This sonata is in binary form. Section A begins in F minor, modulates to A flat major, and ends in C minor. Section B visits the keys of E flat major, C minor, and B flat minor before ending in F minor.

Section A, first measures

The first eight measures serve as an introduction. We see the influence of Andalusian music with the use and variations of the Phrygian or Andalusian cadence (Scarlatti lived most of his life in Spain and Portugal). The cadence appears in its original form in measures 3 and 4 (i-VII-VI-VI-V):

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Phrygian or Andalusian cadence:

Phrygian mode related to F minor:

This cadence is called Phrygian because it rests on the note that is the tonic of the related Phrygian mode. In Andalusian music, this note has a tonic function, and it is commonly harmonized with a major chord.

Note how the descending scale pattern is used with variations in measures 1 and 2 and 4 to 8:


Measures 9 to 22

Scarlatti modulates to A flat major, the relative major of F minor. The passage presents the musical idea that we will identify as motive A:

PAVEL PETROV, piano

Two aspects of this passage suggest influence from Andalusian music:

  1. The repeated chords in the left hand imitate the guitar accompaniment style in Andalusian music.
  2. The insistent repetition of the same musical idea.

Measures 22 to 28

The motive B appears in measures 22 to 23 and is repeated in measures 24-25 and 26-27. The entire passage is in A flat major:

PAVEL PETROV, piano


Measures 29 to 34

The motive C appears in measures 29 to 34 and is repeated twice:

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Measures 35 to 48

The motive D appears in measures 35 to 46. A chromatic passage takes us from A flat major to C minor. Scarlatti varies this cycle of fifths to modulate to C minor:

How do Scarlatti's chromatic chords relate to this progression?

Here is the complete passage:

PAVEL PETROV, piano


Measures 49 to 61

The motive E appears, and it is repeated several times:

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Measures 61 to 77

In the final measures of this section, motive D reappears, and a new motive F is presented. It ends the A section in C minor with variations of E:

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Section B, first measures

We start with an F minor's dominant chord using a variation of motive A. The process is repeated starting on E flat major from measure 84 and C minor in measure 90:

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Measures 94 to 101

From measure 98 on, it would seem that the dominant of C would affirm that key, but in reality, it is used to resolve to a dominant of the dominant of B flat minor. The dominant of that key resolves to a tonic in measure 101:

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Measures 102 to 116

The passage uses motive A. From B flat minor, using the v degree (minor) as a common chord, we return to F minor in measure 106:

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Measures 117 to 131

The D motive reappears. This time - despite the chromaticism - we remain in the key of F minor, which is reaffirmed in measure 131. Note that the chord in measure 118 can be reinterpreted enharmonically as the vii degree of the ii degree (F#-A-C-Eb):

PAVEL PETROV, piano


Final Measures

The E motif reappears:

PAVEL PETROV, piano

Followed by motives D and F to conclude:

PAVEL PETROV, piano


Sonata K. 184

PAVEL PETROV, piano

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. José Rodríguez Alvira.
Published by teoria.com


  

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