Recording: Isaac Stern, violin; Yo-Yo Ma, cello; Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Claudio Abbado [Sony SK 45999]

Published 1888.

The relationship between Brahms and his oldest friend, the great violinist Joseph Joachim, suffered a major blow during the 1880s as Joachim’s marriage to his wife Amalie, the noted mezzo-soprano, deteriorated.  Brahms had appeared to take Amalie’s side in the dispute, which was devastating to the violinist.  He attempted to make amends and to reconcile the couple.  The publication of the two songs for alto with viola and piano, Op. 91, was part of that effort.  But the Joachims never performed the songs together, and their divorce was finalized the same year they were published.  Three years later, Brahms finally was able to repair the friendship, and this work, both his last concerto and his last orchestral work, was the means toward that end.  The idea was to make a peace offering to Joachim by composing another large work specifically for him, and to use the cello as a sort of “mediator.”  The violinist was flattered by this, and he offered to contribute advice regarding the composition of the solo string parts, as he had done for the Violin Concerto.  Brahms had in mind the excellent cellist of Joachim’s quartet, Robert Hausmann.  In the process of composition, Brahms histrionically complained that he was not as skilled in writing for string instruments as he was for piano, despite what was now a long career full of excellent contributions to string literature.  While the assistance of Joachim and Hausmann was certainly welcome, this was yet another case of unnecessary modesty on the composer’s part: the solo writing in what came to be known as the “Double Concerto” is masterful.  While concertos for multiple instruments had become less common since the baroque period, two important precedents were Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola, K. 364, and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto for piano, violin, and cello, Op. 56.  From Beethoven Brahms took the idea of allowing the cello to present most of the primary themes, but unlike Beethoven, he took full advantage of the instrument’s enormous range.  The cello lagged far behind the violin and piano as a solo concerto instrument (Dvořák’s masterpiece was still seven years away), and the Double Concerto stands as one of the most important compositions featuring solo cello and orchestra.  The interplay between the two solo instruments--which often dovetail running scale lines to create the effect of a single string instrument with a five-octave range--is both visually and aurally stunning.  They also effectively accompany each other and often play in unison octaves.  The work had some trouble establishing itself early on.  Some of Brahms’s closest friends, most notably the surgeon Theodor Billroth and his biographer Richard Specht, criticized the concerto harshly, calling it “tedious and wearisome” and “one of Brahms’s most unapproachable and joyless compositions.”  Such assessments seem not only strange, but highly unfair, especially given the minor-key work’s decisive turn to major at the end of the finale.  Though now firmly in the standard repertoire, it is still the least performed of the four concertos.  It is often presented by a violinist and cellist who already work together closely in ensembles such as an established piano trio or string quartet.  Composed in the wake of the trio of chamber works, Opp. 99, 100, and 101 (at the same location, Lake Thun in Switzerland), it almost seems like a capstone to them, with the natural progression from a solo sonata for each instrument to a trio for both with piano, then bringing in the orchestra as a final development.  While not insubstantial, it is his shortest concerto with the shortest first movement.  The slow movement is a particularly concise ternary form.  This was the last time Brahms wrote for orchestra, and he does so brilliantly, not allowing the presence of two solo instruments to diminish it to a mere accompaniment.  The first movement opens with an extended cadenza in which the two instruments present the two primary themes, the cello the quasi-tragic first theme and the violin the sighing, “leaning” second theme.  A tightly argued double-exposition sonata form follows in which an idea with syncopated repeated notes plays an ever-increasing role.  In the slow movement, the solo instruments often play in octaves, with an intriguing interplay that also involves the orchestral strings.  The finale is cast in a symmetrical rondo form, but with an expanded central section that is itself in a symmetrical three-part design.  The main rondo theme is another in Brahms’s “Hungarian” vein that was typical of his finales, especially when writing for Joachim.  The two episodic themes are also strong, a noble march and an agitated fanfare.  The former ushers in the joyous major-key ending.

ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (First Edition from Brahms-Institut Lübeck)

ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (from Breitkopf & Härtel Sämtliche Werke)
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (Piano/Violin/Cello score, orchestral reduction by Brahms; first edition from Sibley Music Library [University of Rochester])

1st Movement: Allegro (First movement concerto [Double exposition sonata] form). A MINOR, 4/4 time.
0:00 [m. 1]--The full orchestra gives a brief, but forceful preview of the principal theme (Theme 1).  Two strong descents using long-short rhythm, punctuated by timpani rolls, are followed by a rising sequence in violins and flutes using quarter-note triplets, creating a cross-rhythm implying 6/4 meter.  The rest of the orchestra punctuates the regular beats.  This rising sequence is then cut off by the long cadenza.
0:09 [m. 5]--Cello cadenza.  It begins on its lowest string with a slow triplet in half-notes.  The cello then shoots upward in an arpeggio before arriving on another half-note triplet measure in double-stops moving inward.  Two turning gestures, preceded by multiple-string chords, are followed by three upward-striving gestures in long-short rhythm.  The third of these leaps high before a sequence of two six-note descents and two three-note descents in quarter-note triplets.  Then a winding series of faster, meter-crossing three-note descents stops on isolated chords ending on a suspended “dominant” harmony.  These chords are repeated pizzicato.  The following descent is also plucked, leading into a bowed slur up to a full-measure low F.
1:18 [m. 26]--The wind instruments have their say.  The horns enter on an octave as the cello moves downward off its long note.  The principal clarinet, in A major, plays a fragment of the future Theme 2, characterized by gentle downward sighing figures.  The horns harmonize, and they are joined by bassoons.  Flutes and oboe enter, and the flutes take up the continuation of the thematic fragment from the clarinet.  The woodwinds and horns break off, passing the Theme 2 fragment to the solo violin for its first entrance.
1:31 [m. 31]--Violin/cello cadenza.  The solo violin begins, taking up the sighing gestures of the Theme 2 fragment and using double stops on the lower notes.  It then speeds up to quarter-note triplets before descending in an arpeggio.  This is on an unstable “diminished” chord.
1:46 [m. 36]--The violin arrives on a turning figure suggesting an arrival back in minor.  The solo cello enters at the same time, playing its own descending arpeggio in quarter-note triplets.  It has the same arrival point with the turning figure but suggests a motion to D minor.  The violin overlaps with this, and the two instruments have a pair of shorter exchanges involving syncopation and double stops, still in quarter-note triplets.  The violin then speeds up and strives upward in a series of figures with leaping cello responses.  These gradually change from triplet rhythm with half notes and quarter notes to a straight long-short dotted rhythm.  The volume steadily builds, reaching a climax at the violin’s high point.
2:11 [m. 46]--Now firmly back in A minor, Brahms exploits the “dovetailing” effect that can make the two instruments sound like one large string instrument with a huge range.  Supported by a big four-string cello chord, the violin tumbles down in a fast arpeggio with one reach backward, and the cello takes over seamlessly before turning back around and reaching back up.  The violin similarly takes over on the way up   with one backward reach, flying back up.  The cello punctuates the high point with another four-string chord.  Another big double-instrument arpeggio with the same shape follows. 
2:18 [m. 50]--At the high point, and again punctuated by a cello chord, the violin emerges into a zigzag pattern in meter-disrupting three-note groups, moving steadily downward, and is quickly joined after three beats by the cello an octave lower.  The zigzag pattern stalls and undulates before a very brief break for “breath.”   A huge upward scale in octaves follows, broken by downward leaps with a short reiteration at the end.  At the top, both instruments play chords together, creating a big sound.  A measure with three chords is followed by one with two separated by rests.  The last of these is on the preparatory “dominant,” and with the tension at its breaking point, the orchestra releases it with its full presentation of Theme 1.
2:32 [m. 57]--Theme 1.  The full orchestra, with timpani rolls, presents the opening gestures as heard at the beginning before the cadenzas.  The rising quarter-note triplets, with cross-rhythms in the accompanying chords, now lead into a downward-arching melodic expansion that suddenly pauses on two longer chords.  An upward leap and downward motion using the quarter-note triplets again arrives on the longer chords.  The upward leap and downward motion follow a second time, but this time the triplets are extended before halting on two sighing gestures.
2:52 [m. 67]--A new and more passionate idea is built on an upward arpeggio in the bass instruments, supported by a timpani roll, followed by a surging figure in long-short rhythm.  Four statements of this idea, with active harmonic motion and upward reaches to the surging figure, seem to lead to an arrival on E minor, but this is thwarted by an unexpected C-major harmony.  The volume suddenly quiets down, and four more statements are heard, now with the arpeggio reduced to bassoons and violas, with clarinets, then flutes and oboes joining on the surging figures.  The harmony moves to F minor as the music builds to an outburst with the surging figure collapsing and zigzagging down to another arrival on C major.
3:12 [m. 77]--Transition.  It begins with strong syncopation on repeated notes, beginning in the strings.  The harmonies, beginning with a crunching dissonance, build outward until the winds join.  Second violins and violas move to undulating figures underneath the syncopation.  The first violins then attempt to begin a melody, which is interrupted by more syncopation.  The strings introduce a new element, a jagged descent and upward arpeggio in triplet rhythm.  Another round of rising syncopation, the attempted melody, and the jagged descending triplets is expanded, leading to a rising string scale, also in triplets.  It culminates in rapid descending arpeggios against a thrilling upward motion in the horns, all arriving in F major.
3:39 [m. 90]--Theme 2 (F major).  The sighing figures introduced earlier by the solo violin are presented in full orchestral splendor.  They begin on upbeats and alternate two shorter “sighs” with one longer one underpinned by bass motion.  The first violins and winds play and harmonize the “sighs” while the inner strings play rushing arpeggios against them.  Downward arpeggios in the second violins and violas dovetail with rising ones in the cellos.  The second sequence of “sighs” culminates in a high upward reach.
3:48 [m. 94]--The “sighs” are arrested by a sudden upward chromatic motion and a series of three short scale descents.  These are heard above rushing wave-like motion in the lower strings.  They are interrupted by a slower downward turn, after which two more are heard in the winds, with all strings joining on the wave-like motion.  The rushing strings then emerge more prominently, supported by brass chords and timpani rolls.  They are suddenly cut off.  After a two-beat pause, the last wave motion is heard again, and is again cut off.  There is then a transitional measure of rising fragments passed between the violins, played above a “diminished seventh” arpeggio in the bass.  The harmony is very unstable.
4:06 [m. 102]--Closing Theme.  On a powerful downbeat with timpani rolls, a long note is followed by a forceful descent.  This is repeated a fourth higher.  The key seems to want to move back to A minor, but there is a “deceptive” bass motion back toward F.  Two measures of incisive descending fifths in the violins (with wider intervals on the last beats), again try to assert A minor, but are thwarted by another “deceptive” bass motion.
4:14 [m. 106]--Now the violins play short rising gestures that are immediately taken up by the winds.  The violins double the wind responses in tremolo.  After two measures of these, the violins attempt even more strongly to move to A minor, but their cadence is interrupted by upward-rushing woodwinds.  They try again, repeating their last notes.  Finally, with great effort, they reach up in two gestures, and the rushing woodwinds continue upward.  The woodwinds emerge into a powerful cadential trill, supported by brass and string chords that finally make the satisfying arrival back on A minor as the solo exposition begins. 
4:27 [m. 112]--Theme 1.  The now unmistakable beginning is grandly presented by the solo cello, which then varies the continuation with active arching motion up and down.  The orchestral strings accompany with detached notes, many repeated with minimal motion.  After the cello finishes its phrase, the solo violin takes over melodically, seeming to treat the cello meandering as an interruption by playing the second prominent descent from the opening.  But then it too emerges into the same meanderings, and the cello enters against it, breaking into arching arpeggios in triplet rhythm.
4:44 [m. 120]--The solo violin and cello now exchange figures that quickly alternate melodic notes with a lower base note.  The melodic line notes are doubled an octave lower by the orchestral violins (under the solo violin) and the violas (under the solo cello).  Clarinets and bassoons add a slow chordal background.  These exchanges work steadily upward over four measures, gradually building in volume.  The two solo instruments then come together for two measures at the high point.
4:57 [m. 126]--As they reach the high point of the buildup, the two solo instruments converge inward, the violin coming from its highest range and the cello from its lowest.  The violin adds double-stop harmonies, but the cello momentarily does not.  They briefly pause on two chords before resuming the pattern in the opposite direction, now moving outward.  The violin, having reached its high register again, now wails passionately against the upward and downward motion of the cello.  Finally, the violin leaps down more than two octaves in a very forceful A-minor cadence.  There is minimal plucked orchestral punctuation.
5:10 [m. 132]--Transition.  The transition and second theme material are greatly expanded from the orchestral statement.  The transition passage here, moving to a different key (C major instead of F major) is new.  Coming out of its cadence, the solo violin begins playing a line of broadly arching triplets that steadily work upward and then plunge back down.  This idea is then taken up by the solo cello, which moves the harmony toward E.  Then the pattern is split between the two instruments, which exchange shorter fragments and land on D.  Finally, with the volume receding, they pass simple triplets back and forth in both directions, moving toward G.  Plucked strings and light winds accompany throughout.
5:28 [m. 140]--The arrival on G is delayed as the solo instruments quietly hover and oscillate on the triplet rhythm against high winds and continuing plucked orchestral strings. 
5:35 [m. 143]--G arrives, but as the “dominant” in C major, the eventual goal for Theme 2, with a statement of the leading Theme 1 gesture by the oboe, accompanied by bassoons.  Against the oboe, the solo violin floats downward with an arpeggio in the continuing triplet rhythm.  The arpeggio is passed to the solo cello, which reverses the direction and then hovers as the violin joins again.  At the same time, the oboe and bassoons continue with Theme 1 material before everything suddenly stops with a general pause.
5:44 [m. 147]--After the full-measure pause, the clarinet takes over on the Theme 1 gesture, and it is also harmonized by bassoons.  It begins lower than the oboe had, and under it, the solo cello plays a winding arpeggio on the “dominant” harmony in F major.  This is then taken over by the solo violin.  Both instruments come together on the arpeggios, moving to similar “dominant” harmonies in G major and C major.  The latter is the goal for the setting of Theme 2.  Above these arpeggios, the clarinet continues to spin the Theme 1 material, eventually dropping down as the solo strings drop out, leading into Theme 2.
5:58 [m. 153]--Theme 2 (C major).  The theme has been associated with the solo violin, but now the solo cello plays it, in a much quieter and gentler guise than it has appeared in the orchestral exposition.  It is accompanied by syncopated pulsations in horns and bassoons, along with the continuing plucked orchestral string punctuations.  The initial sequences of “sigh” figures proceed as expected.
6:08 [m. 157]-- The continuation with the upward chromatic motion and the scale descents, which had been heard over rushing string waves, is transformed into a rhapsodic extension that includes a yearning upward reach, more sighs, and soulful turning figures.  Under this continuation, the lower strings, which have been plucked for some time, take up their bows to provide a background.  The turning figures frame some longer-held notes, and there follows a halting motion and a descent into the next statement of the theme, whose opening gesture is stated in anticipatory isolation.
6:35 [m. 167]--The solo violin now plays the theme as the solo cello moves to broad arpeggios.  The remaining wind instruments join on the syncopated pulsations, and all orchestral strings are plucked again.  In the second sequence of “sigh” figures, the violin holds its high note after the upward reach, extending it for a full measure, and the cello arpeggios speed up to a triplet rhythm.  The violin leaps down after its long-held note, suspending on a near-pause.  The orchestral strings take their bows for the next passage.
6:48 [m. 172]--Suddenly forceful, the solo violin plays the chromatic upward motion familiar from 3:48 [m. 94] in double-stop octaves.  It continues with the short scale descents.  The solo cello immediately imitates the chromatic motion at a higher level while the violin swoops down and back up.  The cello’s chromatic motion is doubled by woodwind instruments.  As the cello continues with the scale descents, the violin takes the chromatic motion, again at a higher level.  Under this, the cello’s continuation is simply a held note and descent rather than the “swoop.”  The cello has one more statement of the upward motion, but the doubling winds continue with the scale descent while it does not.  Bowed strings punctuate all this.
6:56 [m. 176]--More quietly, the winds take over the main argument, which focuses on a slow turning figure also heard in the continuation from 3:48 [m. 94].  Flutes, clarinets, and bassoons take it first, followed by oboes and horns with bassoon.  Under this, the two solo instruments come together in octaves, playing a rapid wave-like motion that steadily moves upward.  As they near a high point, they break from their octaves and play the waves in contrary motion for a measure as the winds stop the “turning” motion.
7:05 [m. 180]--The winds now hold long chords as the solo instruments exploit their combined range, acting as one huge string instrument.  A sweeping downward arpeggio from the violin, beginning from a high point, is passed to the cello, which turns it around.  The violin takes over the upward motion, then turns back around.  The pattern is heard again, but with the violin beginning lower and the cello taking over a beat earlier.  The cello reaches lower on its turnaround and extends this another beat so that the violin’s next “takeover” is later and shorter, but it does reach higher.  All of this is at a quiet level, played lightly. 
7:13 [m. 184]--The pattern changes here, with the violin descending for two beats, then the cello leaping to a lower point and sweeping up, with a continuation from the violin on the last beat.  This pattern continues for a second measure.  For the next two measures after that, violin descents simply alternate with cello ascents, beat by beat.  Finally, they come together, both with oscillating up-down motion, but moving in opposite directions and becoming even quieter.  The slow wind chords become more frequent, with two in each measure.  The cello closes off the oscillation in its low range.  Through all of this, the isolated orchestral strings are plucked.
7:24 [m. 190]--Again with sudden forcefulness, the solo instruments blast out excited interjections.  The violin plays emphatic double stops while the cello plays fast upward-leaping octaves as punctuation.  Then both instruments break into continuous motion, the cello still playing the upward leaping octaves and the violin playing a melodic line in alternation with a reiterated “pedal point” E.  The violin’s alternation is eventually on that same E played on different strings.  The cello’s octaves include chromatic motion by half-step between them.  Horns and plucked low orchestral strings provide a background.
7:31 [m. 193]--The solo instruments now return to the original transition material as heard in the orchestral exposition at 3:12 [m. 77].  They play the strong repeated-note syncopation, including the outward expansion with crunching dissonances.  After two measures, the wind instruments take over the syncopation while the solo instruments both play a long trill.  They break this off with an arpeggio in contrary motion and then drop out, allowing the orchestra to fully take over the rest of the exposition.  Against the arpeggio, the orchestral strings enter with the “attempted melody” from the original transition.
7:40 [m. 197]--With the solo instruments dropping out and the orchestra taking over, the original transition material is now highly recognizable.  The strings alternate the familiar melodic fragments with the repeated-note syncopation, the winds focusing on the latter.  The first violins take the melodic lead, with second violins and cellos playing a rapid undulation.  The syncopation and the melodic fragments alternate three times, moving up and back down.  Finally, the melodic fragments lead to the rapid descending arpeggios and the “thrilling” upward motion, now in oboes and clarinets instead of horns.  The element that is missing is the “jagged” descent and arpeggio in triplet rhythm.
7:58 [m. 206]--After all the intervening transitional material, Theme 2 is given a grand orchestral statement, still in C major.  Other than the transposed key, its presentation almost exactly matches that at 3:39 [m. 90], with the two sequences of “sighing” figures.  The scoring is nearly the same except in bassoons and horns.
8:06 [m. 210]--The continuation closely follows that at 3:48 [m. 94].  This passage has been heard in transformed versions at 6:08 [m. 157] and 6:48 [m. 172], but now it is presented as originally heard, other than the transposed key.  The upward chromatic motion, short scale descents, rushing wave-like motion, and slower downward turns are all heard, along with the brass chords and timpani rolls.  The only deviation is slight and at the very end with the last two violin fragments over the “diminished seventh” arpeggio.  The closing theme is omitted, and the development section follows directly as the solo instruments re-enter.
8:25 [m. 218]--The solo instruments in unison, with the violin in octaves, enter after a long absence.  They play the opening gesture of Theme 1, seemingly in E minor, but the harmony in the orchestral strings persists in C major.  The cello begins to play the continuation with the quarter-note triplets, but the violin interrupts and takes over with a rising arpeggio.  The cello reaches up against the violin, then attempts the continuation again a third higher, and the violin takes over in the same way.
8:39 [m. 224]--Making a darker turn, the solo cello plays the rising quarter-note triplets again, now against plucked orchestral strings.  The solo violin, playing the notes of its triplets with preceding grace notes an octave lower, takes over after a measure and a half and holds the top note of its triplet.  It then descends on an E-minor arpeggio, clashing with a held C-sharp in the cello.  The cello then plays a single rising triplet, and the violin again takes over with its grace note-decorated triplet.  The descending arpeggio is played again, now on a “diminished” chord suggesting a motion to B minor.  The held cello note is an A-sharp, also strongly tending toward B minor.
8:49 [m. 229]--Becoming quiet and meditative, the cello plays a sequence of rising triplets in B minor.  The violin takes over on the last beat of the measure.  This pattern is played three times in a rising sequence against a harmonic sheen from the bowed orchestral strings, which gradually enter from the bottom up.  The solo instruments then harmonize for a measure on the rising triplets, which move down in sequence.
8:58 [m. 233]--A highly atmospheric exchange begins between the solo instruments and the winds.  The solo instruments, in contrary motion, play triplet figures on the first three beats of each measure, leaping up a sixth between each measure.  Wind instruments harmonized in thirds, in two pairs moving in contrary motion, respond at the end of each sequence in straight rhythm.  Oboes and bassoons are followed by flutes and oboes, then oboes against one clarinet and one bassoon.  In the fourth sequence, the solo instruments only move up a half-step, and the wind response is one flute and one oboe against two clarinets.  The harmony gradually moves from B minor toward F-sharp major.  The bowed string background continues.
9:06 [m. 237]--For one measure, the solo instruments and the winds (in the pairs just used), exchange figures at the distance of one beat.  Then the winds drop out and the solo instruments begin a gentle exchange of decorative arpeggio figuration in F-sharp major.  The orchestral strings lightly accompany them with a steady descent.  After two measures, the solo instruments separate and the violin begins to trail down with its figuration, the cello taking it up seamlessly in the next measure.  This is another example of the two solo string instruments combining their ranges to make a single “instrument” with a huge range.
9:17 [m. 242]--After the cello trails down, it shifts harmony at the last second, and the orchestral strings enter with the familiar syncopation from the original transition passage.  They play it beginning on the “dominant” harmony in G major/minor.  The solo violin plays a long trill while the solo cello reaches back up, and flutes and oboe play ethereal harmonies.  After the syncopation and trill, the wind instruments lightly pass a rising figure from flute to oboe to harmonized clarinets and bassoons.  Against this, the solo instruments play leaping trilled notes, the violin beginning with the cello joining halfway through.  They settle again on longer trills as the plucked low strings take over the rising figure from the winds.
9:26 [m. 246]--The preceding sequence is now played beginning on the “dominant” harmony in C major/minor.  The first long trill is now played by the solo cello against darker harmonies from clarinets and horn.  The pattern of rising wind figures against short leaping trilled notes follows as before, now with the cello beginning and the violin joining, along with the longer trills and plucked low strings at the end.
9:34 [m. 250]--Now the syncopation is played with greater volume and intensity, beginning on a much more unstable “diminished seventh” harmony on C-sharp.  The solo instruments, harmonized in thirds, now play trills together, leaping up first one, then two octaves.  The rising wind figures now overlap, oboe, clarinet, then bassoons.  The pattern is repeated, now beginning with the “diminished seventh” harmony based on G-sharp, and with flute added to the overlapping wind figures.
9:42 [m. 254]--The syncopation is now abandoned.  The last long gesture of the leaping octaves in harmonized trills from the solo instruments is isolated.  At first, another sequence of overlapping winds is played against it.  Then the trill gesture moves down twice over two measures and the winds move to longer chords.  The orchestral violins, meanwhile, aggressively take over the rising figures from the winds.  Finally, the solo instruments hold a long trill as the orchestral violins and violas play their aggressive rising figures in tremolo.  The unstable harmony seems to arrive on the “dominant” in B-flat minor.
9:50 [m. 258]--In B-flat minor, the winds forcefully play the opening gesture of Theme 1 against rapid, wide arpeggios in contrary motion from the solo instruments.  The orchestral strings then play two measures of the aggressive rising figures in tremolo against high wind harmonies.  The Theme 1 gesture from the winds is played again against the rapid wide arpeggios in the solo instruments, now in F minor.  The low strings appear to begin the rising tremolo again, but they are cut off.
10:02 [m. 264]--The orchestra briefly takes over while the solo instruments drop out.  The rising quarter-note triplets are majestically played by first violins and flutes, punctuated in their second measure by strong leaping chords from lower instruments in cross-rhythm.  The top note is held over a bar line, leading into the strong leaping chords.  Against this, the triplets are passed to low strings and bassoons in another cross-rhythm.  The triplets are passed back to the higher instruments for a measure while the low instruments play the forceful leaps.  Here the key moves from F minor to its “relative” A-flat major.  Again, the triplets move to the low instruments, and both they and the downward leaps are extended for a measure.
10:14 [m. 270]--Re-transition.  Suddenly quieter, the solo cello enters, playing the familiar repeated-note syncopation from the original transition.  Against a soft string background, the cello syncopations steadily move upward and skillfully shift the key center from A-flat major to the distant E major.  After the cello reaches very high, the violin takes over the syncopation, beginning an octave lower than where the cello ended.  It moves the key again, first to C major and then back to A-flat and E.  At the violin’s high point, a soft timpani roll begins as the E is converted to the preparatory “dominant” of A.
10:38 [m. 279]--With the arrival of the “dominant” harmony in the home key of A minor, the stage is set for the arrival of the grand reprise.  With everything still quiet, the rising figures first heard at 9:17 [m. 242] in the winds are played by the solo cello with flutes and clarinet.  These are the shortened to two-note leaps passed from the solo cello and clarinet to the flutes.  The solo violin, meanwhile, moves downward from its high point in longer notes with syncopation across strong beats and bar lines.  The solo cello and clarinet break from the exchanges and play straight notes against the syncopated solo violin, leaving the two-note harmonized leaps to the flutes for one measure.  This all continues against a soft string background.
10:45 [m. 282]--Now begins the buildup.  The solo cello plays a rapid rising scale suggesting A major, which is then passed to the solo violin.  Brahms indicates a big crescendo.  The scale is played again by the cello, followed by the violin, now clearly in A minor.  The solo instruments now come together, playing the same scales in unison A minor.  As they reach the high point, they reiterate the top four notes for a measure.  The orchestral strings, which had been holding long chords, punctuate these reiterations.
10:54 [m. 286]-Massive chords are now exchanged between the orchestra and the solo instruments, which move from octaves to huge double-and triple-stop harmonies.  The last two of these exchanges are followed by half-measure pauses, the latter of which leaves a tremendous “dominant” harmony hanging in preparation for the extremely satisfying arrival of the recapitulation.
11:03 [m. 290]--Theme 1.  The powerful opening closely matches the orchestral exposition at 2:32 [m. 57], except for the last two measures, where the extension of the triplets and the sighing gestures are set lower with different harmony because of the need to stay centered on A minor.
11:25 [m. 300]--This passage is derived from the “passionate” continuation of the orchestral exposition from 2:52 [m. 67], but the solo instruments enter to present it.  The rising arpeggios are now in triplet rhythm (notated as six-note “sextuplets”), and they are played by the solo cello.  The same instrument also plays the “surging figures,” but they are decorated by arching arpeggios from the solo violin, also in triplets/sextuplets.  The solo instruments are only supported by background orchestral strings, and there are only four statements.  The last of these is stretched out to two measures and taken over by the solo violin, with the cello playing the arching arpeggios.  They have not moved the key center away from A minor.
11:37 [m. 305]--Transition.  From this point, the solo exposition is used as a model.  The presentation here closely resembles that at 5:10 [m. 132].  The opening violin statement of the broadly arching triplets is unchanged.  The following cello statement begins as it should, but the violin enters after half a measure and it develops into a “split” statement, like the third one in the previous passage, and it diverts to a different harmonic goal, G minor.  A third statement, this one “split” as expected, but with the cello leading instead of the violin, seems to lead to F major.
11:50 [m. 311]-- The third statement is followed by another upward reach and descent (matching the second half of the pattern).  The descent is extended by a measure, divided between the solo instruments, and “dominant” harmonies are used to settle the music back into A.  The key signature changes to the three sharps of A major for the expected “home key” setting of Theme 2.  The descending triplets seamlessly merge into the next passage, even though the approach is different and shorter than in the solo exposition.
11:54 [m. 313]--From this point, the music is closely analogous to the solo exposition.  The Theme 1 gesture in the oboe with bassoon harmonies, along with the arpeggios in the solo instruments leading to a general pause, are directly transposed from 5:35 [m. 143], now on E as the “dominant” in A major.
12:03 [m. 317]--Analogous to 5:44 [m. 147], with some significant changes.  The melody is transferred from the clarinet to the flute, doubled by the bowed orchestral violas.  The arpeggios in the solo instruments are also changed.  The direction of the first one is rearranged, and it is passed earlier to the violin, after half a measure.  The instruments also come together a measure earlier.  The arpeggios outline “dominant” chords in D, E, and A major.  The last descent, which had been played by clarinet alone, is taken by the violas as the flute drops out.  The solo cello continues its arpeggio under this previously bare descent.
12:17 [m. 323]--Theme 2 (A major).  Analogous to 5:58 [m. 153].  The theme is played by the solo violin instead of the cello, and the cello now decorates it with arching and rising triplet arpeggios that continue from its accompaniment to the preceding descent.  The analogous cello statement had not been so decorated.  The orchestral string accompaniment is richer, adding bowed notes under the longer sighs.  The pulsations previously played by horns and bassoons are now only in horns, with less syncopation.
12:26 [m. 327]--The “rhapsodic extension,” now played by the solo violin instead of the cello, closely follows the pattern from 6:08 [m. 157], including the halting descent and anticipation of the next thematic statement.  The major difference is that whereas the cello had played the whole passage without the violin before, this violin statement is accompanied by a slower counterpoint in the cello, which continues through the first four measures, through the first “turning” figure.  The orchestral string accompaniment is also richer in these measures, adding off-beat triplet arpeggios in the violas.
12:54 [m. 337]--Statement of Theme 2 analogous to 6:35 [m. 167].  As with the first statement, the roles of the solo instruments are reversed, and the cello plays the theme.  As the cello had done in the analogous passage, the violin plays broad arpeggios against the cello, but now they are all in triplets, following the pattern set by the cello at 12:17 [m. 323].  Another change is that the wind accompaniment is reduced to horns, but the orchestral strings add more bowed background.  The cello reaches its expected high full-measure note and leap down to a suspended near-pause, while the violin soars into its highest register.
13:07 [m. 342]--Closely analogous to 6:48 [m. 172], with the same violin/cello exchanges on the “forceful chromatic upward motion.”  The wind and string accompaniment also correspond.  There is some variance in the directionality of the descents and other continuations.  The violin has more of a “descent” in its first statement and the cello has more of a “swoop,” almost reversing the pattern there.  The order of entry, however, is the same, which is significant in a recapitulation where the solo instruments often reverse roles.
13:15 [m. 346]--Analogous to 6:56 [m. 176].  The winds play the “slow turning figure” as expected, and the solo instruments come together on the rapid wave-like motion in octaves steadily moving upward and culminating in a measure of contrary motion.  The only pattern departure is minor, the absence of a bassoon when the oboes and horns take over.
13:23 [m. 350]--Analogous to 7:05 [m. 180].  The patterns of the long, sweeping arpeggios are mostly unchanged, but the distribution between the solo instruments is altered due to the range of the instruments and the new key.  The first cello pattern is a beat longer and the second one is two beats shorter.
13:32 [m. 354]--Analogous to 7:13 [m. 184].  Here, the distribution of the figures between the instruments matches the model closely, only slightly deviating in directionality with the oscillations at the very end.
13:43 [m. 360]--Analogous to 7:24 [m. 190].  The “excited” violin double stops and cello octaves follow as expected, as does the continuous motion, but there is a significant change in the violin patterns and “pedal point.”  Before, the reiterated note was E, and the corresponding note (the third of the scale) would be C-sharp here.  Because there is no open-string C-sharp, the “pedal point” is moved to the keynote, A.  This necessitates the violin adding double-stops to its melodic line in alternation with the reiterated note.  The horns are also absent from the orchestral accompaniment.
13:50 [m. 363]--Analogous to 7:31 [m. 193]--The solo instruments play the syncopated repeated notes and outward expansion with crunching dissonances from the original transition, the winds take over while the solo instruments play a long trill, and then the orchestral strings attempt to begin a melody as the solo instruments break into a contrary-motion arpeggio and drop out.
13:59 [m. 367]--From this point, with the orchestra taking over and the music in the home key, the patterns of the solo exposition are abandoned in favor of the orchestral exposition.  Here, the analogy begins within the passage from 3:12 [m. 77], specifically four measures into it [m. 81], and not with 7:40 [m. 197].  The previous passage at 13:50 [m. 363], deriving from the solo exposition, takes the place of those first four measures.  It is an extremely subtle and skillful “merging” of material from the two expositions.  The “jagged” descent and arpeggio in triplet rhythm is restored, and the “thrilling” upward motion is back home in the horns.
14:17 [m. 376]--Analogous to 3:39 [m. 90] and 7:58 [m. 206].  This grand statement of Theme 2 has been given in F major, then C major, and now in A major.  This is the most powerful statement of them all.  Trumpets and timpani have been added to the scoring, the latter punctuating the “sigh” figures.  Quick groups of four beats underscore the shorter “sighs,” and the drums fully roll under the longer ones.
14:26 [m. 380]--Corresponds to 3:48 [m. 94] and 8:06 [m. 210].  The wave-like motion is fleshed out with the addition of second violins, and there are two added timpani rolls before the expected ones at the end of the passage.  Again, the major change is there at the end, where not only the violin fragments, but the bass arpeggio itself is changed from the “diminished seventh” heard before to a straight A-minor chord, which serves to pivot back from A major for the minor-key coda.  The key signature changes here accordingly.
14:44 [m. 388]--Closing Theme (A minor).  After being absent from the solo exposition, the closing passage is greatly altered from its presentation in the orchestral exposition at 4:06 [m. 102].  The long note with the forceful descent is heard in the winds, but it is played against the opening gesture from Theme 1 in the strings.  The second statement of the long note and descent is separated from the first by a sequence of descending gestures in the strings, punctuated by wind chords.  That second statement is higher in the winds, but the Theme 1 material in the strings is lower.  The descending gestures are heard a second time.
14:52 [m. 392]--Transition to Coda.  The intensity is at its highest level.  The violins, supported by winds, turn to the repeated-note syncopations from the original transition.  Underneath them, the lower strings convert the descending gestures just heard into three-note groups that obscure the meter and cross bar lines.  After a measure, the syncopation passes entirely to the winds and the violins join on the meter-obscuring three-note groups.  All of this is underscored by a thunderous timpani roll.  The last measure before the coda restores the metric sense with two-note downward leaps.
15:01 [m. 396]--The opening four measures of the coda return to the material from the beginning of the solo exposition at 4:27 [m. 112], complete with the detached notes in the orchestral strings.  This time, however, the two solo instruments make their grand entry together in octaves.  The violin quickly takes the melodic lead while the cello breaks into a passionate harmonic counterpoint.  There is only one statement of the Theme 1 material instead of two.  The solo instruments suddenly become quitter and meditate on a gentle, melancholy arching figure, with the cello (harmonized by bassoon) twice passing it to the violin.  It turns out that this figure is derived from the orchestral string doubling at 4:44 [m. 120].
15:15 [m. 402]--After the interpolation hinting at 4:44 [m. 120], the solo instruments play the exchanges heard there, with the figures alternating between melodic notes and lower “base” notes.  As expected, the exchanges slowly build up over four measures, but there is no melodic doubling in the orchestral strings.  When the solo instruments come together, the intensity increases even more.  The original two measures are expanded to four, with the cello repeating its notes in a tremolo effect.  The violin adds double stops, and in the two added measures, both instruments leap widely and passionately.  The orchestral accompaniment is minimal, with long chords in the winds and slower supporting motion in the strings.
15:32 [m. 410]--At the high point, the solo instruments wail out the syncopated repeated notes, moving steadily downward, the violin playing in octaves with the cello harmonizing.  They then settle down with a downward-turning melody of the same melancholy character.  The volume quickly diminishes, and the tempo slows.  The last cello notes reach a point of suspension.  The orchestral string background also gradually becomes less active and quieter.  All the winds have dropped out.
15:48 [m. 416]--The solo instruments again take up the syncopated repeated notes, playing in octaves.  After one measure, they break into angular triplet motion, still in octaves and working upward in a two-measure sequence.  They then move from their octaves into harmony for a precipitous scale descent, still in triplet rhythm.  Finally, they shoot upward in rapid arpeggios, again in octaves, as the orchestral string accompaniment moves to plucked notes in anticipation of the surprising passage that follows.
15:59 [m. 421]--A striking transformation of Theme 2 provides the movement’s capstone.  It is changed into a spectral minor-key version presented by plucked orchestral strings with flute.  The solo instruments, still in octaves, play churning downward turn figures against it.  When the theme reaches what had been the “longer” sigh gesture, the solo instruments shoot upward in an arpeggio.  The regular pattern and sequence of the theme is retained, but the second of the “longer” gestures, with the upward-shooting arpeggios, is repeated.  Finally, the remaining winds enter, joining the orchestral strings on punctuating chords as the solo instruments play four shorter arpeggios.
16:14 [m. 428]--For the closing flourish, the solo instruments return to the pattern of broadly-arching triplets originally heard at 5:10 [m. 132] and again at 11:37 [m. 305].  Two measures of this pattern are played in octaves, with a strong upward reach in the second one.  The full orchestra, with bowed strings, plays emphatic chords against these triplets.  After they reach the high point, the solo instruments join the orchestra for a last punching chord and leap down to the final held unison A.
16:30--END OF MOVEMENT [431 mm.]

2nd  Movement: Andante (Ternary form).  D MAJOR, 3/4 time.
A Section--D major
0:00 [m. 1]--In a very brief “introduction,” a rising horn call is answered by a second call with the woodwinds joining.  The horns initially rise from A to D and the second call rises from E to A.  Both are sustained with a fermata.
0:12 [m. 3]--The principal theme is an upward arching line followed by a slower reaching gesture.  The scoring with the solo instruments and orchestral strings is ingenious.  The solo instruments play the arching line in octaves, doubled in unison by the orchestral strings, but on the slower reaching gesture, the solo instruments separate themselves, leaving the orchestral strings to play an accompaniment in two-note slurs.  The phrase has two alternations, with the first reaching gesture “sighing” down and the second sliding up.
0:25 [m. 7]--The entire phrase is stated again, but this time the doubling on the arching lines is from flute and bassoon instead of the orchestral strings, and then clarinets and bassoons join the orchestral strings in the accompanying two-note slurs under the reaching gestures.  The presentation is full, but gentle.
0:39 [m. 11]--In a contrasting phrase, the arching line is turned around so that it dips and rises, adding chromatic notes.  The reaching gesture is replaced by a leap down and octave and back up.  The orchestral strings still separate from the solo instruments on their accompaniment in two-note slurs under these octave leaps.  On the second alternation, the downward octave leap is a half-step lower, and instead of reaching back up, it descends by a step to lead into the return of the original upward-arching melody.
0:52 [m. 15]--The original upward arch returns, but now it is followed by an upward octave leap.  The orchestral strings do not double the arch but play their two-note slurs throughout.  The solo instruments break rhythmically from their unison octaves, with the violin leaping up earlier in syncopation and the cello following in a shadow-like way with a long-short rhythm.  Both instruments continue to reach up, still separated rhythmically and still over the two-note slurs in the orchestral strings.  They then come together, descending in an arpeggio, then leaping up to quietly repeat that arpeggio, extending the phrase by a measure before finally coming to a full D-major cadence.
1:09 [m. 20]--After a three-note upbeat lead-in from flute and bassoon, the contrasting phrase from 0:39 [m. 11] is played again, with those instruments (flute and bassoon) doubling the downward arching line instead of the orchestral strings.  This change reflects the repetition of the first phrase at 0:25 [m. 7].  Flutes (not clarinets) and bassoons play the two-note slurs against the octave leaps, but there is a new element in the orchestral cellos, who play arpeggios in triplet rhythm.
1:23 [m. 24]--The returning phrase from 0:52 [m. 15] appears to begin again, but it is expanded.  After the first upward arch, instead of the octave leap, the arch itself is spun out and intensified over two more measures, obscuring the meter with four-note groups.  The added element from the previous phrase, the triplet arpeggios in the orchestral cellos, are heard under these extended arching lines.  The solo instruments finally reach even higher than before, and the cello once again breaks rhythmically from the violin, shadowing it in a descent.  Finally, they come together on the two descending arpeggios (the second one quieter) leading once again to the full D-major cadence.
B Section--F major
1:47 [m. 31]--The change to F major is abrupt as the solo instruments drop out.  The woodwind choir--flutes, clarinets, and bassoons--do not even wait for a new measure to enter with the change, instead coming in on an upbeat held over the bar line with the new key signature.  The orchestral strings mark the downbeat with a plucked note.  Over a held low “pedal” note from the horns, the woodwinds, in harmonies of thirds and sixths, gently rise dolce.  After four measures, the oboes join the other winds as the phrase turns around and comes back down, moving to the “dominant” harmony.  The orchestral violins enter gently with repeated syncopated notes as the winds mark their descending arrival.
2:13 [m. 39]--The solo violin enters on the upbeat and after a held note, emerges into a languid meditation in triplets, adding some mild syncopation with notes held over bar lines.  It is supported by the continuing syncopation in the orchestral violins, along with clarinet.  The solo cello then takes up the same triplet meditation, with emphasis on the “dominant” key, the flute taking the place of the clarinet.
2:27 [m. 43]--The violin takes over and begins the triplet passage again, but now there are minor-key inflections in the orchestral violins, and both clarinets play in harmony.  The violin itself reaches higher.  The cello takes over as expected, and both flutes play in harmony against it.  It also reaches higher, again pulling toward the “dominant” key, C major, but with added chromatic notes.  The cello extends its statement by a measure as it works back down.  Then the violin joins in its low register, adding harmony and syncopation, the key sweetly turning to A-flat major and finally F minor.  The orchestral violins and violas move from gentle syncopation to off-beat interjections.  This is spun out over three measures.
2:54 [m. 51]--The woodwind choir suddenly enters on the upbeat, turning the now-prevailing F minor back to F major.  Its statement is “broken up.”  The first two measures of the rising line from 1:47 [m. 31] are played against a high decoration from the solo violin, winding its way upward and then falling.  The woodwinds cut off their statement as the solo cello enters with a more emphatic continuation of the violin line, marked by plucked orchestral strings and minor-key inflections.  The mild outburst quickly subsides.
3:04 [m. 54]--The woodwinds enter again on the upbeat, continuing their phrase as if it had not been interrupted.  The solo violin adds its high decorative zigzagging line.  Again, the woodwind phrase is interrupted by the stern, rhetorical solo cello that enters strongly and subsides quickly.
3:13 [m. 57]--The established pattern continues for the remaining two-measure segments of the original woodwind phrase.  This is the point where the oboes had entered, and they do so again.  Here, the winds are also supported by divided violas.  For this pair of alternations, the solo violin and cello continue their established patterns, but the violin plays arpeggios, first descending, then arching, rather than the zigzagging line.  The cello entries/interruptions still begin forcefully and recede, entering with the “stern” character, but they are also smoother and less angular.  At the end of the last cello interruption, the violin joins on what seems to be a closing cadence in F major, but it is quickly diverted toward D-flat major.
3:39 [m. 64]--Re-transition.  The solo instruments drop out.  The bassoons, in thirds, quietly play the opening of the main woodwind B section theme in D-flat.  The plucked strings and flutes enter, cutting off the bassoons, re-interpreting D-flat as C-sharp, providing a clearer path back to the home key of D major.
3:50 [m. 67]--The stings enter on the upbeat as the key signature changes back to the two sharps of D.  They play the opening of the B section theme in a new minor-key version.  Specifically, it is F-sharp minor, which provides an easy path from C-sharp/D-flat back to D.  They begin to build in volume.
3:57 [m. 69]--Finally, the woodwinds reassert their possession of the theme, playing its first four measures with the strings providing a background.  The woodwinds and strings continue to build and divert the last measure upward.  The key moves to D, but not decisively, as the strings hold a rogue C-natural for two measures.  Against this, the horns and trumpets play the rising call that had opened the movement.  The solo instruments then play the second call, holding the upper note.  This is the climax of the movement.
4:10 [m. 73]--After a final emphatic woodwind chord, punctuated by plucked strings, the orchestra drops out, leaving the solo instruments to play a small six-measure cadenza.  The cello plays a sustained trill on the “dominant” note A.  The violin, meanwhile, zigzags down in triplet-rhythm figures, playing in double-stop sixths and thirds and using many colorful chromatic notes.  As it works its way down, the cello trill drops one octave, then another.  In the last three measures, the violin slows down and the cello breaks from its trill, moving to sustained double stops.  Both instruments cut off on a strong “dominant” harmony, creating high expectations for the satisfying arrival of the main A section theme.
A’ Section--D major
4:37 [m. 79]--The return corresponds to the first phrase of the theme at 0:12 [m. 3].  The major difference is that there is no doubling of the solo instruments.  The orchestral strings play a plucked accompaniment, with rising arpeggios in triplet rhythm passed between first and second violins and violas.  Flutes and bassoons play the two-note slurs against the slower reaching gestures.
4:51 [m. 83]--Corresponds to the repetition of the phrase at 0:25 [m. 7], but it is extended by two measures.  This is accomplished by adding a measure to each alternation.  As the solo instruments rise, they are doubled by flute and bassoon, as they were before, but at the top, the solo instruments hold a note while the flutes and bassoons (with clarinet joining) reach further upward and then arch back down.  When the solo instruments continue with the “reaching gesture,” they are an octave higher.  At that point, the orchestral strings come in again with their plucked accompaniment while the flutes and bassoons return to their two-note slurs.  The same extension pattern happens in the second half, with a brief but striking turn to B major.
5:10 [m. 89]--The first statement of the contrasting and closing phrases is omitted, and the return here corresponds to the repetition and extension from 1:09 [m. 20].  There is no doubling of the melody from the solo instruments, but the flute and bassoon do hold long notes against the downward arch while the orchestral cellos pluck an arching arpeggio in triplets.  At the point of the reaching gestures, the other orchestral strings join, still plucked, while flutes and bassoons play the two-note slurs.
5:22 [m. 93]--For this last phrase, the orchestral strings are bowed.  The scoring and orientation are the same as at 1:23 [m. 24], with intensification, extension, and descending arpeggios leading to a full cadence.
5:45 [m. 100]--The coda begins very quietly, dolce, with a skillful combination of elements from the B section.  The main woodwind theme of that section--without the held-over upbeat--is played by clarinets and bassoons.  Meanwhile, the solo violin and cello play their triplet meditations from 2:13 [m. 39], with only minimal alteration in the violin statement and none in the cello response.  While the woodwind theme is now in the home key of D major, the triplets in the solo instruments pull toward G major and are a step higher than their previous presentation in F.
6:00 [m. 104]--The solo violin takes over the triplets as it had at 2:27 [m. 43], but the orchestral strings now take over from the woodwinds.  The main B section theme is abandoned, and the strings work downward while the clarinet and bassoon hold a note, then play a small winding figure before dropping out.  There is again a strong tendency toward G major, with minor-key elements.  When the cello takes over, it does not resemble its previous statement, but instead remains rather static while the orchestral strings move down.  After slowing from triplets to held syncopation, the cello leaps up and plays a descending arpeggio in straight rhythm and makes an extremely colorful turn to the so-called “Neapolitan” harmony on E-flat.
6:32 [m. 110]--Sliding quickly back into D major, the cello plays the rising gesture of the movement’s principal theme.  It holds the top note while the violin plays the same gesture.  They then come together and play two rising octaves in unison on A and D, building strongly.  This is all against an orchestral string background.  After the two rising octaves, woodwinds enter.  The solo instruments joyfully play the second “call” from the very beginning on E-A.  Against it, the woodwind instruments play a harmonized stepwise descent and the strings pluck two chords.  The solo instruments hold the A for another full measure.
6:49 [m. 114]--The volume having receded, the horns and trumpets make an entry on the first “call” on A-D, reversing the order from the beginning of the movement.  The woodwinds close off their descent and drop out.  The orchestral strings pluck two more chords as the solo instruments play a winding descent in harmony, the violin in double stops.  It resembles the violin’s “cadenza” from 4:10 [m. 73].  They then turn back up in a harmonized arpeggio, punctuated by another plucked chord.  As they reach the top, they hold a D-major chord while the orchestral strings pluck two more isolated chords.  The trumpets and horns have been holding their D.  The woodwinds join on the last held measure against one final plucked chord.
7:18--END OF MOVEMENT [118 mm.]

3rd Movement: Vivace non troppo (Rondo form). A MINOR (ending in A MAJOR), 2/4 time with four measures of 3/4 and four measures of 4/4.
0:00 [m. 1]--The solo cello, backed only by low strings and bassoons, plays the distinctive, jaunty, mildly chromatic “Hungarian”-flavored main rondo theme, characterized by a long-short-short rhythm, a general downward motion, and prominent upward leaps.  After four measures, an arching arpeggio seems to close off the phrase, but then a sequence of two-measure segments diverts the harmony to C major, then E minor, and back to A minor.
0:14 [m. 11]--The solo violin now takes over and repeats the theme in its entirety, overlapping with a closing gesture in the cello.  The orchestral violins are added, but the bassoons drop out.  At the end, although the theme is unchanged, the harmony is diverted again to C major instead of A minor.
0:28 [m. 21]--The solo cello retakes the lead with a continuation of the theme.  The long-short-short rhythm is retained, but the continuation is more yearning and passionate, adding downward-arching figures.  A bassoon once again enters in support of the cello.  After the cello moves the harmony yet again, this time to F major, the solo violin takes over the continuation, playing sweetly in double-stop thirds.  The horns play a held note, and the orchestral strings thin out to plucked lower instruments.
0:40 [m. 29]--The next passage is both exciting and harmonically unstable.  Slowing slightly, the orchestral cellos enter against the last violin passage in F major, meandering with the long-short-short rhythm and continuing to suggest that key.  Meanwhile, the solo instruments begin to play together, initially with the cello in its high register above the violin.  They seem to want to move back home to A minor.  Held thirds in the woodwinds with plucked upper strings back up all this.  The violin shoots back above the cello, then tumbles downward with turn figures in triplet rhythm, diverting both F major and A minor toward C major.
0:49 [m. 35]--Becoming more excited, the solo instruments pass the turning triplet figures back and forth in opposite directions against the plucked orchestral strings, which begin to march steadily.  Building strongly, they widen to octaves, then come together on rapid wide leaps with violin double stops.  At a point of high tension, the orchestral strings, now bowed, take over, leaping in chords and octaves, backed by a loud wind chord with timpani, decisively moving back toward A minor.
0:56 [m. 40]--The full orchestra now dispels the tension with a grand and thrilling statement of the main rondo theme.  It closely follows the established pattern through the first six measures, but it deviates after that, eliminating the motion toward E minor in favor of a more forceful reiteration of the A minor arrival, splitting the long note of the long-short-short patterns into two repeated notes.  The orchestra slows its motion toward an emphatic A-minor cadence, which is immediately echoed by the solo instruments, which re-enter in huge three- and four-string chords.
1:11 [m. 51]--Transition.  The woodwinds, led by the principal flute, tumble and wind their way downward, moving from A minor a step down to G major, with minor-key coloring.  They are quiet but agitated.  Plucked orchestral strings join them at the end.  The two solo instruments, again using multi-string chords, play another forceful cadence gesture that transforms G into the preparatory “dominant” in C minor.
1:17 [m. 56]--The solo instruments, without accompaniment, now play a lengthy series of exchanges involving a quick downward and upward leap to a held double-stop harmony, passing this gesture back and forth.  There is a total of eight such exchanges with the violin leading the cello, with relatively static motion between each exchange.  On the third exchange, the violin plays two of the quick downward and upward leaps in quick succession, and on the eighth one it joins the cello response.  There is then a ninth measure with the two instruments coming together on similar leaping gestures using double stops, moving down.
1:30 [m. 65]--The orchestra enters with strings, bassoons, and horns, taking over for the solo instruments and continuing the downward motion with wide leaps.  They play over harmony on G, serving as the “dominant,” but now in C major instead of minor, in preparation for the grand arrival of the first contrasting theme (B).  The orchestra quickly settles down to slower syncopated notes, with the violins dropping out.
1:36 [m. 70]--The solo cello presents the stately, noble contrasting theme, played entirely in double stops.  It begins on the upbeat, then rises grandly, initially underpinned only by a low C in the orchestral cellos., which begin to move after four measures.  The solo cello has a descending line, still in double stops, to conclude its initial phrase.
1:49 [m. 78]--The solo violin enters to lead the second phrase of the theme.  It largely follows the pattern of the first phrase, with some minor melodic alterations.  Like the cello, the violin plays the theme in double stops, but the solo cello continues with an accompanying counterpoint.  Bassoons and horns also enter to provide support, and the orchestral cellos begin to play plucked rising arpeggios in triplet rhythm.  These are passed to the violas in the sixth and seventh measures.
1:59 [m. 85]--The eighth measure of the violin statement is transformed into an extension.  The meter changes to 3/4 for the first two measures of this extension, with the violin passing a turning figure to the cello, with the continuing triplet arpeggios in the violas.  These 3/4 measures broaden the scope of the theme considerably, and this is continued with the next two measures, which are notated in 4/4, double the length of the prevailing meter.  In these 4/4 measures, the turning figure itself is expanded and played by the two solo instruments together, which then pass it to the orchestra.  The remaining wind instruments enter here.  There is a sense of epic serenity at this point, which will now be rudely interrupted.
2:09 [m. 89]--Re-transition.  The 2/4 meter abruptly returns, and the solo instruments cut off the “noble” contrasting theme with a return to their leaping transitional gestures over four measures.  They play them in quicker succession than before, again with the violin leading the cello.  The orchestra plays short interjecting chords at the beginning of each measure before the violin/cello exchanges.
2:14 [m. 93]--The solo violin breaks into decorative triplets that steadily move down, clearly hinting at the main rondo theme.  The clarinets, in harmony, support the violin motion while the cello plays a rising line against it.  The bassoons enter as a closing and a transition, clearly outlining the theme.  The cello and violin then immediately play the line again with their parts reversed, the cello now having the decorative triplets and the violin the rising line.  The flutes now support the cello descent, with both clarinets and bassoons entering to close it off.
2:19 [m. 97]--As the violin reaches the top C of its rising line, the orchestral strings enter with a steady descent in long-short rhythm.  The cello responds with a rising octave on C, which the violin echoes two octaves higher.  Another cello/violin octave exchange, now a third higher on E, has the violin playing into the stratosphere using the technique of “harmonics.”  Meanwhile, the orchestral strings have moved back to A minor for the return of the rondo theme.
2:26 [m. 101]--The solo cello, as expected, plays the opening of the rondo theme, initially only accompanied by plucked violins and violas, but then the solo violin enters against it, playing light decorations in triplet rhythm as the orchestral strings drop out.  The cello manages to intersperse four interjections of its lowest C as it presents the melody.  The solo instruments unexpectedly drop out entirely after stating the first four measures of the theme.
2:32 [m. 105]--The next two measures of the theme are played by a solo bassoon, lightly accompanied by bowed orchestral strings.  Then two measures are given to solo oboe and finally the last two to solo flute, with the solo violin and cello joining in the accompaniment.
2:40 [m. 111]--Transition.  The solo instruments seem to begin the theme again, with the cello accompanying the violin, but they quickly move instead to rapidly descending chromatic chords, with the violin using double stops.  Horns, trumpets, and timpani enter, providing austere punctuations against the chromatic descent, and the woodwinds also have short interjections.  The solo instruments slow down, then exchange quiet, fanfare-like punctuations with the brass and timpani.  Horns and timpani are left alone for the last hushed “fanfare” on A.
2:50 [m. 119]--The shift to D minor is abrupt and powerful after the quiet “fanfare.”  At the key signature change, the solo instruments enter, both playing fortissimo double-stop thirds with the cello an octave below the violin.  The theme they play is fanfare-like, using detached long-short rhythms and smoother triplets.  The orchestral strings accompany with descending lines and sustained notes, also using the detached long-short rhythm.  The harmony is very colorful, with modal inflections.  The phrase has two halves, with the second one moving toward the area of C major or A minor.  The solo instruments only depart from their doubled thirds at the close of each half.
3:02 [m. 127]--The solo violin begins to tumble down in rapidly zigzagging triplets, with the cello joining in harmony a measure later, moving from an implied C minor back to D minor.  The solo instruments are cut off by the orchestral strings, which play a forceful cadence gesture.  The pattern is then repeated with the violin a fifth higher but the cello at the same level.  This time the goal is A, confirmed by the return of the forceful cadence in the orchestral strings, but it functions as a “dominant” in D minor.
3:13 [m. 135]--In an ingenious connection, the orchestral strings begin an expanded presentation of the fanfare-like C section theme while the solo instruments, now playing in octaves, trail off with their rapid triplets.  These are cut off when the theme reaches its slower, smoother triplets, the winds and brass joining in support.  The orchestra completes the first half of the thematic phrase, interrupted by the re-entry of the solo instruments, who play a brief “interlude” in those slow, smooth triplets, the cello following the violin.
3:23 [m. 142]--The second half of the theme is played by the orchestra, now without the one-measure expansion or the triplet decorations in the solo instruments.  It now arrives firmly on A (again as the “dominant” harmony).  As with the first half, the solo instruments interrupt with their “interlude” in slower triplets, now with the cello leading the violin.  There is then a pause of almost a full measure.
3:33 [m. 149]--Unexpectedly, the C section now introduces its own “contrasting” theme, the central portion of the movement’s central section, as it were.  In the “relative” F major, the clarinets and bassoons play a gently syncopated, harmonized melody with repeated notes.  The solo instruments accompany with upward arpeggios in triplets, the violin following the cello.  The melody has some chromatic inflections, but it proceeds for a full eight-measure phrase, largely retaining its serene character.  The low orchestral strings provide a bass foundation.
3:45 [m. 157]--The F-major melody is given a second phrase from the clarinets and bassoons, with some modifications.  The cello and violin arpeggios are sped up from triplets to straight sixteenth notes.  The phrase is closed off completely, although the solo instruments immediately enter with their next phrase.
3:57 [m. 165]--The orchestra drops out, and the solo instruments now play a more forceful version of the phrase.  The cello begins, joined after two measures by the violin in double stops.  The syncopated melody resembles the clarinet/bassoon version, but it veers back toward D minor and adds a small turning decoration at the end, first in the violin, then the cello.
4:09 [m. 173]--This D-minor version of the phrase is played again, now with the flutes and oboes joining the solo instruments.  The wind instruments play the first two measures against arching figuration from the solo violin, and then the violin itself takes the next two measures with the cello taking over the figuration.  This pattern of exchanges follows again, but both solo instruments play the figuration in contrary motion under the flutes and oboes (now joined by bassoons).  The solo violin and cello close off the phrase by themselves, the violin taking the lead and erupting into an upward-shooting arpeggio in fast triplet rhythm at the end as the orchestral strings make an unobtrusive entry on the last upbeat.
4:19 [m. 181]--The orchestral strings now strip the new theme down to its bare essentials, playing it quietly on single beats and moving back to major (D major instead of F major).  Meanwhile, the solo instruments draw attention from this skeletal statement by playing light and rapid arpeggios in the fast triplet rhythm in groups of six notes.  These arpeggios vary in direction, from downward-arching to descending to upward-arching to ascending.  Generally, the cello follows the violin in each measure, but they play together twice, in different directions, in the second and eighth measures (the cello straightened to a four-note descent in the latter).  Horns and trumpets hold long notes.
4:30 [m. 189]--The pattern with the “skeletal” version in the orchestral strings against the rapid six-note arpeggios in the solo instruments continues with its second phrase, corresponding to 3:45 [m. 157] in the F-major version and 4:09 [m. 173] in the D-minor version.  Again, the solo instruments play together in the second measure, with the cello playing another four-note descent, but they come to a full close with the orchestral strings in the eighth measure.
4:42 [m. 197]--The central episode is now concluded, and the full orchestra suddenly interrupts the reverie with a return to the main C section fanfare theme in D minor.  The solo instruments drop out.  The first measure is stretched out to two by lengthening the long-short rhythm.  The woodwinds play the “fanfare” theme.  Under this “expansion,” the strings play a strong descent with repeated notes.  The strings join the thematic presentation in the second half of the phrase.  Unlike previous presentations, it comes to a full and complete cadence in D minor.
4:54 [m. 206]--Re-transition.  The full orchestra now presents the “strong descent with repeated notes” just hinted at by the strings.  Horns and trumpets retain a hint of the fanfare.  After three measures, the solo instruments re-enter with a one measure response, using the fast triplets in turning motion, moving contrary to each other.  The pattern is given a second time, now beginning a motion from D minor to A minor in preparation for the return of the rondo theme.
5:05 [m. 214]--All strings drop out, including the solo instruments, and the woodwinds play a suddenly quiet harmonized descent to lead back to the main rondo theme.  They do so over a held note from the horns and a sustained timpani roll.  With the descent, A minor is firmly established.
5:11 [m. 218]--The solo cello presents the theme as it had at the beginning, with a few subtle but interesting additions.  The entire string section accompanies, and after the first four measures, the flute and clarinet in alternation add short arching interjections (derived from the theme) over the next four.  The solo cello unexpectedly passes the last two measures of the theme (the ninth and tenth) to a solo bassoon.
5:25 [m. 228]--The solo violin now has its expected statement, analogous to 0:14 [m. 11].  It begins as the bassoon closes off the previous phrase.  Already in the third and fourth measures, the horns and timpani make a new intrusion, and from the fifth measure, the short arching interjections are heard as they were against the cello, now from bassoon and clarinet.  The solo violin passes the last two measures to the flute and oboe in octaves.  Before they finish, the solo violin re-enters with a sweeping six-note arpeggio in triplet rhythm to lead into the next phrase.
5:39 [m. 238]--The yearning continuation follows as at 0:28 [m. 21], but it is completely rescored.  The melodic lines are played by woodwind instruments, first clarinets and bassoons, with clarinets replaced by oboes and horn after two measures.  The solo string instruments play the sweeping six-note arpeggios just introduced by the violin, playing in alternation and in opposite directions, adding turn figures at the end.  The violin plays its own jagged line in the fourth measure.
5:45 [m. 242]--The flutes take the next two measures without changing the substance, with the solo instruments coming together on an arching scale/arpeggio pattern.  Finally, the clarinets take the last two measures, and they unexpectedly divert to the distant key of D-flat major.  The solo instruments play the arching pattern again, also moving in the new harmonic direction.  A bassoon enters at the end to preview the next patterns.
5:50 [m. 246]--The next passage basically corresponds to 0:40 [m. 29], but it is greatly altered and reduced to four measures.  The oboe and clarinet each play in alternation with the bassoon on the long-short-short rhythm.  Meanwhile, the solo instruments play more sweeping lines in the six-note triplet rhythm, with the violin leading the later-joining cello.  In the last measure, they come together in contrary motion.  The entire four-measure passage moves the key from D-flat toward A-flat minor, quite removed from home.
5:57 [m. 250]--This excited transition corresponds to 0:49 [m. 35], but it is expanded to eight measures.  The solo instruments pass the turning figures in triplet rhythm back and forth, as they did there, but this time they are unaccompanied.  They remain in the newly established key, but A-flat minor is reinterpreted as G-sharp minor to help facilitate a motion back home.  In the third and fourth measures, the turning figures are converted to broken octaves.  Finally, the solo instruments emerge into sweeping arpeggios, still in the triplet rhythm, building strongly.  Woodwinds enter, and then the solo instruments break into a trill as the orchestral strings take up the sweeping arpeggios in anticipation of the grand orchestral thematic entry.
6:08 [m. 258]--The sweeping arpeggios and the trill have moved the key back to A minor, and the grand orchestral statement of the theme arrives as at 0:56 [m. 40].  This proceeds as expected until the ninth measure, where the cadence is lengthened and averted by an added measure of continuing downward motion.  The solo instruments echo these last two measures, with the violin playing double stops and downward leaps while the cello plays wide arching arpeggios in triplets.
6:25 [m. 270]--Transition.  The solo strings arrive on the “dominant” harmony, at which point the orchestral strings take over, quieting quickly and moving downward, with pulsing horns as the only wind instruments.  This greatly abbreviated transition leads directly into the statement of the noble first contrasting theme in the home major key, which functions in a similar way to a secondary theme in a sonata-form recapitulation.
6:31 [m. 274]--The key signature changes to the three sharps of A major, which will remain in force through the end.  The arrival of this theme is an extremely satisfying moment.  It closely corresponds to the C-major presentation at 1:36 [m. 70], with the important distinction that instead of the cello in double stops, both solo instruments play the first phrase, but with the cello singing in its high register above the violin.  The cello moves to double stops for the last descent so that the violin can prepare for the next phrase.
6:43 [m. 282]--The second phrase is presented in a manner closely corresponding to 1:49 [m. 78], with the violin leading in double stops, the cello providing counterpoint, bassoons and horn entering for support, and orchestral cellos playing plucked triplet arpeggios, passing them to violas at the end.
6:53 [m. 289]--Extension of the theme with pairs of 3/4 and 4/4 measures, corresponding to 1:59 [m. 85].
7:04 [m. 293]--Return of 2/4 meter with leaping transitional gestures, as at 2:09 [m. 89].  The re-transition function is abbreviated, and these four measures lead directly into the reverie that begins the coda, which is based on the rondo theme
CODA--Poco meno Allegro
7:09 [m. 297]--The woodwind instruments lead an extended “dream sequence” based on the main rondo theme transformed to major.  Flutes, clarinets, and bassoons enter dolce, and initially it resembles 2:14 [m. 93] without the decorative triplets in the solo instruments.  But unlike that passage, the theme continues here, with the clarinets leading that continuation.  At this point, the solo instruments begin to play new decorative figuration, the slower tempo allowing for 32nd notes.  The cello leads the violin in a rising arpeggio, with the violin then falling, arching, and falling again.  Meanwhile, a solo flute, then a solo oboe, play the arching figure from the theme, the oboe effectively extending the theme with its entry.
7:20 [m. 302]--The flutes take over the lead on the thematic continuation, with the solo cello and violin repeating their figuration in 32nd notes.  The horns and low strings, who had been holding a low A to underpin the beginning of the coda, now move to a low D.  The arching figure is now passed from solo oboe to solo horn, an instrument whose thematic participation has an especially atmospheric effect.
7:25 [m. 305]--The flutes drop out here, and there begins a series of five exchanges, with oboes and clarinets leading bassoons and horns in harmonized statements of three-note figures clearly derived from the continuation of the rondo theme.  The solo instruments, meanwhile, continue their 32nd-note decorations, which now consist entirely of downward-arching arpeggios.  These are passed from the cello to the violin in five exchanges corresponding to those of the winds.
7:35 [m. 310]--The solo violin’s arpeggios have become very wide.  These wide arpeggios continue, with the cello dropping out and briefly joining again.  At this point, the flutes enter and lead two descending lines, steadily building against the solo violin’s leaping figures.  The cello’s brief entry comes between the two descents.
7:41 [m. 313]--The music now gains in excitement as the solo violin leads a rapturous rising line in half-steps, doubled by oboe and horn.  The solo cello takes over the 32nd-note decorations, playing upward-arching figures that move steadily downward.  Meanwhile, the orchestral strings, which have been largely dormant, become active, adding a counterpoint that moves during the main solo line’s longer notes.  After two measures, the solo violin soars high and descends as the other woodwinds (flutes, clarinets, and bassoons) take over from the solo oboe and horn and join the descent, harmonized in thirds.
7:49 [m. 317]--The solo instruments now reverse roles, with the cello taking the rapturous rising line and the violin playing the decorative figures.  The cello is doubled by a solo clarinet.  But its line is cut short as the violin takes over at the point of the high upward reach.  At this point, the orchestral strings briefly play the rapid figuration.  But this too is prematurely aborted as the solo instruments break into a harmonized scale in the rapid 32nd notes, first descending, then ascending, then with a longer broken descent, all under sighing wind chords.  The volume rapidly diminishes again after the rise in excitement.
8:02 [m. 324]--“Tempo primo” suddenly returns, interrupting the reverie for the rushed and concise conclusion.  The orchestral strings abruptly and loudly break into the opening gesture of the main rondo theme, but this is interrupted by a woodwind descent, which the strings then join.  The solo instruments then enter, again with a descending line, but now in octaves and in the six-note triplet-rhythm groups.  As they do, the orchestra plays two punctuating chords except for oboes and horns, who anticipate the triplet rhythm figures that the solo instruments will immediately take over.
8:08 [m. 328]--The solo instruments take charge, transforming the main rondo theme into a stately triplet rhythm.  After two measures, the violin speeds up its triplets to six-note groups with broken octaves, and the two measures are presented again.  In both statements, the orchestral strings play a forceful descent while the high winds repeat the note E in syncopation.  Then the second measure is isolated and repeated twice more by the solo instruments while the orchestral strings begin a powerful syncopated ascent.  Finally, the first half of the second measure is itself isolated for four repetitions as the syncopated ascent continues.  The violin breaks away for a rapid scale as the cello completes the last half-measure repetition.
8:18 [m. 336]--As the instruments reach an extremely satisfying arrival point, the orchestra plays a chord and the timpani begin a roll, holding it for two full measures.  Two more punctuating chords and a final long chord with timpani roll end the movement and the concerto.  The solo instruments are directed to participate in these last chords.
8:33--END OF MOVEMENT [340 mm.]