Background Information & Performance Circumstances
- Haydn was writing songs for amateur market in England - particularly for young ladies to play and sing.
- This comes from a group of pieces that Haydn arranged, based on British folk songs.
Elements typical of classical period include:
- Predominantly in the major key, A major.
- Balanced phrases - the vocal tune begins with an antecedent, a 4 bar phrase ending with an imperfect cadence, followed by the consequent, a 4 bar phrase ending with a perfect cadence (in the dominant key).
- Mainly simple diatonic music, with some subtle chromatcism in piano introduction, and later on in the vocals.
- Modulations to closely related keys - only modulates to the dominant.
- Use of the new fortepiano, evident in crescendoes, etc.
- Melody dominated homophony, and heterophony in 'for why, she cries' section.
- Second inversion cadence at the end of the piano introduction.
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Vocal Style & Instrumentation.
- Designed to be playable by amateur performers.
- Narrow range in voice part, only an octave from E to E.
- Text setting is mainly syllabic with short slurs.
- Most difficult vocal passage occurs in brief chromatic section in bar 23.
- Vocal part moves mainly in conjunct motion, or simply outlining chords.
- Right hand of piano mainly doubles the voice part, with elaborations between phrases.
- Occasional moments of heterophony, e.g. in chromatic section.
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Texture and Structure.
- Piano right hand doubles the vioce mostly, with occasional moments of heterophony.
- Piano texture contains four part texture, e.g. in the opening bar of the piano introduction, which includes a tonic pedal.
- The left hand of piano occasionally has simple alternating broken chordal notes, for example in the introduction, and sometimes in the right hand also.
- There are also octaves and thirds in the piano part.
- Simple strophic form, second verse repeats music exactly of first verse.
- 8 bar piano intrduction, with foreshadows vocal part.
- Each verse modulates to the dominant in the middle, and then returns to tonic.
- Simple balances 4 bar phrases in first page, but then phrase lengths become more uneven as song progresses.
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Tonality and Harmony.
- Functional tonality with only one modulation to the dominant.
- The whole of the middle section is in the dominant, before returning to tonic at the words, 'alas I scarce can go or creep'.
- Diatonic music.
- Chromaticism in the middle section, and in the chromatic descent in the piano introduction.
- Key is emphasised by tonic and dominant pedal points.
- Functional harmony emphasis tonic and dominant chords, mainly using root and first inversion chords.
- Perfect cadences are used, with carefully controlled 2nd inversion chords.
- Simple diatonic harmony, with dissonance provided by pedal points and suspensions.
- Appogiaturas and double appogiaturas enliven the harmony.
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Melody, Rhythm and Text Setting.
- Simple diatonic, occasional chromaticism, frequent stepwise progression.
- Ornaments at the end of phrases, for example end of second vocal phrase.
- Frequented appogiaturas.
Rhythm and Metre:
- Compound duple, 6/8.
- Every single phrase begins with an anacrusis of a quaver.
- Most rhythm consists of simple groupings of quavers and semiquavers, with occasional dotted rhythm.
- There is a passage of triplets at the end of the piano introduction, followed by demisemiquavers.
- Rests are used to illustrate sighs in the middle of each verse.
- Compresses four verses of text into two verses of song.
- Some word painting in first verse.
- Strophic setitng works less well in second verse.
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