Piano music may reference or be contextualized by music made on other instruments, or sung. Some piano music mimics other instruments. The mimicry might be subtle, or subliminal.
In Brahms’s Intermezzo, Opus 118, No. 1 — revered by Milton Babbitt — there’s an extraordinary cadence:
In my ear/mind, the low open strings (C and G) of the cello are sounding.
Musical norms or expectations encoded in the construction of instruments come into play. The sound of string crossings corresponds, in some way, to the crossing of human vocal registers. The gradual homogenization of register which allowed an instrumental musical line to (seamlessly?) pass through long registral distance is a modernism.
In Igor Stravinsky’s Serenade in A — just the choice of key is suggestive — at times, I’m strongly reminded of the physical realities of the violin (here, bariolage including an open A string).
Is there any chance of anything else (of not suggesting an open A string) — for a musical line that constantly returns to, and surrounds that particular A, in our world, our sound-world that yet contains violins?Related