List of major/minor compositions

Major/minor compositions are musical compositions that begin in a major key and end in a minor key (generally the parallel minor), specifying the keynote (as C major/minor). This is a very unusual form in tonal music,[1][2] although examples became more common in the nineteenth century.[3] There are far fewer major/minor compositions than minor/major ones[4] (the latter category of which includes, but is not limited to, all minor-key works that end with a Picardy third, as well as many Classical- and Romantic-period symphonies, concertos, sonatas and chamber works, and individual movements thereof.)

The major/minor compositions in the following lists do not necessarily end with a minor chord; a final passage in minor ending with a sonority that fails to re-establish the major mode (for example, an open octave or fifth) is sufficient.

Works falling into the following categories are excluded:

  • Compositions that would be major/minor but for a final Picardy third stipulated by the composer, such as Bach's Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes, BWV 40 or Francis Poulenc's Vinea mea electa from Quatre motets pour un temps de pénitence (FP 97);
  • Compositions in which the beginning only hints at a possible reading of a major key without really establishing it, such as the Brahms Clarinet Quintet, Haydn's two string quartets, Op. 33 No. 1 and Op. 64 No. 2, C. P. E. Bach's Piano Sonata, Wq. 55/3, or the first movement of Alkan's Grande sonate 'Les quatre âges' (all of which are in B minor, but start with the possibility of D major);
  • Compositions in which the opening major chord merely serves a function (e.g. dominant or Neapolitan) in the ensuing minor key, without being tonicized in its own right, such as Saint-Saëns' Danse macabre or Chopin's first Ballade;
  • Compositions that are only incidentally major/minor due to being unfinished, without any indication that the composer intended them to be major/minor, such as Schubert's Piano Sonata in C, D. 840 or Haydn's String Quartet in D minor, Op. 103;
  • Frequently performed portions of a larger work consisting of what is technically two separate movements, if the first of these finishes clearly on the tonic (and thus doesn't require continuation), such as the opening pair of movements in Beethoven's Piano Sonata Op. 109 (connected by an attacca);
  • Entire extended works as song cycles, ballets, operas and oratorios that finish in a different tonic than the starting one, unless the two keys carry clear extramusical or programmatic connotions within the work (an explanation of which must accompany any such listings below).

Major/minor compositions retaining the keynoteEdit

Single works and miniaturesEdit

  • AlkanChant d'amour - chant de mort, Op. 35 No. 10 (G-f)[5]
  • Alkan – Esquisse Op. 63 No. 7 "Le frisson" (F)[6]
  • Alkan – Prière Op. 64 No. 10 (B)
  • Allen – Girl of the Orient (F)
  • Bax – The Devil that Tempted St. Anthony (F)
  • Brahms – Jägerlied Op. 66/4 (C)
  • Brahms – Rhapsody Op. 119 No. 4 in E[7]
  • Busoni – Sonatina No. 6 in A, BV 284
  • Campra - Cari Zephiri volate (A)
  • Campra - Quis ego Domine (A)
  • Catoire – Prelude Op. 17 No. 4 (B)[8]
  • Cavallini – Caprice for clarinet Op. 4 No. 4 (E)
  • ChopinNocturne Op. 32 No. 1 in B[9][10] (final chord sometimes changed to major)
  • Coste – Le Départ, Op. 31 (E)
  • Couperin - Le Dodo, ou l'amour au Berçeau, from Pieces de Clavecin (A) [11]
  • de CurtisTorna a Surriento (E) (depending on both the final chord and the use of the major-mode chorus as an introduction)
  • Fibich – Malířské Studie (Studies on Painters), No. 2, Spor Masopustu s Postem (The Fight Between Carnival and Lent) in C
  • Franck – Fantaisie in A, from Trois Pièces for organ (1878) (A)
  • Fuchs – Andante grazio and Capriccio Op. 63 (A)
  • Graener – Theodor-Storm-Musik Op.93 (A)
  • HarrisSymphony No. 3 (G)
  • Heidrich – Variations on "Happy Birthday" (C)
  • Heinrich – The President's Funeral March (E)
  • Kuhlau – Introduction and Variations for flute and piano Op. 99 (A)
  • Lalo – Fantaisie norvégienne in A
  • Lecuona – La 32, No. 6 of Siete Danzas Cubanas Tipicas (G-f)
  • Levy – Tango Brasileiro (A) (reverse Picardy third)
  • MendelssohnAndante Cantabile e Presto Agitato in B[12]
  • Mendelssohn – Capriccio brillante for piano and orchestra in B, Op. 22 [13]
  • Mendelssohn – Capriccio in E, Op. 118 (1837) [12]
  • Mendelssohn – Capriccio, MWV U 43 (E)
  • Mendelssohn – Characteristic Piece Op. 7 No. 7 in E (reverse Picardy third)[14]
  • Mendelssohn – Rondo Capriccioso in E, Op. 14[12][15]
  • de Momigny – La Nouvelle Valentine (A)
  • Moniuszko – Magda Karczmarka, No. 20 from Śpiewnik domowy Vol. 2 (B)
  • Moniuszko – Do Niemna, No. 4 from Śpiewnik domowy Vol. 6 (E)
  • Mozart – Violin Sonata in A, K. 402/385e (completed by Maximilian Stadler; the work has only one movement)
  • Poulenc – Nocturne, FP 56 No. 6 (G)
  • Poulenc – Amoureuses, FP 77 No. 5 (F)
  • Praeger – Rhapsody No. 2 in F
  • Purcell – Awake, ye dead, Z. 182 (C)
  • Purcell – The earth trembled, Z. 197 (A)[16]
  • Purcell – Love arms himself in Celia's eyes, Z. 392 (C)[17]
  • Purcell – Oh! fair Cedaria, Z. 402 (C) (some performances add a Picardy third)
  • Purcell – This poet sings the Trojan wars (Anacreon's defeat), Z. 423 (C)
  • Rachmaninoff – K Djétjam (To the Children), Op. 26 No. 7, from "Fifteen Romances" of Op.26 (F)
  • Reicha – L'Art de Varier, Op. 57 (F)[18]
  • Reicha – Fugue, Op. 36 No. 32 (E)
  • Rheinberger – Toccata Op. 12 (G)
  • SatieGymnopédie No. 1 (D)[19]
  • A. Scarlatti – Se Florindo e fedele (A) (ends on an open octave in an A minor context)
  • D. Scarlatti – Keyboard Sonata K. 63 (L. 84) in G ("Capriccio") (ending sometimes changed to major)
  • D. Scarlatti – Keyboard Sonata K. 107 (L. 474) in F[20][21]
  • D. Scarlatti – Keyboard Sonata K. 140 (L. 107) in D[22]:165
  • D. Scarlatti – Keyboard Sonata K. 182 (L. 139) in A
  • D. Scarlatti – Keyboard Sonata K. 206 (L. 257) in E[23]
  • D. Scarlatti – Keyboard Sonata K. 297 (L.S. 19) in F[22]:166
  • Scriabin – Mazurka in F (1889)
  • SchubertImpromptu Op. 90 No. 2 in E[24]
  • Schubert – Moment Musical No. 6 in A (ends on an open octave in an A minor context)[25]
  • Schubert – Am Bach in Frühling, D. 361 (D-c)
  • Schubert – An den Mond, D. 468 (A)
  • Schubert – Tränenregen (No. 10 of Die Schöne Müllerin) (A)[26]
  • Schubert – Die böse Farbe (No. 17 of Die Schöne Müllerin) (B)[27]
  • Schubert – Frühlingstraum (No. 11 of Winterreise) (A)[28]
  • C. Schumann – Romance, op. 5 no. 3 (B)[29]
  • C. Schumann or Friedrich Wieck – Der Wanderer in der Sägemühle (C)
  • R. Schumann – No. 17 of Davidsbündlertänze, Opus 6 (B)[30]
  • R. Schumann – Der Handschuh, Op. 87 (D)
  • Sibelius – Impromptu, Opus 5 No. 6 in E
  • Sibelius – Valse triste, op. 44 no. 1 (G)
  • Soler – Keyboard Sonata R. 6 in F
  • StraussDon Juan, Op. 20 (E)[31]
  • Tchaikovsky – To Forget So Soon, TH 94 (F)[32]
  • Tchaikovsky – Valse-Scherzo Op. 7 in A
  • Voříšek – Fantasia for piano, Op. 12 (C)

Movements from larger worksEdit

Works in several movementsEdit

Major/minor works changing the keynoteEdit

  • Albéniz – Córdoba, No. 4 of Cantos de España, Opus 232 (F-d)
  • Alkan – Prière, Op. 66 No. 7 (C-a)
  • Beethoven - String Quartet No. 8, finale (C-e)
  • BernsteinChichester Psalms (B-g)
  • BerliozRequiem (Grande Messe des Morts), Op. 5, viii, Hostias (G-b)
  • Bizet – Symphony in C major, ii (F-a)
  • Brahms – Du mein einzig Licht, WoO 33 No. 37 (A-f)
  • Brahms – Vom Strande, Op. 69 No. 6 (F-a)
  • ChaussonPoème de l'amour et de la mer (G-d)
  • Chausson – Poème de l'amour et de la mer, ii (actually the third movement, counting an unnumbered interlude) (E-d)
  • Chopin – Ballade No. 2 (F-a)
  • Couperin – Ordre 25ème de clavecin (E-c)
  • DebussyPour le piano, Sarabande (E-c) (E major is suggested in the opening of the movement, as well as in various other sections, but it ends in C-sharp minor)
  • Debussy – Suite bergamasque (F-f)
  • DvořákThe Noon Witch (C-a)
  • Enescu – Cantabile e Presto for flute and piano, 1904 (E-g)
  • Enescu – Nocturne e Saltarello for cello and piano, 1897 (F-a)
  • Finzi – Childhood Among the Ferns (E-b)
  • Fuchs – Serenade in D Op. 9, ii (B-g)
  • HandelBelshazzar, Chorus of Babylonians: "Ye tutelar gods of our empire, look down" (G-e)
  • Handel – Concerto Grosso Op. 3 No. 1 (B-g)
  • Handel – Suite for Harpsichord No. 2 in F, HWV 427, i (F-a)
  • Haydn – Arianna a Naxos, Hob. XXVIb:2 (E-f)
  • Miriam Hyde – "Marsh Birds" for Flute and Piano (D-b)
  • LaloRapsodie norvégienne (A-d)
  • MassenetPiano Concerto (E-c)
  • MozartDie Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio), Aria, "Solche Hergelauf'ne Laffen" (F-a) (though the aria is interrupted by spoken dialogue after the full cadence in F major, before continuing in A minor at a new tempo)
  • Mozart (completed by Süssmayr) – Requiem, VII. Communio (B-d) (ends on an open fifth in a D minor context)
  • Mozart – Preludes K. 284a/395, iii (B-c)
  • Mozart – Preludes and Fugues K. 404, v (E-c)
  • Mozart – Modulating Prelude, K. deest (F-e)
  • Mussorgsky (completed by Stravinsky) – Khovanshchina (E-g)
    • The key scheme in the opera is constructed on a strict sharp-flat principle; thus the opening, reaching G major, is the sharpest music in the whole opera, and many portentions or descriptions of disaster in the opera are written in six or seven flats or even beyond. Mussorgsky intended an ending in A minor for the final scene, in which the Old Believers commit mass suicide; this was respected by Stravinsky in his completion, although written enharmonically for easier reading. Other completions do not respect this: Rimsky-Korsakov ends in A major, Shostakovich in F major.
  • Poulenc – Piano Sextet, ii (D-a)
  • Poulenc – Suite Francaise FP 80, ii (F-d)
  • Poulenc – Trio pour piano hautbois et basson, ii (B-f)
  • Poulenc – Gloria FP 177, i (G-b)
  • Poulenc – Oboe Sonata FP 185, (G-a)
  • Rheinberger – Piano Sonata Op. 47 (C-a)
  • SatieGnossiennes Nos. 5 (G-e) and 6 (F-c)
  • SchoenbergChamber Symphony No. 2, Op. 38, ii (G-e)
  • Schubert – Die Nonne, D. 212 (A-f)
  • Schubert – Grablied, D. 218 (A-f)
  • Schubert – Erster Verlust, D. 226 (A-f)
  • Schubert – Deutscher Tanz, D. 365 No. 22 (Op. 9 No. 22) (B-g)
  • Schubert – Ritter Toggenburg, D. 397 (F-b)
  • Schubert – Der Herbstabend, D. 405 (A-f)
  • Schubert – Klage an den Mond, D. 436 (F-d)[58]
  • Schubert – Edone, D. 445 (E-c)
  • Schubert – Liedesend, D. 473 (E-e, both versions)
  • Schubert – Didone Abbandonata, D. 510 (E-f)
  • Schubert – Auf der Donau, D. 553 (Op. 21 No. 1) (E-f)[59]
  • Schubert – Der Pilgrim, D. 794 (Op. 37 No. 1) (D-b, originally E-c)
  • Schumann – Réplique, No. 8 of Carnaval (B-g)[60]
  • Schumann – No. 16 of Davidsbündlertänze (G-b)
  • Schumann – Kreisleriana, No. 4 (B-d) (first edition only)
  • SmetanaThe Bartered Bride, Aria, "Kdybych se co takového" (B-g)
  • W.G. Still – Symphony No. 3 (A-c)
  • Tchaikovsky – The Sleeping Beauty – Finale and Apotheosis (D-g)
  • Tchaikovsky – Six Pieces Op. 21, No. 1 "Prelude" (B-g)
  • Vaughan Williams – Three Shakespeare Songs, "The Cloud Capp'd Towers" (D-f) (reverse Picardy third)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ Fuller Maitland, John Alexander (1911). Brahms. New York: John Lane Company. p. 100.
  3. ^ Cone, Edward T. and Robert P. Morgan. "Beyond Analysis". Music. A View from Delft. Selected Essays (University of Chicago Press: Chicago 1989), p. 74.
  4. ^ Trio Solisti – Program Notes 2014 by Miriam Villchur Berg
  5. ^ The Alkan Society, Bulletin 32: April 1987
  6. ^ Alkan: Esquisses Op 63 – Hyperion Records
  7. ^ Hindson, Maurice. Brahms – The Shorter Piano Works. Alfred Music Publishing Co. (1992), p. 10.
  8. ^ Catoire: Piano Music - CDH55425 - Georgy Catoire (1861-1926) - Hyperion Records - MP3s and Lossless downloads
  9. ^ Huneker, James. Chopin: The Man and His Music, Courier Corporation (1960), p. 146.
  10. ^ Frédéric Chopin's Nocturnes, Part I, 2015 – ClassicalConnect.com
  11. ^ http://cnks.imslp.org/files/imglnks/usimg/4/46/IMSLP99159-PMLP200270-Couperin_-_Pieces_de_clavecin_Bk3.pdf
  12. ^ a b c Waltons Music: Mendelssohn Rondo Cappricioso in E major, Op. 14 (Piano)
  13. ^ "CHAN 2025: An Introduction to Felix Mendelssohn" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 February 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  14. ^ Todd, R. Larry. "Piano Music Reformed: Mendelssohn". Nineteenth-Century Piano Music, ed. Todd, R. Larry, Routledge (2004), p. 191.
  15. ^ Du Bose, Joseph. Rondo capriccioso, in E Major, Op. 14 Yakov Flier.
  16. ^ Purcell, Harmonia Sacra, Rosemary Joshua – eClassical
  17. ^ Hyperion Records – Love arms himself in Celia's eyes, Z392
  18. ^ International Piano Quarterly Volumes 5–6, Gramophone Publications (2001), p. 44.
  19. ^ Satie – Gymnopedie No. 1 | Classical Piano Pieces
  20. ^ Scarlatti: Complete Keyboard Sonatas – Warner Classics Archived 3 April 2018 at the Wayback Machine, p. 7.
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  25. ^ Franz Peter Schubert – Moments Musicaux , D. 780
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