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Teaching and Performing Reineckes Undine Sonata, op.

167

John Bailey
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
jbailey1@unl.edu
NFA National Convention
August 10, 2012, Las Vegas, NV

Background
Carl Reinecke (1824-1910), composer, conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus
Orchestra 1860-1895, professor of composition at the Leipzig Conservatory, from
1897 its director.

Composed in 1882, dedicated to Wilhelm Barge, principal flutist of the Gewandhaus


Orchestra and professor at the Conservatory; published 1882 by Rudall, Carte
(London), 1883 by Robert Forberg (Leipzig).

Inspired by an 1811 novella by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqu (1777-1843) about the


mermaid Undine, who acquires a mortal soul through the love of the knight Huldbrand.

Water Motives in 19th-century music


1. Mendelssohn, concert overture: Zum Mrchen der schnen Melusine, op. 32
(Melusine is another fabled mermaid)
2. Smetana, Die Moldau, opening (two rivulets forming the river Moldau)
3. Wagner, Prelude to Das Rheingold (depicting the Rhine river)
4. Schubert songs: Die Forelle (The Trout), Auf dem Strom (On the Current),

Sonata Structure
Four-movement symphonic structure (enhanced from 3-mvt. sonata form)
1. Sonata allegro (with water motive in 16ths), in e
2. Intermezzo with 2 trios (2nd triowater), in b with trios in G and B
3. Slow movement in ternary form, in G with contrasting section in b
4. Finale in e with final reprise of second trio (water) in E. CYCLICAL FORM

General Observations
1. Program music only in the broadest sense. You cant find the story in the music.
2. Syntactical logic almost always comes from the piano part; flute often functions
only as overlay or respondent. Advice to flutists: NO BACK SEAT DRIVING!

Mvt. 1
Clear sonata form with second theme (S), in b. 40 in b over water 16ths with
cadence in G; repeated by piano
Closing theme (b. 61) over principal theme (P) material, followed by codetta of
water 16ths (b. 74)
Development (b. 81) of P, then S, then P. Key areas include: B, e, f-sharp, b, C-sharp,
a, e
Chromatic ascent in bass signals retransition (no standard prolonged dominant)
Recap (b. 177) exact restatement of P with added water 16ths in flute.
Second theme (b. 120) in g-sharp with cadence in E, then repeated by piano.
Closing theme (b. 241) in E over P material, with coda in e based on P.

Mvt. 2
Standard ABACA form, with A repeated almost exactly (no repeats when it returns).
Piano makes up the phrase logic most of the time, flute reacts.
Second trio (indicated no vibrato) duple melody over triplet (water)
accompaniment.

Mvt. 3
Flute and piano trade off leader and follower roles, then play together
Neapolitan shift to A-flat in b. 21 (!)
B section: 8 bar piano phrase, then repeated (with flute reactions)
Return of A: piano/flute roles reversed
Last two bars: piano determines tempo, sense.

Mvt. 4
Sonata form with blurred formal distinctions
Starts with a German 6th!
Structural stepwise base provides harmonic logic
B. 16 ff.flute reacts to bass
A-sharp fully dim 7 (of V) consistently used to return to P
Second theme (b. 53ff) has two partsascending con fuoco, then dolce (b. 58) in G.
This is repeated bb. 69ff), in B.
Cadence pattern in B (b. 88-95) signals end of Exposition.
Development section treats P, esp. b. 4 (b. 111ff).
B. 148ff quote of variant of S from mvt. 1 (!)
Recap b. 159, with initial G instead of E
Second theme, b. 187 slightly expanded version of expo..
B. 229 chromatic ascending bass (D-sharp up to C-sharp) drives to coda
Coda (b. 247) based on P, plus foreshadowing in piano (b. 263) of final E Major
second trio from mvt. 2. This time with vibrato.
Final Cadence ( in E), b. 311 quote from cadence (in G) of second theme at bb. 66-68