2. Menuetto

Form

Minuet and Trio

Minuet Motive (A major)

Minuet Motive (A major)

Counterpoint

Trio (E major)

Notes

The first reprise (part) alone of this minuet is itself a little marvel of construction. Two motives are each stated twice in succession. The motives juxtapose numerous contrasts: shape, rhythm and dynamics. Immediately, they combine into counterpoint, separate into imitative lines, the second motive inverting against itself, whereupon the dance neatly resolves in the dominant key. The second resprise (part) feels like a miniature development section, extending the exploration of the second motive, arriving at a sort of recapitulation (both motives in counterpoint), as typical, more full and emphatic than its original.

While the minuet moves with a firm quarter note resolve (the dotted flourish of the second motive only accentuatting this steadfastness), the trio floats into on a long, almost langourous note, a more singing line in the warmth of the subdominant key. Its second part is a shimmering run of eighth note triplets in the airborne 1st violin, with long lines of scales flowing up and down and throughout the four-part texture. Whether floating or flowing, the trio is relaxed and easy against the minuet's purposeful, even tense agenda.