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.
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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 contrasting ideas yet not under strict guidelines. The first movement has been very effective in terms of the emotions it drives. There has been a contrast of angry low pitched emotions and the peaceful high pitched emotions, all within one musical idea of the exposition. I feel there is a battle of conflicting emotions taking place within and between the two contrasting ideas.
As a start, such contrast is felt in the music due to changes in dynamics. There is a louder and softer sound contrasted. Each of these dynamics are responsible for an emotion, where the louder notes represent angry emotions and the softer notes the more peaceful emotions. Timbre is another important contributor to emotional effect, as brass instruments have been used for the low pitched notes and strings for the higher pitched notes. The increase in tempo may reflect the developments taking place in the conflict of emotions, reflecting on which emotion will end up superior in the end.
I feel that in the first movement there is no superior emotion due to the fact that the development part is very long and there is no longer the strong distinction that existed in the beginning between the two keys. In the second movement, which is also in sonata-allegro form, Beethoven relies on large changes in dynamics to a higher degree. The movement begins with more emphasis on woodwinds and the violin; the same melody was played with few variations caused by additions from other instruments. It is also evident that this movement is much slower than the previous one.
This creates a sense of fulfillment for each emotion because there is more space for expression of both anger and peacefulness. The third movement, known as the scherzo, was in ternary form where the scherzo is followed by a trio, then the scherzo once more. A very significant part of this dance movement was the very soft segment that is also relatively the softest of all notes in the symphony. This may be a sign that there is a weakness in the strength of the expression of peaceful emotion; anger may be the dominant emotion in this segment despite the soft dynamics.
The fourth movement is polyphonic. There is a lot of variation in rhythm and melody to the point that it’s not clear whether the movement is in rondo or sonata-allegro form. The movement is not in presto, which is evident because it is not faster than first movement (allegro). There is also frequent use of imitative polyphony. Imitative polyphony may specifically be more significant in this final movement as it shows potential for a stable and cooperative interaction among the two emotions. This symphony by Beethoven did not immediately become one of his most famous symphonies.
Instead, it was the third symphony “Eroica” and the second movement of the seventh symphony that were more frequently performed and demanded. Over the course of the 19th century there has been a gradual increase in the acceptance of symphony no. 5’s greatness, as more orchestra began to play it. Source: http://www. npr. org/templates/story/story. php? storyId=5473894 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, 1756-1791. Classical Period. Piano Concerto No. 19, K. 459 Mozart’s concerto is similar in duration to Beethoven’s symphony, yet it consists of only three movements.
The first movement is in sonata-allegro form as well, while the last movement is usually in rondo which is possible for symphonies as well. Therefore, the main difference in structure is the omission of the menuet/scherzo. This concerto’s first movement is in sonata-allegro form, but the contrast between two musical ideas is in the same sense the contrast between the whole orchestra playing at one point (tutti) and the piano playing at another point (solo). It felt like the first few minutes introduced the orchestra and the piano separately playing the same melody.
As the first movement began to develop, Mozart used a polyphonic technique to create a serene nature around the interactions between the piano and orchestra. This piece lacks brass instruments, it is mainly piano, strings, and woodwinds. That combination of instruments helped give the polyphonic nature a happy and joyful feeling. Despite the harmony lacking conjunction frequently, the different timbre of the instruments used along with the small range of frequencies did not make me sense instability and tension.
At certain stages, the second movement is much slower than the first. I think that despite the first movement creating a serene and happy mood, the second movement is able to reemphasize that feeling yet in a calmer manner. It can be related to the contrast of a man walking around in the surroundings of a serene location with a smile on his face, and a man sitting down in the same location with the same emotional expression. Instead of having a walking pace as in the first movement, the man sits down and creates a calmer nature to the music.
There is also an evident lack brass instruments, with the interactions mainly between the piano and strings. At some points there is imitative polyphony between the piano and the orchestra’s melody. The tutti and piano seem to be responding to each other in emotional harmony, not necessarily the harmony of notes. Such a joyful and happy mood is therefore emphasized by the coexisting nature of each instrument’s sound. The third and final movement is in rondo form, with the refrain repeatedly played by the whole orchestra or smaller groups of instruments.
Mozart has played this initial theme repeatedly in different timbres, giving the listener the sense that there is a more common and agreed upon emotion. This movement is also different in the sense that the piano plays different melodies than that of the orchestra and does not try to imitate their melody. Despite claiming that there is a common emotion expressed by the orchestra, the piano is more separated than in any other movement. What caused this separation is not known, but the piano’s melody has a more individually stronger nature, possibly a state reached as a result of more coherent nature of the tutti.
The cause of this more individualistic nature is the piano’s shorter notes, meaning that the beats are shorter and the tempo is faster; it’s as if the solo is racing to the end of the musical idea. Despite the piano playing in the widest range of all movements, the intervals are narrow, giving these notes smooth and conjunct succession. It is believed that the rondo in this concerto is more closely bound together than the typical rondos by Mozart. Source: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Piano_Concerto_No. _19_(Mozart)