Haydn Piano Sonata Hob. XVI12 - Andante - Exposition

Haydn XVI:12 First Movement – Andante EXPOSITION

This early sonata slowly starts departing from the “partita” structure and establishes its first movement in a clear classical sonata form. The first indicator: its slightly larger proportions -compared to its even earlier counterparts-. “A” starts in a clear homophonic texture with its main motive exposed in the treble. The motive features long trilled upper notes followed by scales that ornaments their resolutions a lower fifth below the long treble notes -focal points-. Harmonic-wise, the piece is very stable around the tonic, tending to stay close to the tonal centre through its episodes and thematic variations. “A” is followed by a modulatory episode to E -dominant-. This arpeggiated episode firstly revolves around the I and the V degrees before deviating the attention into the secondary dominant in order to resolve through a cadence to the dominant key. Compositionally speaking it blends subtly the texture of “B” -interaction between bar 4 and 5-, a plainly accompanied arpeggiated passage -bars 5 and 6- and the homophonic texture of “A”. This mix aids a smooth transition between themes. “B” is therefore exposed in the dominant key. Its texture is conversational -trocado-, with a scalistic and arpeggiated gesture repeatedly alternated, every two beats, between the bass and treble. It is very smooth the way in which Haydn then incorporates a double arpeggiated and scalistic passage -3rd beat bar 13- that continues to build up in intensity, climaxing at bar 16 -the increase in tension is helped by the use of octaves in the bass and two insistent trills in the treble-; all these just before the Exposition’s codetta. The codetta features a dominant pedal note on top of which the arpeggiated design is stated clearly in the treble through the use of repeated notes. The harmonic direction heads towards establishing the dominant; attitude which contributes to establish the typical sonata harmonic plan.

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