Sixth in a set of "atmospheric pictures" for varied combinations of solo woodwind and keyboard. The title of this piece for B♭ clarinet and pianoforte, "Die Aubade des Pfeifers" ("The Piper's Morning Love Song"), reflects the idyllic nature of the work's (more diatonic) outer sections, framing a far more tempestuous (and chromatically saturated) inner section. The Aubade begins with a lengthy meditation on a gently rocking semi-accompanimental, semi-melodic figure in the piano, initially tracing out the tonic triad with passing tones over a drone-like perfect fifth pedal point. Before long, a fragmentary melody emerges, and the harmony enters a more distant sphere before returning to the tonic as the clarinet enters with a lyrical melody. The opening tonic of D♭ major modulates to the distant enharmonic Neapolitan, D major, as the harmonic language becomes more chromatically saturated and the clarinet's melody increasingly more fragmented and agitated. All this leads to further modulations and a dramatic triplet passage crowned with a trill in the highest register of the clarinet. A false recapitulation of the clarinet's first entrance introduces further development and a modified return of the ecstatic triplet passage. A ritardando prepares the coda, in which the clarinet finally takes up a modified version of the piano's opening figure with a very sparse accompaniment at a tranquil Largo, crowned by a sustained sotto voce D♭ in the clarinet as an arpeggiated tonic pentad with added second and sixth resonantly rises across the entire tessitura of the keyboard. The painting in the video is "Heart of the Rose" by Edward Burne-Jones. You may access the full engraved score here.
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