Recording: Emanuel Ax, piano; Isaac Stern, violin; Jaime Laredo, viola; Yo-Yo Ma, cello [Sony S2K 45846]
Published 1863.  Dedicated to Dr. Elisabeth Rösing.

The G-minor piano quartet, Op. 25, is more extroverted and virtuosic than its A-major companion, but the latter is more expansive.  It is, in fact, not only Brahms’s longest piece of chamber music, but of all instrumental music.  At over fifty minutes, its performance time is longer than any of the symphonies or concertos, although the First Symphony (with its exposition repeat taken) and Second Piano Concerto come close.  Among all the works with opus numbers, only the German Requiem and the  Magelone Romances take longer to perform.  All four movements last over ten minutes, and all are rich in content.  Coupled with tempo markings that are rarely very fast (except for the end of the finale), this results in a work that, more than any other, calls to mind another earlier master, Franz Schubert.  The huge thematic paragraphs and the extended forms are hallmarks of Schubertian “heavenly length,” as are the leisurely melodies themselves.  But Brahms also did not forget the “gypsy” idioms that played such a large role in the G-minor piece, especially in the slow movement and finale.  The first movement slowly grows out of its opening oscillation.  Unlike the corresponding movement of Op. 25, it is a conventional sonata form, and it even includes an exposition repeat.  The slow movement, which uses muted strings and the aforementioned “gypsy” coloration (including distinctive unmeasured piano arpeggios), is beautiful and radiant.  Its expanded ternary form includes a highly unusual return of the middle section in an unrelated key.  The third movement is explicitly called a scherzo, but while it builds to a great climax, it is unhurried, and has the character of a minuet or waltz.  It is by far Brahms’s largest example of a scherzo or scherzo-type movement.  The main scherzo is in a full sonata form that goes beyond the usual “rounded binary” construction.  The more austere central “trio” section uses some elements from the main section, which is then given a full reprise.  The finale has a very predominant and distinctive main theme that is typical of a rondo, but Brahms constructs another full sonata form, albeit one with vestiges of the rondo, primarily a statement of the main theme at the outset of the development (as in the first movement of the G-minor quartet).  This main theme is exuberant, but the subsidiary ideas are again very restrained.  Brahms compensates with a joyous “animato” conclusion.

ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (First Edition from Brahms-Institut Lübeck)--Note that the penultimate page of the finale displays upside down!

ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (First Edition in later printing from Russian State Library--includes string parts in the order viola, violin, cello)
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (From Breitkopf & Härtel Sämtliche Werke)

1st Movement: Allegro non troppo (Sonata-Allegro form). A MAJOR, 3/4 time.
0:00 [m. 1]--Theme 1.  The piano begins with the distinctive opening gesture, a downbeat chord followed by an oscillating, harmonized neighbor-note motion, supported by left hand arpeggios.  The oscillating motion is in triplet rhythm.  The upward pattern that follows in the next measure, also in full chords, is in “straight” non-triplet rhythm.  This two-measure alternation is then restated with new harmonies on the first and last chords of the oscillation.  The response also reaches higher with a brief motion to B minor.
0:13 [m. 5]--The cello joins the piano, playing a leisurely winding, mildly chromatic line against rolled chords.  It also includes a triplet rhythm in the third measure.  In the last measure of this statement, the upper two strings join the cello in a rising approach to their statement of the opening gesture.
0:22 [m. 9]--The strings without piano now present the opening idea, with frequent double and triple stops in all three instruments.  The cello takes the bass arpeggios.  The harmonies are the same except for the last chord of the second upward response to the triplets, which diverts from B minor toward D major.
0:31 [m. 13]--The response previously played by the cello is now taken by the piano in octaves, beginning a fifth higher than the cello did.  The strings accompany with gentle chords on the first and second beats of each measure.  The piano spins the winding, chromatic line further, expanding it and adding more harmonic movement.  After six measures, Brahms disrupts the meter with a hemiola, grouping the descending figures in an implied 2/4 rather than the prevailing 3/4.  The cello plays a low note on the second beats of these implied duple groupings.
0:51 [m. 22]--The 3/4 pulse is restored as the harmony moves to the “relative” minor key, F-sharp.  The piano continues to play in octaves, rising in a chromatic line.  The cello subtly inserts the oscillating triplet rhythm from the opening.  Then all strings play it as the piano rests.  The piano line is repeated an octave higher in both hands.  This time, the viola and cello enter against it on the triplet rhythm, and the response is taken by the piano left hand in octaves.  Suddenly forceful, the three string instruments echo the piano bass, also in octaves, preparing for the powerful restatement of the main theme.
1:01 [m. 27]--Transition.  It begins with a strong statement of theme in the piano.  The strings add support in broken octaves at the second triplet gesture.  At the point where the winding chromatic line would be expected, the triplets are extended.  They become even more agitated.  The strings continue in broken octaves, nearly in unison, before the cello and piano bass move to a “pedal point” fifth that veers the harmony toward D major.  After four more measures of triplets, the piano breaks into an ecstatic sequence of syncopated chords that move down the keyboard, with the strings supporting these and the pedal bass.  The lower piano bass note finally moves down chromatically.
1:18 [m. 37]--The piano breaks off on a chord suggesting a motion to E major, the expected key of the second theme.  The strings play a dissonant two-note unison slurred descent (interval of a “diminished seventh”) in response.  The piano bass moves up, and the strings play another such slur at a lower level.  The piano then begins a chordal descent on a syncopated upbeat.  The strings answer against this, still in unison, with a vigorous figure that begins with two short notes, then ascends.  The piano takes up this vigorous figure in octaves as the strings repeat the dissonant slurs.  The strings take the vigorous unison figure a second time as the piano plays another chordal descent.  All of this continues to suggest E major.
1:32 [m. 45]--The strings, continuing in unison, now play rising chromatic lines followed by the same dissonant slurred descents, the whole texture steadily moving down.  The piano plays chords against this in a broad short-long rhythm with octaves in the bass.  After two bars, the viola drops out and the cello shifts up an octave.  The string lines smooth out after two more measures, becoming quieter.  The violin and cello are now no longer in unison and the piano bass, in octaves, harmonizes with them.  The music diminishes further in volume, the viola re-enters an octave above the cello, and all four instruments use the chromatic lines, now rising and falling, to lead to a long-delayed cadence in E major and the second theme group.
1:48 [m. 53]--Theme 2.  The piano plays halting, expressive rising figures in octaves, decorated by rolled chords and appoggiaturas.  In the cello, under pizzicato chords from the upper strings, is a last vestige of Theme 1.  The piano melody then broadens and the strings begin independent lines, the violin introducing triplets (E major).
1:56 [m. 57]--Suddenly building, the piano unexpectedly breaks into a long-short rhythm in sixths while the triplets are passed down from top to bottom in the strings.  They key makes a diversion to B major, the “dominant” of E major, the principal key of the second theme (and itself the “dominant” of the home key, A major).  As a small climax is reached, the viola continues the triplets while the other instruments join the piano in the main “straight” rhythm.
2:04 [m. 61]--Still in B major, the theme drops again to a quiet volume.  The piano, in octaves and sixths, plays a downward-arching, sweetly winding chromatic melody.  The strings harmonize and decorate this melody, the violin turning again to the bouncing and clashing triplet rhythm.  The melody comes to a pause on an expectant dissonance.  It then slides up into a varied repetition in triplet rhythm, which the piano takes over from the violin.  The viola plays a counterpoint in “straight” rhythm.  The piano bass and cello now provide a more solid foundation.  The same expectant dissonance is reached, leaning into an incomplete cadence in B.  At the same time, in syncopation, the viola and cello echo the rising lines from the theme’s opening, turning abruptly back to E.
2:20 [m. 69]--The rising figures from the opening of the theme are played in a decorated version with triplets in the piano right hand against straight-rhythm harmonies in the left.  The viola and cello add brief descending lines.  The original harmonies are subtly altered so that when the broad melody begins, the key has changed to G major, which is the “relative” key of E minor.  The broad melody is also transferred to the violin as the piano continues its two-against-three patterns.
2:28 [m. 73]--The long-short rhythm from 1:56 [m. 57] is heard in the violin.  The cello accompanies it with longer notes, and the piano moves to a series of smoothly arching triplet arpeggios and occasional rolled chords.  The melody is clearly the same, but it is not harmonized in sixths and it does not build in volume. The contour does not match exactly, and the underlying harmony suggests a continuation of G major.  This is smoothly diverted back to E, but now E minor, as the piano left hand moves back to “straight” octaves.
2:36 [m. 77]--The material from 2:04 [m. 61] begins again, now in E minor.  The violin plays the downward-arching, winding chromatic melody.  After two bars, it is harmonized by the viola.  The piano again plays smooth triplet arpeggios, now against a solid bass line, and the cello is absent.  This time, the pausing dissonances are omitted and the winding lines continue.  They build in volume after four measures.  The cello enters in the fifth measure, doubling the piano bass, and the instruments come to a half-close in E minor.
2:45 [m. 82]--After the half-close, the piano, in octaves, plays a rising figure similar to the opening of the theme.  In a suddenly quiet volume, the strings cut off this figure and repeat the approach to the half-close.  The piano figure follows again, with subtly raised notes that suggest a return to major.  The strings again play the approach to the half-close, now with a clear change to E major harmony.
2:54 [m. 86]--The following passage is an extended transitional series of two-note neighbor-tone slurs.  The piano begins, quietly in octaves, with repeated descending slurs.  The strings follow in harmony, the violin first mirroring the piano’s direction, rising from below to its pitches (C-sharp—B), then echoing the original piano notes while the other two strings harmonize (the cello using leaps of a fifth).  The pattern is then repeated a fourth higher.  The piano attempts another sequence up another fourth, but the strings stall on their previous pitches, alternating with the piano three times in brief three-note groups.
3:12 [m. 95]--Closing section, Part 1.  The piano drops out as the strings begin a new theme.  The violin and viola harmonize on a sweetly expressive (espressivo and dolce) downward chromatic line, while the cello plucks detached broken descending octaves.  The line of the upper strings introduces triplet-rhythm upbeats, first in the viola, then in both instruments.  They reach a cadence (E major).
3:19 [m. 99]--The piano joins the strings on an upbeat, playing a decorative pattern of ascending arpeggios in the right hand and low ascending broken octaves in the left.  The arpeggios shadow the theme.  The violin repeats its descending line with the viola harmony.  The cello, now bowed, has a more static line of octaves, allowing the piano bass to provide the main support, but it later adds syncopated rhythms.  The line is extended with repetition, a shift up an octave, and an expanded cadence.  At this extension, the viola triplets shift from the upbeat to the downbeat, providing a more active counterpoint to the violin line.  The expanded cadence provides great delayed satisfaction as the cello joins the viola triplets in harmony.
3:33 [m. 106]--Closing section, Part 2.  The piano drops out at the cadence.  The strings play a final theme based on the long-short rhythm from Theme 2 as heard at 1:56 [m. 57] and 2:28 [m. 73].  The violin and viola play this gentle, melodious theme in harmony while the cello plays a solid bass in triplet rhythm, beginning each measure with an arpeggio, then settling on a repeated note, either the home “tonic” note E, its “leading tone,” D-sharp, or its preparatory “dominant,” B.  As the cadence is approached, the violin introduces a lower neighbor-note figure in dotted rhythm that will become important in the first part of the development section.  The piano enters to support the cadence in the last two bars.
3:49 [m. 114]--The piano takes the final theme in essentially the same form as the strings played it, but with fuller harmony and without the pulsing triplets from the cello.  The cello itself adds rapid decorative arpeggios while the viola plays isolated plucked chords on the upbeats and downbeats.  The violin drops out for this statement of the final theme.
4:00 [m. 120a]--First ending.  At the point where the violin had introduced the dotted lower-neighbor figure, the piano right hand plays it in octaves.  The left hand plays rapid upward figures with leaping octaves.  Instead of coming to a cadence, the piano expands the neighbor-note figure upward as the strings, including the now-entering violin, add smooth rising chromatic lines.  The volume builds, and the key moves back to A major for the repeat of the long exposition.
4:07 [m. 124a (m. 1)]--Theme 1.  The last measure of the first ending is equivalent to the first measure of the movement.  The first beat is a more powerful, widely spaced chord that includes the full strings.  From the second beat, the material returns to the opening, and the repeat goes back to the second measure.  Piano presentation of the theme with alternating triplet and straight rhythm.
4:17 [m. 5]--Entry of cello on winding line against rolled chords, then other strings, as at 0:13.
4:25 [m. 9]--String presentation of opening idea, as at 0:22.
4:34 [m. 13]--Winding line in piano with extension and hemiola, as at 0:31.
4:53 [m. 22]--Rising chromatic piano lines in F-sharp minor with thematic echoes in unison triplets of the strings, as at 0:51.
5:03 [m. 27]--Transition.  Strong statement of theme and powerful extension in triplets, as at 1:01.
5:20 [m. 37]--Motion to E major under slurred descents and vigorous unison figures, as at 1:18.
5:35 [m. 45]--Rising chromatic lines and slurred descents in unison, followed by instruments becoming independent, getting quieter, and settling to cadence in E major, as at 1:32.
5:51 [m. 53]--Theme 2.  Expressive rising figures with last vestige of Theme 1, as at 1:48.
5:59 [m. 57]--Long-short rhythm and motion to B major, as at 1:56.
6:06 [m. 61]--Downward-arching melody, expectant dissonances, and motion back to E, as at 2:04.
6:23 [m. 69]--Opening of theme with triplet decorations, moving to G major, as at 2:20.
6:30 [m. 73]--Long-short rhythm in violin and motion to E minor, as at 2:28.
6:38 [m. 77]--Downward-arching melody in violin and half-close in E minor, as at 2:36.
6:48 [m. 82]--Rising figures, reiteration of half-close, and change to E major, as at 2:45.
6:57 [m. 86]--Transitional series of neighbor-tone slurs, as at 2:54.
7:15 [m. 95]--Closing section, Part 1.  Descending chromatic line in strings, as at 3:12.
7:22 [m. 99]--Decoration, extension, and cadence of chromatic line, as at 3:19.
7:36 [m. 106]--Closing section, Part 2.  Final theme with long-short rhythms in strings, as at 3:33.
7:52 [m. 114]--Piano statement of final theme with cello arpeggios, as at 3:49.
8:03 [m. 120b]--Second ending.  It begins with the dotted lower-neighbor figure in the piano, as did the first ending.  At the end of the second measure, it deviates, rapidly changing harmony, and building in all instruments to an emphatic descending cadence in the new key of C major.
8:10 [m. 124b]--The long-short, or dotted neighbor-note figure dominates the first section of the development.  The cello and violin pass an expanded version of the figure to each other.  The cello begins expressively and quietly, suggesting a motion to A minor (relative key to C major).  When the violin enters, it moves quickly back toward C major, and the cello entries that follow it actually imitate it in the lower octave.  This is unexpected since the cello made the first entry.  The viola rests through this passage.  Under the two string instruments, the piano plays undulating arpeggios and bass notes that confirm the harmonic motion.  In addition to A minor and C major, hints are also made at F major as the volume builds. 
8:23 [m. 132]--After three violin-cello exchanges, the piano takes the lead on the neighbor-note figure, playing it in full harmony and shifting the wide arpeggios to the bass.  The viola joins the violin in unison, with the cello a third below, and they imitate the piano figures.  The volume and intensity steadily build.  The dissonant note D-flat is prominent.  It seems to point to F minor, but this is never confirmed.  The C harmony in the bass arpeggios, seeming to function as a preparatory “dominant” to F minor or major, remains remarkably persistent.  The piano figures tighten, reaching up while the strings begin to march downward.  It is gradually revealed that the goal is not F minor, but C minor, which is forcefully confirmed as the cello leaps down to join the unison upper strings in a lower octave.
8:37 [m. 140]--The piano suddenly erupts into the main triplet element of Theme 1 in a dark C-minor version.  The viola and cello cut this off with a quieter unison statement.  The piano plays it again with new harmony, and the hushed string response, now including violin, is also in harmony, leading to a full C-minor cadence.  This is followed by an extended meditation on the figure in the strings, who “straighten” out its rhythm, eliminating the triplets.  The piano, however, keeps them alive in an active chordal accompaniment.  The key wanders to E-flat, the “relative” major key to C minor, but then back again.
9:00 [m. 152]--The violin and viola play a rising scale figure in triplets on an upbeat, leading to more elaboration of Theme 1.  Expressively, still in C minor, the piano plays thematic figures alternating between triplet and straight rhythm, exploiting this major rhythmic characteristic of the theme.  The left hand plays wide, detached descending arpeggios.  The strings respond after the beat with short triplet rhythms that dovetail with the piano figures.  After four bars, the cello begins a steady, detached triplet rhythm as the piano right hand changes to slurred and off-beat chords.  The steady triplets are passed first to the violin alone, then to the viola and cello , then to violin and viola, then back to viola and cello.  The volume steadily builds over these exchanges.  Finally, all three strings join together as they approach a climax.
9:21 [m. 162]--Still in C minor, the climax is reached with a varied restatement of the preceding material from 9:00 [m. 152].  The piano forcefully plays the thematic figures with thundering octaves.  The strings, also forceful, add brief off-beat responses in triplets.  New chromatic harmonies are introduced, and the intensity builds even more.  Another high point is reached, and the piano begins to play sweeping triplet arpeggios in contrary motion.  The string responses are now in unison.  They play a measure of steady triplets as another huge C-minor cadence is approached.  After this cadence, the piano continues the triplet arpeggios in contrary motion, the unison strings continue to build, and a series of chromatic chords leads to another arrival, this time on C major, the change made explicit by a new key signature.
9:46 [m. 176]--Brahms continues to ratchet up the dynamic and tonal intensity in this transitional, unstable passage.  Chromatic lines in the prevailing triplet rhythm are passed between the strings in unison and the piano bass in octaves.  Against the low octaves, the strings break from their unison and play sighing, slurred chords that fail to establish a central harmony.  Finally, the piano plays these chords, which are syncopated in the right hand and slurred to resolutions in the left.  The strings, who finally abandon their unison playing, then join the chords while the right hand takes over the chromatic triplet lines in octaves.  The key of A minor (relative to C major) is established before the entry of closing theme material.
9:59 [m. 184]--The piano begins to play the descending chromatic theme from the first part of the closing section, now in a passionate and vigorous A-minor version, with triplet arpeggios in the left hand and dissonant “diminished seventh” harmonies.  After two bars, the strings take this over, and the piano moves to the rapid arpeggios and bass octaves from 3:19 and 7:22 [m. 99].  The viola, with the violin, introduces the triplet upbeats familiar from the theme.  The presentation after the strings take over roughly follows the pattern from the exposition at these points, but with far greater intensity.  The  extended, forceful cadence emphatically confirms A minor.
10:16 [m. 193]--At the cadence, the piano begins a presentation of material from the second part of the closing section, the final theme with prominent long-short rhythms.  Brahms marks the passage appassionato.  The right hand plays the short-long rhythms in leaping octaves while the left plays wide arpeggios.  The lower strings, in harmony, echo the piano rhythms.  The violin soon joins them.  The piano rhythms reach high and introduce wailing dissonances.
10:27 [m. 199]--Re-transition.  The piano right hand briefly plays the neighbor-note figure that ended the exposition and provided material for the beginning of the development.  This expands into an arching, cadence-like gesture.  The strings immediately take this up in unison, prominently changing it from A minor to A major, heralding the return of the home key for the recapitulation.  The left hand continues its wide, rolling arpeggios.  The piano takes the arching figure from the strings, immediately changing it back to minor.  The string-piano exchange is repeated, again moving to major and back to minor.  Finally, the violin imitates the piano’s minor key version as the volume rapidly diminishes.  The piano drops out, and the viola, then the cello, imitate the violin in lower octaves.  The strings then melt into the major key for the yearning chords that lead into the recapitulation.
10:48 [m. 209]--Theme 1.  The piano takes over the string cadence and begins the theme, more subdued and an octave lower than at the beginning, with the right hand in the tenor register.  The harmonies and the alternation between triplet and straight rhythm are the same, however.
10:58 [m. 213]--The cello entry is as at 0:13 and 4:17 [m. 5], along with the later entry of the other strings.  The piano harmonies, however, remain in the lower register where the beginning of the theme was just played, and the chords are not rolled.
11:07 [m. 217]--String presentation of the opening idea at the original volume level, as at 0:22 and 4:25 [m. 9].
11:16 [m. 221]--The piano response in octaves begins as at 0:31 and 4:34 [m. 13].  In the fourth measure, a very subtle alteration begins.  The piano reaches up higher and the chords are changed, introducing a minor-key flavor.  These subtle alterations continue for the next two measures.  When the hemiola arrives, it begins a fourth higher and introduces skips at the end of each downward pattern.  The key artfully shifts down to G major.  The viola joins the cello in harmony on the second beats of the implied duple (2/4) groupings.
11:36 [m. 230]--The chromatic lines from 0:51 and 4:53 [m. 22], are also subtly altered and move the key again.  The lines “back up” a step in the middle, allowing a change to C major.  In that key, the cello, then the other strings, quietly state the opening triplet figures, as expected.  The line is then stated an octave higher, also as expected.  Instead of the piano bass, however, the violin and viola play the triplet response in octaves.  Then an entirely new measure is inserted, a higher, harmonized statement of the opening rhythm in the piano.  A measure late, the forceful string statement in octaves, now in C, leads to the transition.
11:48 [m. 236]--Transition.  This passage is similar to, and the same length as the strong statement of the theme and its extension from 1:01 and 5:03 [m. 27], but the harmonies and destination are entirely different.  First of all, the expected arrival on C at the outset is harmonically diverted.  In the fourth bar, the piano right hand changes to strong syncopated chords while the left hand maintains the triplet rhythm.  Most strikingly, the strings cling stubbornly to notes of the unison triplet statement that introduced the transition, maintaining a connection to C while the piano harmonies rove to other keys like D major or E minor.  Finally, approaching the eighth bar, the strings begin to move, as do new off-beat piano chords.  Leaping octaves replace the pedal point and the broken octaves.  The goal of all this is the home key of A.
12:06 [m. 246]--From this point, the recapitulation is a transposition of the exposition, with many subtle changes in instrumentation.  The slurred descents and vigorous unison figures from 1:18 and 5:20 [m. 37] are played with A major as the goal.  Most of the parts are raised up a fifth, but some low piano bass octaves are moved down a fourth.
12:20 [m. 254]--Rising chromatic lines and slurred downward leaps in unison strings, then motion toward a cadence in A major, analogous to 1:32 and 5:35 [m. 45].  The viola does not enter at the end.
12:36 [m. 262]--Theme 2.  The strings and piano reverse their roles from the exposition at 1:48 and 5:51 [m. 53].  The violin and cello play the expressive rising figures in octaves, while the piano takes the chordal harmonies and, in its bass, the vestige of the triplet rhythm from Theme 1.  The viola continues its long absence.  The violin and cello broaden the melody and, in a continuation of the role reversal, the piano introduces the triplet rhythms, doubled in octaves between the hands (A major).
12:44 [m. 266]--The long-short rhythm is introduced, analogous to 1:56 and 5:59 [m. 57].  The piano and strings continue to reverse roles.  The violin and cello play the long-short rhythm while the piano plays the now-harmonized sequence of descending triplets.  The viola finally enters after a 12-bar absence to add harmony to the small climax.  In an almost ironic analogous motion, the key makes a diversion to E major, where the main part of Theme 2 lay in the exposition.  The piano takes most of the material formerly played by the strings, the bass taking the former cello part, but it reverses the direction of the viola’s triplet rhythms from the approach to the climax.
12:51 [m.270]--The violin, harmonized by the other strings, takes the downward-arching melody played by the piano at 2:04 and 6:06 [m. 61].  The piano plays the triplet rhythm, but in constant descents rather than the previous bouncing motion in the violin.  The expectant dissonances are heard as expected.  Perhaps to make up for its twelve-bar rest, the viola is given the decorated repetition of the melody in triplets while the piano takes a variation of the viola’s former line in straight rhythm.  The cello has, at this point, returned to its role as in the exposition.  After the second expectant dissonance, the violin and cello (rather than viola and cello) play the syncopated return of the rising figures from the theme’s opening (the viola being occupied with the dissonances and cadence).  The key turns back home to A.
13:09 [m. 278]--At this point, the instruments return to their exposition roles.  Opening of theme with triplet decorations, analogous to 2:20 and 6:23 [m. 69].  The analogous harmonic motion is to C major.
13:16 [m. 282]--Long-short rhythm in violin with arching triplets in the piano, analogous to 2:28 and 6:30 [m. 73].  The analogous motion is to A minor, the home minor key, again establishing A as the tonal center for the second theme group in the recapitulation.
13:24 [m. 286]--Downward-arching melody in violin, later harmonized by viola, with triplets and bass in the piano, analogous to 2:36 and 6:38 [m. 77].  A half-close in A minor is reached.
13:34 [m. 291]--Rising figures, reiteration of half-close in strings, and change to major (A major), analogous to 2:45 and 6:48 [m. 82].
13:43 [m. 295]--Transitional series of neighbor-tone slurs, analogous to 2:54 and 6:57 [m. 86].  The instrumentation is as in the exposition.
14:01 [m. 304]--Closing section, Part 1.  Expressive descending line in strings with plucked cello, analogous to 3:12 and 7:15 [m. 95].
14:08 [m. 308]--Decoration of descending line with piano arpeggios.  Extension and cadence, but the violin shift up an octave is a couple of notes later than in the exposition.  Analogous to 3:10 and 7:22 [m. 99].
14:22 [m. 315]--Closing section, Part 2.  Final theme with long-short rhythms in the violin and viola over the pulsating cello.  Analogous to 3:33 and 7:36 [m. 106].
14:37 [m. 323]--The piano statement of the final theme from 3:49 and 7:52 [m. 114] is significantly changed and expanded into a transition to the coda.  The rapid arpeggios are in the piano left hand, not the cello.  The right hand plays the long-short rhythm in octaves.  The viola and cello respond in harmony, adding plaintive dissonance.  The passage is spun out significantly, making harmonic detours through C-sharp major and F major, where the violin joins the plaintive responses.  The dotted lower-neighbor figure that played such a large role in the development is gradually introduced as the key slowly makes its way back to A major.  The strings are held over bar lines.  The entire passage builds in intensity and volume.
15:01 [m. 335]--The strings drop out, and the piano alone plays the last part of the transition into the coda.  The rapid arpeggios continue in the left hand while the right hand plays descending chords that settle down and come to a highly anticipatory half-close.
15:12 [m. 340]--The piano gently enters with a sequence of ingratiating triplet fragments from the first theme, harmonized in thirds with octave doubling between the hands.  The strings imitate the piano figures one beat later and a fifth below, the violin and viola an octave apart and the cello a third below the viola.  The figures work down over three measures.  Then the piano harmonies introduce colorful chromatic inflections, still moving downward.  The string figures, now a bit shorter, also continue to move down.  Both piano and strings slow down at the end of the phrase, coming to a very expressive half-close.
15:29 [m. 348]--The preceding passage is varied, with the strings and piano reversing positions.  The two hands of the piano are in octaves, but maintain the harmony in thirds (further separated by an octave) between them.  The first three measures are a direct exchange in roles.  At the point where the chromatic inflections are introduced, there is more variation, especially in the string harmonies.  The piano triplets closely follow where the strings had gone, adding an upward motion on the third beat of the measure.  The harmony adds more “flat” notes, however.  The prior approach to the half-close is expanded by four measures, with the piano octaves meandering further downward and the string harmonies stalling on a half-step sequence.  After the strings and piano escape upward, a rapturous full cadence leads to the next phrase.
15:55 [m. 360]--The triplets are now in the low piano bass.  The strings gently play the “straightened” version of the oscillating motion as heard in the development section around 8:37 [m. 140].  They gradually descend.  The piano right hand, which plays long-short octaves, moves down by octaves over four measures, eventually displacing the low triplets.  Finally, the strings come to a pause on an unusual dissonance.  A colorful “diminished seventh” chord is held over a pedal point A (which is also supported by the piano bass).  The damper pedal sustains this A while both hands in octaves play a mysterious arpeggio in waves over the same “diminished seventh” chord.  The piano octaves emerge into a gentle final descent to A, supported by the A-major chord in the strings.
16:16 [m. 369]--The “straightened” version of the motion from the main theme, beginning on an upbeat, is passed between the piano, harmonized in thirds again, and the strings.  The violin and cello play in harmony, but the viola has an expressive independent line prominently featuring the foreign note F-natural.  The piano comes to a rest on the low bass “dominant” note E.  The violin and cello play chords held over the bar line, creating an implied 3/2 measure over the piano bass.  At the same time, the viola line becomes more active, still using chromatic motion at the end.  It comes to rest with the other instruments.  Then, with a sudden flourish, the movement ends with a cadence featuring loud chords in the piano and a final emphatic statement of the main oscillating triplet motion from Theme 1, harmonized in thirds in the strings.
16:46--END OF MOVEMENT [375 mm.]

2nd Movement:
Poco Adagio (Expanded ternary form--ABA’[B’]A’). E MAJOR, 4/4 time.
A Section
0:00 [m. 1]--Part 1 (a).  The piano presents a melody that arches yearningly upward, then introduces isolated upbeat triplet rhythms on its downward side.  These are played against the regular duple groupings in the left hand, which rocks up and down in broken octaves.  The strings, playing with mutes, “shadow” the piano melody with gently rocking harmonized two-note slurs.  The viola doubles the violin at first, then breaks free as the piano reaches up again.  The piano reaches a high point that is soothingly echoed by the violin at a lower level while the lower strings and piano bass continue their rocking motion.
0:26 [m. 6]--The answering phrase begins similarly to the first phrase, but at a lower level and with lower bass octaves in the piano, suggesting the “relative” key of C-sharp minor.  The second triplet figure in the piano, however, leaps up, breaking into a trill at the high point.  The piano then descends as in the first phrase, this time to a full cadence in E major.  The strings trail behind as the piano bass establishes its rocking motion on an octave E.
0:53 [m. 11]--The expected five-bar phrase to match the first one is extended by an additional four bars.  The piano right hand plays a lower descending line to a cadence, and the rocking bass moves down an octave to the very low register.  The strings trail again, as the piano right hand drops out.  The cello also drops out, having gradually abandoned the rocking motion.  Finally, the piano bass also stops, leaving the strings to play their rocking cadence figures on their own.  The cello, rejoining, plays the octave E’s.  Finally, the violin and viola drop out, and the cello alone plays the rocking figure on the whole step E—F-sharp, fading away to almost nothing.  The exposed whole-step motion of the cello will become prominent.
1:15 [m. 15]--Part 2 (b).  The next section is based on sweeping, nearly unmeasured piano arpeggios.  The first three of these are on the same mysterious “diminished seventh” chord.  The pianist is instructed to play with the una corda, or soft pedal depressed.  The arpeggios take up the first halves of these three measures.  The first one is followed by a repetition of the last rocking whole-step figure in the cello on E—F-sharp.  The second reaches a third higher, but has fewer notes, as it begins with a leaping octave.  This one is followed by the cello, now joined by the viola, on a rocking minor third instead of a whole step, suggesting that the music has changed to E minor.  The third arpeggio is the longest and reaches an octave higher than the first two.  All three strings, in unison, use their upbeats to build in volume and reach upward.
1:29 [m. 18]--The piano enters forcefully, releasing the soft pedal, with a new arpeggio on G minor, where the unison strings, who continue to reach upward, now move.  The arpeggio reaches up to the same high G as the last one, but the harmony below it has obviously changed.  It quiets down as it descends, then it turns back around on the last beat as the strings make an octave descent.  The soft pedal is again depressed.  In the next measure, the cello drops out, the two upper strings come together on the note A, and the piano plays a brief, very quiet rising arpeggio on D major.  The cello re-enters to close off the measure, alone and almost inaudibly, with a new rocking whole-step figure, beginning a step lower than before, on D (D—E).
1:40 [m. 20]--The four previous measures are restated a step lower.  The first measure of b, which was transitional, is omitted.  The D—E whole step figure in the cello at the end of the last measure takes the place of the E—F-sharp figure at the end of the first measure.  The first two arpeggios, matching the second and third above, are on a new “diminished seventh” chord.  The first is followed by a rocking minor third in viola and cello on D—F.  The second is followed again by the unison strings reaching upward and building.  The arpeggio matching the first one at 1:29 [m. 18], is on F minor.  In the last measure, the brief piano arpeggio is on C major, as would be expected, but the cello does not drop out at the beginning, the strings move to G a beat later than they did to A, and the cello does not play its last rocking whole-step figure.
2:01 [m. 24]--Part 3 (a’).  The violin holds the G from the end of the b section.  It slides up to G-sharp, creating an elegant pivot back home to E major   A highly varied form of the opening melody is played.  In this first phrase, the violin takes the previous piano melody for the first two measures.  It decorates it with chromatic passing notes and leaning appoggiaturas, but the distinctive triplet rhythms are maintained.  The piano plays two arpeggios using triplet rhythm in the first measure, then changes to broken octaves with groups of six in the right hand against groups of four in the left.  The viola maintains a vestige of the “shadowing” two-note slurs.  The cello adds off-beat plucked chords
2:11 [m. 26]--The cello takes over the melody while the violin joins the viola on the two-note slurs.  The piano maintains its rhythmic mixture, and the left hand continues to play broken octaves, but the six-note groups in the right hand become narrower, working down from broken sevenths to broken thirds.  The violin “echo” at the end of the five-bar phrase is maintained, even though the cello, rather than the piano, leads into it.
2:26 [m. 29]--Answering phrase, analogous to 0:26 [m. 6].  The viola plays an arpeggio to begin an ornamented version of the melody.  The cello and the violin follow in quasi-imitation.  The violin takes over the triplet rhythm from the viola.  The piano right hand, still in groups of six, winds up to another measure of broken octaves.  In the second measure, the melody passes to the violin, which plays the trill.  The cello follows it.  The six-note piano groups become wave-like arpeggios.  The violin leads down from the trill, while the viola plays an arpeggio in triplets.  The trailing lines are played by viola and cello.  The piano continues to play its six-against-four rhythm.
2:52 [m. 34]--Extension, analogous to 0:53 [m. 11].  The violin leads the other strings in the extension, and the lower strings follow with the trailing lines.  The piano moves to broken octaves on E in both hands, still maintaining its clashing motion.  The left hand drops out as the violin and viola play the rocking motion.  The right hand again decorates its octaves before dropping out.  Finally matching the previous statement in instrumentation, the cello alone plays the rocking E—F-sharp whole step. 
3:11 [m. 38]--Transition to B section.  The piano enters against the cello on the last beat, in the middle range, with the same decorated broken octaves.  The violin and viola play their rocking figures again, inflecting them to minor.  The cello is again left alone, this time for a full measure, on the rocking E—F-sharp.  In the third measure, the violin and viola, becoming even quieter, move the minor-inflected rocking figures to B.  The piano plays fragments of its broken octave figures.  The cello plays two beats of the E—F-sharp motion alone before the last measure.  This is essentially a repetition of the previous one, with rocking figures on B and a piano entry, but the cello now leads its slurred groups downward, anticipating an arrival on the new key of B minor for the middle section.
B Section--B minor/major
3:35 [m. 42]--The piano, suddenly forte, abruptly cuts off the cello with a passionate, richly harmonized descending melody.  The left hand plays widely arching harmonized figures in groups of six (triplet rhythm), clashing with the “straight” rhythm of the passionate descending melody.  The melody itself adapts to the triplet rhythm with longer notes after two bars, but at that point, the strings enter in unison, playing the familiar rocking figures from the main section, then reaching upward.  They are also marked forte, although they still play with mutes.  They help round off the first phrase of the melody.
3:52 [m. 46]--The piano begins the next phrase under the strings.  It is a restatement of the previous phrase a fourth higher, still beginning in B minor.  Halfway through, a subtle alteration helps to shift the key toward D minor, a third higher, which is supported by the harmony and by the unison strings when they enter with the rocking figures and their upward rise.
4:08 [m. 50]--The melody is now intensified in a series of three climactic waves.  They begin like the previous phrases of the theme, but are half as long, and the unison strings enter with the rising lines, not the rocking figures.  The piano left hand continues its six-note arching harmonized arpeggios.  The first two phrases shift the harmony up from D minor to E minor. 
4:25 [m. 54]--The third “wave” follows suit, moving to F-sharp minor (indicating a pull back to B minor), but it is spun out further to a four-bar phrase, continuing the descent, and rapidly diminishing in volume.  Brahms even marks the last two bars dolce.  In this third “wave,” the cello abandons the other two strings, who still play in unison, to add a new bass line.  At the end of the phrase, the viola also becomes independent and the piano left hand loses its harmony.  All instruments settle down to a subdued half-close in B minor.
4:44 [m. 58]--The piano drops out, and the strings, changing to B major, play a trio passage.  The violin leads with a poignantly beautiful upward leap.  The instruments all have independent lines.  Two more leaping gestures from the violin increase in intensity.  Then, with descending syncopated leaps, the volume recedes again.  Finally, another swell, with the lower two instruments moving to a brief pulsation, leads to a cadence gesture with a satisfying “turn” ornament in the violin.
5:22 [m. 66]--The cello cuts off the cadence with a new triplet rhythm, which it passes to the violin on the weak beats.  The piano enters at this point with a highly chromatic melody, in treble octaves, derived from the previous string trio passage and played in “straight” rhythm against the string triplets.  After two bars, the viola joins the violin in the triplet rhythm, the cello still playing on the strong beats.  The music gradually builds in excitement.  After four bars, the piano, still in octaves, also joins in the triplet rhythm, playing continuously flowing lines with many chromatic notes and reaching to the upper register.  The volume is suddenly hushed again.
5:50 [m. 73]--The high piano triplets gradually become excited and almost joyous.  The string texture changes, with the cello now playing on all the beats while the violin and viola answer with two offbeat notes, the viola always in double stops.  The string rhythm is still in triplets between the cello and the violin/viola answers.  The first measure of this pattern is repeated.  Then there are two more bars of breathless anticipation.  A small climax is reached, in which the piano, still in treble octaves between the hands but now harmonized in sixths in both hands, changes to “straight rhythm” in a descent.
6:08 [m. 78]--Re-transition.  A cadence in B major is greatly anticipated, but cruelly avoided.  The piano changes to full chords, still with octave doubling between the hands.  The chromatic chords slow to longer rhythms, including chords held across bar lines, creating three bars of syncopation.  The strings  keep the basic meter intact by continuing their patterns with the cello on the beats and the other two off of them, still in triplet rhythm.  The excitement quickly abates, and the key gradually moves back toward E major.
6:20 [m. 81]--The string texture changes once again, with the upper two answering the cello in an arching pattern on the first two beats, then returning to the previous pattern in the second half of the measure.  The piano, meanwhile, changes to its own arching figure after the the beat.  The key has moved back to E, but minor-key inflections appear with the note C-natural in the cello.  This measure is repeated.  Then the piano’s arching figure is slightly altered, and the strings drop out.  Throughout the re-transition, the piano has remained in octave doubling, in force since the entry at 5:22 [m. 66].  This continues in a slow descent.  It is quite chromatic, and avoids a complete confirmation of E major, saving this for the moment of reprise.
A’ Section
6:45 [m. 86]--Part 1 (a).  The texture from the opening is reversed, and the strings mark the return of the main material by removing their mutes.  The violin and cello play the original melody together, two octaves apart, while the piano, in both hands, takes the “shadowing” two-note slurs, playing in full harmony and incorporating the rocking motion.  The viola enters in the fifth measure to take the echoing line previously played by the violin.
7:10 [m. 91]--Analogous to 0:26 [m. 6].  The viola drops out again after playing its echoing line.  The violin and cello continue the melody two octaves apart.  Both play the trill at the high point.  In the closing descent after the trill, the cello moves into a new harmony in sixths (plus an octave) with the violin, which continues the melody.  The piano bass begins to establish the original rocking motion.  The violin completes the melody, and the trailing motion in harmony is taken by the two lower strings (the viola entering again) and the piano right hand.
7:35 [m. 96]--Analogous to 0:53 [m. 11].  The cello drops out at the extension.  The first descending line is played by the violin, now joined in unison by the viola.  The piano right hand, now in the tenor range, continues its harmonies, slurred in two-note groups.  The left hand has established the rocking motion.  It moves to the very low octave, as expected, after the melodic descent.  The right hand then takes the following trailing figure previously played by violin and viola.  These instruments take over in the next bar, finally finding their original lines and notes.  The rocking piano bass replaces the cello, which had entered here.  The cello makes a “cold” entry on its exposed solo rocking figure on E—F-sharp.
7:56 [m. 100]--Part 2 (b).  Analogous to 1:15 [m. 15].  Here, the music is virtually identical to its original presentation.  The only difference is in the first arpeggio, which has fewer notes and is similar to the second one, as it begins with the leaping octave.  It differs from this second arpeggio only in the lower top note as heard in the original.  Also, the strings remain without mutes.
8:11 [m. 103]--Analogous and virtually identical to 1:29 [m. 18].
8:22 [m. 105]--Analogous and virtually identical to 1:40 [m. 20].  At the very end, the viola and cello hold their low C rather than moving to G with the violin.  The violin cuts off its note a bit earlier than before, anticipating the B’ section, which is about to intrude into the middle of the A’ section.  The key of F minor, strongly suggested before at this point, is now firmly established, a much easier move than the sliding motion back to E major.
B’ Section (inserted into A’ section)--F minor
8:45 [m. 109]--The return of this music from the middle section in a distant key, interrupting the reprise of a ternary form, is highly unusual, but only the first half of the B section, before the major-key portion, is heard.  The first phrase is analogous to 3:35 [m. 42].  The passionate melody is played by the strings instead of the piano right hand.  The violin and viola are in octaves, and the cello harmonizes.  The figures in groups of six are replaced by rapid upward arpeggios in 32nd notes, continuing the texture from the b portion of the A’ section.  The strings continue with the melody on the long notes, and the rocking figures formerly played by the strings are taken by the piano bass, the rapid arpeggios continuing in the right hand.
9:03 [m. 113]--Analogous to 3:52 [m. 46].  The instrumentation from the preceding phrase is maintained, and that phrase is stated a fourth higher, as expected.  The harmonic shift in the middle is to A-flat minor, confirmed by the piano bass octaves on the rocking figures and upward rise.
9:20 [m. 117]--Analogous to 4:08 [m. 50].  The strings maintain the melodic lead in the first two “waves” of intensification.  The piano continues its rapid arpeggios.  The rising lines at the end of each wave are still transferred from the strings to the piano, but now it is the right hand, in high octaves, rather than the left hand in the bass, that plays them.  The cello counters with a new descending line that mirrors this motion at the same time.  The first wave makes an expected harmonic motion to B-flat minor.
9:38 [m. 121]--Analogous to 4:25 [m. 54].  In the third wave, the same texture remains in force, violin and viola in unison, with the cello harmonizing them and the piano playing rapid upward arpeggios.  It turns to C minor, indicating the pull back toward F minor.  As before, the wave is extended, spun out to a four-bar phrase, continuing to descend and diminishing in volume.  The violin and viola remain in octaves until the half-close in F minor, the cello continuing to harmonize with them.  The piano arpeggios slow down to six-note groups as this half-close is approached.
9:57 [m. 125]--Re-transition.  The violin repeats and stretches out its notes for the half-close, but the viola, finally dropping its octaves with the violin, adds new harmonies along with the cello.  The piano also finally abandons its arpeggios and moves to the familiar two-note rocking figures, played in low bass octaves and moving by half-step.  These are used to slowly wind the music downward and to move it back home to E major via E minor.  The viola and cello play one more descent that also helps with that motion.  The low piano bass octaves on the rocking figures reach the note B, which serves as a preparatory “dominant” to pivot back to E
A’ Section (resumed)
10:08 [m. 127]--Part 3 (a’).  Analogous to 2:01 [m. 24].  The version of the melody played here is very similar to that of the previous a’ version, but it is even more decorated.  The “sliding” motion in the violin is replaced by a straight entry, since E major was reached in the previous transition.  The violin and viola use new triplet rhythms to shoot up an octave higher for the second measure of the melody.  The piano is more active.  A faster arpeggio also places its right-hand broken octaves in the higher register.  These are now in sixteenth notes, replacing groups of six with groups of eight and removing the clashing rhythms.  Only the left hand broken octaves and the plucked cello chords and notes are unchanged.
10:18 [m. 129]--Analogous to 2:11 [m. 26].  As before, the cello takes the melody at this point.  The broken octaves in the piano bass also remain unchanged.  But the upper strings and the piano right hand are highly varied.  The piano right hand plays descending arpeggios in the sixteenth-note rhythm already established.  In the last measure of the phrase, these include a wide leap down and back up.  The violin plays undulating six-note groups in the first two measures, taking that rhythm from the earlier piano part.  The viola plays wide straight rhythms against this.  The violin again takes the “echo” in the last measure, but it is an octave higher with an added note leaning down into it.  The six-note groups pass to the viola at that point.  The cello adds two new plucked chords.
10:32 [m. 132]--Answering phrase, analogous to 2:26 [m. 29].  The passage again closely follows its model with more embellishment.  For one measure, the piano left hand briefly breaks from its original broken octaves to join the faster sixteenth-note arpeggios, now rising, with the right hand.  It then returns to the broken octaves.  The violin now has the melody from the outset and retains it up to the trill and beyond.  The viola and cello add more decorative lines, including plucked cello chords and triplet arpeggios.  The piano right hand continues in sixteenth-note motion with broken octaves and arpeggios.  The viola and cello gradually return to their original patterns, finally reaching them on the trailing lines.
10:57 [m. 137]--Extension, analogous to 2:52 [m. 34].  The embellished version continues.  The violin has its original line throughout.  The viola and cello reach a bit higher.  The piano bass is as before.  The right hand of the piano is most altered, as it maintains its arpeggios and descending broken lines in sixteenth notes where it previously moved to octave E’s.  It finally does reach those, still in sixteenth notes, against the trailing viola and cello, which return to their original pitches.  The violin and viola play the rocking motion where expected.  The right hand unexpectedly drops out immediately at that point, and the left hand octaves are extended halfway through the bar before that hand also drops out, leaving the upper strings alone.  The cello, with the mute replaced, is totally exposed for the measure of rocking E—F-sharp motion.
11:17 [m. 141]--The violin and viola also replace their mutes.  They begin an epilogue-like meditation, in harmony, on the rocking figures.  The cello adds a line with groups of repeated notes, moving down chromatically, in clashing triplet rhythm.  The piano begins with bare low octaves and broad long-short rhythms on E.  After two measures, it flowers into a fully harmonized rising line, as do the upper strings.  The cello and piano bass plunge down, the former abandoning its triplets.  The upper strings take over in a descending approach to an expected cadence.
11:38 [m. 145]--  The expected cadence is averted.  The same passage is varied, with the piano right hand now taking the lead on the rocking figures, the violin contributing harmony.  The viola and cello both take the repeated notes in triplets, but they remain static.  The descending chromatic motion is played by the piano bass.  The two upper strings join the piano on the rising line, which now reaches higher.  This time, the cello persists with its triplets during the rising line.  The piano and upper strings also take the descent toward the cadence, which is now from a higher level., the cello continuing in triplets.
11:59 [m. 149]--This time, the cadence arrives.  The violin uses it to break into a gentle trill on the keynote E.  Under it, the two lower strings and the piano play an arching line derived from the rocking figures, harmonized in thirds, then descending and expanding.  The piano bass reaches a pedal point on a low octave E.  The violin trill breaks twice to slide up an octave with a quick scale, spreading the trill over three successively higher E’s.  Under the third and highest trill, the viola leaves the rocking figures to the cello and piano.  Then the piano stops and the violin stops its trill, holding the note.  The cello is exposed again on its now familiar solo rocking figures on E—F-sharp, taking up a measure with it, as usual.
12:20 [m. 153]--The movement ends with a reminiscence of the mysterious, nearly unmeasured piano arpeggios from the middle portion of the main section (b).  The violin holds its octave, and the piano plays the familiar version of this arpeggio on the first two beats.  Then its bass, rather than the cello, plays the rocking E—F-sharp.  Against this, the viola and cello enter on the same “diminished seventh” as the arpeggio, played as a held chord.  With a very elegant alteration, the piano changes a second arpeggio from the diminished seventh to the E-major chord.  The viola and cello change their harmony accordingly.  The rocking figure in the piano bass is inverted into a leading tone figure, moving to the last, transfigured chord.
12:51--END OF MOVEMENT [155 mm.]

3rd Movement: Scherzo – Poco Allegro (Sonata-form Scherzo with Trio).  A MAJOR, 3/4 time.
Part 1 (Exposition)
0:00 [m. 1]--Theme 1.  Beginning with an upbeat, the strings, in dolce unison, play the winding, minuet-like theme.  It consists of two four-bar units.  They are nearly identical.  The first, after introducing its only shorter eighth-note rhythm, leads into the second.  The second unit diverges after the shorter notes, continuing downward and suddenly veering to the “subdominant” key of D major.
0:09 [m. 9]--The piano, in octaves between the hands, states the theme.  As it does, the strings extend their downward line to confirm an arrival on D.  But the piano statement immediately moves back home to A.  Against this statement, the strings, in groups of two in all possible pairings, in unison and in harmony, play leaning upbeat figures.  The second four-bar unit diverges earlier, introducing the note D-sharp and veering to the “dominant” key, E major, rather than to D major.  At this point, the volume also begins to build.
0:18 [m. 17]--The piano statement is extended.  It continues to reach further upward, building in intensity and confirming E major.  The “leaning” string figures continue in groups of two instruments.  After three bars, the piano breaks into chords, along with octaves, reaching forte.  The strings come together with these chords.  After emphatically suggesting an arrival on E major, the harmony suddenly seems to move back to A again in figures passed between piano and strings.  But in a powerful cadence gesture with strong low bass octaves, this motion back is rejected, and E is strongly confirmed once again.
0:27 [m. 25]--Transition.  Suddenly hushed, the piano plays a lightly skipping rising figure in sixths and thirds, with the hands again doubled in octaves.  The left hand is in the treble range.  The viola dovetails with its own non-harmonized version.  A second figure, strongly suggesting an E-major cadence, is interrupted by another viola figure.  The cello plays a note on each downbeat.  For the second half of the phrase, the piano moves to block chords on the downbeats, and the lightly skipping rising figures are passed from violin and viola in harmony to the cello.  Against the cello statements, the violin and viola continue with “sighing” gestures.  The second of these finally leads to a firm, unambiguous cadence in E.
0:37 [m. 33]--Theme 2.  The E-major cadence overlaps with the beginning of the theme.  The piano plays the first statement alone.  It is a more active melody with expressive leaps and dotted (long-short) rhythms.  The left hand plays two note harmonies alternating with higher single notes.  These are played with the light, detached touch heard in the transition and move from the tenor to the treble range.  Two two-measure units are followed by two shorter one-bar units.  A final two-bar unit seems to approach a cadence, but a dissonant chord delays the resolution before the string repetition of the melody.
0:45 [m. 41]--The violin and cello now play the theme in octaves.  The viola is absent, but the piano now has a thicker accompaniment.  Bass chords on the beats are followed by right-hand chords after them, in roughly the same pattern as the previous, lighter accompaniment.  The first two two-measure units and the two one-measure units follow the melodic pattern from the piano statement.  But the final phrase is cut off, leading into an extension that shifts the emphasis from the upbeat to the downbeat.  The violin and cello are now in harmony, breaking out of their octaves.  The extension also introduces chromatic notes and half-step motion.  After four bars, a full cadence is reached, but the violin immediately undermines it by leaping downward, suggesting the shape of Theme 1.  The piano, in octaves, echoes the violin.
0:57 [m. 53]--In a very brief transition, the violin and cello, again in octaves, play another gesture suggesting Theme 1.  This time, it is more dissonant, introducing the note F-natural, foreign to both A and E major.  The piano, in octaves, echoes it.  This is the first ending (m. 54a).  The strings, including the long-absent viola, re-interpret F-natural as E-sharp, using it to create a more urgent leaning upbeat into the repetition of Part 1, or the exposition.  After this inflected upbeat, the repeat begins with the first downbeat.
Part 1 (Exposition) Repeated
1:00 [m. 1]--Theme 1.  Initial unison statement in strings following inflected upbeat.
1:09 [m. 9]--Piano statement of Theme 1 moving toward E major, as at 0:09.
1:18 [m. 17]--Extension of piano statement with forte chords and confirmation of E major, as at 0:18.
1:27 [m. 25]--Transition with light, skipping rising figures, as at 0:27.
1:37 [m. 33]--Theme 2.  Piano statement, as at 0:37.
1:45 [m. 41]--Violin and cello statement with extension and cadence, as at 0:45.
1:58 [m. 53]--Transition, as at 0:57.  The upbeat in the second ending is now the original note from the beginning, E-natural, but, in a wonderful twist, it leans into a half-step, just like the first ending.  The note on the following downbeat, which begins the development section at the outset of Part 2, is changed from F-sharp to F-natural.  This results in a simple restatement of the “dissonant” transition figures.
Part 2, First Section (Development)
2:01 [m. 55]--The strings play the first half of the main melody in unison at the same level as the opening, but with the notes specific to A major removed.  What results could be interpreted as A minor, were it not for the piano chords that are now heard underneath.  These place the theme in C major, the “relative” key to A minor.  The piano immediately states the second half of the theme a fourth higher, in right hand octaves with a bass pedal point.  The key of this phrase is F major, supported by the static string harmonies stated against it.  This key will remain in force for much of the following material.
2:09 [m. 63]--The last turn of the theme becomes the basis for a meditation in F major.  The figure is passed from strings to high piano octaves and back, and then fragmented.  The viola roves between unison playing with the violin and harmony with the cello, which plays an independent leaping line.  The piano bass plays long broken octaves.  At the eighth bar, a chromatic line is introduced in the piano bass, as are colorful chromatic notes in the strings and right hand, which moves to chords.  The entire ten-measure phrase swells somewhat in intensity before slightly receding at the end.
2:21 [m. 73]--The piano, in octaves, introduces a rapid descending line with repeated notes, played staccato.  It is based on an inversion of the skipping figures from the transition.  The strings are reduced to two-note upward cadence figures.  The piano line and the string slurs steadily work upward, beginning in F major.  The volume then rapidly builds.  The piano line and the string figures are fragmented and grouped into a cross-meter suggesting a 3/2 measure across two 3/4 bars.  Then the piano adds an upper octave to the right hand, and the strings add a loud upbeat chord.  This produces an emphatic cadence on A minor.
2:29 [m. 80]--At the cadence, the piano transfers the rapid line with repeated notes to loud bass octaves, turning it upside down so that it is now a rising line.  The original descending shape is given to the stings.  The two versions alternate.  Meanwhile the piano right hand plays a transformed version, in octaves, of the opening gesture from the main scherzo theme.  The motion is from A minor to E minor and back.  The parts are then re-arranged.  The piano right hand plays the rapid descending line in harmony, the violin takes the gesture from the scherzo theme, and the two lower strings the ascending repeated-note shape in unison.  The harmonic cycle between A minor and E minor plays out again.
2:38 [m. 88]--The development reaches its climax.  All three strings in unison forcefully play the ascending shape.  The piano right hand continues with the descending shape, alternating with the strings.  In powerful octaves, the piano bass plays the theme fragment.  The harmony begins to move through the circle of fifths in minor keys.  Halfway through the phrase, the piano bass and unison strings reverse material, placing the strings on the thematic figure and the piano bass on the rising line, which it had first presented.
2:46 [m. 96]--The phrase ends on F, bringing the key full circle since the unstable activity began at 2:21 [m. 73].  Now the climax is rounded off with pounding chords in the piano and violin, the left hand playing strong octaves, and the two lower strings continuing with fragments of the rising line with repeated notes.  The harmonies of the leaping chords in violin and piano move directly upward by step, landing on C-sharp in the fifth measure of the phrase.  Then everything is suddenly quiet.  The left hand drops out of the piano, whose right hand begins to meander and circle around the note F-sharp.  The C-sharp chord thus functions as a “dominant” chord leading into F-sharp minor (the “relative” minor key to the home key of A major).  The strings, with the cello following the other two in imitation, also meander in a back-and-forth motion.
2:54 [m. 104]--Re-transition.  The piano bass enters with a long-held pedal C-sharp, and the right hand expands its circling figuration to include broken octaves.  The cello is exposed and completes its imitation, at the same time beginning a variation of the main theme in F-sharp minor.  Its phrase is extended to an irregular five bars through another cross-meter and implied 3/2 measure.
3:00 [m. 109]--The violin and viola enter with the meandering motion in harmony.  The piano bass drops out, and its right hand continues in broken octaves.  The meandering motion gradually shifts up by half-step, the viola once again providing a continuous unison voice while the violin and cello alternate in two-bar units.  The piano, still without bass, moves back to its more narrow circular motion, shifting up with the harmony.  The volume builds slightly, although the passage is mysterious.  At the very end, the piano left hand enters, doubling the cello.  The cello itself reaches the original two pitches of the main theme, and seamlessly leads into the theme itself, paralleling its passage at 2:54 [m. 104], now back home in A major.
Part 2, Second Section (Recapitulation or Rounding)
3:11 [m. 119]--Theme 1.  For the first four bars, the viola joins the cello, maintaining the unison character of the theme.  The piano bass holds a low E.  The piano right hand plays a decorative line with varied leaps and directions.  The violin also plays shorter, non-continuous decorations.  In the second four-bar unit, the cello plays the theme alone.  The viola moves to the shorter figures the violin had played, and the violin joins the continuous piano line, playing an octave below the right hand.
3:20 [m. 127]--Second statement of theme, analogous to 0:09 and 1:09 [m. 9].  It begins with the harmonic arrival on D, as before, but it is now stated by violin and viola in unison instead of the piano.  The cello drops out for the statement.  Against it, the piano introduces new shorter downward-skipping upbeat figures, played in octaves between the hands, with three notes leaning into the downbeat.  The volume builds, and the harmony veers toward E, as it had in the exposition.
3:28 [m. 135]--The extension of the theme as heard at 0:18 and 1:18 [m. 17] is half as long.  The continuing rise of the theme that confirmed E major is cut completely, and the theme instead moves directly to the forte chords and reiterations of the last gestures.  As before, these are passed between piano and strings, but this time, given the reversal in the presentation of the preceding statement of the theme, their positions are reversed.  They do come together, as before, over the low bass octaves.  Because the upward continuation of the theme was eliminated, the cadence gesture now reiterates the home key of A major rather than E major, accomplishing the necessary alteration to allow the reprise to end there.
3:33 [m. 139]--Transition, analogous to 0:27 and 1:27 [m. 25].  Besides being set in A instead of E, the instrumentation is altered from the exposition.  The solo responses are now all played by the viola (instead of just the first two).  The two initial skipping figures in harmony, each followed by a viola response, are played by the violin and cello with the piano providing block chords.  In the second half of the phrase, the piano takes the harmonies (it had previously played them in the first half), and the violin and cello take the block chords.  The viola replaces the cello in the responses.  The A-major cadence overlaps with Theme 2.
3:42 [m. 147]--Theme 2.  First statement, analogous to 0:37 and 1:37 [m. 33].  In a complete reversal, the first phrase is played by strings without piano instead of piano alone.  The viola plays the melody in the richest part of its register, while the violin and cello provide an ingenious re-scoring of the light, detached figures previously played by the left hand, including the lower two-note harmonies alternating with higher single notes.
3:52 [m. 155]--Second statement with extension and cadence, analogous to 0:45 and 1:45 [m. 41].  Continuing the basic reversal, the piano right hand plays the theme in octaves.  The skipping accompaniment alternates between the violin/cello pair and the piano left hand.  The viola plays what appears to be a smooth new legato line, but is really the top line from the skipping accompaniment, spun into its own separate voice.  The strings in unison echo the piano cadence and its undermining downward leap formerly played by the violin.
4:04 [m. 167]--Brief transition, analogous to 0:57 and 1:58 [m. 53].  The piano and strings are reversed, with the piano taking the first dissonant gesture (now introducing B-flat), and the strings the second.  Otherwise, the pattern of notes is the same.  The continuation follows the pattern of the first ending, re-spelling B-flat as A-sharp and leaning into the theme.  The strings continue their own statement rather than taking over for the piano.  The previous motion was from E to A, so the parallel motion here is from A to D.  The coda begins in D major.
Part 2, Third Section (Coda)
4:07 [m. 169]--While the note pattern followed the first ending, the music that follows is taken from what happens after the second ending, and the first passage of the coda resembles the first statement in the development from 2:01 [m. 55].  The two phrases are even a fourth apart, as there.  The difference is in the orientation of the melody in relationship to the bass.  The phrases are in D, then G major, but the last note of each phrase is the more unstable third, rather than the “tonic” keynote.  As in the model passage, the first phrase is played by unison strings (this time without cello) with piano chords.  The second is played by the piano right hand with string chords.  A low bass “dominant” note is held through both phrases.
4:16 [m. 177]--Two more quiet gestures in G major follow.  The violin echoes the last turn of the theme in the first, over static viola and piano harmony.  The other strings actively harmonize with the violin in the second.  Then the piano, in bass octaves between the hands, becomes active, playing three-note descents beginning on upbeats.  The strings add harmonies to these piano bass motions.  The violin plays static chords while the viola and cello move with the piano.  The harmony becomes active, shifting gradually toward another arrival back home on A.  The volume also builds rapidly after four bars.  After four more bars of intensification, the piano descents change from three notes to two for two measures, creating rhythmic instability.  The implied harmony here is an unstable “diminished seventh.”
4:33 [m. 191]--A major arrives via this dissonant harmony.  The half-step approach in the melody mirrors the repeat of the exposition.  Brahms marks the last part of the coda “animato.”  The volume throughout is also forte.  The strings, in harmony, play descending lines derived from the theme.  The piano right hand adds decorative figures, largely arching up and working down.  After two measures, these speed up to a triplet rhythm.  The “straight” rhythm returns for the first two measures of the second descent, but then the triplets return until the end of the scherzo.  The left hand holds a steady “dominant” pedal point in the bass.
4:40 [m. 199]--The speed and volume continue to increase, and more foreign notes borrowed from E minor, D minor, and A minor are used.  After one longer descent, the groups are shortened again to three notes beginning on the upbeat.  The bass pedal moves from the “dominant” note E to the home keynote A.  The triplets now begin to range up and down the keyboard.  The violin adds a series of prominent syncopated interjections on A as the viola and cello play another long descent.
4:48 [m. 207]--The piano bass makes a syncopated descent over a D-minor arpeggio.  The violin imitates this descent in double stops.  The cello reduces its descents to two notes, disrupting the rhythm.  The viola plays double-stop harmonies with the cello rhythms.  At the point of maximum harmonic and rhythmic intensity, the strings land on an A-major chord, and the piano triplets outline the same chord.  The bass, arriving again on A, leaps up to two rolled chords.  The right hand, leading up in its rapid triplets, joins the second of these, closing off this unusually long and developmental scherzo section.
TRIO (D minor/major)
Part 1
4:53 [m. 213]--Theme 1.  The scherzo actually ends with m. 211.  The trio begins on the upbeat of m. 212, the first two beats of which are rests.  The hint of D minor at the end of the scherzo foreshadows it as the main key of the trio section.  The main theme of the trio is a stark unison variation on the skipping figures from the transition passage of the scherzo.  The piano, playing in octaves, is strictly imitated in canon at the distance of one measure by the strings, which also play in unison octaves.  After the first upbeat, the piano emphasizes the downbeat by adding a chord.  This also happens at the halfway point of the phrase.  The theme is played in a strong fortissimo by all instruments.  It begins with a descent.  Each active figure is followed by a long note, sustained while the strings imitate or the piano continues. There are harsh crashing grace notes (appoggiaturas).  The phrase is 12 bars long, turning toward A minor in the middle and ending with a sharp ascent.  The piano pauses for the string completion, so the total number of measures is 13.
5:07 [m. 226]--The imitation continues in a second phrase, this one eight measures long.  The piano begins with another upbeat, this time with two notes.  The first gesture is the same, but the continuation turns to C major, gradually descends, quiets down, and reaches a gentle stopping point with a descending octave leap. 
5:16 [m. 234]--Theme 2.  The imitation ends with the octave leap in the strings.  The piano plays the leap again, changing it to a fifth and thus moving the key to F major, the “relative” key to D minor.  Against this, the strings begin the second theme in a warm harmony.  Tender and smooth, it is clearly related to the main theme of the scherzo section!  The contours and directions have differences, but the rhythm and accentuation leave no doubt.  After the string statement, the piano takes its turn.  But the strings add new harmonies.  While the cello plays its part from the string statement an octave lower, the violin and viola sustain the foreign note E-flat, disrupting the sense of F major as a key center.
5:25 [m. 242]--In an epilogue to the new theme, the strings add an arching variant of the closing gesture passing it immediately to the piano.  The piano, although using a colorful “diminished seventh” chord, reconfirms F major.  The string/piano alternation is repeated.
Part 1 Repeated
5:29 [m. 246a (m. 213)]--Theme 1.  The upbeat is now given to the strings, which use it to forcefully pivot back to D minor with a preparatory “dominant” chord.  All three string instruments use multiple strings to play a strong D-minor chord on the downbeat of m. 246a (which precedes the repeat sign and corresponds to m. 213).  The piano begins the repeat of the imitative canon section on this downbeat, including the chordal emphasis.  The repeat sign then leads back to the second measure (m. 214) and continues as at 4:53.  The string upbeat is not indicated in m. 246a, but it is typically played as in m. 213.
5:43 [m. 226]--Continuation of imitation turning to C major, as at 5:07.
5:52 [m. 234]--Theme 2 in F major, as at 5:16.
6:01 [m. 242]--Epilogue, as at 5:25.
Part 2
6:06 [m. 246b]--A variant of the piano gesture from the epilogue is added, first in strings, then piano.  This variant adds a note in the harmony that belongs to F minor, D-flat.  The piano bass then plays a stark, ominous variant of Theme 2 in octaves.  This confirms the change of mode to F minor.  After two bars, the viola and cello, in octaves, imitate the piano bass a fifth above.  The violin follows with another imitation two octaves above the original piano bass pitches, creating a fugue-like texture.  Finally, the piano right hand enters, also in octaves, playing two octaves above the cello/viola line and completing the brief fugue exposition.  All instruments continue in counterpoint.  The right hand adds a brief harmony at the end.
6:21 [m. 258]--An extended, hushed meditation on Theme 2 follows over very unstable harmony.  Violin and cello first take the lead, with the piano right hand reaching up and the bass playing upward leaps in octaves.  The key moves from F major to D-flat as the piano takes the lead and the viola reaches upward.  D-flat becomes minor, eventually spelling itself as C-sharp, in another alternation of the same character.
6:30 [m. 266]--The harmony becomes more unstable, circling around D, the eventual goal.  The piano right hand now plays together with the violin and viola, and the cello moves to the upward-rising figures, plucking instead of bowing.  The piano bass continues its upward leaps.  D arrives definitively with another metric disruption.  The rising figures are reduced to two beats, placing three implied 2/4 measures within two 3/4 measures.  This so-called hemiola is played three times in a mixture of D major and minor.  First the piano right hand plays it with violin and viola, then the violin and viola play it alone, and finally the piano takes it alone.  On this last piano statement, minor wins out over major and the cello fades away.
6:44 [m. 278]--Re-transition.  The strings, now in unison, appear to begin another statement of the two-beat figure, but they are cut off on the second beat by the piano.  With both hands in octave unison, covering four octaves in all, the piano reaches upward, quickly building over four two-beat gestures and landing confidently upon the return of material from Part 1 (another “reprise” or “rounding”).
6:47 [m. 281]--The 13-bar imitation passage from the beginning of the trio section returns in full.  There are some changes at the beginning.  Because the piano is approaching from below, the strings add the first upbeat (now an octave A) and play a chord against the piano downbeat, as they did with the repetition at 5:29.  The violin and viola also add new chords to their first imitative entry.  From there, the passage proceeds unchanged.
7:00 [m. 294]--D major is now explicitly indicated with a key signature change, but the harmony does not settle there, veering instead to E minor and B minor.  The exuberant phrase is a 14-measure hybrid.  The first six measures resemble the beginning of the main phrase that has just been restated.  The primary difference is that the left hand does not play in octaves with the right and does not participate in the  imitation.  Instead, it plays a solid descending chromatic line in low octaves.  The right hand plays full chords instead of octaves on its full-measure held notes.  The last eight measures are close in character to the phrase heard at 5:07 and 5:43 [m. 226].  They establish D major and remain there, continuing the canon.  The volume diminishes.  The phrase ends with the downward octave leaps as the left hand rejoins.
7:15 [m. 308]--Theme 2 in D major, following the pattern of 5:16 and 5:52 [m. 234].  The epilogue from 5:25 and 6:01 [m. 242] does not follow.  It is replaced by the extended transition back to the scherzo.
7:25 [m. 316]--Transition to scherzo reprise.  The piano right hand introduces gentle triplet rhythms.  The volume is expressive, and the pace restrained.  The top notes of the piano triplets, along with the violin an octave higher, begin another statement of Theme 2, but it quickly melts into a chromatic descent.  The viola and cello add double-stop harmonies.  The piano left hand introduces upward octave leaps and syncopated repetitions of higher notes.  After the descent, the melody is fragmented to just the yearning rise and fall at the end.  More dissonant chromatic notes are introduced in the bass and elsewhere.  The piano right hand and violin separate and begin to play the melodic fragment in imitation.
7:35 [m. 323]--The violin drops out, and the piano reduces the fragment to the two-beat rise, creating another cross-rhythm implying 2/4 measures.  The bass syncopation stretches to the full measure.  The viola and cello harmonies die away.  The bass finally moves down to E, the preparatory “dominant” to the scherzo’s key of A major.  For most of the transition, A has served as a “dominant” for the trio’s home key of D.  The right hand melodic fragment is reduced to two notes.  The last two-note group is at the beginning of a measure (m. 326), the third beat of which will be the original upbeat to the scherzo.
Part 1 (Exposition)
7:40 [m. 1]--Theme 1.  Initial unison statement in strings with original upbeat, as at the beginning (and at 1:00, where the upbeat was inflected up a half-step).
7:50 [m. 9]--Piano statement of Theme 1 moving toward E major, as at 0:09 and 1:09.
7:59 [m. 17]--Extension of piano statement with forte chords and confirmation of E major, as at 0:18 and 1:18.
8:08 [m. 25]--Transition with light, skipping rising figures, as at 0:27 and 1:27.
8:17 [m. 33]--Theme 2.  Piano statement, as at 0:37 and 1:37.
8:26 [m. 41]--Violin and cello statement with extension and cadence, as at 0:45 and 1:45.
8:39 [m. 53]--Transition, as at 0:57, and as at 1:58, leading into the second ending.  Part 1 is not repeated in the reprise.
Part 2, First Section (Development)
8:41 [m. 55]--Main theme in C major, then F major, as at 2:01.
8:50 [m. 63]--Meditation in F major over last turn of theme, as at 2:09.
9:02 [m. 73]--Descending lines with repeated notes in piano, and two-note slurs in strings, building to cadence in A minor, as at 2:21.
9:10 [m. 80]--Loud rising bass octaves with skipping descending line and opening gesture from Theme 1 in octaves, all three elements passed among the instruments, as at 2:29.  Cycle between A minor and E minor.
9:18 [m. 88]--Climax of development using these same elements, moving through circle of fifths, as at 2:38.
9:27 [m. 96]--Pounding chords and fragments of rising line arriving on “dominant” of F-sharp minor, then quieter circling around F-sharp, as at 2:46.
9:35 [m. 104]--Re-transition with cello line in F-sharp minor, as at 2:54.
9:40 [m. 109]--Mysterious, meandering motion back to A major, as at 3:00.
Part 2, Second Section (Recapitulation or Rounding)
9:51 [m. 119]--Theme 1 with decorations, as at 3:11.
10:00 [m. 127]--Analogous to 7:50 [or 0:09 and 1:09--m. 9], as at 3:20.  New upbeat figures.
10:08 [m. 135]--Abbreviated extension of theme, analogous to 7:59 [or 0:18 and 1:18--m. 17], as at 3:28.
10:13 [m. 139]--Transition, analogous to 8:08 [or 0:27 and 1:27--m. 25], as at 3:33.
10:22 [m. 147]--Theme 2, string statement, analogous to 8:17 [or 0:37 and 1:37--m. 33], as at 3:42.
10:31 [m. 155]--Second statement with extension, analogous to 8:26 [or 0:45 and 1:45--m. 41], as at 3:52.
10:44 [m. 167]--Brief transition into coda, analogous to 8:39 [or 0:57 and 1:58--m. 53], as at 4:04.
Part 2, Third Section (Coda)
10:47 [m. 169]--Thematic statements in D and G major, as at 4:07.
10:56 [m. 177]--Figures in G major, then three-note bass descents and buildup toward arrival on A, as at 4:16.
11:13 [m. 191]--“Animato” arrival of A major, descending lines, and decorative piano figuration speeding up to triplet rhythm over “dominant” pedal point, as at 4:33.
11:20 [m. 199]--Increase in intensity, foreign notes borrowed from minor keys, and change to shorter descents as bass pedal point moves to A, the violin adding syncopation, as at 4:40.
11:28 [m. 207]--Imitation on syncopated descent over D minor, then final A-major arrival, as at 4:48.  The scherzo, and therefore the movement, end with m. 211.  The rests at the beginning of m. 212 before the opening upbeat of the trio are not counted as part of the scherzo section in the reprise.
11:39--END OF MOVEMENT [326 (+211) mm.]

4th Movement: Finale – Allegro (Varied Sonata-Allegro form with Rondo elements). A MAJOR, Cut time [2/2].
0:00 [m. 1]--Theme 1.  The jaunty, but leisurely theme is presented by the violin and cello in octaves.  It opens with a leaping upbeat, places prominent syncopated accents on repeated notes that fall on the second beat of the measure, includes prominent grace notes (appoggiaturas), and repeats most ideas twice in succession.  The piano adds chords, first in the second half of the measure, then with all the main beats.  The viola only plays four off-beat octaves in the first half.  The melody begins to emphasize a short-short-long rhythm in its second half, again placing strong accents on the second beats of measures.  This half turns to the “dominant” key, E major, and its “relative” minor key, C-sharp.  At the end, the unison strings, including viola, slide into the following piano statement in the home key.
0:19 [m. 17]--The piano restates the entire theme, beginning in octaves.  The strings add counterpoint based on the opening gesture, which the violin plays in its original upward pattern and the cello inverts.  The viola adds the off-beat chords originally played by the piano.  At the theme’s second half, the strings join the piano’s own block harmonies and low bass octaves in accompaniment.   In the last four measures, the violin joins the piano on the melodic line.  All instruments participate in the slide at the end, which shifts the harmony from C-sharp minor to E major.
0:37 [m. 33]--In an E-major bridge passage, the strings play gentle harmonized descents (mostly in thirds) which briefly disrupt the meter by grouping notes in threes.  The piano enters and takes over, playing in thirds with both hands.  The strings double the piano, but separate each original note into two rapidly repeated ones.  After four bars, the violin is left alone with these repeated notes.
0:47 [m. 41]--The descending line is converted into a yearning figure that turns around and reaches down.  It is played with full harmony by the strings, then passed to the piano.  As with most of the theme, the pattern is repeated.  It is then reduced to the two-beat descent and again passed twice from strings to piano.
0:55 [m. 47]--Moving back toward A, the opening three-beat gesture of the theme is played three times with sudden vigor by the violin and cello, followed each time by two piano chords with contracting harmonies and a steady bass.  This results in a five-beat unit that disrupts the meter and the sense of the bar line.  Then the gesture is reduced to two beats, the piano chords are played on the weak beats, and the rhythmic order is restored.  Building rapidly, these upward gestures lead to a louder, almost climactic statement of the theme as A major arrives.  Only the first half is given in its original form.  All three string instruments play it in unison while the piano plays off-beat responses with the opening gesture and full chords.  After five bars, the piano plays on the downbeat.
1:10 [m. 61]--The second half of the theme is replaced by a hybrid transitional passage.  The short-short-long rhythm is omitted, and is replaced by two bars of extension.  These work downward, including more appoggiaturas.  Then unexpectedly, the bridge passage with harmonized descents from 0:37 [m. 33] returns.  It appears first in the violin and cello, with the piano adding upward gestures derived from the opening of the theme, then a plunging arpeggio.  The viola adds a trill to the end of the first sequence.  Then all strings play the version with rapidly repeated notes, quasi-tremolo.  The piano right hand doubles this line with a variant, alternating upper thirds with lower notes while the left hand continues with the upward gestures.  Suddenly, an upward scale in violin and piano right hand leads into the actual transition.
1:22 [m. 71]--Transition, Part 1.  The intensity and energy of the preceding passage erupts into an exuberant syncopated A-minor line in the piano and violin.  The other strings add leaping bass support.  The syncopated line circles around the same notes before suddenly breaking into the prominent short-short-long rhythm that was omitted from the last statement of the theme when it was cut off.  This rhythm works downward for four measures, shifting the harmony from the home minor key to the “dominant” key of E.  Another two bars of exuberant leaping figuration lead to a huge scale in contrary motion, the violin, viola, and piano right hand moving down while the piano bass and cello move up.  The scale cuts off, anticipating a full arrival on E major or minor before two half-measures of rests.
1:39 [m. 84]--Transition, Part 2.  The entire extended passage is mysterious and ambiguous in key.  The violin and cello play in stark unison octaves.  After the opening downward leap, all the arching lines that follow only include the notes E and G.  Given the previous preparation, the key would appear to be E minor, but the piano, which plays similar arching lines, also in octaves and in quasi-imitation with the two strings, uses the notes C and B-flat.  These notes together outline the preparatory “dominant seventh” chord in F major, an unrelated, never confirmed key.  Breaking from the quasi-imitation, the hands of the piano expand outward, and an artful upward slide in the left hand leads to a gentle turn of phrase.  The suggested key is now G major (“relative” to E minor), where the unison violin and cello play a graceful turn figure.
1:54 [m. 96]--The two strings appear to reach a half-close in G major, but the piano octaves beneath them undermine this.  Again, they seem to move toward the key of E minor.  The chromatic descents that follow in both piano and unison strings (now including the viola) also suggest this key.  But then the note B-flat is introduced again in both piano and strings, again suggesting the “dominant” harmony in F major.  The piano moves from octaves to harmonies in thirds and sixths, but the strings continue to play in unison, the piano leading in another quasi-imitation.  The rhythm becomes faster and the harmony more active.  F major seems to lead to C major until all pause on another ambiguous “dominant seventh” chord.
2:07 [m. 106]--Theme 2.  Another artful shift converts the ambiguous chord into a preparatory harmony of E major, where the entire ensemble, including the bass, almost too easily slides.  The theme itself, led by the piano, is bright and broad.  The left hand plays wide arpeggios, and the strings follow in harmony with the violin imitating the octaves of the right hand.  After another smooth, sliding chromatic harmony and its resolution, the piano breaks into a leaping chord pattern with a long-short rhythm.  The strings punctuate the longer chords, supporting their harmonies.  This finally reaches a full cadence (E major).
2:17 [m. 114]--Beginning halfway through the bar after the cadence, the viola now leads an elaboration on this long-short rhythm in fugue-like counterpoint.  The piano introduces a broad triplet rhythm in quarter notes, with the right hand following the bass and forming arpeggios.  The violin imitates the viola on the leaping rhythm while the latter moves to a continuation with a smooth descending line.  The cello and piano bass (in octaves) together play the next imitation.  The triplets continue in the piano right hand, and the upper strings harmonize on the descending line.  Finally, the right hand in octaves, with the viola, plays the leaping long-short rhythm as the left hand, cello, and violin play the descending line.
2:26 [m. 122]--The piano right hand now takes the descending continuation, still in octaves.  It extends this line while the left hand stalls on long notes held over bar lines and the strings add supporting harmonies.  In the viola and cello, these include repeated chords in the broad triplet rhythm, which they re-introduce, the piano having abandoned it when the right hand imitated the leaping rhythm.  Some chromatic notes are introduced as the line is spun out.
2:37 [m. 130]--The violin and viola re-introduce the leaping rhythm, the main subject of this fugue section, followed, as usual, by the smooth descending line, the countersubject.  The cello now has the triplet rhythm, first in repeated notes, then with a downward leap on the second note of each group.  As the violin and viola move to the descending line, the piano right hand once again takes the leaping rhythm.  It is then passed to the cello and piano bass.  They continue with it while the right hand and the two upper strings abbreviate and intensify the descending lines in harmony.  All four instruments build to a half-close, which is abruptly cut off.  A full-measure general pause follows.
2:51 [m. 143]--Closing section.  Following the pause, the piano and the two lower strings introduce an entirely new theme beginning in C major.  It is unusually static, beginning with two full-measure chords.  It is also highly chromatic, with many dissonant passing motions.  In the more active measures, the piano plays in sixths and thirds.  Despite the many foreign notes, the theme remains in C major until the end of the third phrase and the entry of the violin.  There, in a striking, highly evocative change, similar to the one at 2:07 [m. 106], it moves back to E major, where the piano trails down to a half-close that is cut off.
3:12 [m. 159]--The entire four-phrase melody is repeated with different instrumental orientation, again beginning in C major.  It is played more quietly.  The strings and piano reverse roles, and the cello takes the melodic lead, playing above the viola.  The violin enters at the second phrase, first with a new line of counterpoint, and then joining the cello on the melodic lead, playing an octave above it.  The viola plays in harmony, as does the piano on its late-entering chords.  The strings take the lead in the change to E major, including the trailing downward line.  This is changed to make it more emphatic.  It is also extended by one beat, and comes to a full close on the downbeat, overlapping with the next epilogue-like phrase.
3:33 [m. 175]--The epilogue-like phrase begins in the piano, and is taken over halfway through by the strings, who reach a gentle cadence.  The phrase is repeated an octave higher in the strings and piano right hand, but the piano bass does  not move up.  The string cadence is averted by an extension, which uses the last bar to lead into a continuous descent in the strings.  The cello takes over an arching figure previously played by the piano bass.  The piano bass itself remains reiterates the note B as a “dominant” pedal point and the right hand rests.  The descent is closed off by a questioning gesture in the violin, twice reiterated, but avoiding a cadence.  The first of these includes a mild minor-key inflection in the cello line.
3:59 [m. 195]--Re-transition.  The piano bass finally moves to E, but it is not a cadence in E major as expected.  Instead, the violin repeats the questioning gesture two more times, inflecting it to use D-natural instead of D-sharp.  This converts the bass E into a “dominant” anticipating the return of the home key, A major.  Then the piano, in wide octaves, joins the cello on the arching figure.  The violin appears to begin another questioning gesture, but it cuts off after one measure.  With the viola, the violin joins the cello and piano on the arching figures, with all instruments in unison.  This rises and builds over three measures.  The instruments diverge as the piano octaves break into a rapid descending scale, speeding up from groups of four to groups of six, and the two lower strings invoke the unmistakable opening gesture of the main theme.
4:11 [m. 205]--Theme 1.  The return of A major and the main theme here, in the context of a finale movement, seems almost to imply a return in a Rondo form.  Because a full sonata exposition has just been heard, it could more logically imply an exposition repeat.  In reality, the return is similar to the corresponding passage in the first movement of the preceding G-minor Piano Quartet (Op. 25), and a precursor to a similar technique in the finale of the First Symphony (or, with a different later course, the first movement of the Fourth Symphony).  The development section simply begins with a single statement of the main theme in the home key, as at the opening of the movement.  It is identical, except that the piano completes its downward scale on the opening upbeat and participates in the “sliding” motion at the end.
4:30 [m. 221]--The second statement of the theme is dispensed with, and the music moves directly to the bridge passage corresponding to 0:37 [m. 33].  The first measures are played by the piano, however, not the strings, and it is given not in E major, but in that key’s “relative” minor key, C-sharp minor.  The phrase is still mostly harmonized in thirds, and the left hand takes a line similar to the cello’s original line.  Because of the unexpected minor key, Brahms extends the phrase from four measures to six, reiterating the sliding motion twice as the strings reenter.
4:37 [m. 227]--The second half of the “bridge” is presented with similar instrumentation as before, but with different figuration.  It is back in its original key, E major.  The strings play in straight notes without the pulsing repetitions, but the piano breaks its thirds apart in both hands, creating a rippling effect with the alternation of notes.  At the end of the phrase, the right hand plays a straight descending arpeggio.
4:42 [m. 231]--The passage of “yearning” gestures from 0:47 [m. 41] is played in its entirety, but the leading lines are all taken by the strings.  The piano adds a new supporting accompaniment, partially doubling the melodic lines, based on the “broken thirds” and the closing arpeggio of the last passage, with the hands in contrary motion.  It is extremely light and gentle, even marked dolce.
4:49 [m. 237]--The transitional passage from 0:55 [m. 47], with the opening gesture from the theme and the motion back to A, is played as it was there, with the same scoring, including the metric disruption and restoration.  As expected, the passage builds up to a loud statement of the theme (described below), but here, that statement of the theme is the beginning of the actual development, with no analogous passage in the exposition.
4:56 [m. 243]--The piano plays the opening upbeat of the theme and launches into the first real developmental statement.  It is in A minor, not major, and this is even indicated with a key signature change.  The hands play in octaves, creating a stark, austere presentation.  Against the piano, the strings, playing in unison, introduces a new counter-melody (or countersubject).  It is vigorous and active, beginning with a turning figure and leaping up to a descending line.  The repetition of the initial thematic gesture up a step helps to place the next measures, with appoggiaturas, in the “relative” major key, C major.
5:06 [m. 251]--A simple change from C major to C minor results in a new full statement of the minor-key theme and its counter-melody, but with the scoring reversed.  The strings now have the theme and the piano, still in octaves, the counter-melody.  It begins in C minor, then, in an analogous motion, moves toward E-flat major (“relative” to C minor).
5:15 [m. 259]--Another pattern begins in E-flat minor, with the piano on the theme and the strings on the counter-melody.  A subtle alteration in the string parts changes the destination, however.  The repetition of the first gesture reverses the scoring, and the strings take over the theme.  Instead of C-flat, which would have been expected, the alteration causes the music to land on C major, much closer to A minor, where the sequence began.  The piano lands emphatically on a C-major chord, and hammers home four cadences there.  Meanwhile, the strings reiterate the first gesture from the counter-melody.  The piano and strings then make hints at F major before almost joyously confirming C major again.
5:29 [m. 271]--At a suddenly quiet level, the piano establishes a continuous short-long-short syncopation in high chords.  The violin twice passes a light patten based on the active part of the theme to the cello.  It moves up from C major to D minor.  Then, up one more step in E minor, the violin takes over, spinning out the pattern over eight bars while the piano continues its syncopated chords.  The harmony circles around E minor and A minor. The volume remains hushed.
5:44 [m. 283]--On the ninth bar of the pattern, the key of D major is strongly suggested.  After this measure, the violin finally breaks on a D-major cadence.  The cello enters, plucking the strings on wide arching patterns.  The piano right hand and viola, which enters after a long absence, pass the pattern to each other.  The harmony moves very quickly from D major to D minor, and from there back to A minor, the main key of the development section.  The entire three-bar pattern, beginning with the violin measure suggesting D major, is then repeated.
5:50 [m. 289]--Suddenly loud, the violin and cello, in unison octaves, break into a broad triplet rhythm derived from the main theme, vacillating between A major and A minor over three bars.  The piano plays full chords, alternating the left and right hands, and the viola reinforces the weak beats.  After an A-minor cadence, the descending bridge passage, heard previously in the development at 4:30 [m. 221], is quietly presented by the piano in that key with light support from the cello.
5:59 [m. 296]--The strings appear to repeat the A-minor version of the bridge passage, with the piano providing the rippling broken harmonies heard at 4:37 [m. 227] as an accompaniment.  But the key is suddenly wrenched from A minor to B-flat major, a most unexpected key that creates an almost otherworldly effect.  The piano, with viola support, extends the B-flat-major diversion in two tinkling bars of high broken harmonies.
6:06 [m. 302]--Re-transition.  Led by the violin, the descending patterns continue.  The key of B-flat attempts to further assert itself, but it is undermined by viola and cello notes that pull back toward A minor.  The piano arpeggios and bass notes then fall in line with this motion.  The viola and cello take over the leading role.  The piano establishes a low pedal point on E, providing the “dominant” preparation for a major arrival on A.  The right hand plays a scale pattern.  The gestures from the bridge passage pass back to the piano as the violin and cello take the scale pattern.  This scale sequence is repeated with the piano right hand an octave higher. 
6:15 [m. 309]--A third repetition of the scale sequence appears to begin, but the alternation does not happen, and the piano plays the scale pattern twice in the higher octave.  The viola is also added to the string texture.  Doubled by the violin, the piano adds one more scale pattern beginning a third higher and leading directly to the tremendous arrival on A minor as the viola and cello add one more vestige of bridge material.  Although A minor has dominated the development section, its strong arrival here is still a powerful signal for the recapitulation, in large part due to the strange B-flat diversion.
6:18 [m. 312]-- Transition, Part 1.  The last scale leading into this moment of return is very similar to the one that preceded the exposition transition at 1:22 [m. 71], except that this one is already in minor, and the arrival of this A-minor passage is therefore somewhat more prepared.  Since it is the moment of recapitulation, this is appropriate.  Theme 1 was presented in the home key at the outset of the development, and it provided much of the developmental material, so it does not return here.  At first, this A-minor eruption is very similar to its first presentation, except that the violin is an octave lower and the viola plays its repeated octaves faster.  But the short-short-long rhythm persists for only three measures, a bar shorter than before, and against the descending scale, the piano bass holds steady rather than moving in contrary motion, while the cello plays a slow arpeggio.  On the scale, the piano is a sixth above, rather than in unison with the upper strings.  The arrival point now remains in A, landing on the “dominant” chord.
6:33 [m. 324]--Transition, Part 2.  Analogous to 1:39 [m. 84].  The ambiguous key relationships are similar to the first statement of this passage, which is a fourth higher than before.  The viola now participates in the unison string lines, which continue to suggest A minor.  The piano, in quasi-imitation, suggests B-flat major.  Correspondingly, the graceful string turn after the upward slide in the piano bass suggests C major.
6:49 [m. 336]--Analogous to 1:54 [m. 96].  The chromatic descents follow as expected, as does more quasi-imitation and ambiguous harmony.  The strings remain in unison while the piano introduces doubled thirds and sixths.  This time, B-flat major seems to move toward F major before the passage concludes on the “dominant seventh” chord in B-flat.
7:01 [m. 346]--Theme 2.  Analogous to 2:07 [m. 106].  The broad, bright theme, including the wide bass arpeggios and then the leaping chords, is played in the home key (A major).  Brahms finally re-introduces the three-sharp key signature of A major here after a very long absence.
7:12 [m. 354]--Analogous to 2:17 [1:14].  The fugal counterpoint is presented as before, along with the broad triplet-rhythm accompaniment, but there is a significant change in the instrumentation.  The first statement of the bouncing long-short rhythm is played by the cello, not the viola, and the cello continues with the counterpoint formerly played by the viola.  The violin plays in the same place it had before, but the bass entry is of necessity played by the piano left hand alone, and not doubled by the cello, which is continuing the former viola line.  The viola, in fact, is absent for this entire passage, including the statement of the bouncing line in the piano right hand, which it had formerly doubled.
7:22 [m. 362]--Analogous to 2:26 [m. 122].  The viola finally enters here, and the pattern, especially in the piano’s descending right hand octave lines, follows more closely its presentation in the exposition.  The string harmonies are subtly different.  There are repeated-note triplets in some places where they were not previously present, and the violin participates in two of these triplet repetitions toward phrase’s conclusion.
7:32 [m. 370]--Analogous to 2:37 [m. 130].  In this continuation of the fugal counterpoint of Theme 2, there are again subtle differences in instrumentation from the exposition.  The cello and viola parts are reversed for the first four measures, so the viola has the triplet rhythm here.  When the piano bass enters with the leaping rhythm, the cello joins it again, and the viola takes over the doubling role with the violin, which the cello had done for those first four bars  Also, the piano bass in the first two measures plays full harmonies where it had previously played octaves.  As expected, everything builds to a half-close that is abruptly cut off and followed by a full measure pause.
7:47 [m. 383]--Closing section.  Analogous to 2:51 [m. 143].  Following the harmonic pattern, the static theme begins in F major and makes the evocative change back to A major after the third phrase.  It is set a fourth higher than in the exposition, and the violin participates in the presentation throughout.  Because of this, the viola and cello play fewer double stops.  The piano right hand has thicker harmonies in the second phrase.  At the change to A major, corresponding to the point where the violin had made its entrance before, its line is given to the cello, and the following notes before the half-close are redistributed from viola and cello to violin and viola.
8:09 [m. 399]--Analogous to 3:12 [m. 159].  Here, the scoring is similar to the exposition statement, with the cello taking the initial melodic lead and the violin entering on the second phrase.  But at the violin entry, the viola and cello essentially reverse roles until the approach to the last overlapping A-major cadence.
8:30 [m. 415]--Analogous to 3:33 [m. 175].  The epilogue-like phrases and the extension are essentially a literal transposition in all instruments.  The only difference is that at the end of the exposition, the piano bass had foreshadowed its “dominant” pedal earlier, under the first string entrance.  Here, the piano, including the bass, rests through the first string entrance.
8:57 [m. 435]--Transition to coda.  Analogous to  3:59 [m. 195].  This transition also holds closely to its counterpart, with the piano bass moving to the current home keynote (now A), and the inflection of the questioning gesture, now replacing G-sharp with G-natural (which implies a further harmonic motion to D, away from the home key, something that in fact does occur).  The major difference is that the entire passage remains quiet.  During the three measures of rising unison figures, the viola drops out, perhaps to avoid the previous sense of buildup.  The correspondence ends after these three measures, and the rapid descending scales leading into Theme 1 do not occur.  The quieter volume precludes this.  The coda follows directly.
9:09 [m. 443]--Section 1.  The violin begins an extreme, but still recognizable transformation of the main theme in D major.  It is played in a broad triplet rhythm with wide arching leaps, but the key elements of the melody are still prominent.  It is also played dolce and tranquillo, in an almost transfigured manner.  The piano adds quiet left hand arpeggios and right hand chords off the beat.  The viola and cello add very isolated  alternating pizzicato notes.  The piano right hand becomes more active after five bars.  The presentation of the altered theme continues through its eighth bar, before what would correspond to the short-short-long rhythm.
9:22 [m. 451]--The viola, taking the bow, imitates the previous violin figure at a lower level, cutting off the altered theme.  The violin follows again, and the two instruments pass this leisurely triplet rhythm back and forth three times, gradually working downward, the viola introducing a mild minor-key inflection on its second statement.  Underneath this, the cello, still plucked, and the piano bass establish a “pedal point” on A, now functioning as the “dominant” of D major.  The piano right hand plays undulating chords.  After the last violin/viola alternation, the violin appears to continue, but with the piano right hand, it shifts the key decisively back to A major, and the bass “pedal point” now underlies the arrival of the home key.  The piano right hand directly imitates the violin as the cello, now bowed, joins the viola on a sustained descent.
9:38 [m. 460]--The piano left hand abandons the pedal point, joining the right hand on its harmonies.  The pedal point is given to cello and viola, both now plucking again on broken octaves.  The violin, over those piano harmonies, plays a fragmented version of its last figure, now in straight rhythm, helping to confirm the arrival on A.  The piano right hand echoes this with dolce harmonies.  One last, even shorter violin fragment is followed by two piano echoes in the middle range with a dissonant bass note (F-sharp).  The cello plays a last pair of isolated broken octaves, and the music trails off.  The resulting tension is answered by the following “Animato” section.
9:53 [m. 467]--Section 2.  The piano appears to begin a last echo, but it suddenly launches into a new section, marked “Animato,” a highly effective transition out of the hushed first section.  The violin and viola in unison begin a grand elaboration of the main theme, focusing on its opening measures, while the piano right hand plays an running figures that gradually work upward from the middle range to the treble.  The piano bass establishes a new pedal point on E, the “dominant” note.  After four bars, the cello enters with a new running line, and the violin separates from the viola.  The three string instruments and the piano right hand, playing in octaves, now have independent lines.  The violin and piano emphasize the syncopated accents of the theme while the viola and cello take over the running lines.  This continues for ten more measures, building up to a passionate intensity over the bass pedal point.
10:08 [m. 481]--All instruments reach a brief transition, consolidating their strength.  The violin and viola play long chords, holding some over bar lines between pairs of measures.  The cello continues its last rapid arpeggio, then breaks into accented staccato leaps.  The piano left hand first plays chords with the upper strings, then joins the cello on the detached leaps.  The right hand plays a tremolo-like oscillation, first in triplet rhythm, then in faster straight rhythm.  This transition builds up to the following triumphant statement of the theme.
10:14 [m. 487]--The violin and piano present a very grand and joyous statement of the main theme in its entirety at the new faster speed.  It begins in D major so that the key change in the second half, with the short-short-long rhythm, will end at home in A.  The viola provides harmony while the cello and piano bass add punctuating chords off the beat.  At the decorative appoggiaturas, these bass lines become more solid and constant.  At the previous point of completion, where the “sliding” figures had always cut off the theme, it is instead exuberantly extended, reaching to the heights and falling back.  An expected analogous turn to the “relative” minor key, F-sharp, is thus quickly reversed.  Then the piano and strings pass frenzied gestures back and forth, reaching back up.  Two longer such gestures are followed by a shorter one.
10:38 [m. 511]--The piano appears to begin another alternation on the shorter gesture, but it leads into the concluding flourish.  Rapid repeated chords in the upper strings and tremolo motion in the piano right hand, all over syncopated bass notes, bring about this cadence, which moves from the chords of C-sharp minor and E major to a final confirmation of A.  Then the strings take over the syncopation as the piano reiterates the final cadence in sharp chords, the right hand moving higher and the left hand descending.  The instruments come together on the last three A-major chords, which leap down to the final held harmony.
10:55--END OF MOVEMENT [519 mm.]