Beethoven's Fifth Symphony Essay

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Beethoven's Fifth Symphony

If you are part of society, I think it is safe to make the assumption you are familiar with and have heard Symphony No. five by Beethoven. Whether it was a theme in movie or part of an advertisement on TV, it captured your attention and added emotion and excitement to the particular segment that it coincided with. Total unification and the pervasive use of a single motif combine to make the Fifth Symphony, which had one of the longest gestation periods of any Beethoven work, the first in which all movements are shown plainly to be part of a cyclic design. The famous motif which dominates the first movement in the form also makes significant appearances that are dramatic entrances in the other
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Instead of having the tonic minor govern the entire recapitulation in the first movement, he brings back the second subject in the tonic major, as a simple transposition rather than the fundamental recasting. (In this respect the movement anticipates the Romantic concept of thematic integrity and by, extension, the idea of the theme as the focal point of a composition.)

The fifth Symphony in C minor is rightly considered the paradigm of Beethoven’s symphonies; the various alternatives to sonata form, explored in the piano works, are put to one side here in favor of the more rigorous example of Mozart, which is, however, raised to a superbly spectacular level.(Pestelli p.236) According to Pestelli, No other piece had ever organized the principles of contrast with such integration of metrical structure and thematic invention as does the first movement; the grand balancing of blocks of sound comes, as everyone knows, from a proverbial four-note idea, an idea unusable by others, and in that sense a asocial , rather like the opening of Coriolan(1807), the overture for Collin’s tragedy, with it’s powerful swelling unisons that explode into chords.(236) This explains the why Beethoven’s opening to Symphony No. five is so powerful and dominating to the listener’s ear. His use of only four notes to introduce his symphony is an original one, giving it extreme distinction from any other composer’s work of the Classical
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