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Beethoven Symphony 5 Allegro Con Brio - Essay Example

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Two performances have been taken from YouTube in order to compare the difference styles of interpretation. The exposition section introduces the famous four note motif which is often referred to as the "fate motif". 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. There is always a question and an answer. . As Beethoven didn't have long themes, there is a great deal of variation in the way the music is performed. There is always starting and stopping. The interpretation leads to many different feelings and timbres. In the first recording, the pause between the question and the answer is much longer and has much more of an effect. The strings answer again as though the water is flowing There are the hunting horns and the strings are the birds in the trees. In choosing the two recordings, there was as much as ninety seconds to two minutes in variation of time. Toscanini performed it as though it was a melodious first movement when the strings were playing. When the French horns blasted, they didn't act as hunting horns. There was a difference in each orchestra in the way the brass performed. He did not have the effect of the question and answering. Sometimes the strings rushed. The recordings were chosen after having listened to approximately 10 different videos. The two were based on having the brass sound like the hunting horns that Beethoven wanted and the duality of the strings. Toscanini has captured the duality of the motif which he carried it through the first movement. Riccardo Muti, La Scala Philarmonic Filarmoniaca della Scala performed with much more fluidity. His performance was 90 seconds longer. The brass were united in their playing as though the hunters on their horses were coming back. The strings were more melodious and seemed to enjoy playing. Knowing that Beethoven lived in the country, his joy of being able to hear the trumpets would have influenced his introducing the fanfare in the beginning section as he walked on the property singing to himself. We cannot call it pastoral but it is full of emotion and controversy from a man who realized he only heard music in his head. In the next section, he goes back and forth with the four note theme and the strings together. Toscannin is jumpy and Multi is full of joy. The instruments are separated where the strings and woodwinds first start with the two note theme as they are going questioning each other; then go back and forth with one note. The four note theme is used to give an element of surprise: first by the brass then by the strings and woodwinds. The fate motif is used in a crescendo to build up to the last section. In the recapitulation section, the orchestra is in the full forte with the four note fate theme. The timpani is the heart of this section. The strings answer but for the first time we hear the woodwinds playing the harmony, ending the oboe solo which acts like a cadenza to the section. The strings build up in a crescendo to the trumpet and trombone fanfare with one bassoon, then the strings play with the woodwinds responding. The measures are played in staccato with the trombones, and strings repeating the chords of theme and the winds answering. There is a small last section which Beethoven uses to prepare for the 2nd movement. The first movement is the beginning of Beethoven admitting that he has a ...Show more


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…
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Beethoven Symphony 5 Allegro Con Brio
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