Second Listening Assignment
Ludwig van Beethoven, 1770-1827. Classical Period
Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67
This piece is relatively long compared to the music written in previous periods such as Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque. Beethoven is known to have stretched the musical forms of the Classical period, which were already different in nature and length to those in previous periods. This piece appears to be more distorted than other symphonies in the same period; even music in the previous periods almost always followed certain guidelines. The music in the symphony is performed by an orchestra, so there are no vocals and instruments are only responsible for the music. Brass, Strings, woodwinds, and percussion all participate in the creation of sound. There is constant interaction between the different instruments. A symphony in the classical period consisted of four movements. The four movements of this symphony are Allegro con brio, Adante con moto, Scherzo, and Allegro. Each of the four movements will be analyzed more specifically.
The first movement is in sonata-allegro form, which contains three parts: exposition, development, and recapitulation. In this symphony, Beethoven has provided two musical ideas in the first part of the movement that have the same melody and rhythm, yet different keys. The first musical idea is in a low pitched key and it is repeated during the exposition. However, the second musical idea sounds in a higher pitched key. The following stage is the development stage, where parts of each musical idea in the exposition are played both individually and combined. This part is said to be tonally unstable because the keys used often vary from those contrasting each other in the exposition. I would have expected the transition from the development part to the recapitulation to be clearer, however. Beethoven seemed to give more length to the development part as it was one long recapitulation of the two...
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