November 30, 2011
The Not so Little Symphony
Classical music has many purposes: it can move the listener with different emotions, it can relate to an occasion, or tell a story. For Beethoven, having a storyline in musical pieces was significant, through the chords and notes he conveyed struggles that related to him and could be linked to the general public. Whether it was a physical struggle or a social struggle, most of Beethoven’s earlier pieces evoke a protagonist that had to overcome an obstacle, which through persistence and determination became victorious, but we see that changing as Beethoven moves to his later period. Instead of having a protagonist struggling to achieve heroism, the struggle becomes more about whether fate was…show more content… It would be as if the second theme was screaming or calling at the first theme, but the first theme is unable to hear In light of Beethoven’s own deafness, there is obviously considerable irony here. The c-sharp may be taken as an indication of deafness, more specifically, of Beethoven’s own deafness, just like the c-sharp in the Eroica symphony. Rather than a potential tragedy to be heroically overcome by the protagonist, an interaction conflict is taken here as a source of humor and Beethoven shows the first glimpse of the continuous mocking this movement will have against heroism. At this point we are still puzzled of the irrelevant roaring of the c-sharp. Finally after much irritating battles the pushy c-sharp leads eventually to the f-sharp minor in the coda. The unconfident first theme that we hear in the exposition gradually becomes more heard and self-assured which ultimately becomes the F-major we see in the coda. The start of gradual unification of the two themes shown in the beginning of the development shows the gradual merging between heroism and divinity. In the coda the themes are unified and instead of sounding like two different themes competing against one another, they now sound like one continuous theme. This F-major resembles the storyline of the skilled, crippled alienated god of fire. Being so similar, it is practical to assume that the protagonist can also be the fallen god Hephaestus in the fourth movement of the eighth symphony.