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Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5, analysis by Gerard Schwarz (parts 3 - 4 )

Video transcript
third movement is very different because again coming from the tradition of Mozart and height and the third moon was supposed to be a minuet called minuet and trio the minuet part was a dance form in three not too fast and the trio part was called that because it was usually played by contrasting instruments so of them the first section was played many by the strings the trio would be with the woodwinds and you would have you know a trio you'd have a baseline and 2 treble lines an oboe flute and a bassoon or something like that and then you go back and do the beginning again and that was called a ba form so you at the very beginning and then you had the trio and then even when it wasn't three instruments a trio we still call it the trio now Beethoven followed that form it was the initial material trio and the recapitulation or the a section again so what did he do that was unusual first of all it's a scared so scared Sosa faster it starts again with the lower instruments of the orchestra this time not the cellos and the violas but the cellos and the bases and the theme it's kind of mysterious this whole they're very softly it leads to the sense of proclamation now what do you notice about that so the theme is is the theme from the Scared so but it's the same rhythm isn't it three short and one long played by the horns and horns play it strong and then the full orchestra comes in and then it leads again back to this original theme that the cellos and basses play and mysterious way and that gets somewhat developed and it leads us to to the trio section to the to the middle section of this section usually its blade by some contrasting instrument so if the piece starts with the cellos and the bases by now you'd figure the woodwinds or the violence of somebody would play that trio section in this case it's the cellos and basses again it's one of the more famous passages four cellos and basses in fact if you if you're a bass player and you go to an audition for an orchestra very often you'll play this because the clarity of pitch in and the quality of sound is very crucially important so this begins it's loud even though the temple the speed of the movement is the same there faster notes so it feels faster and there's a little what we call foo gato so the cellos and basses started and as time goes on the violas come in second violins come in first violins commit and then that's repeated and again it happens a second time and then the woodwinds join into this trio section eventually Beethoven does it again but the third time he does it it's all soft everything soft and in fact with soft also in the case of the violence becomes more legato smoother so again it's Beethoven's checklist you know I did it allowed a few times not I do it's often and maybe I should do it actually long rather than short and it's just it's just as incredible imagination gonna does he think that way i don't know but that's certainly the way it appears the schedules in three sections a BA so now we're back to a so this should just be a repeat during Mozart and heightens time very often they would just say back to the beginning and you do it again and stop well Beethoven didn't do that very often he did it on occasion for a symphony he did it second symphony he did he but in this symphony he doesn't but what he does with that melody he has the orchestra play it the new strings pizza kata which means they plucked the strange it starts out with pursue and instead of this heroic theme you know this remember the sub instead of that you hear a claret going and then you hear a elbow plan so what's the same idea except it's all wrong soft short little notes not heroic at all and it goes like that continually it's all that way and then what does he do he has to timpani play the melody so the strings hold this this simple chord and the tippity ocean and that instance becomes a melody even though it's a single note it's the timpani playing this and nothing happens until all of a sudden the violins play so what are they doing remember the opening theme they are just doing that over and over again and varying it slightly but it's still mysterious is still all soft nothing much happens and it's all suspended then in a short amount of time there's this huge crescendo and we have the triumphal last move it is a remarkable moment to this time is probably the most remarkable moment in music to have this suspension to have nothing happening and everybody's just waiting what what is he doing it's so soft what's gonna happen all of a sudden there's an explosion and people often talked about it from darkness to light remember the first movement was and C minor but now he's in C major so people talk about the transition from this minor to major as darkness to light also that the theme is a very obviously a very heroic theme played by the trumpets horns he adds piccolo he adds trombones he has contrabassoon the second theme isn't so different from the first played by the horns still heroic you the third theme changes a little bit it's a more dolce more sweet theme but it to doesn't stay that way very long and it becomes again a nice strong and so now we have the three themes and we repeat that again then after that repeated section we have the normal development section of of this and he uses those trombones and now not just for weight and brilliance but he uses them melodically as well he has a few piccolo solos the contrabassoon has it that's an important role and and and the development is quite extraordinary but what happens in the middle of the development is and it's going it's going like gangbusters and then all of a sudden you had these big big chords the same material from scare zone which is very much a three short and one long note can you imagine what it must have felt like in 1808 when audience was sitting there hearing this great triumphal last moment and actually feels pretty comfortable and then he stops in the middle of it and just by repeating this one note that he gets softer and softer and it becomes the schedule again it gives Beethoven the chance to extend the movement and repeat that great transition that you use from the scare so to the Lesnar after that we have the recapitulation so we have the exposition the first thing we had the big development and then we have this interlude of the skirt so coming back and the connection to the now recapitulation so all the material is brought back then at the end and as I mentioned there are some solos for the trombones for the piccolo I mean you know he really extends the orchestra and then he leads to the coda the coated in this case is at a faster tempo it's a pesto temple and again it ends triumphantly and it is without question one of the great masterpieces of symphonic music you