but the double edge
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is revealed in connections sometimes made to specific arias, which run in two


directions: to virtuoso showpieces such as Konstanzes Marten aller Arten,
from the second act of Die Entfhrung aus dem Serail; and, most frequently, to the
tender Se il padre perdei, its close sibling from Idomeneo, with which it shares
both mood and concertante scoring.33 These facets meet in the extraordinary
cadenza (bars 92113), where, shedding all verbal sense in a huge melisma
(possibly the longest Mozart ever composed), the soprano joins the obbligato
instruments in a four-part tour de force of contrapuntally braided lines.34 Not
surprisingly, the cadenza is virtually a catalogue of techniques for handling a
dominant pedal, constructed in two broad waves of action (bars 92101 and
102113). We shall focus here on the first of these phases (Ex. 11). Beginning
with a Corelli-style series of climbing 23 suspensions, made between oboe and
soprano, the composite line ascends from f2 to d3, peaking with the entrance of
the flute (bar 97). From this high point issues the familiar descending pedal
pattern: flute and oboe forming the suspensions, soprano embellishing the innervoice leading notes and bassoon ornamenting the pedal with coruscating flourishes exchanged with the flute: a Stabat Mater in excelsis.
As so often with Mozart, a distinctive surrounding rubs off on a well-worn
formula. In this case, the pedal pattern actually represents a remarkable moment
of memory, fusing together images from earlier in the movement: the linear
descent from 6 , harmonised by the circle of fifths, which opened the movement
(stopping on V in bar 7, it was followed by the same concertante music that now
picks up in bar 102); the sopranos first words, 5 6 5 with a descending tail;
and, most saliently, the retransition (bars 5255; Ex. 12), a dominant pedal
elaborated with descending 76 suspensions, whose connection to the cadenza
descent is underscored texturally by the role of the oboe: in both cases it takes the
suspending voice, using the same pitches in the same register.35
It is also at this point, when the soprano breaks into regular semiquavers, that
the scope of the cadenza and its melisma starts to become apparent. Our
familiarity with the conventional pattern plays an important part in this perception: we can forecast its end and extent as soon as it begins, and it is from
this judgement that the deceptive move to VI at the end of the phrase gains
additional force. Partly a technical necessity, to prevent the dominant pedal
from folding back to the tonic, and partly an affective darkening of colour
(compare with bar 6), it also elongates the phrase by a bar, just at the point
where we expect the soloists breath to give out. The extension has a visceral
impact and goes to the heart of the meaning of the cadenza, and ultimately of
the movement itself. For at the same time that the soloist leaves words behind
and is treated almost as a purely instrumental force, we are aware as never
before of the singing body itself, of breath and strain.36 The ethereal becomes
the carnal, and the mystery of that transformation a mystery to which Mozart
was invariably pulled is made palpable: et homo factus est.37 The conspicuous
modes of virtuosity, performative and compositional, here transcend mere technique and signal something deeper.
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Ex. 11 Mozart, Mass in C minor, K. 427, Et incarnatus est, beginning of cadenza


(a) Bars 92101
(b) Reduction of bars 92101
(a)
92

Cadenza

Fl.
Cadenza
Ob.

Cadenza
Bsn
Cadenza
Sop.
[fa]

97
Fl.

Ob.

Bsn

Sop.

(b)

Sop.

92

Ob.

Fl.

[Sop.]

[Ob.]
Bsn

(64)

The point is reinforced most effectively through another illustration, this one
from the reprise of the slow movement of the Wind and Piano Quartet in E, K.
452. A series of diminished seventh chords ascends almost bewilderingly until, in
a moment of startling grace, the situation suddenly clarifies over a dominant
pedal, leading us safely to the coda (Ex. 13, bars 109113).The passage occupies
a formal position identical to that of the illustration from K. 589, and it shares
that examples strategic shattering of a template established earlier in the movement (bars 2732, themselves tinged with the diminished seventh sonority,
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Ex. 12 Mozart, Mass in C minor, K. 427, Et incarnatus est, retransition


(a) Bars 5156
(b) Reduction of retransition
(a)
51
Fl.

Ob.

Bsn

Vn 1

Vn 2

Vla

Sop.
ctus est.

Et

Org.,
Vlc., Cb.
5
4

Org.: tasto solo

7
3

(b)
52 Ob.

Fl.

7 6

7 6

7 6

7 6

7 6

Bsn

Vlc., Cb., Org.

provide the point of reference for bars 100113, showing how the cadence might
more simply be produced). Its affective quality, however, is from a different realm
altogether that of the retransitions.38
With these examples still reverberating, then, let us return to this original
stimulus, the retransitional pedal points. It is revealing that these spots should
become for Mozart a locus of complexity for complexity here is indeed more
than ostentation. The heightening of contrapuntal artifice, the proliferation of
active lines, means engagement, involvement; it yields a thickening or fullness.39
Counterpoint, which could suggest the mechanical or the faceless, actually
means quite the opposite. It suggests the human touch, manipulation: music
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26

Ex. 13 Mozart, Quintet in E for Piano and Wind, K. 452/ii, bars 104113
104
Ob.

Cl. in B

Hn in E

Bsn

Pno

107
Ob.
crescendo
Cl. in B
crescendo

Hn in E
crescendo

Bsn
crescendo

crescendo

Pno

(Coda)
110
Ob.

Cl. in B

Hn in E

Bsn

Pno

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which has been worked on. Unlike retransitions which dissipate in a solo
Eingang or dwindle to a tense stand-off (as occurs in the first movement of the
Eroica Symphony), retransitions such as those from K. 503 or K. 451 envelop us,
carry us along. (The chordal seventh, whose gradual emergence we track and, in
a sense, identify with, usually folds into the middle of the texture upon resolution.) These retransitions suggest simultaneously the sensuous play of surface
and the tapping of depths, a welling up: the sense of surfeit or surplus which both
Burnham and Solomon frequently detect in Mozarts beautiful music.40
This extra engagement, or heightened awareness, can carry over into the
returns themselves. To be sure, the small flexions of the retransition, its tensing
and relaxing suspensions, and the complications of texture and counterpoint: all
this usually evaporates at the reprise, and the disparity is important. Strictly
speaking, then, the retransition is no longer with us.Yet its effect remains: just as
important as what returns is the manner of its returning. There may be elements
in the reprise which make this lingering impression manifest the extra insistence of the piano accompanied by horns in K. 503 (bars 7475), the melody in
octaves in the second reprise of K. 451 (bars 7780) but in fact there need not
be. A source of frustration only to our analytical proclivities, which insist on
treating mainly what we can read, we may not always be able to point to elements
on a page or sonic facts which correspond to this lingering effect; the residue of
these moments of great beauty remains within us, the effect of memory exerted
on the sounding present. In some cases, we may be able to say only that there is
a sense of nostalgia or regret, consolation or restoration, at these returns (for
Messiaen, these impressions permeate the slow movement of K. 451, which is
full of nostalgic tenderness, of an amorous dream mingled with regret, of lost
landscapes, eclipsed suns of which Mozart alone has the secret [Messiaen
1997, p. 183]).41
A valedictory example can show how this heightened awareness can be
demonstrably carried over into a reprise, but in a way which is perhaps more
subtle than it first appears. It comes from the slow movement of the Piano Trio
in B, K. 502. Like K. 451, this movement has two retransitions (shown in Exs 14
and 15), and, as in that other work, each finds a new way to compose the
distinctive descent. The first retransition, which folds into an unadorned reprise,
is more intricate; but our interest here is in the apparently simpler second
retransition, whose ensuing recapitulation seems imbued with a special quality.
At first glance, this appears reflective of the retransition in that it involves a lush
texture and an interplay of voices; and that is true enough. But what is really
poignant in the return what, with Roland Barthes, we might call the punctum
(Barthes 1981, p. 27), and what truly seems to continue the sense of the
retransition is the sound of the cello, at the top of its register. The fixation on
the cello part here is not because the cello reflects something really tangible of
the retransition, although it is possible that there is a subliminal connection of
the crunch of B, A and G at the downbeat of bar 86 to the suspensions of the
retransition (a connection reinforced by the realisation that the cello also retraces
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28

Ex. 14 Mozart, Piano Trio in B, K. 502/ii, first retransition


(a) Bars 3237
(b) Reduction of retransition
(a)
Retransition (descent)
32

simile

(Reprise)
35

(b)
32

10

10

in bars 8587 at pitch the lineaments of the pianos upper voice in bars
8284). Nor is it because the sound of the cello was somehow foregrounded in
the retransition. Rather, it is because one of the things these retransitions do is
foreground the very quality of sound itself, attuning us to this particular aspect
of the musical experience. This too is one of the hallmarks of the beautiful in
Mozart. Speaking of moments of what she calls self-conscious beauty (1999, p.
288) in Cos, for instance, Mary Hunter notes the ways in which they seem to
draw attention to their sensuous surfaces and thus to the quality of the moments
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Ex. 15 Mozart, Piano Trio in B, K. 502/ii, second retransition


(a) Bars 8088
(b) Reduction of retransition
(a)
Retransition (descent)
80

(Reprise)
83

86

(b)
82

82

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they enact.42 Likewise, the moments which have been considered here
undoubtedly some of the most beautiful in Mozart call attention to themselves,
both to the act of returning and to the quality of that act. And, perhaps paradoxically, this is the trace they leave on what follows.
Burnham was quoted earlier on how returning to the tonic is the easiest thing
in the world. He continues with a striking thought: that the challenge with
retransitions, oddly enough, is to make them sound like hard work, as if something difficult and important were being accomplished.43 To this one can add that
it is no less an achievement to fashion a retransition which can console, restore
or transport, leaving in its wake regret even at the passing of a fleeting world
which nonetheless remains within us, exposing the thread of memory embedded
in the act of listening intently. Inhabiting the alchemical space between craft and
art, the kind of retransition gesture traced over the course of this article is
distinctively Mozarts; and, inscribing our own experiences upon them, it is hard
not to wonder what drew him time and again to create these ideal even
idealised returns. Perhaps it is here that scholarship gives way. I can do no
better than to borrow the words of V. S. Naipaul: I wished then to go back as
whole as I had come. But though a fresh start is seldom possible and the world
continues our private fabrication, departure is departure. It fractures; the bone
has to be set anew each time (Naipaul 1967, p. 215).
NOTES
The transcription from the Attwood Studies in Ex. 9 is reproduced from the Kritischer
Bericht for Wolfgang Amadeus: Neue Ausgabe smtlicher Werke, Ser. X,Werkgr. 30, Bd. 1, ed.
Daniel Heartz and Alfred Mann, with the kind permission of Brenreiter-Verlag, Kassel.
The extract in Ex. 12 is reproduced here from Mozart, Missa in c, KV 427 (417a), ed.
Robert D. Levin, with the kind permission of Carus-Verlag, Stuttgart.
1. It is a coincidental resonance, most likely, but the closing chapter of Solomon
(1995) is entitled The Power of Music.
2. See Solomon (1995), especially Chs 12 (Trouble in Paradise) and 24 (Fearful
Symmetries); Hunter (1999), pp. 28598; and Burnham (2005), pp. 3952. Hunters investigation of Cos is intertwined eventually with an earlier study by Burnham
(1994).
3. Hunter (1999, p. 287) is even more blunt: [i]n their helplessness in the face of
Mozarts unbelievably gorgeous music, these critics [Alfred Einstein, Gerald
Abraham and others] abandon any attempt to make dramatic sense of the
gorgeousness and seem to want to outdo each other in their race to leave both
the characters and Da Ponte behind. For his part, Solomon (1995, p. 365), modestly
suggests that all we can do is to offer a few examples from [Mozarts] portfolio of the
beautiful; but his magisterial account does considerably more than that.
4. See Caplin (1998), p. 157. Since all development sections must eventually return to
the tonic anyway, Caplin would prefer to reserve the term retransition for those
cases in which a genuine retransition function is expressed through a dedicated
passage, typically a complete phrase or theme-like unit.
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5. See Shamgar (1981) and Burstein (2006), p. 66.


6. As Burstein (2006) has shown, even Beethoven himself was not immune to this
temptation: his recomposition of the Octet forWinds, Op. 103, as the String Quintet,
Op. 4, turned old-style (p. 68) retransitions into newer, more seamless ones.
7. See Spitzer (1996) and Burnham (2001).
8. Not to be overlooked is Meyers important study of what he calls coordination
(1982, p. 72): the rupturing or supplanting of a previously established process by a
new pattern, which nonetheless terminates at the point implicated by the original
process. His investigation is based in large part upon (fast-tempo) retransitional
passages in Mozart (and we will make use of his concept in the discussion of K. 503
below). Overall, however, the essay is less an encapsulation of a distinctively
Mozartian manner of returning than the revelation of a compositional strategy most
conveniently exposed at retransition points.
9. By Eingang is meant a connective melodic thread or flourish, usually short, sometimes improvised or improvisatory in character.
10. A more subtle aural connection is made by means of the pianos figuration in the
recapitulation (bars 272276). Although the pattern used there literally recalls bars
102106 (the parallel point in the solo exposition), the texture, semiquavers in
octaves, most immediately calls to mind the retransition the only previous place
in the Concerto at which this texture has been employed.
11. Although it does not project clearly out of the general imitative haze, there is a small
higher-level canon between the upper and lower pairs of voices in bars 7173
(indicated in the reduction by the arrow).
12. Kindermans (2006, p. 53) assignation of sonata form without development to
this movement should probably be qualified as a concerto-sonata form without
development.
13. Une admirable transition: sur les tenues grasses des cors faisant pdale de dominante, le piano grne des arpges appoggiaturs dignes des plus belles tudes de
Chopin.
14. Levin convincingly (and, to judge from some older recordings of K. 503, not
without reason) offers these bars as prototypical of a kind of sketch-like writing in
the piano concertos passages in which melodic and rhythmic activity suddenly
slacken without obvious dramatic or expressive motivation which invites elaboration in performance (his point of comparison is the retransitional standing on the
dominant from the slow movement of the Clarinet Concerto in A, K. 622, bars
5559, in which embellishments are already written into the solo part). See Levin
(1990), pp. 2746.
15. At any point here, Mozart could have worked in a simple connective Eingang. For
comparison, see the retransition of an earlier concerto slow movement in F major,
from the Concerto for Flute and Harp, K. 299 (bars 5357).
16. See Spitzer (1996), p. 25.
17. Keller (1970), p. 196, also hears this as an upbeat bar.
18. No one has written on this topic with more insight than Rosen. A focal statement
is found in Rosen (1991).

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19. A related investigation of the intersection of Mozartian display with ostensible


functionality can be found in the present author (2008), pp. 181218.
20. For a discussion of the tangled interrelations of these terms in the eighteenth
century, see Fuller (2001).
21. See Trk (1971). The pedal pattern in question appears as his second example on
pp. 3223. It is striking that two pages later (p. 325) there appears a pedal pattern
attributed to Mozart (chromatically rising parallel sixths over a pedal D), although
Trk does not identify a specific composition.
22. Die Franzosen nennen solches: point dorgue; ohne Zweiffel, weil es aus Orgeln sehr
gebruchlich, dergleichen Claves lange Zeit mit dem Pedal anzuhalten, und darber
mit beiden Hnden allerhand Variationes, und fremde Syncopationes zu machen.
Girdlestones allusion to organ-style extemporisation in the pedal point of K. 503
will be recalled.
23. Nur alsdann, wenn der Ba, besonders vor dem Schlusse eines Tonstckes, die
Dominante oder die Tonica mehrere Takte hindurch aushlt, whrend in den
brigen Stimmen mancherlei kontrapunktische Knste angebracht, und gleichsam
auf einen Punkt zusammen gedrngt werden, das heit mit Einem Worte: bei so
genannten Orgelpunkten.
24. This quotation comes from vol. 1 (1771).
25. See Gjerdingen (2007).
26. See Gjerdingen (2007), pp. 43947.
27. See Mozart (1965), pp. 2445 (Attwood) and p. 253 (Mozart).The Attwood extract
represents bars 6580 of a longer composition, an incomplete sonata-form movement which peters out near the end of the development section. Heartz and Mann,
in the Kritischer Bericht (1969, p. 85), speculate that the movement is the opening
Allegro of a hypothetical quartet in G major: portions of a minuet/trio and a
variation-set finale are also extant, and a slow movement in C major can be inferred
from Mozarts corrections. The fragments of Attwoods quartet, part of the culmination of his studies with Mozart, are collected as pp. 24352 of the transcription
in the NMA.
28. Although Mozart made many minor corrections directly on Attwoods exercises, in
certain passages, such as the dominant pedal discussed here, he crossed out
Attwoods version altogether and demonstrated his own improved reworking separately (in the present instance, he crossed out and reworked bars 6578). Mozarts
recompositions for this movement are all found on a single manuscript page (p. 253
of the NMA transcription).
29. Since 3 rather than 1 occurs in the melody on the downbeat of bar 80, one might
assess the closure at this point as provisional and the passage which follows, with
its fanfare flourishes and expanded cadential progression, is indeed dedicated to
producing an unequivocal cadence, which arrives eventually in bar 97. One could
even argue that the cadence scheduled for bar 80 is evaded, in which case it is wrong
to speak at all of closure in bar 80 (in this reading, the fanfare supplants rather than
alters the expected melodic close; this interpretation might draw support from the
sense that bars 9097 are an elongated echo of bars 7780, a form of backtracking
often associated with the evaded cadence). Regardless of how one reads bar 80 and
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the stretch to bar 97, however, the basic point remains: the cadence projected for bar
80, and with which the long dominant pedal beginning in bar 65 is embroiled, is an
emphatic, form-defining one.
30. The Et incarnatus est is unfinished in Mozarts autograph, and the movement is
not found in any orchestral parts for the Salzburg performance on 26 October 1783.
There is no reason to doubt Constanzes implicit closeness to the movement,
however. Note also that since Mozart did complete the soprano, obbligato and
bass/organ parts for the movement, as well as the introductory and concluding
contribution of the strings (bars 118 and 113119), the passages discussed below
are essentially in finished form and involve little editorial conjecture (see, however,
n. 35, relating to Ex. 12).
31. See Abert (2007), p. 834.
32. See Levin, foreword to Mozart (2005), p. viii.
33. Se il padre perdei also includes a horn obbligato, however. On these opera connections, see Corneilson (2003), p. 126. Corneilson describes the Et incarnatus as a
reworking of Ilias aria. Levin (in Mozart 2005, p. ix) suggests a link to Susannas
Deh vieni, non tardar from Figaro, which shares key, metre and scoring with the Et
incarnatus est.
34. The cadenza does not set the record for sheer number of notes in a Mozart melisma
but, at well over a minute in performance, it surely has the greatest duration.
35. The contribution of the uppers strings at this point is conjectural, and editorial
completions of bar 54 (where the entrance of the bass invites the participation of the
full string force) range from thick, sustained doublings of the main notes of the
obbligato configuration (by H. C. Robbins Landon for Peters [1956]) to more
independently conceived support (see, for example, Helmut Eders reconstruction
in the Neue Mozart-Ausgabe [1983]; Maunder [1990] actually introduces the strings
in the middle of bar 53, before the bass support arrives). For its unobtrusive
elegance, I have chosen for Ex. 12 the completion by Levin in Mozart (2005), p.
133.
36. The phenomenon of word effacement through melisma or sustained vocal tone
(pure voice) has been termed overvocalization by Lawrence Kramer. In the
nineteenth-century song tradition that he examines, it is associated with emotional and metaphysical extremes ; Kramer (2002), p. 63. For a related discussion
of melisma in seventeenth-century opera, see Calcagno (2003).
37. See Abert (2007), p. 743: [F]rom a very early age, the mystic in him was as active as
the dogmatist, a development clear from the sacred works of his youth ... . Here it is
the sections of a mystical character such as the Qui tollis and Et incarnatus est
which ... afford the most striking evidence of their creators depth of experience.
38. It is hard not to hear a resonance also with the slow variation movement of the Piano
Concerto in B, K. 450: in one of the great strokes of the movement, the approach
to the coda, in the final phrase of the last variation, is similarly marked by a rupture
of the established formal proportions in this case an exquisite protraction
through an ascending series of diminished seventh chords (bars 95101). The two
works, K. 450 and K. 452, were completed perhaps within a week of each other in
March 1784.

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39. Compare with Rosen on the retransition of K. 593 (see again Ex. 8): [a]s the other
instruments enter with a new sequence that leads directly back to the main theme,
we find four completely different kinds of rhythm superimposed in a contrapuntal
texture at once complex and deeply touching (1997, p. 286).
40. The impression of surplus is quite literal in the cadenza to Et incarnatus est. After
the pedal passage examined above, the obbligato instruments reprise the music from
bar 7, with the soprano now superimposed upon the texture.
41. En contraste total avec le fiert du dbut, le mouvement lent ... est tout empli de
tendresse nostalgique, de ce rve amoureux ml de regret, de paysages perdus, de
soleils effacs dont Mozart a le secret.
42. See Hunter (1999), p. 287. Compare with Spitzer, who argues that retransitions are
effective in part because, viewed texturally rather than tonally, they stick out of
the music ... . [R]ather than promoting continuity, [retransitions] tend actually to
rupture form (1996, p. 20).
43. See Burnham (2001), p. 140.

REFERENCES
Abert, Hermann, 2007: W. A. Mozart, trans. Stewart Spencer, ed. Cliff Eisen
(New Haven, CT: Yale University Press).
Barthes, Roland, 1981: Camera Lucida, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Hill
and Wang).
Burnham, Scott, 1994: Mozarts felix culpa: Cos fan tutte and the Irony of
Beauty, Musical Quarterly, 78/i, pp. 7798.
______, 2001: The Second Nature of Sonata Form, in Suzannah Clark and
Alexander Rehding (eds), Music Theory and Natural Order: From the Renaissance to the Early Twentieth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press), pp. 11141.
______, 2005: On the Beautiful in Mozart, in Karol Berger and Anthony
Newcomb (eds), Music and the Aesthetics of Modernity: Essays (Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press), pp. 3952.
Burstein, L. Poundie, 2006: Recomposition and Retransition in Beethovens
String Quintet, Op. 4, Journal of Musicology, 23/i, pp. 6296.
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roman ivanovitch

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NOTE ON CONTRIBUTOR
Roman Ivanovitch is Associate Professor of Music Theory at Indiana University. His research focusses on the music of Mozart and Classical form.
ABSTRACT
In recent years scholarly attention has become attuned to the notion of the
beautiful in Mozart: studies by Scott Burnham, Mary Hunter and Maynard
Solomon have drawn attention to passages of sumptuous beauty, a hallmark of
the composers style. The present study amplifies this concern by focusing on a
characteristic Mozartian gesture, noteworthy for being at once prosaically functional and conspicuously, richly (over-)composed: a type of retransition procedure involving a contrapuntally braided linear descent over a dominant pedal.
One of a family of standing on the dominant techniques, the gesture is most
distinctively found in slow movements, whose pacing allows the descents tiny
harmonic and contrapuntal jolts to resonate and be fully absorbed. In the context
of Mozart scholarship, these underexplored sections are particularly sensitive, for
they lie at the seam between art and craft: some of the most dazzling, memorable
passages in Mozart, they are nonetheless grounded in everyday compositional
procedures, markers of quotidian expertise. Using examples from the Piano
Concertos in D (K. 451) and C (K. 503), the Piano Trio in B (K. 502) and other
works, this study elucidates the basic technical features of these passages. The
aim is to place any more effusive discussions of Mozarts artistry on the firmest
possible footing.

2011 The Author.


Music Analysis 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Music Analysis, 30/i (2011)