Beethovens 5Th Symphony Essay Research Paper Beethoven

Beethovens 5Th Symphony Essay, Research Paper Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony If you are part of society, I think it is safe to make the assumption you are familiar

Beethovens 5Th Symphony Essay, Research Paper

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 three. This feature gives the Fifth Symphony its widespread popularity that it

has had over so many generations. Tonal unity is provided by the close relationship

between the parallel keys of C minor (the tonic) and C major, and the gradual yielding of

the minor to major in the course of the work. To help achieve this transfer of c control,

from minor to major, Beethoven is obliged to make an important change the traditional

Key relationships of a sonata movement in a minor key. 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 Period.

In the second movement a few C Major fanfare figure as some of the closest

points of contact between Beethoven and the revolutionary plein air, and if the swift,

tiptoeing type of scherzo had been born in the Eroica, the Fifth generates the ghostly type.

For the first time the device of linking the two final movements, already employed in the

piano sonata, finally appeared in the symphony. Here the point at which they join is filled

with a beam of light blazing which makes it cleat to everyone, whether or not they are

experts, the great theme of light triumphing over darkness already treated in a cryptic

way by Hayden and Mozart.(Pestelli p. 237). The energy which fills the whole finale is

compressed into fifty bars of motionless, traumatic tension; this movement is couched in

the same language as the final chorus of Fidelio, and like it-indeed more so, in spite of

the absence of words- is a celebration of the supreme and completely secular value of

human dignity.(Pestelli p.237).