Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ländler in Boehme's Geschichte

Today an interlude in the ongoing van Eyck series: a return to Schubert's time and to the Ländler. As I noted in earlier posts, such as this one, music for the Ländler was known in the early 18th century already, primarily for solo violin in the "native" violin keys of D, A, or G. Franz Boehme, in his Geschichte des Tanzes in Deutschland (1886) reproduces several of these early pieces. No. 230 is typical of the early dance that was transformed--in both dance and musical terms--in the first two decades of the nineteenth century.

Note the key of D major and the arpeggiated figures that are a "simplification"of underlying double stops. These are a line of parallel sixths in the first phrase but the basic interval of the piece is clearly F#4-D5. which receives repeated neighbor-note treatment.

Broken sixths and neighbor note figures prevail in this Ländler as well. Notice the way the pickup beat is transformed into a small flourish as it leads from bar 4 to bar 5. In the second strain, this element becomes the basis for more persistent boundary play that converges on the principal upper note G5 at bar 12 (and again at bar 16).

This Ländler is very close to no. 232: neighbor figures at the beginning, small flourishes near phrase ends that are increasingly expanded later (here in the final phrase of the first strain).