Thursday, November 18, 2010

11/18 Symphony No. 5, Pt 2 (Analysis, Järvi)

Kandinsky, "All Saints I"
Continued from yesterday, the conclusion to Beethoven's 5th Symphony with annotations....

Beethoven, Symphony 5 in C minor, op.67 (1808)
Movement III and IV

Movement III
Scherzo 1
-A - dark C minor ascending, descending phrase - open cadence
-B - "victory" 4-note motif returns from the 1st mvmt - open cadence
-A1 - same dark Cm phrase but in B flat
-B1 - 4-note victory motif modulates from C to F minor - open cadence
-A2 - some B elements hide in strings - Violins introduce a new spritely counter melody
-B2 - final dramatic Victory motif w closed cadence before Trio

-C - fast (comical?) C Major fugue figure starting in low strings
-D - stop-start variation
-C1 - additional strings rejoin the fray, followed by winds/horns
-D - stop-start repeated
-C2 - varying dynamics, eventually flutes lead downward disintegration

Scherzo 2
-A3 - dark yet light, into pizzicato strings
-B3 - Victory motif now tiptoed in shy winds, tiptoeing around the previously fanfarish theme - open cadence
-A4 - dark Cm theme in quiet mode w horn accents
-B4 - simplifying victory motif...leading to Deceptive Cadence

Transition to the Finale - heavy and dark w martial percussion

Movement IV - Finale - Allegro
-Theme 1
--Pt 1 - New Victory motif in C Major as trombones, piccolos and contrabassoons join in
--Pt 2 - vibrating strings vs massed horns and winds
--Modulating Bridge sneaks in
-Theme 2
--A - 4 note rising/falling motif - open cadence
-Cadence section
 -A, A1

Exposition Repeat

-Pt 1 - Modulation from previous phrase
-Pt 2 - Theme 2, fragmented and varied
-Pt 3 - 3-note motif in bass surfaces against Theme 2
-Pt 4 - new 4-note machine gun motif emerges in brass
-Pt 5 - Climax section with multiple layers
-Pt 6 - Sudden landing into tiptoe victory phrase in C minor from Movement 3

-Theme 1
--Pt 1 - back to C Major
--Pt 2 - as before
--Mod Bridge
-Theme 2
--A - rising/falling
-Cadence section first light, then bigger

-Pt 1 - Strings and winds vs ascending 3-note motif from development Pt 3
-Pt 2 - Drama increases into ending tutti?
-Pt 3 - No - motif from Theme 1 returns
-Pt 4 - rhythm becomes oddly accented on upbeats, accelerating polka
-Pt 5 - Presto - Fast version of cadence motif theme returns
-Pt 6 - Final fanfare of opening Victory motif
-Pt 7 - cadencing back and forth until the real ending tutti

(Analysed with some assistance from Robert Greenberg's Teaching Company Wordscore guide.)

Wow - it's not the most famous symphony of all time for nothing. Here's some other great sites devoted to the 5th Symphony....;internal&action=_setlanguage.action?LANGUAGE=en
And of course there's MAM:

Carlos Kleiber's CD recording of the 5th is largely considered the "best" - sadly the only live video I could find was this one - a staggering performance marred by some inept TV editing..but it's still interesting....

I recently rewatched my old analyses of Symphonies 1 and 2 and they are definitely showing their age (and my relative inexperience at the time with this Youtube annotation thing. I'm going to put off the 6th for awhile and possibly polish up the old ones...


  1. Thanks for categorizing my post on No. 5 as being from a "great site".

  2. No problem, I enjoyed your post on 5, Gene!