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The mighty key of F minor


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Showing 1-25 of 37 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 13, 2012 10:33:47 AM PST
John Spinks says:
For some undefinable reason I'm particularly drawn to the key of F minor. Here is a selection of works that just pull me in:

Vaughan Williams -- Sym. No. 4; Concerto for Bass Tuba and Orchestra
Tchaikovsky -- Sym. No. 4
Bruch -- Sym. No. 2
Beethoven -- Piano Sonatas, Op. 2/1 and Op. 23, "Appassionata"
Peterson-Berger -- Sym. No. 3, "Same Atnam"
Rubbra -- String Quartet No. 1, Op. 35
Schumann -- Piano Sonata No. 3, Op. 14, "Concerto without Orchestra"
Stanford -- Sym. No. 3, Op. 28, "Irish"
Brahms -- Clarinet Sonata No. 1, Op. 120/1; Piano Quintet, Op. 34
Chopin -- Ballade No. 4, Op. 52; Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 21
Nielsen -- String Quartet, Op. 5

So what are your favorite works in F minor?

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 10:39:44 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2012 10:50:56 AM PST
bejart7092 says:
Listened to this just last night ---

Schubert: Piano Sonata in F Minor, D625

EDIT: But my true favorite is the Bee Gees "Stayin' Alive'.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 10:46:28 AM PST
Skaynan says:
Bruckner's F minor Mass. I'm in the minority who believes it's the best thing since Beethoven's Solemnis.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 10:47:08 AM PST
is an incomplete symphony in 'F SHARP minor too off topic?

Mahler's tenth...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 10:47:44 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2012 11:20:17 AM PST
Edgar Self says:
Two of mine are already on your list, John: Chopin's fourth ballade and the "Appassionata". Another is Mozart's great Fantasi and Fugue in F minor for a mechanical clockwork organ, a powerful piece in his severe style. It's been transcribed for two pianos and lso for string orchestra

Haydn's "Passione" symphony and a fine quartet Op. 20/5 with fugal finale are in this key.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 10:51:12 AM PST
beethoven's 11th quartet....

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 10:57:05 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2012 10:58:21 AM PST
KenOC says:
Right on pJ! That should have been mentioned immediately.

Tchaikovsky's 4th symphony, Bach's 5th harpsichord concerto...

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 11:02:56 AM PST
Dichterliebe says:
Haydn -- op. 20 no. 5
Haydn -- Variations for Piano
Haydn -- op. 55 no. 2
Haydn -- 49th
Schubert -- Fantasy for Piano Four Hands
Beethoven -- op. 95
Mendelssohn -- op. 80
Brahms -- Piano Sonata no. 3
Scriabin -- Piano Sonata no. 1
Chopin -- Fantasy
Chopin -- Ballade no. 4
Schumann -- Sonata no. 3
JS Bach -- P&F from Bk II

Sorry that I repeated a few above...these are off the top of my head.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 11:25:22 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2012 11:26:22 AM PST
MacDoom says:
If...
- the listener does not have absolute pitch, and...
- th instruments played are, as is quite usual these days, tuned in equal temperament,...

... then the whole key thing is just so much wind, isn't it?

Or not?

(Edit: major/minor excluded, of course)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 11:27:58 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2012 11:33:00 AM PST
KenOC says:
I may be wrong, but I think it matters at least somewhat. For example, the strings are more likely to use "open strings" at important points in some key signatures than in others, with a different sound. Is this why so many violin concertos are in D major?

Also, the useful range of some instruments will be different in different key signatures -- e.g., maybe a cello can go a full fifth below the main key in one key signature, but not in another. I'm shaky here, so somebody please correct, adjust, or elucidate!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 11:37:34 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2012 12:33:10 PM PST
I think not. The whole key thing determines the tonal center of the piece on the pitch scale and where most of the musical passages resolve to. It also requires that musicians play their instruments in different pitch ranges, on different stops. F minor can be easily played by wind instruments tuned to Eb, in analogy to Ken's "open strings".

Though some listeners may not be able to determine the key of a piece without checking the track listing, there is a big difference to musicians. I also believe that, like modes, different pitch centers induce different physio-psychological responses in listeners.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 11:43:34 AM PST
DavidRFoss says:
KenOC says:
I may be wrong, but I think it matters at least somewhat. For example, the strings are more likely to use "open strings" at important points in some key signatures than in others, with a different sound. Is this why so many violin concertos are in D major?
-----------------
Yup. Strings like the sharp keys. Today, brass tends to favor the flat keys, but in the classical era, a different key meant a different crook in the horns. Different crooks produced different "colored" sounds. The "A" and "B flat" clarinets had different colors too. Different keys have different related keys as well (dominant, relative minor, etc).

Even in a perfectly even-tempered world on a piano, just the changes in where the black keys are in the scale can give different keys different "feels" and composers tended to write different notes based on that.

Interesting experiment. Tuning an entire instrument down a half step is not that uncommon -- some period instrumentalist tune down from A440 anyways, but what would happen if you transposed the Appassionata Sonata from F minor to E minor? It would be all the same intervals but how much of a difference would it make to the player?

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 12:11:42 PM PST
KenOC says:
From Wiki: Glenn Gould once said if he could be any key, he would be F minor, because "it's rather dour, halfway between complex and stable, between upright and lascivious, between gray and highly tinted...There is a certain obliqueness."

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 12:25:53 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 13, 2012 3:24:27 PM PST]

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 12:45:05 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Nov 26, 2013 10:11:34 AM PST]

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 12:54:21 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2012 1:27:48 PM PST
Bach: Sinfonia in F minor (keyboard)
Scarlatti Sonatas K466, K481
Brahms Symphony No.4
Brahms Piano Quintet
Chopin Waltz Op.70 No.2; Mazurkas Op.63 No.2, Op.68 No.4
Liszt Études d'exécution transcendante No.10
Franck Piano Quintet

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 1:05:39 PM PST
Dichterliebe says:
Brahms 4th is e-minor.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 1:08:27 PM PST
KenOC says:
I love the smell of F minor in the morning...

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 1:17:41 PM PST
Thanks - Tchaik 4 is what i had in mind...

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 1:27:06 PM PST
Dichterliebe says:
No prob. You were close with the Brahms -- just one half-step away. I forgot about Beethoven's op. 2 no. 1 and Chopin's op. 55 no. 1.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 3:26:41 PM PST
MacDoom says:
A bit much to list from my catalogue at 116 separate works (and there might be typing errors in there!).

A few of the bigger ones: piano concertos by Arensky and Lalo (and the concert piece by Von Weber), Reger's cello sonata, clarinet conertos by Crusell, Spohr and (again) Von Weber, piano trios by Arensky (also again), Dvorak (Dumky) and Berwald. Piano quartets and quintets in a remarkably large number for genres that aren't all that omnipresent (Mendelssohn, Ries, Brahms, Franck, Dussek and Respighi). Pano sonatas abound, too, which is more to be expected due to their sheer number (Czerny, Burgmüller, Lyapunov, Hummel, Strawinsky, Medtner (three), Onslow, Ries and Respighi (both again). And, of course, Scarlatti with some apart from those already mentioned.

Quite a few string quartets, of course (Dvorak, Gade, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Onslow, Ries, Spohr, Volkmann, Borodin), and symphonies galore (Myaskovsky with three, Bruckner (00), Haydn, Korngold, Onslow, Pleyel, Raff, Shostakovich and Strauss (op. 12). Mendelssohn and Prokofiev both have an f minor violin sonata.

Thanks to those who reacted to my ignorant claim that tonality was only for statistics now. Good points were made!

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 4:37:41 PM PST
E. Hansen says:
> I love the smell of F minor in the morning...

I love F-Troop.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 4:47:31 PM PST
John Ruggeri says:
John Spinks

In addition to the list thus far provided, is there a list of CM compositions written in F minor? My online search has not met what has been posted on this thread.

Regards - JohnR

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 4:52:58 PM PST
KenOC says:
Some modern lieder in F minor:

"Bust Your Windows" - Jazmine Sullivan
"I'm So Afraid" - Fleetwood Mac
"Dream On" - Aerosmith
"Valleri" - The Monkees
"Stayin' Alive" - Bee Gees
"Boulevard of Broken Dreams" - Green Day
"Pick Up The Pieces" - Average White Band
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" - Nirvana

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 5:10:58 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2012 5:14:40 PM PST
John Spinks says:
John R.,

I recall from my music librarianship course years ago that there were all sorts of specialized indexes, but they have all fled the memory right now. I'll mull this over and see if I can come up with something. Meanwhile, the other librarians posting on several of the classical threads may have some information. Try Lez Lee, Valerie Henshaw and Bonnie Beduhn, too when you see them pop up.

One possible place to consult would be Vincent Duckles work:

Music Reference and Research Materials: An Annotated Bibliography
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Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
Participants:  17
Total posts:  37
Initial post:  Nov 13, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 14, 2012

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