Felix Delbruck <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>But for reasons which I set out earlier, it does look to me as if the
>exposition repeat was for him a conventional matter.
This is complete speculation on your part. Moreover, the very nature of
genius carries with it unconventional thinking.
>Now that wouldn't matter much, if not for the fact that his whole style
>changes radically in some of his late works - they become broader, more
>Romantic, less classical, more discursive, the contrasts are less marked -
>and in some cases that seems to me to pull the rug out from under the
>repeat, so to speak. That doesn't mean Schubert is stupid - it merely
>says that formal coventions sometimes persist beyond their practical use.
Such an evolution in artistry would, by necessity, cause the composer to be
cognizant of the nature of the elements of his works that were evolving, as
well as those elements (such as repeats) that he would carry with him from
his older style to his newer one. Thus, the elements that remained would
remain out of the composer's choice. The fact that he did choose shows
that he gave it sufficient thought for his satisfaction. Since he is the
composer, his satisfaction is the best indicator of the the form the piece
>In that new style, where proportions are less clear,
Perhaps to you.
>...where psychological concerns seem more important than structural ones,
>the presence or absence of the repeat seems to make *less of a difference*.
Not to Schubert, since he put them in.
>That's all I am trying to argue - people like Jocelyn seem to think that
>omitting it would kill the piece in each and every case, but as far as I
>can see that is question-begging.
Not at all, since doing anything in outright defiance of the composer's
instructions would do that, whether it's a repeat or something else.
>You did so by pointing to the lead-in back to the beginning, and that
>is certainly arguable. But since in this case the lead-in may well be
>prompted by the prior 'necessity' for the repeat rather than be an end
Again, this is speculation on your part, without foundation for a
conclusion. What is not speculation is what Schubert wrote.
>If, say, Schubert had included the repeats in only some works, like
>Beethoven, then that would be evidence that they had particular
>significance in the scheme of those works, and we would have to make
>sense of them whether we like them or not
No, because Schubert had no greater influence than Beethoven. He
understandably came to utterly revere him. Given that Beethoven did not
put the repeat signs into a number of works of which Schubert must surely
have been cognizant (Op. 95 Quartet and (th Symphony, 1st movement, to
name a couple) that the repeat sign did not need to be a foregone
conclusion-- assuming he needed Beethoven to point that out to him.
>>>what justifies the repeat (other than the fact that Schubert wrote it!)?
>>What other justification is necessary? Once we feel free to second
>>guess the composer's justification for any aesthetic decision, how do we
>>decide how much second guessing is legitimate and how much intrudes on the
>>composer's prerogative as the composer?
>I don't know. I don't care, either, as long as the second-guessing is
>informed and responsible, rather than merely whim-based.
Well, since you don't care, there's not much else to talk about with you
on this. And how does one distinguish? The performer is not capable of
having as intimate a relationship with the piece as the composer. It is
the performer's responsibility to realize this and make the composer's
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