Analysis - Igor Stravinsky “Three pieces for String quartet” no. 2

Topics: Cello, Rhythm, Viola Pages: 2 (500 words) Published: October 10, 2013
Analysis and Criticism, Semester 2
Project: Igor Stravinsky “Three pieces for String quartet” no. 2

Contrasting motives and different lines are the main theme in the second movement of Stravinsky´s “Three pieces for String quartet”. The movement divides into 5 different sections that all have different material and tempo.

The first section (bars 1-14) begins with repeated descending movement in all voices. The movement goes down a semitone in I violin and viola, whole tone in II violin, but the cello sustains on the a. These different interval movements make an intense cluster effect idea. In bars 5-6 is a short contrasting motive, over octave higher in pitch and played pizzicato. This playful and rhythmical motive is quite different to the rocking opening motive and their rhythm and pitch are very contrasting. In bars 7-14 is again the repeated opening motive combined with the rhythmical pattern from bars 5-6 in the viola, resulting in fusion of two different motives.

The second section (bars 14-26) begins with another contrasting movement; a gently piano melody line in the I violin and cello which is interrupted in bar 16-17 by short pitches on every quaver of bar 16. In bar 18 the melody line is repeated, but now the II violin and viola are joining, so the piano line has more weight than in bar 14. Bars 21-26 is a continuation of the pitches motive from bar 16, but here the register goes up and down in turns. Therefore Stravinsky has taken the contrasting idea even further by putting the pitches motive against each other (bars 21-26).

The third section (bars 26-32) is different from the previous ones since it is suddenly faster and has busy lines in all voices. In bar 30 the constant semi-quaver line (bars 26-30) leads to yet another sequence in bar 32 where the fourth section begins.

The fourth section (bars 32-50) is in slower tempo and the main theme there is a solo melody line in the I violin which contains a bits of earlier themes and...
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