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Beethoven Symphony N°5 1st Movement 'Allegro con brio' The 5th symphony was started in 1804 and finished in 1808. It was a commissioned piece. It is part of Beethoven's late period. His deafness had started as one can hear by the lack of pianissimos in the symphony.
The word 'theme' and 'motif' have been used interchangeably. The first movement can be divided into the exposition section, the development section, the recapitulation and the coda. The first movement opens in c minor and finishes in c minor. There are two common themes which are introduced in the first movement and written throughout the symphony. The paper will analyze the first movement. The exposition section introduces the famous four note motif which is often referred to as the "fate motif". There are some who consider it an 8 note motif as it starts in C- and then goes immediately to C major. Throughout this movement the motif is never just four notes. There is always a duality. The first four notes are followed by a pause as though Beethoven is catching his breath. The second four notes which are also played by the winds and brass are also followed by a pause. This motif is used as the theme throughout the whole symphony. In the first section he opens the symphony with the full string orchestra with the brass; then the string take the motif. We hear his strong Haydn influence. He uses Haydn's technique of contrapuntal use of the motif when the strings talk back and forth. There is a crescendo with the brass using the motif and changing keys to Eb major. He introduces a trumpet fanfare in the rhythm of the four note motif. It is followed by the strings. ...
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