On a second, or third, or fourth hearing, they might begin to hear similarities between the themes in each movement, and realize that the entire quintet is built on a very small amount of material.
And so, I've been a bit obsessed lately, spending most of my time at my other keyboard, the wooden beast in my living room, sweating over the two piano version of the Brahms quintet.
I can't help but marvel at the economy and emotional impact of this piece. It is spare yet lush, controlled yet heart-rending. Its adherence to classical ideals—repetition, development, and permutation of motifs over extended periods—foreshadows the reactionary minimalism of modern times, but it never stalls; it moves and breathes with the force of living art.
The first movement of Opus 34B, for two pianos, is below. As you listen, think of the fiction you've loved. Are there motifs throughout it? Ideas that recur in one form or another that make the writing cohesive? Imagery patterns that emerge, either obviously or subtly?
The techniques are not that different....
Next: Movement 2