April 23, 1775. It contains an overture and 14 numbers. The autograph is in the Royal Library at Berlin, and the work is published in Breitkopf's complete edition as Series V. No. 10.
Aminta's air, 'L'amerò,' was at one time a favourite with Madame Lind-Goldschmidt.
[ G. ]
REPEAT, REPETIZIONE, REPLICA (Ger. Wiederholung; Fr. Répétition, which also means 'rehearsal'). In the so-called sonata-form, there are certain sections which are repeated, and are either written out in full twice over, or are written only once, with the sign
at the end, which shows that the music is to be repeated either from the beginning or from the previous occurrence of the sign. The sections which, according to the strict rule, are repeated, are the first section of the first movement, both sections of the minuet or scherzo at their first appearance, and both sections of the trio, after which the minuet or scherzo is gone once straight through without repeats. The last half of the first movement, and the first, or even both, of the sections in the last movement, may be repeated; see for instance Beethoven's Sonatas Op. 2, No. 2; Op. 10, No. 2; Op. 78; Schubert's Symphony No. 9. Also, where there is an air and variations, both sections of the air and of all the variations, should, strictly speaking, be repeated. Although it is a regular custom not to play the minuet or scherzo, after the trio, with repeats, Beethoven thinks fit to draw attention to the fact that it is to be played straight through, by putting after the trio the words 'Da Capo senza repetizione,' or 'senza replica,' in one or two instances, as in Op. 10, No. 3, where moreover the trio is not divided into two sections, and is not repeated; in Op. 27, No. 2, where the Allegretto is marked 'La prima parte senza repetizione' (the first part without repeat). In his 4th and 7th Symphonies he has given the trio twice over each time with full repeats.
[ J. A. F. M. ]
REPETITION (Pianoforte). The rapid reiteration of a note is called repetition; a special touch of the player facilitated by mechanical contrivances in the pianoforte action; the earliest and most important of these having been the invention of Sebastian Erard. [See the diagram and description of Erard's action under Pianoforte, vol. ii. p. 722.] By such a contrivance the hammer, after the delivery of a blow, remains poised, or slightly rises again, so as to allow the hopper to fall back and be ready to give a second impulse to the hammer before the key has nearly recovered its position of rest. The particular advantages of repetition to grand pianos have been widely acknowledged by pianoforte makers, and much ingenuity has been spent in inventing or perfecting repetition actions for them: in upright pianos however the principle has been rarely employed, although its influence has been felt and shown by care in the position of the 'check' in all check action instruments. The French have named the mechanical power to rapidly repeat a note, 'double échappement'; the drawbacks to double escapement—which the repetition really is—are found in increased complexity of mechanism and liability to derangement. These may be overrated, but there always remains the drawback of loss of tone in repeated notes; the repetition blow being given from a small depth of touch compared with the normal depth, is not so elastic and cannot be delivered with so full a forte, or with a piano or pianissimo of equally telling vibration. Hence, in spite of the great vogue given to repetition effects by Herz and Thalberg, other eminent players have disregarded them, or have even been opposed to repetition touches, as Chopin was and Dr. Hans von Bülow is—see p. 7, §10 of his commentary on selected studies by Chopin (Aibl, Munich, 1880), where he designates double escapement as a 'deplorable innovation.'
A fine example of the best use of repetition is in Thalberg's A minor Study, op. 45:—
where the player, using the first two fingers and thumb in rapid succession on each note, produces by these triplets almost the effect of a sustained melody with a tremolo. It is this effect, produced by mechanical means only, that is heard in Signor Caldera's Melopiano as made by Herz in Paris, and Kirkman in London. Repetition is however an old device with stringed instruments, having been, according to Bunting, a practice with the Irish harpers, as we know it was with the common dulcimer, the Italian mandoline and the Spanish bandurria.
A remarkable instance may be quoted of the effective use of repetition in the Fugato (piano solo) from Liszt's 'Todtentanz' (Danse Macabre)