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beats or appear as unstable inversions, and the only stable cadences in the tonic key (themselves

being the last part of a 2-bar hyper-measure) are found at the end of the two outer A sections.

Ex. 2 Opening bars of 116/2 and 118/2:

The Intermezzo is a very good example of the way Brahms generates a whole piece from a mere

3-note figure (consisting of thirds both vertically and horizontally), introduced as an upbeat onto

the first bar, varying it by transposition and inversion to form both the melodic and harmonic

basis through counterpoint (Fig. 6). This same motive provides the material for the canonic

middle section, which has a rounded-binary form, much like Op. 117/3, but with more clearly

defined subsections, both tonally and structurally. It reappears in original form in the bass in the

central sub-sections of the A sections providing the basis for modulation. There is a strong sense

of local and large-scale symmetry throughout the Intermezzo, and the outer sections are almost

identical, except for the first subsection, which lacks the first 8-bar period and has two

descending phrases rather than ascending ones, announcing the conclusion. In the central section,

however, symmetry does not mean exact repetition, as the canon appears in three different

versions, in the parallel major, with a reversal of parts, and tonally varied cadences. In the

second F-sharp minor section, two melodies appear in double-counterpoint (bars 65-68) along

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