Beethoven's Symphony No. 5

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The music of the Classical Period is characterised by objectivity and emotional restraint, clarity of form and adherence to certain structural principles. Although Beethoven made use of the concepts of music predominantly in the style of the classical era, he incorporates several aspects which are more evident in the romantic period. As a composer of the late classical and early romantic periods, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 epitomises the stylistic characteristics of the classical era but also a progression into romanticism is evident. Structure • Sonata form – repeat of the exposition was predominantly used in the classical period • Exposition x 2: o 1st subject – b.1-43 o Bridge passage – b.44-58 o 2nd subject – b.59-94 o Codetta – b.95-124 • Development – b.125-247 • Recapitulation: o 1st subject – b.248-287 o Bridge passage – b.288-302 o 2nd subject – b.303-372 • Extended Coda – b.373-502 Pitch Melody: • Piece begins in C minor with several modulations throughout: o The second subject modulates to E flat major through the descending arpeggios in the bridge passage o The development is in F minor before modulating back to the tonic of C minor in the recapitulation o The second subject in the recapitulation is in C major, the tonic major o The piece is back to C minor in the coda and there is an extended tutti perfect cadence from bar 496 to the end o The modulations are of major and minor tonalities, a classical characteristic • From bar 6 there is the use of imitation and sequences in the throughout the strings before the whole orchestra restates the theme at bar 18. • There is then the return of the main motif announced by the full string and wind sections and the horns, followed by sequenced variations. • At bar 38 a new rhythmic and melodic ascending motif is introduced in the strings: • The bridge passage consists of
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