Six Songs without Words – Set Fifteen
Song no.1 A major – Allegretto grazioso con rubato (Listen using the SoundCloud link below)
Song no.2 in F♯ minor – Con fuoco (Listen using the SoundCloud link below)
Song no.3 in F major – Lento
Song no. 4 in D♭ major – Allegro assai (Listen using the SoundCloud link below)
Song no. 5 in B♭ minor – Moderato con moto – Listen using the SoundCloud link below
Song no. 6 in A major – Grave
The set opens with an elegant flowing piece which is followed by a more tempestuous and intense second song which has a sonata structure.
Piece Three has a touch of the habanera to it and sits on the fence between dark and light much of the time. The fourth piece is largely cheerful with its main melodic idea rising quickly through the register. The next piece is essentially in ternary form. The main idea of the outer sections is a somewhat dark and brooding waltz interspersed with a dream-like passage. The middle section begins in the major subdominant in a lyrical and rather more expansive vein though this too alludes to the dream-like material of the opening section. A contrary motion chordal sequence, first appearing as three chords, extends on subsequent occasions and as a twelve chord pattern leads to a powerful and succinct conclusion.
Surprisingly, the final piece is a slow, hymn-like miniature, providing something like an ‘Amen’ to the entire set.