Texture and Melody
The melody is regular because it is balanced and periodic. The texture is generally in line with what we expect from the romantic period.
- Section A:
Lyrical melody, use of periodic, balanced phrasing.
Melody dominated texture e.g. opening melody in 1st Violin accompanied by double stopped pizzicato chords in 2nd violin, viola and cello.
Mostly conjunct melody throughout.
Use of imitation in bar 16 for 3 bars- 1st violin motif passes down the strings.
Use of countermelody in repeat of section A.
- Section B
Monophonic texture at start in viola- melody based around tonic triad and is imitated in 2nd violin and 1st violin (dominant, tonic).
Arco- mostly semiquaver staccato notes, legato countermelody in cello in 2nd half of section B, imitated in viola and then 1st violin.
Unison in octaves from bar 81-84
Pizzicato double stopped chordal texture to end coda.
Structure and Tonality
The structure of the Mendelssohn is conventional because it is in ternary form.
The tonality is conventional because it uses related keys.
Ternary Form but Binary form within the A section. There is a coda.
A- 1-26, B- 27-117, A'- 117-143, Coda- 144-end.
Key is A minor, B section is in A major then returns to A minor for A' and coda.
Rhythm and Metre
The rhythm is regular.
2/4 throughout but section B slightly more up tempo (Allegro di molto).
Use of dotted quaver and 2 semiquaver motif used throughout in Section A contrasts with semiquaver, rest patterns in section B and use of repeated notes.
Tremelo passage links end of section B with repeat of Section A.
Harmony and Tonality
The harmony is functional and diatonic.
A minor for Section A and related tonic major of A for Section B.
Strong tonic dominant chord progressions.
Use of regular cadences.
Mostly diatonic harmony thoughout- chromatic notes are reserved to related keys- e.g. Bar 36 A#'s hint at E major (dominant).
Use of dominant pedals. e.g. Bar 9 in viola.