Recording: Amadeus Quartet (Norbert Brainin, 1st Violin; Siegmund Nissel, 2nd violin; Peter Schidlof, viola; Martin Lovett, cello) with Christoph Eschenbach, Piano [DG 419 875-2]
Published 1865.  Dedicated to Her Royal Highness Princess Anna of Hessen.

A supreme masterpiece, the Piano Quintet stands as a culmination and synthesis of Brahms’s compositional path in the early years and the first maturity.  It stands at the junction between Hamburg and Vienna, looking back as well as forward.  Like the First Piano Concerto (and perhaps later the First Symphony), it had a difficult gestation.  Brahms wrote the first version in 1862 as a string quintet with two cellos (the combination Schubert used for his great quintet, which is one of many spiritual inspirations for the piece).  It became apparent to Joseph Joachim, Clara Schumann, and others that the material outstripped the medium of strings alone.  Accordingly, it was reworked into a Sonata for Two Pianos, but this was most likely intended as an intermediate step (the string quintet version does not survive and was probably destroyed by Brahms).  Eventually, the original idea was combined with the second arrangement to form the final and most successful version as a Piano Quintet.  The combination of piano and string quartet as a medium was new, Schumann having contributed the first great example.  Brahms had recently written the two piano quartets (an older medium going back to Mozart), and these works of epic scope provided good preparation.  But unlike those two pieces, the Quintet reaches back to the early music for its roots, with a spiritual cousin in the Third Piano Sonata, which shares its key.  It also looks forward to no less a masterpiece than the First Symphony, for which the highly original form of the finale is a clear precursor.  The piece combines a Beethoven-like impetus with a Schubert-like expansiveness in all four movements.  The complementary opposition between the virtuoso piano part and the full string quartet provided ample room for the great range of expression.  The mood is one of heroic tragedy, and unlike the earlier piano sonata or the later symphony, there is no triumphant major-key ending.  The quintet is pervaded by an exploration of the half-step, or minor second, something that becomes explicit at the end of the scherzo movement.  The key of C-sharp minor is used for the second theme of the first movement, a half-step away from where it would be expected.  This key also appears at the crucial moment of the finale’s coda.  It reflects the similar prominence of D-flat major in the Third Piano Sonata.  The first movement has a broad and powerful scope, with an unforgettably effective opening page.  Its structure and outlines are clear-cut, and its inexorable dramatic trajectory sets the tone for the work as a whole.  The slow movement is more modest, especially in comparison with those of the two piano quartets.  Its principal gesture is both memorable and full of potential, which Brahms exploits in a gloriously beautiful ending.  The scherzo movement is truly remarkable.  Eschewing the leisurely and expansive examples from the piano quartets, Brahms turns again to the more demonic and passionate type from the piano sonatas and the B-major Trio.  It is the crowning achievement of this model, with three distinct elements that each undergo a full development and apotheosis, including an extended fugal passage on the second.  Somehow, the disparate elements and shifting meters come together in a brilliant, breathtaking conclusion.  The final crushing half-step is bold and brash, but also a nod to a similar gesture at the end of Schubert’s string quintet.  The trio section grows from one of the three main elements, briefly emphasizing heroic nobility in the midst of the dramatic intensity.  The finale, with an entirely original form, is the most forward-looking movement.  A mysterious, complex slow introduction precedes another tragic-heroic movement.  The conflation of development and recapitulation, already seen in rudimentary form in pieces such as the finale of the A-major Piano Quartet, would find its grandest expression in the First Symphony.  The enormous coda in a faster tempo and different meter looks back again to the Third Piano Sonata.  It is remarkable both for its opening in an unexpected key and for its “false” ending a full hundred measures before the actual close.

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

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

1st Movement: Allegro non troppo (Sonata-Allegro form). F MINOR, 4/4 time.
0:00 [m. 1]--Theme 1.  The piano, with hands two octaves apart, the first violin, and the cello play the distinctive main idea in unison.  It is an ominous winding figure that begins with an upbeat and then a short-long rhythm.  Downward-arching arpeggios follow, emphasizing half-step motion.  As the two string instruments reach the last such gesture, the piano holds the chord they outline on the unresolved preparatory “dominant” harmony.  Brahms then indicates a fermata, or hold, creating suspense before the onslaught that follows.
0:16 [m. 5]--The piano suddenly breaks into a series of passionate arpeggios in octaves, with the hands an octave apart, punctuated by string chords that again emphasize half-step motion.  The arpeggios have the same shape as the ominous first idea.  After two short one-measure interjections, a longer one follows, with the strings almost violently underscoring the forceful piano motion.  This continues for three measures, and then the strings hold a multiple-stop chord while the piano, still in octaves, rushes upward in a dramatic, sweeping arpeggio.
0:30 [m. 12]--The strings now continue with the same passionate intensity on a new version of the main idea.  All four of them are in unison.  The piano, meanwhile, plays heavy, slower descending arpeggios, still in octaves.  The downward arpeggios of the strings deviate from the initial piano statement, and the long-short rhythm is more pervasive.  After four measures, the piano right hand inserts a rapid upward arpeggio as the strings continue with their last two downward gestures on a repeated, accented half-step descent.
0:41 [m. 17]--The piano right hand repeats its rapid upward arpeggio, and then both hands erupt into another passionate outburst.  The right hand plays intense downward half-steps and whole steps in octaves while the left hand plays rapidly arching arpeggios that cascade downward.  As the piano lands on the downbeat, the two violins insert their own interjections of the dramatic arpeggios.  After two measures, the violins begin to play the arpeggios in alternation.  The viola briefly joins the second violin, but quickly drops out.  The piano, meanwhile, begins to play heavy chords on strong beats after descents from upbeats.
0:48 [m. 20]--The left hand begins to play descending triplets in octaves against the heavy right-hand chords and the violin arpeggios.  The cello joins the left hand on the bass octave triplets at the end, and the viola joins to support the chords.  A huge cadence gesture in all instruments ends the main theme complex.
0:54 [m. 23]--Transition.  The transition has its own melody, but it is derived from elements of Theme 1.  The first violin leads a yearning, expressive melody with a prominent dotted (long-short) rhythm as well as half-step motion.  The second violin adds a smooth counterpoint, while the piano and viola, in alternation, add extremely expressive, almost sighing octave leaps with downward resolutions.  These figures are in triplet rhythm.  The piano left hand adds solid bass notes on the strong beats.
1:04 [m. 27]--The melody briefly passes to the viola, and both violins take the sighing triplet leaps.  After two measures, the melody returns to the first violin, and both second violin and viola move to the triplet leaps.  At this point, the piano abandons these leaps and turns to urgent repeated chords on the triplet rhythm in groups of three or six.  The cello enters to support the piano bass.  The intensity begins to build.  An inflection of the melody is used to propel the key toward C-sharp minor, where Theme 2 will be set.  A huge buildup and increase of activity leads directly into the marching motion of Theme 2.  The piano bass begins the oscillating triplet motion that will underpin this theme, rapidly diminishing in a two-bar bridge.
1:21 [m. 35]--Theme 2.  The oscillating triplet motion in the piano bass—in which three-note figures move up a half-step on the middle note—dominates the second theme.  The first note of each figure is supported by a low “pedal bass” C-sharp.  The melody itself begins with a jerky figure in the piano right hand and upper strings.  It continues with an upward-reaching line in which the upper strings harmonize and shadow the piano right hand (C-sharp minor). 
1:30 [m. 39]--The viola and cello present a new expressive phrase sotto voce.  It uses a triplet figure and half-steps, and bears a resemblance to the transition melody.  Under this, both hands of the piano move to the oscillation, playing in octaves.  Breaking from the oscillation, the piano follows the cello/viola phrase with an upward arpeggio in octaves that turns to major as the strings play soft held chords.  This sequence, the viola/cello phrase and then the piano arpeggio, is restated a half-step higher, turning briefly to D major.
1:48 [m. 47]--The first part of the theme, with the jerky melody and upward-reaching line, is expanded.  Shifting instantly back to C-sharp minor, the piano bass oscillation restarts.  The theme itself is initially played by second violin and viola in unison.  The piano right hand adds descending chords.  The expansion comes after the third measure, where the rising line presses upward even more.  The second violin continues, but the first violin takes over from the viola for the higher unison line.  The bass’s anchor on C-sharp drops down to B.
1:57 [m. 51]--The piano right hand takes over the rising line from the violins, stretching it out even more and briefly touching on A major/minor.  The bass, meanwhile, moves from the oscillation to broken octaves without a persistent “pedal” note, and the cello enters with plucked notes supporting that bass.  The violins move to the background, and the piano rounds off the rising line with a soaring melody that slowly descends to a cadence in C-sharp minor.  This soaring line and cadence are echoed by the viola, which enters after a brief absence.
2:10 [m. 57]--The viola returns to the expressive phrase with the triplet figure, altering it slightly by approaching the triplet from below.  The cello offers support in longer notes.  Under it, the piano returns to material from Theme 1, a variant of the “passionate arpeggios,” passed from left to the right hand.  These are transformed into a quiet, skittering accompaniment that hints at the major key even while the viola uses poignant chromatic notes.  After two measures, the piano turns back to the soaring cadence line, now in major, with the right hand imitating the left.  The two violins add pulsating triplets beginning off the beat.
2:19 [m. 61]--The cello repeats the preceding viola line with the long supporting notes, now harmonized, in the violins.  The piano arpeggios follow the same pattern, but are now on the harmony of A minor/major instead of C-sharp.  The violins then take the soaring cadence line, the second following the first, but it is changed to incorporate two soaring gestures.  The piano right hand plays the pulsing triplets while the left hand adds a solid bass.  The key moves from A back to C-sharp, now more clearly major.
2:28 [m. 65]--The violins, the second and then the first, play a variant of the expressive phrase with the triplet figure in C-sharp major.  The rapid arpeggios, with accompanying rising lines, take over in the piano.  While this passage begins dolce e leggiero, it quickly becomes agitated, rising in volume.  The first violin then breaks into an extremely heartfelt version of the soaring cadence line while the cello enters to continue the variant of the phrase with the triplet figure.  The piano arpeggios in the right hand become wider and more intense, while the left hand supports them with chords and some doubling of the cello.  The soaring line is stated twice, extended the second time into a beautiful cadence with aching chromatic notes.
2:47 [m. 74]--Closing section.  With C-sharp major firmly established, Brahms uses the cadence to change the notation to the more convenient D-flat major.  This also allows him to return to the four-flat key signature of the home key.  The cadence is followed by a quick downward slide to the “dominant” note in piano octaves.  The piano then holds long notes.  The strings follow with arching arpeggios, then a new, somewhat martial dotted rhythm.  The piano echoes the marching dotted rhythm in descending lines, coming to a full cadence.
2:56 [m. 78]--The previous pattern is given again, but now the quick downward piano slide leads to the more unstable “leading tone” instead of the “dominant.”  The string arpeggios soar higher in the violins and lower in the cello.  The martial dotted rhythm is expanded.  The first string statement emphasizes the preparatory “dominant” harmony.  The descending piano echo comes to a cadence, but a less convincing one.  The strings add an extra second echo to make it more conclusive.
3:07 [m. 83]--The descending dotted rhythms of the “echo” are straightened out into groups of three descending harmonized three-note patterns.  These obscure the bar line, with the third pattern of each group beginning on an eighth-note upbeat.  The first such group is in the piano, with the right hand harmonized in thirds and the left playing wide upward arpeggios.  The strings, without the viola (which was also largely absent from the preceding arching arpeggios and dotted rhythms), overlap and follow at a higher level, the cello playing the wide bass arpeggios.  The intensity builds over these piano and string groups.  Finally, in a third overlapping group, the strings (without viola) join the piano, building over rich, chromatic harmony.
3:15 [m. 86]--The descending patterns suddenly double the lengths of their notes, restoring the sense of meter.  The first lengthened three-chord pattern immediately follows the last, richly harmonized faster group.  The viola joins the harmonies here.  The second pattern is separated from the first by a rest on the downbeat.  The intensity begins to wane with this second longer pattern, and all instruments except the first violin play long-short chords instead of the three-note descent.  The two patterns are repeated an octave lower in the strings with less active piano harmonies, and the volume continues to diminish.  Both patterns begin after a downbeat rest.  This leads to a full close in D-flat major with two quiet weak-beat pulses.
3:26 [m. 91a]-- First ending.  The five-measure first ending continues the off-beat pulses.  The first of these is simply a third repetition of the closing D-flat harmony in the strings, but the piano adds an ominous rising line in octaves against it.  This already suggests the home key of F minor.  Another group of three off-beat pulses follows in the strings, still on D-flat, but without the first violin.  Overlapping the last pulse is another piano line in octaves, a third higher than the first one.  A third group of three pulses again lacks the first violin, and the cello drops a half-step, creating an F-minor harmony.  Again, the ominous piano line coincides with the third pulse and is a third higher, the hands now two octaves apart (as in the opening main idea) and joined by the first violin.  Its second note (now joined by the cello) takes the place of the upbeat leading into the main idea, and the repeat leads into its downbeat.
3:39 [m. 1]--First unison statement of main idea ending in the fermata.
3:52 [m. 5]--Passionate piano arpeggios and violent string chords, as at 0:16.
4:06 [m. 12]--Unison string version of main theme with heavy piano arpeggios, as at 0:30.
4:18 [m. 17]--Passionate outburst with stepwise piano descents and alternating string arpeggios, as at 0:41.
4:24 [m. 20]--Descending bass octave triplets, continuing string arpeggios, and cadence gesture, as at 0:48.
4:31 [m. 23]--Transition.  Yearning violin melody and expressive octave leaps in triplet rhythm, as at 0:54.
4:40 [m. 27]--Viola statement of melody, buildup, and motion to C-sharp minor with bridge, as at 1:04.
4:58 [m. 35]--Theme 2.  Oscillating bass triplets under jerky melody and upward-reaching line, as at 1:21.
5:07 [m. 39]--Expressive phrase with triplet rhythm moving to major, then repetition in D, as at 1:30.
5:24 [m. 47]--Expansion of theme with longer rising line and bass motion down from pedal, as at 1:48.
5:33 [m. 51]--Continuation of rising line, plucked cello notes, and soaring arch to cadence, as at 1:57.
5:46 [m. 57]--Viola statement of expressive phrase, Theme 1 material, and arching cadence, as at 2:10.
5:55 [m. 61]--Cello repetition of expressive phrase in A, then expanded violin cadence in major, as at 2:19.
6:04 [m. 65]--Violin variant of expressive phrase over piano arpeggios, then buildup to cadence, as at 2:28.
6:24 [m. 74]--Closing section.  Downward slides, arching arpeggios, and martial dotted rhythms, as at 2:47.
6:33 [m. 78]--Repetition of pattern with expansion of dotted rhythms, as at 2:56.
6:44 [m. 83]--Three-note groups in straight rhythm, obscuring bar lines and building in intensity, as at 3:07.
6:51 [m. 86]--Longer three-chord patterns settling down to close in D-flat major, as at 3:15
7:04 [m. 91b]--Second ending.  The material is similar to the first ending, but the rising piano octave patterns begin a third higher than before, initially suggesting A-flat minor instead of F minor.  The second and third of these piano lines begin on the same notes where the previous ones ended (instead of a third higher). The third group of string pulses has a new bass on B-natural, creating a highly dissonant “diminished” chord.  The piano reinforces the bass here, which it did not do in the first ending.  The third piano line is only one octave apart, and is only in the right hand without violin.  It leads into the development section, which begins in C minor (on that key’s “dominant” harmony).
7:15 [m. 96]--The first violin begins a hushed, lamenting version of the main theme in C minor, accompanied by smooth harmonies in the piano’s middle range.  The low bass notes are reinforced by the plucked cello.  After soaring to a high G, the violin (now doubled an octave lower by the second) holds it as the piano chords continue.  The cello, taking the bow, plays two low three-note descents that create a continuous downward line and move the key a half-step lower, to B minor.
7:33 [m. 104]--The two violins again play the lamenting version of the main theme, now in B minor, doubled in octaves.  The viola adds harmony to this statement.  The piano accompaniment is barer here, until the viola leaves its harmonies.  The piano then begins to play a descent with doubled thirds in both hands, the right hand moving to the treble range.  Instead of soaring to a high F-sharp, as expected, the violins leap down to a lower one.  The cello, which has entered late with plucked notes, again plays the three-note descent, now doubled an octave higher by the viola.
7:47 [m. 110]--The expected second three-note descent from the viola and cello follows, but not before the piano begins to elaborate on its motion in thirds.  After the second low string descent, the piano continues this elaboration (and adding sixths of fourths as well as thirds).  Then there are more low string descents, and they now shift upward instead of continually moving down.  They alternate with the piano figures.  The violins, meanwhile, add soft, punctuating harmonies on the weak beats.  The key of this atmospheric passage is B-flat minor.  After four alternations between piano harmonies and low string descents, the piano expands its harmonies and soars high.  The strings join it in a long, drawn-out cadence in B-flat minor.
8:15 [m. 122]--Very gently, all the instruments begin a pattern of upbeats moving toward downbeats.  The left hand and right hand of the piano alternate, as do the viola and cello.  The motion of these patterns is mostly either “dominant-to-tonic” or half-steps.  The violins participate in these figures, but it becomes immediately clear that the violin motion is the disguised onset of a new, melancholy harmonized melody.  The piano and lower strings continue the upbeat-downbeat motion.  The passage begins in B-flat minor, touches on B-flat major, and then moves to D-flat major (“relative” to B-flat minor).  The violins play three similar phrases of the new melody.  The right hand figures echo the melody’s upbeat-downbeat gestures.
8:28 [m. 128]--As the melody reaches the end of its third phrase, the music builds in intensity and volume.  The melancholy phrases are abandoned.  The piano introduces an anguished chromatic half-step on the upbeat-downbeat figures, and then it begins to imitate the first violin more precisely, including more such piercing half-steps.  The second violin, meanwhile, moves to intense tremolos.  The lower strings and piano bass continue their established patterns.  Brahms begins to notate D-flat as C-sharp, and it makes a “dominant” motion to F-sharp as a climax is approached.  At the climax, the upbeat-downbeat figures completely take over, and the patterns are similar to those at 0:41 and 4:18 [m. 17].
8:38 [m. 133]--The climax erupts into powerful chords in all instruments that work their way downward and move the music back to B-flat minor, the predominant key of the development section thus far.  These chords suddenly emerge into material from Theme 2.  The piano bass and cello, then the right hand and first violin, play that theme’s jerky opening gesture as the second violin and viola establish the characteristic oscillating triplet motion.  The music rapidly diminishes, and the second violin is left alone for a one-measure bridge.
8:46 [m. 137]--The second violin maintains the oscillating half-step motion.  The piano begins a mysterious variant of Theme 2 in B-flat minor with the hands in alternation and moving in opposite directions.  The viola adds long notes.  The soaring line typical of Theme 2 is harmonized in both hands, mostly in thirds, with the hands still going in opposite directions.  There are dissonant chromatic notes forming “diminished” harmonies.  At the end of the phrase, these, along with plucked descending octaves in the cello and first violin, move the music up a half-step to B minor, reversing the tonal pattern from the beginning of the development.  The entire Theme 2 variant is then repeated a half-step higher.
9:02 [m. 145]--With a sudden surge in C minor (another half-step higher), the opening figure of Theme 2 takes over and the second violin stops its oscillation.  The strings come together in unison, leading the piano.  The strings play the characteristic figures with motion up and back down, with the piano moving in the opposite direction.  The piano figures are also harmonized.  This continues for two measures, after which the strings split from their unison playing.  The upper four, along with the piano right hand, begin to play breathless long-short rhythms.  The piano bass plays wide, very low octaves, doubled by the cello on most of the higher notes of these octaves.  There is then a huge crescendo and buildup on these patterns.
9:12 [m. 150]--Suddenly, a full statement of the first phrase from Theme 2 as heard at 1:21 and 4:58 [m. 35] is played in C minor, a half-step below its original presentation.  Here, the violins join the motion of the piano right hand in the main presentation of the “jerky” melody and upward rising line.  The viola and cello join the piano bass on the oscillating triplets, lending them even more weight.  This is the climax of the development section, and in its last measure, it begins to dissipate and diminish in preparation for the re-transition.
9:20 [m. 154]--Re-transition.  Now hushed, the Theme 2 material is presented in imitation between the piano left hand, the first violin, and the piano right hand.  The viola and second violin tentatively add the half-step triplet figures and the cello begins a pulsing “pedal point” on C, the “dominant” note of the home key.  The first phrase of imitation turns toward B-flat minor and major, but with the cello holding to the pulsing C.  The second phrase of imitation shifts up a step and moves back definitively to C minor, then C major.  A third phrase begins, following the sequence, beginning on C major.  Where the key shift would be expected, the piano suddenly moves to dissonant “diminished” harmonies and chromatic motion, sliding into F major/minor for the disguised and subtle arrival of Theme 1 for the recapitulation.
9:32 [m. 160]--The entry of Theme 1 in F minor is hidden by the continuing chromatic piano harmonies, which gradually move downward.  The cello “pedal point” continues.  The theme itself sneaks in on the second violin and viola, but only the first gesture of it.  The chromatic, mysterious piano harmonies continue their descent.  The cello passes the pulsing C “pedal point” to the viola.  The second violin drops out.  The cello then takes the continuation of Theme 1, which stalls, adding chromatic major-key inflections and syncopation.  Abandoning the effort, the cello joins the viola back on the pulsing C.  The piano harmonies suddenly lurch upward with half-step motion at the top.  The volume rapidly builds, and these short upward gestures lead into the passionate arpeggios and the more conventional continuation.
9:44 [m. 166]--The passionate piano arpeggios and violent string chords erupt in an exhilarating way from their new lead-in material.  Except for this new upbeat, they follow as at 0:16 and 3:52 [m. 5].
9:58 [m. 173]--The unison string version of Theme 1 with the heavy piano arpeggios follows, as at 0:30 and 4:06 [m. 12].
10:09 [m. 178]--The passionate outburst with stepwise piano descents and alternating string arpeggios follows as at 0:41 and 4:18 [m. 17].  The cello is now added to the heavier downbeat arrivals to reinforce the harmony and add weight.
10:16 [m. 181]--The descending bass octave triplets, continuing string arpeggios, and cadence gesture follow as at 0:48 and 4:24 [m. 20], but now the cello doubles the piano bass on the descending triplets, giving them much more power and lending more force to the cadence gesture.
10:23 [m. 184]--Transition.  With no mediation, the yearning melody from 0:54 and 4:31 [m. 23] is transposed from the previous F minor to B-flat minor, and the abrupt shift is striking.  It is also transferred from first violin to cello, changing its character.  The second measure of the melody has an altered contour, downward reach, and displacement down an octave.  The piano is more active than before, taking the triplet accompaniment and “sighing” figures, and adding a more solid bass support to the cello in its higher range.  The first violin adds long patterns beginning after the downbeat.  These seem to replace the smooth second violin counterpoint from the exposition.
10:32 [m. 188]--Transition to new key, analogous to 1:04 and 4:40 [m. 27].  The first violin, which played the melody’s first phrase in the exposition, now plays the continuation formerly taken by the viola.  The active piano and the cello play the triplet rhythms and sighing figures.  After two bars, the piano right hand takes the melody for the buildup.  This had previously been played by the first violin.  The chords formerly played by the piano here are now assigned to the cello and second violin.  The first violin and viola are given the sighing triplet leaps as the buildup and key change (to F-sharp minor, here already indicated at m. 191) progress.  The viola is the only instrument that basically has its original role here.  The cello and piano bass do move to their supporting roles as the arrival point approaches.  The oscillating triplet rhythms of the two-bar bridge are in the viola, supported by plucked cello bass notes, instead of the piano bass.
10:49 [m. 196]--Theme 2.  The choice of F-sharp minor for Theme 2 in the recapitulation rather than the home key of F minor is analogous to the exposition, where Theme 2 was not in the expected “dominant” key, but a half-step above it.  The pattern from 1:21 and 4:58 [m. 35] is followed, but re-scored.  The viola and plucked cello continue to play the oscillating triplets and “pedal point” bass (now on f-sharp).  The piano left hand takes much of the previous viola part.
10:58 [m. 200]--Analogous to 1:30 and 5:07 [m. 39].  The expressive phrase with triplets moves largely back to the original scoring, with the oscillation moving back to the piano (along with the following arpeggios), and the lead taken by viola and cello.  The restatement, however, is varied.  The second violin takes the place of the viola.  As expected, it shifts up a half-step and turns to G major.  But after the first piano arpeggio, the viola inserts a buzzing repeated octave on F-sharp.  The second arpeggio moves back down to F-sharp instead of remaining on G.  But after this, the buzzing viola octave follows its sequence and moves down another half-step to F.  This prepares the motion back to the home key of F minor.
11:15 [m. 208]--Analogous to 1:48 and 5:24 [m. 47].  The first two measures establish F minor, the long-absent home key.  The opening part of the theme is replaced by a new, but similar passage for strings alone.  In contrast to the jerky melody and its long-short rhythms, the passage is smooth and almost mysterious.  The three upper strings play lines the follow the contour of the theme, and the cello adds a pulsating “pedal point,” not on F, but on its “dominant” note, C.  The expansion from the third measure returns to the original material, but the soaring line is played by the piano in octaves instead of strings.  The violins and viola (the latter holding a long note) play the original harmonies of the piano right hand.  The cello continues its pulsing anchor, moving briefly to F before the expected downward motion to E-flat.
11:24 [m. 212]--The continuation, analogous to 1:57 and 5:33 [m. 51], largely returns to the original scoring from the exposition.  In this case, the piano continues its own rising line rather than taking over from the violins.  The broken octaves in the piano bass and the plucked cello notes are mostly as before.  The key touches this time on D-flat before the soaring line and full cadence in F minor.  The repetition of this soaring line and cadence is again given to the viola.  The piano is slightly more urgent here than it was before, but the plucked cello remains the main propulsive force.
11:37 [m. 218]--Expressive phrase from viola, arpeggios from Theme 1, and arching cadence, analogous to 2:10 and 5:46 [m. 57].  The scoring is mostly as it was in the exposition, except that the viola replaces the second violin on the pulsating triplets under the cadence.
11:46 [m. 222]--Cello repetition of expressive phrase, analogous to 2:19 and 5:55 [m. 61], with brief motion to D-flat.  The first two measures are scored as in the exposition, but the expanded violin cadence is changed to include all instruments and begin the buildup earlier.  Brahms changes the key signature to F major here, earlier than in the exposition.  Both violins play the leading line in octaves.  The trailing line formerly taken by the second violin is in the piano right hand, also in octaves.  The pulsations that had been played by the piano are now in the viola and also in octaves.  The cello harmonizes the piano bass above.
11:55 [m. 226]--The variant of the expressive phrase, as well as the following buildup and cadence, are analogous to 2:28 and 6:04 [m. 65].  The first two measures have the most changes in scoring.  The first statement had been played by second violin.  It is now played by the piano right hand, continuing its replacement of the second violin in the previous passage.    The second violin and viola, then, take over the passionate arpeggios, replacing parts of them with tremolos.  The first violin holds its high note from the previous passage, which it did not do before.  From the point where the first violin took over the expressive statement from before, the scoring is similar to what it was.  The first violin plays the second statement again, and the piano returns to the dramatic arpeggios.  At the climax, the first violin is doubled an octave lower by the viola, making the buildup even more intense.  The piano bass focuses more on the low octaves.  The last cello notes approaching the cadence are slightly altered in contour.
12:14 [m. 235]--Closing section.  Analogous to 2:47 and 6:24 [m. 74].  The downward slide is played by the piano bass and the cello.  From that point, the strings and piano reverse roles from the exposition.  The arching arpeggios are played by the piano, as are the martial dotted rhythms.  The strings hold long notes.  The descending echoes that were played by the piano before are taken by the strings (without viola).
12:23 [m. 239]--Analogous to 2:56 and 6:33 [m. 78].  The slide down to the leading tone is played by cello and viola doubling the piano bass.  From there, the role reversal from the closing theme in the exposition continues.  The piano plays the outward arching arpeggios again, reaching higher, along with the marching dotted rhythm.  The first echo is played by the strings, and the extra second echo, the expansion, is played by the piano.
12:34 [m. 244]--Analogous to 3:07 and 6:44 [m.83].  The harmonized descending groups of three-note patterns in straight rhythm, obscuring the bar line and building in volume, continue in an exact role reversal from the exposition.  The strings play the first group of three patterns, the piano the second, and the strings join the piano on the third (thus causing the scoring to match the exposition at the end of this third group).
12:41 [m. 247]-Analogous to 3:15 and 6:51 [m. 86].  The lengthened descents begin with the same scoring as in the exposition.  The repetition an octave lower is thinned out by removing the second violin and viola.  There is no full F-major cadence here, as the weak-beat pulses that closed the exposition are omitted.  Instead of a cadence, the coda immediately begins with this material, building on the three-note descents.
12:51 [m. 251]--Part 1.  The piano, in the tenor range with bass support, echoes the last first violin descent.  From that point, an intricate web of imitation between piano and strings follows on the three-note descents, with the top line of each gradually moving up by step.  There is a steady buildup.  After three such exchanges, a climax is reached, the top lines stall on F and the imitative motion becomes more continuous, adding a downbeat before each descent.  The cello breaks from the continuous string harmonies and plucks broken octave descents on F.  Three of these more continuous imitations then follow. 
13:05 [m. 257]--The string answer to the third imitation is interrupted, and all instruments join together on on a series of two-beat phrases, with the first violin taking the leading voice.  It still leaps down while the second violin, viola, and piano right hand mostly move up by step or leap.  The piano bass arrives on a very low F and plays slow, rising broken octaves, supported by the now static plucked cello notes (also on its low F).  The two-beat phrases steadily move down in the first violin, and half-steps are again emphasized.  The tension steadily abates.  All voices except the piano and cello bass reach the preparatory “dominant” harmony, slowing and diminishing in volume on a suspended, otherworldly oscillation.
13:16 [m. 261]--Part 2.  Brahms gives the tempo heading “Poco sostenuto.”  The first violin leads a hushed meditation on the main theme, beginning with a descent from an upbeat instead of the usual ascent.  The second violin begins to imitate the first, but deviates quickly, adding characteristic syncopation.  The two violins emerge into a contrary motion, with the first floating upward.  The lower strings and piano bass hold, then slowly move on an unstable “dominant” harmony and “pedal point” F under this violin meditation.
13:27 [m. 265]--The cello begins the meditation on the main theme anew, in B-flat instead of F.  The first violin plays the syncopated “imitating” line previously played by the second violin.  The second violin and viola hold the harmonies.  The piano bass remains on the “pedal point” F.  The statement is extended by two measures, lingering on the contrary motion, which changes direction and which the middle strings join.  The cello finally lands on its low F and holds it.  The piano bass subtly drops out, and the strings hold notes over a bar line, extending the statement by another measure.  The strings reach a delayed, unstable, incomplete, and chromatically-tinged cadence on B-flat.  From here, the piano is absent for a time.
13:44 [m. 272]--The strings, except the cello, play a series of syncopated chords held over strong beats and bar lines, continuing from the weak B-flat cadence.  The cello slowly emerges into syncopated Theme 1 material, and all instruments gradually move back toward F minor, slowly abandoning the major key.  After four measures, the leading cello leaps downward as the upper strings descend, settling toward a “dominant” harmony as the volume reaches its quietest point.  The cello repeats its last gesture, which is clearly recognizable as the opening figure of Theme 1.  The other strings become detached on their off-beat chords.
14:04 [m. 279]--After the second cello arrival, that instrument leads a transition passage.  The descending line from Theme 1, beginning with an upbeat, takes over.  After the cello lead-in, the piano enters with the hands playing in unison with the cello and an octave apart.  Brahms indicates a steady acceleration here.  The piano takes over from the cello.  It accommodates the acceleration by speeding up to a triplet rhythm, still in octaves.  The other strings, including the cello, play upbeat figures leading into strong beats and emphasizing them.  The piano triplets begin to arch, working steadily upward and increasing in intensity and speed.  This leads directly into the main tempo and the passionate arpeggios, at which point Brahms finally changes the key signature back to the four flats of F minor.
14:13 [m. 283]--Part 3.  The passionate piano arpeggios from 0:16, 3:52, and 9:44 [m. 5 and m. 166] emerge in a “tragically triumphant” way from the buildup and acceleration.  The first two brief gestures are played as usual, but the third, longer one is extended from three measures to four, with new harmonies focusing on major keys to the “flat” side of F minor (D-flat, G-flat, and C-flat).  The string chords still use much half-step motion, although the heavy emphasis on major harmonies makes the passage more triumphant than tragic.  The fourth measure works decisively back to F minor.
14:26 [m. 290]--The arrival point is filled with feverish intensity.  The piano moves from the fast arpeggios to a version of the slower ones that were heard under the string statement of the theme (which usually followed the fast arpeggios).  The strings now take the fast arpeggios, passing them back and forth from first violin and viola to second violin and cello.  The slower piano arpeggios move steadily downward to another big F-minor arrival.  The scoring of the three-measure pattern is then reversed.  The piano takes back the fast arpeggios, leaping from the high to the low register with both hands in octaves to approximate the previous string interplay.  The violins and cello play the slower arpeggios here while the viola adds rapid repeated notes to solidify the harmonies.  A third huge arrival on F minor follows as expected.
14:38 [m. 296]--Brahms suddenly applies the brakes with a sostenuto marking.  All four string instruments join in unison octaves, still on the slow arpeggios.  The piano breaks from the fast arpeggios and plays longer, heavy chords that leap back and forth, low to high.  Its bass emphasizes a low octave F.  The strings are accented on strong beats, and the piano’s high chords on weak ones, creating a sort of cross-rhythm.  The harmonies create an extended cadence on F minor, but not a typical one.  These last cadences focus on “plagal” or “subdominant” harmonies in an ending that foreshadows that of the Fourth Symphony’s first movement.  After two measures, the piano plays three grand F-minor chords under the continuing slow string arpeggios.  The strings stop and join the piano on the last of these highly dramatic final chords.
14:53--END OF MOVEMENT [299 mm.]

2nd Movement:
Andante, un poco Adagio (Ternary form--ABA’). A-FLAT MAJOR, 3/4 time.
A Section
0:00 [m. 1]--Part 1.  The piano right hand, playing espressivo and sotto voce in the tenor register, presents the main theme.  Its principal gesture, an upward skipping short-long rhythm that is followed, after the long note is sustained a beat, by a distinctive short-short-long pattern, remains almost constantly present.  The same is true for the harmonization in thirds or sixths.  The first violin and viola, in octaves, play a halting accompaniment whose distinctive gestures include notes on the second halves of all three beats in the measure and the beginning of the second beat.  The piano bass plays with them, but reverses the direction of the gestures.  The cello adds plucked notes on the downbeats.  The first two measures are identical.  The third moves down toward the half-close, and the fourth establishes a cadence measure pattern by changing the short-long rhythm on the downbeat, in this case reversing it to long-short.
0:20 [m. 5]--The second phrase changes the contour of the short-short-long patterns after the downbeats, intensifying them.  The second measure of the phrase adds notes from the minor key.  The third and fourth measures blossom into a new arching approach to the half-close.  In the cadence measure, the first violin and viola, joined by the plucked cello and piano bass, play only after the beats, without the added “halting” note on the second beat.
0:40 [m. 9]--Part 2.  The next phrase begins with the minor-key inflection, emphasizing it by omitting the short-long rhythm in the first measure.  The phrase intensifies in both volume and harmony, and moves strongly toward C minor (not the initially suggested A-flat minor).  The last measure of the phrase actually reaches a half-close in C minor, emphasized by the first forte marking.  The second violin makes its first entrance here, joining the viola and cello in plucked off-beat chords.  The first violin plays at the top of these, but retains the bow
1:00 [m. 13]--At first, this phrase appears to back away and return to the opening phrase of Part 1.  The viola again bows the accompaniment patterns with the first violin, and the second violin rests again.  But the music already deviates and intensifies before the second measure.  As in the preceding phrase, the last measure reaches a new key, this time D-flat major, and with a strong full cadence rather than a weaker half-close.  Again, the second violin joins the viola and cello in rich plucked chords under the high, bowed first violin. 
1:20 [m. 17]--Part 2 of the A section concludes with an extended six-measure phrase.  As before, the beginning recedes back to the quiet level.  The first measures resemble the second phrase of Part 1, but without the change in contour of the short-short-long patterns.  The previous patterns are followed, but the cello has gradually moved away from the downbeats.  The harmonic motion is even more adventurous here, but the volume remains quiet.  The A-flat-minor inflections are used to pivot to its related major key, C-flat.  The third measure adds a second skipping figure, and the fourth adds a very expressive piano turn at the half-close in C-flat.  The two-measure extension also emphasizes the skipping short-long figure, and quickly moves back home to A-flat major.  The piano speeds up toward long-delayed full cadence.
1:50 [m. 23]--Part 3 (Codetta).  The greatly anticipated cadence is embellished with an expressive downward resolution (an appoggiatura).  This leads into the closing material.  It is extremely warm and beautiful.  The piano is still in the tenor range, still playing mostly in thirds and sixths.  The appoggiatura lends itself as a defining feature.  The left hand and strings play off the beat, the former in low octaves.  The second violin, which has only played at the louder cadences with plucked viola and cello, is still absent.  The last two measures of the first phrase accelerate slightly and add colorful chromatic inflections.  The piano bass and plucked cello become more active.  Another yearning turn figure, leading into a triplet rhythm, concludes the phrase and leads into the next one.
2:08 [m. 27]--The second phrase of the codetta begins like an intensification of the first.  The two violins, the second playing with the bow for the first time in the movement, join the piano on the harmonized cadences and appoggiaturas.  The plucked cello plays in double-stops in the off-beat accompaniment patterns to compensate for the added strength of the violins.  After the first two measures, there is intensification as before, but the colorful inflections are heightened and actually lead toward a new key.  The goal is the key of the B section, E major, notated as F-flat in this transitional passage.  The cello takes the bow for the first time in the movement here, and another triplet figure leads into the following transition.
2:23 [m. 31]--Transition.   At the climax, the instruments all suddenly hold back in tempo and diminish in volume.  While the piano emphasizes the lead-in to E major, the strings slowly descend into that key, all now playing with the bow.  The piano plays octaves with some syncopation and internal harmonic motion.  The piano bass leads up through half steps to B-natural, the “dominant” note in E major, and the four-sharp key signature is introduced.  Over the held piano bass B, chromatic descending thirds in the right hand and a syncopated line in the first violin smoothly bridge into the theme of the B section.
B Section--E major
2:41 [m. 35]--The second violin and viola, in unison, lead into the new theme with an upbeat on a rising octave.  They then continue in unison on descending patterns in triplet rhythm.  The first violin and piano, meanwhile, play rolled chords against the melody while the cello again plucks in support of the piano bass on the “dominant” note.  The theme is marked molto espressivo and is more intense than the A section melody.  After two measures, the piano right hand takes the lead with a continuation in straight rhythm, harmonized in sixths.  The unison triplets in second violin and viola continue under the piano as an accompaniment pattern.  The first violin plays two more isolated rolled chords.
2:52 [m. 39]--The piano melody continues, harmonized in sixths, but it now turns to E minor.  The piano bass adds rising octaves like the upbeats that led into the melody.  The first violin drops out, then the second violin also subtly exits, leaving the now accompanying triplet rhythm to the viola.  The piano reaches a half-close in E minor with only the viola and cello remaining from the strings.  At the half-close, the cello takes the bow and plays a descending line.  The piano then drops out.  The second violin and viola join the cello, quickly moving back to E major and leading into the next statement of the melody.
3:04 [m. 43]--The first violin provides the upbeat for a new, higher statement of the theme.  The second violin adds a new counterpoint in clashing straight rhythm, bringing in the two-against-three conflict earlier than before, but vaguely imitating the first violin.  The piano alone plays the rolled chords with both hands doubled an octave apart.  The continuation in straight rhythm that had been played by piano alone is again taken by the piano, but unlike the beginning of the statement, the continuation is an octave lower than before.  Its harmonies are doubled by the viola and cello, which enter here.  The first violin continues the triplets in the accompanying role.  The second violin continues its straight-rhythm line, now subordinate to viola, cello, and piano.  The piano bass solidly emphasizes the “dominant” note in octaves.
3:16 [m. 47]--The turn to minor is intensified.  It lands solidly on the “dominant” harmony right at the outset.  All strings except the viola drop out, and the piano presses with the minor-key continuation in a more agitated manner.  Brahms indicates a steady, gradual acceleration.  Against this, the viola plays two measures of pulsating triplets on B, the “dominant” note.  These triplets then pass to octaves in the piano right hand in a role reversal, and the cello joins the viola in an extension of the minor-key continuation.  After one more measure, the two violins join in as well.  The piano octave triplets begin to move about, but circle back to the “dominant” B.  The extension, with a steady buildup, continues for three more measures.
3:31 [m. 53]--At the climax, the strings suddenly and abruptly switch back to major.  The first violin and cello are an octave apart, as are the viola and second violin, which harmonize them.  The piano triplets continue, as does the solid bass.  The strings recede in volume and tempo, settling back to a cadence in E major as the piano triplets dissipate.
3:41 [m. 55]--Epilogue.  The piano plays chords, dolce, in the rhythm of the accompaniment to the main A section theme.  The cello plays an octave upbeat in the dotted rhythm and character of the  B section theme.  Its upbeats are then twice joined by first violin and viola on descending ninths using the chromatic note D-natural.  After four measures, the viola moves to a new half-step pattern, using the dotted rhythm and another chromatic note, C-natural (which also appears in the piano chords).  This pattern, despite diminishing volume, has an urgent character obtained through a cross-rhythm (here a briefly implied 2/4 meter).  The cello plays low E’s, the first violin drops out, and the piano makes one more arrival on E major.  On the last upbeat, the cello leaps down to D-natural (as had the first violin and viola before).
4:06 [m. 61]--The key signature changes back to four flats.  Very quietly and mysteriously, the piano again plays chords in the rhythm of the accompaniment to the A section theme.  The strings again add their dotted-rhythm upbeats, now mostly the urgent, dissonant leaping ninth.  Now the cello descends and the two violins ascend.  The second violin has smaller leaps of a fourth and a fifth.  The violin leaps resolve downward, easing the tension.  The harmony moves down by half-step from the previous E major.  The first two measures strongly suggest E-flat minor and major.  They are then shifted down another half-step for two measures that seem to fall in D minor and major.  Another half-step descent appears to begin, but it is immediately diverted back to D by the winding cello and the piano chords.  The violins drop out.
4:30 [m. 67]--The winding cello had included the note E-flat.  This note helps the D harmony to begin acting as a preparatory “dominant” leading to G minor, where Brahms now moves.  The note D is isolated in the viola and cello, the latter plucked and the former using the familiar accompaniment rhythm of the A section.  The quiet, mysterious mood prevails.  After two measures, the violins enter in thirds, dolce, with the opening gesture of the A section theme itself, not in G minor, but G major.  As the lower strings persist on their repeated D’s, that opening gesture is repeated in the piano left hand, and now it is in G minor.
4:47 [m. 71]--The cello and viola move up a half-step to E-flat.  The violins use the G-minor harmony to pivot artfully to A-flat major, the home key of the movement.  The E-flat in the low strings becomes the “dominant” of A-flat, anticipating its full arrival.  The piano drops out for two measures.  The cello and viola continue their established pattern on the new pitch.  The violins begin to spin out a yearning passage, harmonized in thirds, that is clearly targeted toward the arrival of the main A section theme in the home key.  After a brief acceleration and swelling of volume, the piano re-enters, with its low bass doubling the viola.  At that point, the first violin reaches its highest pitch, the harmony between the violins expands to sixths, and then both speed and volume quickly recede, settling into the well-prepared, natural arrival.
A’ Section
5:03 [m. 75]--Part 1, as at the beginning.  The first phrase is played with no alterations.
5:22 [m. 79]--Second phrase, as at 0:20 [m. 5].
5:43 [m. 83]--Part 1, varied repetition.  The A’ section adds a second full and varied statement of Part 1 with “reversed” instrumentation.  The first phrase transfers the main theme to the first violin and cello, which maintain the original piano harmonies, stretched from thirds to tenths.  The accompaniment is given to the piano, which adds a gentle rising arpeggio to each entry after the first beat of the measure.  Otherwise, it is similar to the original string accompaniment, with some added chords.  In the last two measures of the phrase, the second violin joins in to double and strengthen the cello line in a higher octave.
6:00 [m. 87]--The second phrase is similarly presented by first violin and cello.  The second violin does not join, but the accompaniment in the piano, which retains the decorative arpeggios, adds more chordal harmonies, including rolled chords at the end of the phrase.
6:19 [m. 91]--Part 2.  The varied repetition of Part 1 has extended the A’ section.  At this point, the analogous relationship returns, and this phrase corresponds to 0:40 [m. 9].  But it is really a continuation of the varied repetition, since Brahms retains the scoring of that repetition, with the melody in the strings and accompaniment in the piano.  The piano, in fact, continues its established pattern of adding gentle arpeggios to each entry of the accompaniment rhythm.  For this phrase, the viola is added to first violin and cello, doubling the violin in a lower octave.  The phrase builds, as it did before, moving to C minor, and the piano continues to add richer chords to the accompaniment, rolling them at the climax.
6:38 [m. 95]--This phrase corresponds to 1:00 [m. 13], and like that phrase, it quickly intensifies and moves to a cadence in D-flat.  The second violin enters and doubles the cello, the viola continuing to double the first violin.  The piano continues its established accompaniment pattern with the initial arpeggios, and it adds even wider rolled chords at the strong arrival on D-flat.
6:57 [m. 99]--The six-measure phrase that concludes Part 2 is analogous to 1:20 [m. 17].  The half-close in C-flat and the full cadence in A-flat are retained.  The strings continue to take the melodic lead, with first violin doubled by the viola and the second violin doubling cello.  The piano finally abandons the graceful ascending arpeggios at the beginning of its accompaniment patterns.  Rolled chords give way to block chords at the expressive turn figure in C-flat.  At the very satisfying cadence in A-flat, the last three first violin notes are doubled in speed from their previous piano presentation.  This causes the cadence to arrive on the last beat of the measure rather than the first.  The new Coda that takes the place of Part 3 begins on the upbeat with this cadence.
7:24 [m. 105]--Part 3 (Coda).  The “codetta” is expanded to a full-scale coda, beginning with new material.  This new material is actually derived from the wide dotted-rhythm upbeat at the beginning of the B section theme, specifically as this upbeat appeared in the epilogue and re-transition.  The first violin plays the first upbeat, a rising octave, and continues with this.  The viola and cello follow with descending ninths an octave apart.  Meanwhile, the piano plays rising thirds in both hands, introducing some chromatic motion to match the chromatic leaps of a ninth in the low strings.  Suddenly, the right hand blossoms into joyously arching triplet octaves and a syncopated appoggiatura as the first violin reaches upward.  All four instruments (the second violin is absent) reach a broad climax here, then settle down.  The piano again uses thirds in this descent.  The viola and cello remain an octave apart, but turn upward.
7:41 [m. 109]--The previous passage is played again in a new instrumentation.  The viola leads with the first upbeat octave while the piano right hand takes the descending ninths, now in high octaves.  The first violin, cello, and piano bass play the rising lines, the harmonies now spread out.  The joyously arching triplet octaves and syncopated appoggiatura are now taken by first violin and cello.  The piano, also in octaves, takes the role previously played by the low strings here.  The second violin is still absent.  This ending passage is suddenly expanded.  The closing gestures do not settle down, but increase in speed and urgency, repeating patterns with new chromatic inflections.  This continues for three measures.
8:03 [m. 115]--In the preceding passage, the presence of the note G-flat seemed to indicate a diversion to D-flat major.  Brahms thwarts that expectation with a sudden and striking detour to F major at the climax.  The piano leaps down in syncopated octaves against its rising bass.  The viola drops out, leaving the first violin and cello to settle down from the climax.  They also play in syncopation on repeated notes..  Under them, the piano leads through very active and colorful chords back to the home key of A-flat.  Everything rapidly becomes slower and quieter.  The two strings descend, again in syncopation, toward a cadence.
8:15 [m. 118]--At the cadence, the cello leads into the melody of the original codetta with the familiar appoggiatura.  The piano plays chords on the off-beats under the cello.  It then joins the melody, along with the viola, adding the familiar harmonization and leaving the off-beats to the bass.  There is a rapid buildup.  Gloriously, the two violins enter, diverging from the original material and expanding the opening gestures with rich, full harmony and volume (the second making its first entrance after a long absence).  The piano right hand and viola subtly shift to trail after the violins on these gestures.  The cello, now plucked, along with the piano bass, plays broken octaves on the keynote A-flat, signifying a final arrival.
8:30 [m. 122]--The codetta gestures are fragmented, with piano and viola still trailing the violins.  The violins then play gentle undulations like slow trills and are trailed by the viola, which plays the undulations in the opposite direction  It introduces the dissonant note a half-step above the “dominant,” reflecting a typical key relationship in the Quintet.  The violins come to a close and the viola continues to trail, still including the dissonance.  It is supported by the piano right hand.  The octaves in the plucked cello and piano bass continue as the viola and the piano right hand, which plays in comforting thirds, lead to the last chord.  This quiet, sustained chord has the fifth or “dominant,” not the keynote, in the top voice, the violins.
9:06--END OF MOVEMENT [126 mm.]

3rd Movement: Scherzo –  Allegro (Developmental Scherzo with Trio).  C MINOR, 6/8 and 2/4 time.
Part 1
0:00 [m. 1]--Theme 1 (6/8 time).  The scherzo begins ominously and extremely quietly with a thumping plucked cello on its low C.  After two measures, the viola and first violin enter on a highly syncopated unison arpeggio that seems to suggest A-flat major (the key of the slow movement) rather than C minor.  After the arpeggio, they slide into a sinuous melody, also syncopated and unison, that finally confirms the C-minor key.  The cello continues to pluck the low C, keeping a steady beat.  The piano, in octaves and in its low range, subtly enters with a response to the violin/viola melody.  It is narrow and almost sinister, a quality enhanced by its syncopation.  After two identical gestures, the piano follows the violin and viola on arching lines, always syncopated, that reach high and close off the first statement of Theme 1.
0:13 [m. 13]--Theme 2 (2/4 time).  With the arrival on the “dominant” note G, the piano and cello drop out.  The first violin and viola immediately change the flowing 6/8 to an angular 2/4.  Still in unison, they utter a highly distinctive and rhythmic idea.  Still quiet and ominous, the percussive, driving force of this idea will later reach its full potential.  It begins with detached long-short rhythms on repeated G’s, then moves to a turn figure.  The second sequence reaches higher, changing the turn to a brief arpeggio.  In a third sequence, the cello and (making its first appearance) the second violin enter in support with plucked chords that remain close to G.  The first violin joins these, leaving the viola alone on the persistent long-short rhythm.
0:22 [m. 22]--Theme 3 (6/8 time).  After the hushed and ominous opening, all five instruments suddenly break out into a loud and joyous chorale in C major.  It begins with an upbeat, in this case a half-measure after a rest on the downbeat.  It is richly harmonized and has a march-like quality.  The three-chord upbeats propel the chorale forward.  The first statement ends on the “dominant” harmony (after a brief detour to A minor) and is rounded off by repeated octave G’s in the piano. 
0:29 [m. 30]--In the second statement, the strings enter against the repeated G’s, an octave lower than the first statement, while the piano follows them a measure later and a third higher.  Instead of providing low bass support, as in the first statement, the left hand doubles the chords an octave lower, with both hands in the treble register.  Halfway through, the piano abandons the imitation and simply supports the strings with chords, although its top voice does not play the melody as it did before.  Again, octave G’s in the piano round off the statement.
0:37 [m. 39]--Re-transition.  The now-powerful syncopated arpeggios from Theme 1 (in the violins) are combined with the thumping octave G’s that continue from Theme 3 (in the piano).  These G’s move down to C with harmonization on F-sharp.  The viola and cello add punctuating octaves.  There are two statements of the arpeggios with the thumping Theme 3 octaves.  The harmony remains closely tied to the “dominant,” but the syncopated arpeggios ensure that the key does not actually move there.  The two statements are bridged by octave G’s, and they also form another bridge to the reprise that opens Part 2.
Part 2
0:45 [m. 47]--Theme 1.  The theme begins as before, but without the two measures of introductory cello thumps, the octave G’s having taken care of that.  The cello quietly enters with the syncopated arpeggio in first violin and viola.  The piano enters as expected on its “sinister” responses.  The second of these, however, reaches a step higher, as do the first violin and viola.  The ensuing high syncopated arching lines build rapidly.  The cello and second violin join.  The violins, in thirds, double the viola and cello below them.  The piano right hand follows.  The cello having abandoned its low plucked notes, the thumps are passed to the piano bass in low octaves.  The arching lines reach higher, and make a true motion to G.
0:55 [m. 57]--Theme 2.  The meter changes again to 2/4, and this time it remains in force for an extended passage.  Theme 2 is given again, but now fully in G minor (with an emphasis on its “dominant” note, D), played by all five instruments, and with a forceful, dramatic presentation as opposed to its secretive earlier statement.  It is also given in full harmony, with piano chords doubled by the lower strings.  The top lines of the piano and the first violin have the actual melody, including the turn figures and arpeggios.  The chords support the long-short rhythm.  The third, closing sequence is replaced by a repetition of the first two in a new key, B-flat minor.  Following this repetition, the instruments, still playing in long-short rhythms and arpeggios, cascade down and convert B-flat to the preparatory “dominant” in E-flat minor.
1:04 [m. 67]--An extended fugato (fugue passage) begins on the Theme 2 material, the first “developmental” passage in the scherzo.  It begins at a suddenly much quieter level.  The theme itself serves as a fugue “subject.”  It is first heard in the viola in E-flat minor, the central key of the fugue passage.  A “countersubject” is played against it in the piano bass.  This detached line marches downward, leaps back up, and marches down again.
1:08 [m. 71]--The second fugue statement of the theme is in the piano right hand.  It slides from E-flat minor to B-flat minor.  The original marching, detached countersubject is in the viola, with some changes of contour.  The piano bass, continuing from the first statement, adds a second “countersubject,”  It is a series of syncopated descents punctuated by detached low leaps of a fourth.  The “subject,” with its countersubjects, is extended by a measure to facilitate harmonic motion back to E-flat.
1:12 [m. 76]--The third statement is back in E-flat minor.  The theme is in the newly entering first violin.  The original detached countersubject is in the piano right hand, but the piano bass adds a new line moving in contrary motion to the original line.  The second, syncopated countersubject is in the viola, continuing from the first one.
1:16 [m. 80]--The fourth statement is again the B-flat-minor version.  The theme is again in the piano right hand, an octave higher than the second statement, the detached countersubject in the first violin, and the syncopated one back in the piano bass.  The viola adds a new line in conjunction with the detached countersubject in the first violin (similar to that given the piano bass in the third statement).  This statement, unlike the second, is not extended by a measure.  Instead, the end of the last measure is slightly altered.
1:20 [m. 84]--For the fifth statement, Brahms does go back to E-flat minor, but changes the ending.  The theme is in its original instrument for the fugue, the viola.  The original detached countersubject is back in the piano left hand, but it is now in the treble register.  The syncopated countersubject is high in the piano right hand.  The second violin and cello make their first entries.  The second violin plays the viola line from the fourth statement.  The first violin and cello, in alternation, add new, isolated punctuations of the theme’s signature long-short rhythm.  The ending is altered to approach a different goal instead of B-flat minor.
1:24 [m. 88]--A sixth statement seems to begin with the theme in the first violin, the detached countersubject in the piano bass, the syncopated countersubject in the piano right hand, the new “viola line” in that instrument, and the isolated long-short rhythm in the second violin.  But this is really the beginning of a large ascending sequence that serves as a transition.  It starts on D-flat, then briefly settles on the fugue’s main key, E-flat minor.  Elements of the two countersubjects alternate between hands of the piano.
1:27 [m. 92]--All fugue elements are fragmented and placed in close succession.  This transition is a type of fugal stretto (stacking of subject entries).  The cello enters, harmonizing the syncopated countersubject and original countersubject in the piano and viola.  These two elements are basically combined here.   The fragmented main theme is in the unison violins.  The thematic fragments work up to the secondary key, B-flat minor, and at that point the volume, which has been hushed throughout, suddenly and rapidly builds.  The theme is fragmented even more urgently, reduced to a half-step.  A last shift to E-flat minor brings a sudden climax.
1:34 [m. 100]--At the climax, as the fugue breaks, Theme 2 is given its grandest statement yet, still in E-flat minor.  It is played in unison by all strings and the piano bass.  It is the piano right hand that intensifies it.  It plays octaves to “fill in” the gaps left in the long-short rhythms of the theme’s repeated notes, resulting in a heavily percussive effect.  It also briefly imitates the turn figures, also in octaves.  This time, the third, closing sequence is also included, but at that point the unison playing breaks and only the first violin takes the lead on the long-short rhythm, supported by the piano bass.  The other strings play punctuating chords on each beat, and the “filling” material in the piano right hand expands to full chords.  The closing phrase itself essentially follows the pattern of the first, hushed statement in Part 1, but is extended to the downbeat.
1:43 [m. 109]--Theme 3.  The 6/8 meter returns after a long absence.  The joyous chorale makes a welcome return.  It is given in E-flat major, the “relative” major key to C minor (as opposed to the home major key in Part 1).  Other than the key, the first statement essentially follows the pattern from 0:22 [m. 22].  Again, the statement ends on the “dominant” and is rounded off with pounding octave B-flats from the piano.
1:51 [m. 117]--The second statement of the chorale in E-flat follows the pattern from 0:29 [m. 30] in the new key.  The piano follows the strings, as it did there.  Again, the statement is rounded off with punctuating octave B-flats.
1:59 [m. 126]--Re-transition.  The pattern from 0:37 [m. 39] is followed, but with the thumping octaves on B-flat, moving down to E-flat with harmonization on A-natural.  The key center is still E-flat, with heavy emphasis on the “dominant,” B-flat.  As before, there are two statements of the syncopated arpeggios.  The bridging octave B-flats after the second statement move down a step, to A-flat.  Previously, they remained static.  This motion helps lead back to the home key of C minor and an extension of the re-transition.
2:07 [m. 134]--The volume suddenly recedes.  The piano octaves move down again, to G.  This note is the preparatory “dominant” of C minor, and signifies an arrival there.  The viola and cello, still in unison, play an arpeggio in octaves on G.  Significantly, they are on the downbeats, momentarily interrupting the heavy syncopation.  But immediately, the volume builds again and the violins enter forcefully with the syncopated arpeggios.  The music now more closely matches the re-transition from 0:37 [m. 39], even in key, but the first violin and cello are both an octave higher than they were before.  The “bridging” octaves are back on their original pitch of G, but this time, the quiet viola/cello arpeggio is added to them (it is played a total of three times).  As with the statements in E-flat, there are two statements of the syncopated arpeggios in C.
2:16 [m. 144]--A final statement of Theme 1 rounds off Part 2 of the Scherzo.  It is significantly different this time, not only due to its forceful presentation.  The syncopation is eliminated, and the unison arpeggio enters on the downbeat.  This shift had been prepared by the preceding viola/cello arpeggios on the downbeat.  All four strings and both hands of the piano are in a powerful unison on this arpeggio.  It is faster, adding more notes in a long-short rhythm, and reaches up two octaves instead of one.  At the arrival of the melody’s continuation, the first violin and viola play their original lines, with the violin an octave higher.  The second violin and cello add new parallel harmonies a sixth below them.  Instead of its original “sinister” line, the piano supports the melody with almost joyously tolling, widely leaping octaves.
2:22 [m. 150]--At this point, the arching lines of the original Theme 1 melody are altered, with four measures being expanded to eight.  This is accomplished by adding a longer descending pattern and a second “wave” of motion that begins higher.  The second violin and cello continue to harmonize the first violin and viola.  The piano right hand begins to play faster, downward-arching patterns while the left hand moves its octaves down to the low bass.  This extension facilitates an strong arrival on C instead of the “dominant” note G.  Each “wave” ends with a full, emphatic C-minor cadence.  The firm establishment of C minor is important, as it will be greatly undermined in the following coda.
Coda (Part 3)
2:30 [m. 158]--The coda returns to 2/4, and is almost entirely based on Theme 2, although the rising arpeggios from Theme 1 make an appearance at the end.  It begins with the last firm cadence on C minor.  Almost immediately, however, C seems to function as a “dominant” of F minor.  The frequent presence of the notes D-flat and E-natural, foreign to C minor, greatly undermine the key, and E-natural is sometimes used as part of a C major chord, including at the very end.  The version of Theme 2 from the climax at 1:34 [m. 100] is used, with the strings and piano bass in unison and the piano right hand “filling in” the gaps and adding brief imitation.  The first two measures follow the familiar pattern, seemingly in F minor, but then the long-short rhythms begin to move upward chromatically, touching on G minor and landing on A minor.
2:35 [m. 164]--A minor (more precisely, the “dominant” harmony in A minor on the note E-natural) is prolonged.  First, the turn figure is extended for more statements.  Then the long-short rhythm moves up again chromatically.  At this point, the “filling” octaves in the piano right hand add harmonies to create full chords, increasing the tension and excitement.  The rising long-short rhythms and the added piano harmonies actually do reach a full cadence on A minor, but it is immediately followed by a drop back down the the “dominant” note and a restatement of the pattern.  The chromatic ascent is subtly altered in its third measure, thwarting the A-minor cadence and diverting the music back toward C.
2:46 [m. 176]--The music arrives on C, but the chord is C major, not C minor.  The key is very ambiguous.  This arrival can either be interpreted as a “plagal” cadence in C minor (with the chord inflected to major by the so-called “picardy third”) or as a motion to the “dominant” in F minor.  Because of the strong downbeat emphasis of the C-major chord and the knowledge that C is the home key, F minor is weakened, although there was a cadence there (replacing the A-minor one) in the previous chromatic ascent.  The piano drops out as the strings play the opening of Theme 2.  The “filling” notes are given to first violin and viola.  The presence of the note D-flat again suggests F minor.  Suddenly and unexpectedly, the piano enters with the syncopated arpeggio from Theme 1 as Theme 2 continues in the strings.  But it is now fully harmonized and given in the context of 2/4 time, making the syncopation more “clipped.”  The bass plays on the downbeat, which softens the syncopation.  The harmonized arpeggio also prominently includes D-flat and suggests C major as a “dominant.”  The whole pattern is repeated.
2:53 [m. 184]--In the final phrase, the strings continue to hammer at Theme 2.  The piano, meanwhile, plays leaping chords leading from an upbeat D-flat chord to a downbeat C-major chord.  This half-step motion down from D-flat to C is a modification of the “plagal” cadence and dominates the ending.  After three measures, the strings stall on the turn figure, which also heavily emphasizes the motion from D-flat to C.  The piano plays a cascading chordal descent in the long-short rhythm, supported by true “plagal” motion (F to C) in the bass.  This descent also includes motion from D-flat major (or F minor) to C major.
2:59 [m. 190]--As the powerful piano descent reaches its last C-major chord, the violins isolate the now almost violently insistent half-step motion from D-flat to C.  The viola and cello add downward octave leaps to it and, significantly, the note G, which helps to establish the finality of C (despite the highly disruptive D-flat).  The piano plays two more C-major chords, sustaining the last one under the last defiant D-flat—C half-step.
TRIO (C major)
3:03 [m. 194]--Part 1.  The scherzo ends on the downbeat of m. 193.  The trio section begins immediately on the upbeat (second half) of that measure.  The meter changes to 6/8 before this upbeat.  The beginning of the trio section is indicated as m. 194 because in the total measure count, m. 193 is more properly assigned to the main scherzo section.  The upbeat itself is in the piano bass.  The cello enters on the downbeat.  The piano bass establishes a solid foundation on low C and G, and the cello plays a constant rhythmic pattern on low C.  The cello pattern consists of two quick notes on the upbeats leading to a longer downbeat note.  After this brief preparation, the piano right hand, also beginning halfway through the measure, begins to play a broad, noble, richly harmonized melody in the tenor range.  The theme prominently uses the “three-chord upbeats” that were typical of Theme 3 in the scherzo section.
3:11 [m. 202]--The melody, along with the piano bass and cello, turns to emphasize the “dominant” harmony on G.  The cello pattern, while maintaining the same rhythm, becomes active and no longer fixed on a single note.  The same is true of the piano bass.  The top line of the melody becomes static, oscillating between long notes that move by step.  The three-note upbeats (largely harmonies in thirds) are in a middle voice.  After four measures, the harmony moves yet again to the remote B major, where it remains for another four measures.
3:20 [m. 210]--Part 1, varied repeat.  The introductory upbeat and downbeat are now preparatory “dominant” chords that move back to C major.  The piano plays them with an octave leap, and the cello adds a double-stop.  The theme is played by the strings in harmony, an octave higher than the previous piano statement, with the melody in the first violin.  The cello moves to a plucked bass, now in isolated notes that move with the harmony, although the first three measures remain anchored on C.  The piano itself accompanies with sonorous descending arpeggios whose bass notes anticipate or coincide with the plucked cello notes.
3:28 [m. 218]--Motion of the melody to G and B major, as in the previous piano statement.  The first violin plays the long top notes, while the three-note upbeats are in the second violin and viola.  The cello, still plucked, moves back to its original upbeat/downbeat patterns (which were bowed before) with some octave shifts.  The piano also changes to this type of pattern, with its low bass doubling the cello.  The right hand, however, plays chords in the same rhythm that land on the second beat of each measure, alternating patterns with its left hand and the cello.
3:37 [m. 226]--Part 2.  The meter changes to 2/4, but the piano bass continues to play its upbeat/downbeat patterns in the 6/8 motion (now notated as a triplet rhythm).  It settles on G, the “dominant,” where it remains throughout the phrase, anchoring the unstable harmonies above.  In the 2/4 meter, the cello, now bowed, leads the piano right hand in a long, mildly agitated series of detached notes.  The piano right hand follows at a close distance, but does not imitate the cello; instead, the two instruments play in contrary motion, arching in opposite directions.  The patterns steadily work upward and are highly chromatic, touching on ascending minor-key harmonies.  The violins, in octaves, play longer notes that also work upward.  The violin patterns become steadily faster and higher.  At the high point, the instruments, with a high cello trill, arrive on a G-major chord.  The viola drops out at the beginning of this phrase.
3:44 [m. 234]--The phrase is repeated with the instrumentation rearranged.  The solid bass G’s in the upbeat/downbeat triplet rhythm are transferred to the cello.  The lines in octaves that begin with long notes and gradually become faster are transferred from the violins to the piano bass.  The piano right hand plays the original “leading” cello line with the detached notes, expanded to octaves and culminating in the trill.  The original “following” line that was in the piano right hand is now in the first violin.  The viola joins the first violin an octave below two measures before the end.  The second violin is absent for the phrase.
3:52 [m. 242]--The main theme from Part 1 returns (along with its 6/8 meter) to round off the trio section.  The preparatory beats are played by the piano, but its bass moves to the very unstable note B-flat.  When the theme enters, it is played by the strings in full harmony, and at the lower level of the original piano statement from the beginning, lower than the string presentation in the varied repeat.  The string harmonies are consistent with previous statements of the theme, but the persistent B-flat in the piano bass, still in the familiar rhythm originally played by the cello, undermines the stability and creates great tension.  After four measures, it moves down through A to the more stable “dominant” note, G.
4:01 [m. 250]--The phrase from 3:11 [m. 202] and 3:28 [m. 218] is altered so that it settles at home on C major.  The long top notes are again played by first violin, but the other strings support it in block harmonies.  After touching on the somewhat dissonant note F-sharp, the piano bass works down to F and then arrives on the long-awaited low C.  Meanwhile, the melody itself arrives on C with a gentle cadence.  The three-note upbeats, first in octaves, then harmonized in thirds as before, are in the piano right hand in the tenor register.  They are very chromatic, again emphasizing B-flat, and lend color to the C-major arrival.  The cadence in the strings is reiterated twice, extending the phrase by a measure. 
4:10 [m. 258]--The phrase abruptly cuts off.  The first violin and viola re-enter with two more C’s, but these are in the distinctive syncopated rhythm of the scherzo’s main theme, entering right before the downbeat.  These are preparatory for the rhythm in the return of the scherzo, to which they form a re-transition.  They are harmonized by the piano right hand.  The cello plucks low C’s on three straight downbeats, the first two with the displaced violin/viola notes.  The piano bass, still on C, omits its last upbeat and isolates the final downbeat with the plucked cello.  The first violin and viola do not play the syncopated C with this third downbeat (m. 261), leaving it to the piano right hand an octave lower.  The plucked cello C’s provide a smooth transition into the scherzo reprise, which begins with more of them.
Part 1
4:14 [m. 1]--Theme 1 in 6/8 time, as at the beginning.
4:26 [m. 13]--Theme 2 in 2/4 time, as at 0:13.
4:35 [m. 22]--Theme 3 in 6/8 time, first phrase of chorale, as at 0:22.
4:43 [m. 30]--Second phrase of chorale with piano following strings, as at 0:29.
4:51 [m. 39]--Re-transition with arpeggios from Theme 1, as at 0:37.
Part 2
4:59 [m. 47]--Theme 1 with motion to G minor, as at 0:45.
5:09 [m. 57]--Forceful presentation of Theme 2 in G minor and B-flat minor, as at 0:55.
5:18 [m. 67]--Fugato in E-flat minor.  Theme in viola and first countersubject in piano bass, as at 1:04.
5:22 [m. 71]--Second statement.  Theme in piano right hand, first countersubject in viola, new syncopated countersubject in piano bass, as at 1:08.
5:27 [m. 76]--Third statement.  Theme in first violin, first countersubject in piano right hand with new bass harmonization, syncopated countersubject in viola, as at 1:12.
5:30 [m. 80]--Fourth statement.  Theme in piano right hand an octave higher, first countersubject in first violin, syncopated countersubject in piano bass, new line in viola tied to first countersubject, as at 1:16.
5:34 [m. 84]--Fifth statement.  Theme in viola, first countersubject in piano left hand in treble register, syncopated countersubject high in piano right hand, “new line” from last statement in second violin, and new punctuations in first violin and cello, as at 1:20.
5:38 [m. 88]--Sixth statement and beginning of transition starting in D-flat.  Theme in first violin, countersubjects in alternation between piano hands, “new line” in viola, punctuations in second violin, as at 1:24.
5:41 [m. 92]--Fragmentation and stretto of fugue elements leading to climax in E-flat minor, as at 1:27.
5:48 [m. 100]--Climactic statement of Theme 2 in E-flat minor with “filling” of gaps, as at 1:34.
5:57 [m. 109]--Theme 3 in E-flat major, as at 1:43.
6:05 [m. 117]--Second statement of Theme 3 chorale in E-flat, as at 1:51.
6:13 [m. 126]--Re-transition with Theme 1 arpeggios, then motion back toward C minor, as at 1:59.
6:21 [m. 134]--Extension of re-transition, including new non-syncopated viola/cello arpeggios, as at 2:07.
6:30 [m. 144]--Exuberant final statement of Theme 1 without syncopation, as at 2:16.
6:36 [m. 150]--Expansion of Theme 1 melody and C-minor cadence, as at 2:22.
Coda (Part 3)
6:44 [m. 158]--Version of Theme 2 from climax, then chromatic upward motion to A minor, as at 2:30.
6:49 [m. 164]--Prolongation of A-minor material, as at 2:35.
7:00 [m. 176]--Arrival on C and tonal ambiguity.  Entry of arpeggios from Theme 1 in harmony, as at 2:46.
7:07 [m. 184]--Leaping chords and heavy emphasis on motion from D-flat to C, as at 2:53.
7:13 [m. 190]--Violently insistent motion from D-flat to C over final C-major chords, as at 2:59.
7:21--END OF MOVEMENT [261 (+193) mm.]

4th Movement: Finale – Poco sostenuto; Allegro non troppo; Presto, non troppo (Varied Sonata-Rondo [Binary] form, with introduction and extended coda). F MINOR, Cut time [2/2], 2/4, and 6/8 time.
INTRODUCTION – Poco sostenuto, Cut time [2/2]
0:00 [m. 1]--The cello alone begins the groping, mysterious introduction.  The opening is a series of rising octaves each leading to two rising half-steps.  The cello begins on the home keynote F, leaping up an octave and then sliding up a half-step.  It is followed by other instruments, each a fourth or a third away from the last one.  Each instrument enters as the last one slides the half-step.  The cello is followed by first violin, piano left hand, and viola.  The second half-step comes after the previous note has been sustained (longer in the cello than the other instruments) and with the entry of yet another instrument.  The first violin is the exception.  It expands its second half-step into a melodic turn figure as the cello begins another sequence an octave higher.
0:15 [m. 6]--The first violin again follows the cello, again in the higher octave, but at a different distance (a third instead of a fourth).  It is followed by the second violin, which is even higher, and the viola at its original pitch level.  The piano is absent for a time.  The first violin again expands into a turn figure.  The notes following the rising octaves break the pattern somewhat.  The second violin rises a half-step, then a whole step.  The viola’s second statement here moves down an half-step, then back up.  A third, abbreviated sequence follows as the first violin makes its turn.  The cello begins a step lower, and the volume builds.
0:26 [m. 10]--The cello is now followed by the second violin, which simply makes one half-step motion after its rising octave, and it is downward.  The cello entry itself follows the half-step with a whole step, as the second violin had done before.  The first violin enters again, now dispensing with the rising octave and simply repeating its turn figure.  The cello then imitates the first violin’s turn as the piano finally enters again.  Both hands come in together, not an octave apart, but a tenth apart in notes that emphasize E minor, a half-step down from the home key.  After their octaves, they indeed break into the E-minor chord, which leaps upward in the right hand.  As the cello completes its turn, the second violin and viola play a rising octave that also points to E minor.  Finally, the first violin repeats the first two notes of the turn figure.
0:34 [m. 13]--Suddenly, the piano lands on a loud dissonant chord.  The right hand begins to pulsate in long quarter-note triplets, with the last note of one tied to the first one of the next, creating strong syncopation.  The right hand notes are a “diminished seventh” chord, but combined with the bass, which holds the chord, then leaps down to a low octave C, they form a “dominant” chord with a so-called added ninth, a very unstable sonority.  This chord restores F minor.  As the piano chords begin, the first violin and cello play a new melodic line beginning with a long note, then winding downward.  The volume quickly diminishes, then builds again.  After three measures, the syncopated piano chords contract, then shift the harmony as the violin/cello line concludes.
0:44 [m. 17]--The violin/cello line in F minor concludes as the piano violently changes the chord to the “dominant” chord in D-flat.  The pulsing begins again, but now the piano left hand leaps up and joins the right in the pulsations.  The cello sustains the low C.  After a measure, the right hand leaves the pulsations to the left and plays, in octaves, a descending D-flat-major line similar to that previously played by first violin and cello.  The upper three strings are absent during this statement, which again diminishes and builds.
0:53 [m. 21]--As the piano line concludes, a new sequence begins.  The pulsations move to the viola and cello.  The first violin plays another descending line, now in E-flat major (over its “dominant” chord) as the piano bass becomes more active and rises by steps and thirds.  The piano right hand interrupts the first violin, and the harmony moves a level on the circle of fifths, to the “dominant” chord in A-flat.  The violin line continues.  In a role reversal, it then interrupts the piano line in the same manner.  At first, it seems that the harmony will move up the circle of fifths again, but it actually moves back to E-flat, now E-flat minor, as the piano bass reverses and descends by half-steps.  The violin line and the piano octaves continue in imitation for two statements.  On the second statement, the second violin joins the first an octave below.  At the very end of the sequence, the harmony lurches up a half-step to an E-minor chord.
1:11 [m. 29]--The strings, led by the cello, come back to the opening music.  The cello plays the rising octave on E, but now the other strings enter before it moves up the half-step.  They play the opening fragment of the “turn” figure with harmony.  They slide the music back home to F minor.  The piano bass enters with a rising octave on D-flat.  The right hand comes in against it with slow, syncopated chords.  After the upper strings finish their turn figure fragment, the first violin and cello play a descending octave against the piano chords.
1:21 [m. 33]--The second violin begins the syncopated pulsations on slow triplets.  These are now a background for brief figures combining the rising octave/half-step and the turn.  The cello leads the viola and first violin.  It plays the rising octave/half-step while they play the turn fragment.  The piano follows with its left hand playing the octave/half-step and the right hand playing the turn fragment.  The whole sequence is repeated, with a slightly more active turn fragment in both violin/viola and piano right hand.  After playing its second rising octave and half-step, the cello joins on the syncopated pulsations.
1:30 [m. 37]--The turn figure in the piano right hand is expanded into a rising figure.  The pulsations in cello and second violin are reduced in both thickness and activity.  They begin to leave off the first note of each triplet rhythm.  The viola and first violin imitate the piano line.  The volume diminishes and everything thins out.  The piano, at a lower level, plays one more rising half-step.  It then dissolves into isolated “dominant” chords, as do the second violin and cello, which cease their pulsations and join the piano.  The first violin and viola pause.  After the last isolated chord, a half-measure pause (m. 41) precedes the entry of the main theme at the beginning of the main “Allegro” section.
EXPOSITION – Allegro non troppo, 2/4 time
1:41 [m. 42]--Theme 1.  The exposition begins on an upbeat, or the second half of m. 41 (which is notated in 2/4 time).  The first full measure is m. 42.  The theme is broadly spun-out and has a sort of “leisurely intensity.”  Brahms even marks it tranquillo.  The lead role is given to the cello, which begins on the upbeat and marches forth over a percussive piano accompaniment.  The right hand, in the tenor range, provides the driving, active impetus while the foundation in the bass consists of isolated, detached off-beat notes.  The first cello phrase establishes F minor and includes a brief trill in the second statement of the main gesture. 
1:47 [m. 46]--The next phrase moves toward C minor with the entrance of the viola, which plays a harmony below the cello.  Both instruments have distinctive upward-sliding grace notes.  In a third phrase, the viola drops out and the piano right hand stops its driving propulsion.  The cello and piano, in arching lines (the piano bass in contrary motion), reach a full C-minor cadence with yet another brief cello trill.
1:58 [m. 54]--As the cello reaches the C-minor cadence, the viola and first violin come in with a transitional phrase that moves back to F minor.  It uses the rhythm of the opening and is played in thirds.  The driving force now moves to the piano bass, which establishes a steady oscillation on a low C octave, supported by long cello notes.  The piano right hand, still in the tenor range, answers the first violin and viola with a similar gesture (also in thirds) that moves in the opposite direction.  The exchange is played twice.
2:04 [m. 58]--The theme begins again, now taken by the piano right hand in octaves.  The active accompaniment previously played by the right hand is now presented by first violin and viola, also in octaves.  The piano bass is slightly more active.  The first phrase essentially follows the previous pattern with the exception that the piano adds a new upper note (an appoggiatura) in place of the cello trill during the second statement of the opening gesture.
2:09 [m. 62]--The second phrase begins as it had before, with the motion toward C minor.  There is, however, no harmony provided as the viola had done before.  Already in the second measure, Brahms introduces a surprise with a slide up a half-step, to D-flat, and a brief turn to major.  The piano does play the brief trill here.  The third phrase with the arching lines continues in D-flat major with chromatic inflections.  This time the arching lines alternate between strings (the second violin and cello enter here) and piano.  When the strings enter alone a second time, they divert the cadence gesture back home to F minor (with the trill in the first violin).  This cadence is reiterated by the piano, thus extending the phrase.
2:23 [m. 72]--The transitional phrase is completely transformed into an epilogue.  It enters with the cadence again, but it surprisingly and sweetly changes from F minor to F major, and does not shift the key center.  The rhythm and contour are the same, and it is played in thirds and sixths.  As before, a pair of strings (here the two violins) are answered by the piano.  The piano bass oscillation is on both C and F, giving the F-major key a strong confirmation.  The long notes are in both viola and cello.  The piano extends its answer on the second exchange, slowing and diminishing.  In a further extension, the piano bass slows down its oscillation to triplets while the strings join the harmony of the gradually dissolving right hand of the piano.  For a moment, all is suspended on a half-close.
2:34 [m. 80]--Transition.  With sudden impetuousness, the transitional material begins with three unison upward steps in all instruments.  On the second, the piano adds an octave, and on the third, the first violin and piano shoot up an octave while the cello and piano bass move down, all creating a sense of increasing force.  The step is clearly derived from the opening upbeat of the main theme.  Led by the first violin and piano right hand, the instruments burst into an intense series of upward gestures and scale runs, also derived from the main theme.  At first, the cello and piano bass move in contrary motion with the violin and right hand, then they follow in imitation.  The viola and second violin add harmonies.  There are three waves moving toward C minor, the third intensifying and extending the second.
2:46 [m. 89]--The two violins and the piano put the brakes on the motion with four cadence gestures.  Meanwhile, the viola and cello continue the propulsive material derived from the main theme.  The arrival on C minor seems to be confirmed (and this would be an expected key for the second theme), but after the fourth gesture, the strings drop out and the piano, suddenly quiet, has three rising fourths, each an octave higher than the last, that appear to move a level beyond C and strongly emphasize its “dominant,” G.  In fact, the piano holds and sustains each G after the rising fourth lands on it.  Brahms places the marking “un pochettino più animato” (“a little more animated”) at this point.
2:52 [m. 94]--Theme 2: Part 1.  While the piano holds its octave G’s, the strings alone begin the lyrical, yearning theme.  It is highly chromatic and syncopated, with almost tortured lines.  The first violin presents the main argument, a descending melody punctuated by small upward leaps in a clipped short-long rhythm.  The cello plays a rising line against it.  The second violin and viola add harmonies, with the second violin gradually becoming more active.  The key that was prepared in the transition, C minor, is undermined in favor of G, and the violin melody cadences there twice in a repeated pattern.  The descent is extended, and the strings come to a half-close in G minor.  Then the piano enters, repeating the pattern of rising fourths.
3:05 [m. 108]--A second statement of the theme appears to begin, with the cello taking the lead and the second violin providing the rising counterpoint.  This is aborted after four measures.  The first violin then starts the theme again a third higher.  The rising counterpoint is in the piano bass instead of the cello, the first time the piano has been active in the theme other than the introductory rising fourths.  The cello does take over the line from the piano bass after another four measures.  At that point, the piano bass plays slow cadence figures that had previously been presented by the viola.  There are two cadences in B major.  The extension moves yet again, now suggesting another major key, D.  In the extension all strings except first violin drop out, and the piano right hand provides the harmonies leading to an incomplete close, now in D.
3:21 [m. 125]--Part 2.  With a great outburst of passion, the string instruments develop the cadence gestures from the end of the lyrical theme.  They pass these gestures among themselves, the first violin taking the lead.  Sometimes the gestures are faster, particularly in the second violin at the beginning.  Meanwhile the piano begins a series of scale passages in both hands, sometimes with doubled thirds and always in triplets.  These are also passed between the hands, with changes of direction.  The triplet scales are passed to the first violin as well when it is not playing the cadence gestures.  The key finally moves decisively toward C minor.  After eight measures and two rising sequences, the shorter version of the cadence gesture takes over completely and is passed between all strings (second violin and cello in octaves) with great intensification.
3:32 [m. 137]--In an enormous climax, the triplet scales completely take over in both strings and piano.  The piano, first in the right hand and then in the bass, plays cascading chromatic descents in octaves with syncopated rhythms that incorporate the triplet division.  The scales are passed among the instruments, including both hands of the piano.  When the strings become static, the piano adds doubled notes and contrary motion between the hands, taking a brief detour to D-flat major.  C minor returns promptly, the strings become active again in dialogue with the piano, and two emphatic cadences in C minor, the first one incomplete, punctuate the motion.
3:43 [m. 149]--Both the piano right hand and the first violin expand the cadence with harmonized descending arpeggios in the syncopated triplet rhythm.  The cello and piano bass play rising scale fragments in triplets while the other two strings add isolated chords.  As the piano and first violin twice approach another cadence, they briefly shift to the more decisive straight rhythm against continued triplets in the piano bass.  The second cadence is again extended and intensified before a rapid diminishing of volume and slowing of speed.  The piano bass, now in straight rhythm, takes the lead in this approach to the closing material.
3:57 [m. 161]--Closing section.  Brahms instructs a return to the slower first “Allegro” tempo.  The piano and strings play a dolce transformation of Theme 1, infusing it with a “Hungarian Dance” or “gypsy” flavor.  It includes distinctive sliding grace notes.  The piano bass plays a solid foundation on the downbeats, leaving the upbeats to the thematic fragments.  After a couple of measures, the second violin and cello drop out, only to rejoin in another four bars as the theme takes a smooth, expressive turn.  The entirety of this first statement remains in C minor.
4:09 [m. 169]--A second statement of the closing material begins.  It first six measures are a repetition, but then the first violin and viola make a slight alteration that brings it from C minor back to the home key of F minor.  Instead of the smooth, expressive turn, the two instruments plus the piano continue the patterns with sliding grace notes.  The connection to the opening upbeat of Theme 1 becomes more explicit.  The upbeat figures then move to the original pitches from Theme 1.  After two statements there, the first violin and viola pass the figure on to the cello, who plays it twice in rhythm, fading away.  Then a remarkable transition occurs.  The cello slows the upbeat figure down to two full measures, with pauses between the notes and their piano harmonization.  This slowed down version becomes the actual upbeat to the reprise.
4:31 [m. 184]--Theme 1.  The first phrase is presented by the cello with active piano accompaniment, largely as at 1:41 [m. 42] but without the upbeat, which occurred as a slowed-down version in the previous transitional passage.  The piano bass uses the same foundational notes, but it is shifted from off the beat to on the beat, and the upbeats have two notes.
4:36 [m. 188]--The viola enters below the cello, as at 1:47 [m. 46], but with the directional pattern of its upbeats reversed (the second note approached from above instead of below).  This practical change results from harmonic considerations of the new two-note upbeats in the piano bass.  The third phrase has the same harmony and substance, but significantly different instrumentation.  The piano alone (without the cello) takes one arching figure, then all strings a second , and finally the piano alone the final figure with the C-minor cadence.  All these figures had been played by piano and cello before, with the cello on the top line.
4:47 [m. 196]--Development.  Here the music diverges from the exposition, beginning the long digression that takes the place of the development section.  The strings overlap and echo the cadence, subtly altering the notes so that it arrives on a half-close in A-flat major (the “relative” key to the home key, F minor).  There then begins a series of exchanges between piano and strings based on the third, cadence phrase of Theme 1, all overlapping and at a quiet level.  The piano begins, following the string motion toward A-flat.  The strings echo the piano again, and again make a subtle shift, this time to a minor key, B-flat minor.  The piano follows again, remaining in B-flat minor.  Finally, the last string echo moves to D-flat major, which is the “relative” key of B-flat minor.
5:02 [m. 206]--Again overlapping with the strings, the piano confirms the motion to D-flat, a key where the music will linger.  The upper strings, beginning with the second violin, imitate this piano motion.  The viola (joining with the second violin) and then the first violin follow.  The piano continues to meander in D-flat major, and as the upper strings enter, the volume builds.  With the instruments essentially joining, the overlapping exchanges now cease.  The cello pauses for this passage.
5:10 [m. 212]--Beginning on the upbeat, and suddenly subdued again, the piano and viola begin to meditate on a prominent figure from Theme 1, its swaying motion now transformed into an almost lullaby-like version.  They are imitated and followed by the two violins.  They piano and viola make two exchanges with the two violins, still in D-flat major.  After the second exchange, the piano slides down a half-step in harmony, to C major.  The two exchanges are repeated in that key at an even quieter, more mysterious level.  This time, the piano is on its own.  At the shift to C, the cello subtly enters with bass drones.  The viola joins it, then merges with the violins on the imitations of the piano.  The lullaby character prevails.
5:22 [m. 220]--Beginning a third series of paired exchanges, the piano changes the direction of the upbeat, introducing a more subtle harmonic shift to F major (the major version of the home key), which the strings, moving in the original direction, confirm in their first imitation.  The second string imitation (the viola is still with the violins as the cello plays a drone bass) reaches a full, albeit brief, close in F major.
5:27 [m. 224]--Re-transition.  The music gradually becomes animated, awakening from its lullaby-like trance.  The two lower strings now lead the two violins in another pair of harmonically unstable exchanges.  The piano harmonies follow both the leading lower strings and the following violins.  The two exchanges build in intensity and rise in pitch.  After the exchanges, the violins continue to rise two more levels, and the lower strings revert to an accompanying role.  The piano doubles all their harmonies.
5:36 [m. 230]--A climax of pitch and volume is reached with the violins on a dissonant high E-flat.  The violins play a series of short rising figures that gradually descend.  The piano harmonizes and overlaps with them on falling figures harmonized in thirds, the hands an octave apart.  The viola and cello establish a “dominant” pedal point on C.  This prepares another presumed arrival on F major or minor.  Over the course of eight measures, the pitch and volume levels of both violins and the piano become lower as the lower strings hold and reiterate their C.  At the end, the lower piano octave drops out and its bass joins the “pedal point.”  Everything is suspended on a half-close, with great expectation for a resolution to F.
5:47 [m. 238]--Reprise Resumed.  Transition, analogous to 2:34 [m. 80].  The arrival on F is thwarted, but only temporarily.  In a very elegant construction, Brahms resumes the reprise with the forceful original transition from the exposition.  The preceding development has taken the place of all the material from 1:58 [m. 54] through to the transition.  That material was primarily the restatement of the theme and a lullaby-like epilogue that ended on a suspended half-close similar to the one here, a very neat parallel.  There, the transition began with the resolution on F, moving to C for Theme 2.  Here, Theme 2 must appear in the home key, so the original transition is played in B-flat minor (a key prepared in the “development”), which will lead to F in a delayed arrival.  Other than the transposition and some insignificant thicker scoring in the second violin and viola, this transition follows the pattern from the exposition quite closely.
5:59 [m. 247]--Cadence gestures, with propulsive motion from the main theme in the low strings, analogous to 2:46 [m. 89].  The bass does add low octaves.  The arrival on F minor seems confirmed, then the rising fourths in the piano follow.  Continuing the pattern of transposition, these rising fourths land on a sustained octave C, now the “dominant” note of the home key.  Brahms again marks this point “un pochettino più animato.”
6:05 [m. 252]--Theme 2: Part 1.  Analogous to 2:52 [m. 94].  The theme’s outlines are the same.  It is presented in the new key (ostensibly the home key of F minor, but heavily emphasizing C minor, ironically the expected key in the exposition) at a higher pitch level.  Again, the first violin presents the main argument and again the cello plays the rising line against it.  But the other two strings are now absent.  In their place, the piano, after holding the sustained C’s, plays their lines, including the second violin’s active harmony.  In the last three measures, it even takes over for the cello.  The pattern of rising fourths follows as expected, but the piano has been active the entire time approaching it.
6:18 [m. 266]--Analogous to 3:05 [m. 108].  Again, the previous pattern of the theme is followed except for changes in scoring.  The leading lines are in the same instruments.  In the first four measures, the cello plays the melody.  The rising counterpoint is in the first violin instead of the second.  When the theme restarts a third higher (with the major-key cadences now in E), the first violin takes over, as expected.  The second violin and viola continue to pause, resulting in a long break for them.  The piano takes over their lines from the exposition.  The cello and the piano bass essentially reverse roles from the “restart” point, with the cello starting the rising line and the piano taking over for it after four more measures.  The key suggested in the extension is now G instead of D.
6:34 [m. 283]--Part 2.  Analogous to 3:21 [m. 125].  The second violin and viola finally re-enter for the presentation of the passionate material, now established in the home key of F minor.  For the most part, the pattern follows as expected.  The piano right hand is transposed lower while the first violin is moved higher, creating a larger sonic space than in the exposition.  The newly-entering second violin and viola have some changes in scoring.  The second violin often takes the viola’s lines while the viola assists the now lower-lying piano, including some harmonies and triplet rhythms.  The viola also takes over some of the second violin’s octave doubling of the cello.  At the end of the passage, some of the piano’s thirds are converted into sixths.
6:45 [m. 295]--Analogous to 3:32 [m. 137].  Enormous climax, as in the exposition.  The differences in scoring include generally thicker string texture throughout.  Most notable is the doubling of the initial syncopated chromatic descent in the piano right hand by the first violin.  The initial triplet scale that was in the first violin is transferred to the cello.  Also, after the brief harmonic diversion (this time to G-flat), in the approach to the two huge cadences (now in F minor), the piano replaces the violin and viola in two brief scale figures where it had briefly paused before, resulting in an even more intense and active part.
6:56 [m. 307]--Analogous to 3:43 [m. 149].  Again, there are interesting changes in scoring.  The first violin does not double the piano’s top line.  The piano right hand plays simple octaves without harmonies (as it had in fact done before in the second, extended approach to the cadence).  These harmonies are provided by the three upper strings, which are more active throughout.  The cello does not double the piano bass at first, only entering after two measures in each “wave.”  The piano does have its original harmonies in the straight-rhythm approaches to the cadence, to which the first violin adds new descending broken octaves.  These had been played by the second violin in the approach to the extended second cadence, but they are more prominent now.  The second cadence itself (now with plucked cello) is extended even more by an additional two bars beyond the F-minor arrival.  These prolong the retreat in volume and speed.  The piano bass action stops in the second of these, leaving an isolated, detached upbeat “dominant” chord.
7:12 [m. 321]--Closing section.  It is analogous to 3:57 [m. 161], and follows the same harmonic pattern, but is radically different in character.  The dolce “Hungarian Dance” with its sliding grace notes is replaced by a tranquil, mysterious interlude.  The piano bass is low and ominous, and the right hand plays dark chords in the tenor register (their top line doubled by the cello after two measures).  The first violin and viola lead with upbeat figures that seem like the ghosts of the formerly playful sliding grace notes.  The second violin, which already dropped out at the preceding extended cadence, remains silent throughout the passage.  The skeletal “melody” is audibly similar to the contours of the “Hungarian Dance,” retaining its prominent notes transposed to F minor.
7:23 [m. 329]--Analogous to 4:09 [m. 169].  As in the model, the first six measures of this second statement are a repetition.  After that, there is a harmonic divergence, as there was before.  But because the music is already in F minor, the motion away from there is a surprise.  It was already prepared in the sixth measure, where the cello and piano were inflected downward.  It is not the same motion as was heard in the corresponding passage, which would result in a move to B-flat minor.  Instead, in a concise, highly chromatic, and very mysterious seven-bar transition, the violin/viola upbeats and the piano harmonies move decisively toward the key of C-sharp minor (notated in the transition as D-flat minor).  This key has already played a prominent role in the Quintet (having served for the second theme of the first movement).  The cello drops out after one more measure.  The preparation is masterful, with a suspended, hushed approach.
CODA – Presto, non troppo, 6/8 time
7:44 [m. 342]--Section 1.  The change in tempo and meter is not as surprising as the change of key.  Brahms must now work his way back to F minor from C-sharp minor.  The “theme” of the coda is a 6/8 transformation of the movement’s main theme (Theme 1).  At first, it is presented in a hushed manner by strings alone without the viola.  The breathless pauses give it a distinctive character.  After four measures, the harmony briefly moves toward G-sharp minor.  After two more, the piano enters with slower chords, the first violin is isolated on an oscillation, and the harmony shifts yet again, this time making a complete motion to B minor (through unusual “plagal” cadences), a whole step lower than the coda’s opening key.
7:52 [m. 350]--The previous pattern is repeated in B minor.  This time, the piano bass doubles the cello for three bars.  It drops out after that, but the viola enters and takes over the cello doubling.  The harmonic motion is the same.  It first hints at F-sharp minor, then fully moves to A minor.  The piano chords enter in their expected place.  At the end, the second violin joins the first on the isolated oscillation, and the volume begins to build.
8:00 [m. 358]--The pattern appears to begin again in A minor, but the piano chords are now present from the outset and the cello is not.  The violins are in unison.  There is a powerful and steady crescendo.  After three measures, the violins break away from the pattern, reaching higher.  The continuing “plagal” cadences in the piano first suggest E minor, then C major.  The viola, then the cello join the violins in unison.  The C-major harmony begins to function as the preparatory “dominant” to F, the ultimate goal.  The crucial note B-flat is introduced as the unison strings begin an extended buildup on the familiar oscillation.  The piano chords hover on C major and G minor, harmonies that suggest F major.  At the top of the buildup, though, the note D-flat signals an arrival on F minor, and the C harmony becomes an explicit “dominant.”
8:08 [m. 368]--The tension is released by a suddenly cascading unison scale in the strings, stretched over three octaves.  It finally confirms F minor.  The piano, hands two octaves apart, joins the scale after a measure.  The scale leads directly into a powerful version of the coda “theme” in the home key.  The strings play in rich harmony (mostly thirds) while the piano adds a thundering foundation that almost seems to imitate the timpani playing the home and “dominant” keynotes.  The original pattern is followed at first, including the expected hint at C minor.
8:16 [m. 378]--There is an unexpected bump a half-step to D-flat on the violin oscillation.  The oscillation itself gradually climbs upward, with harmonic support in the two lower strings and the continuing timpani-like piano bass.  The two violins play in thirds, doubled an octave lower by the piano right hand.  When this steady upward climb reaches its high point, the piano bass has established a “pedal point” on the “dominant” note C, nearly making a full motion there.
8:21 [m. 384]--Another forceful arrival is marked by a cascading scale, this one adding chromatic notes to F minor.  The piano right hand and violins play it in unison octaves over harmonic support in the two other strings and the piano bass.  The scale breaks in these instruments after three measures, and the second violin becomes independent.  Now the piano bass and the cello continue the downward motion of the scale, still with the added chromatic notes.  The upper strings make strong gestures that seem to point toward an arrival.  The violins again move up against the scale in the cello and piano bass.  All instruments then come to an extremely emphatic cadence in F minor with two punctuating chords on weak beats.  In fact, by adding one last downbeat chord, Brahms could easily have ended the movement right at this point.
8:30 [m. 394]--Section 2.  What might be called the coda’s huge “extension” begins here.  Instead of a downbeat chord to end things, Brahms remains on the weak beat and makes a motion toward the “dominant” on a slur to the downbeat.  On the next weak beat, he seems to begin this again, but the first violin, doubled in lower octaves by second violin and cello, begins a totally unexpected and forceful statement of the opening material from Theme 2, the lyrical, yearning chromatic melody.  The cadences are on F, not C, and F is presumably still in force as the home key.  This clarifies the  key ambiguities in the earlier statements of the melody.  The piano provides both harmonic support and, in its bass, the familiar rising line against the Theme 2 melody.  The viola is also somewhat independent.
8:38 [m. 404]--The Theme 2 material leads into an exciting sequence of chords.  The two violins and the piano right hand play all of these chords, while the lower strings propel the 6/8 motion with continuous neighbor-note figures in unison.  The piano bass holds long notes.  The sequence moves upward in waves.  The first two, over bass pedal points on the “dominant” notes (C and D-flat) of F minor and F-sharp/G-flat major, have a longer downward motion.  The third “wave” consists of two almost identical units emphasizing B major and minor.  The fourth is similar to the third, but emphasizes C major and minor.  This leads back home to F minor with a fifth “wave.”  This is similar to the first two, but is more emphatic.  The piano bass and the low strings (abandoning the running motion) join the hammered, detached chords.
8:54 [m. 424]--In a tour de force, the “coda” theme and the Theme 2 melody are combined.  The piano bass and viola play a variant of the former in unison.  The violins, cello, and piano right hand play the latter, also in unison.  This is presented in four “waves.”  The second is a fourth higher than the first, with new harmony (thirds and sixths) added to the piano right hand and cello.  The third is at the same basic pitch level as the first, but the first violin is an octave higher.  Full chords are introduced in piano and strings, and the cello replaces the viola doubling the piano bass on the Theme 1 variant.  There is a great buildup in volume and agitation.  The fourth “wave” is a half-step lower than the second, but in a higher octave.  It moves back to unison violins with both low strings doubling the piano bass, but the piano right hand plays full chords.  It arrives at the remote key of B major.
9:07 [m. 440]--Suddenly, all becomes quiet.  The B-major arrival is brief, and the violins effortlessly slide up to C.  The low strings play an isolated plucked G.  The piano plays a harmonized version of the Theme 2 melody.  The violins play fragments of the “coda” theme marked dolce.  They quickly shift from C major up to G major, where they briefly linger.  There are two more plucked G’s in the viola and cello.
9:13 [m. 446]--The Theme 2 melody moves back to the strings (first violin and viola in unison).  The second violin subtly drops out for an extended break.  The piano right hand moves to the tenor range and plays the “coda” theme harmonized in thirds.  The piano bass and plucked cello begin to establish a very extended “pedal point” low C.  The harmonization of the “coda” theme in the piano expands to sixths and is split between the hands.  The Theme 2 material in the strings also settles on C as the “dominant” not of F minor, but of F major.  After eight measures, it expands upward, then fragments and isolates its distinctive downward leaps.  The music begins to die away, turning toward minor at the end of another eight measures.
9:26 [m. 462]--The hands of the piano subtly separate, and the left hand moves away from the long C “pedal point.”  It plays widely arching arpeggios against the continuing “coda” theme figures in the right hand.  The strings continue to play the downward leaps.  There is a mixture of F minor and F major here.  The piano bass settles on a highly anticipatory “dominant” preparation, with the “leading tone” at the bottom (doubled by plucked cello).  The right hand figures are reduced to three rising notes harmonized in thirds.  The first violin and viola split from their unison and pause on notes from the “dominant” chord.  In addition to fading away, the music also slows as it fragments, pausing on a tension-filled fermata.
9:35 [m. 467]--The run-up to the close is an extended pattern of syncopation that steadily builds in volume and intensity.  After the fermata, the piano quietly enters first.  The right hand plays a chromatic descent off and in anticipation of the beat.  The left hand keeps the actual beat with detached notes, mostly two-note harmonies or octave leaps.  The first violin follows a measure later and a fifth higher in quasi-imitation of the syncopated pattern in the piano right hand.  The piano begins the pattern an octave higher as the cello and viola enter on the beat with plucked notes, supporting the piano left hand.  The first violin also repeats its pattern an octave higher.  In the third round, the piano leaps another octave, adding a lower octaves and other harmonies, mostly thirds.  The first violin follows, but only a fifth higher.  The second violin, making its first entry after the extended break, adds harmonic support to the first.  The patterns now include downward leaps.  The piano has two more, the first violin only one, each beginning a third higher than the last and starting with an octave leap.  The piano chords become thicker and louder as the strings drop out.
9:43 [m. 478]--Now loud and very agitated, the piano continues its syncopated chords.  All four strings, now bowed, join octaves in the piano bass on the beats, following the syncopated chords.  The pattern is less regular.  The piano still has chromatic descents, but these become shorter, often only two chords, and they reach higher.  The leaps between the patterns become wider until, at the end, there are two huge leaps of an octave and more.  The strings and piano bass continue to play forcefully on the beats.  Finally, the chords stop.  All strings except the second violin, in unison, play the final, highly distinctive gesture, beginning on a two-note upbeat.  This rises up three notes, then turns to a plunging descent, ending with the bottom three notes of the F-minor scale.  These three notes mirror the opening of the coda in C-sharp minor, which started with the bottom three notes of that scale, albeit harmonized.  The piano and second violin punctuate this final gesture with chords and low octaves on the two downbeats.
10:05--END OF MOVEMENT [492 mm.]