Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Knapp, Raymond. "The Finale of Brahms's Fourth Symphony: The Tale of the Subject." 19th-Century Music 13 (Summer 1989): 3-17.

The ostinato subject that concludes Brahm's Fourth Symphony has connections to the Baroque tradition of the ostinato bass. However, the subject also refers to the structural coherence of the symphony as a whole, especially in the use of chains of thirds. Brahms thus had other models including Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Rubenstein. As a theme in and of itself, the ostinato more closely resembles Buxtehude; as evidence of compositional process, it shows strong links to Beethoven, not only his variation works but also his Fifth Symphony.

Works: Brahms: Fourth Symphony (3-17); Beethoven: Third Symphony (9).

Sources: J. S. Bach: Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150 (3-6), Chaconne for solo violin (6-8); Buxtehude: E-Minor Ciacona (6, 12), D-Minor Passacaglia (6-8); François Couperin: B-Minor Passacaille (8); Beethoven: Variations for Piano, Op. 35 (9), C-Minor Variations (9), Third Symphony (9-10), Fifth Symphony (10), Hammerklavier Sonata (10); Mozart: G-Minor Symphony (10-11, 15).

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: Felix Cox

Except where otherwise noted, this website is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
Creative Commons Attribution License