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Analysis Section by section
Mozart Analysis Section by section
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Born 27th January 1756 in Salzburg. His father Leopald, was court composer Started studying keyboard with his father when he was four. Toured Europe at a very early age with his father and sister (Nannerl) playing to princes and emperors. As such Mozart became very famous from a very early age. Mozart moved to Vienna in 1781 Despite his relatively short life of thirty five years, his musical output was vast and included famous operas such as Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giavanni, Cosi fan tutte and Die Zauberflote. He also wrote Concertos for most instruments, 41 symphonies, 27 string quartets, 6 string quintets and 17 masses.
Background to symphony no. 40 in G minor
This symphony was written in G minor, melancholy feel The work comprises of the usual four movements, but what is slightly unusual is that Mozart uses sonata form in the first, second and fourth movements with the third being the usual minuet and trio. Mozart originally scored the work without the recently invented clarinets, although he later wrote another version that included two clarinets, it is this later study that we will study! Mozart is modest with his instrumentation, he only uses seven woodwind players (one flute, two oboes, two clarinets and two bassoons) and two horns. Old style horns were in different keys, Mozart used one in Bb and one in G. This gave him the notes G-Bb-D (G minor triad) and Bb-D-F (Bb major – relative major key The piece doesn't’t use trumpets or timpani, which is unusual of orchestras of the time
Exposition: First Subject
The first movement is fast ‘Molto Allegro’ 4/4 time signature There is no introduction Violins in octaves state the first subject They are marked p (piano –soft) a rarity in symphonies up to this point in time. Accompaniment is provided by a quaver pattern in the violas and crotchet bass notes from the cello/basses.
First subject Bars 1-20 (bars 1-9)
Bar 1-3: repeated idea – the first three notes become an important motif used throughout the movement, before the upward jump of a sixth and descending scale there after. Bar 5-9 see an exact repeat of this melody but as part of a sequence – played one note lower in this case.
First subject (Bars 9-20) The second part of the theme is introduced – a repeated crotchet idea outlining chords (5) and chords I and Ib Bars 14-16: woodwind carry on the melody Bars 16-20: strong repeated woodwind chords with strings playing D’s in octaves which forms a dominant pedal (D is chord (5) in G Minor) Following this the first subject is repeated, but modified as we start the bridge passage.
First Subject Re-cap What key is the first subject in?
Which instruments play the first subject? Describe the accompaniment to the melody What is the time signature? What is a sequence and where does one occur during the statement of the first subject? Describe the second theme of the first subject
Bridge passage Bars 20-44 First subject is repeated but changed at bars to modulate to the relative major (Bb) (Notice the lack of F♯’s) Oboes and Bassoons provide sustained chords as ‘harmonic filling’ There is a perfect cadence in bar 27-28 Bars there is a robust forte section for the whole orchestra, still in the relative major of Bb The horn enters for the first time and there is also a bold theme in the violins outlining the chord of Bb major There is a good example of a descending sequence, violins bar 30-33 Strong sforzando chords lead to another dominant pedal between 38 and 43. The section ends with a 1 bar rest
Bridge Passage Re-cap The bridge passage starts by repeating the _______ but modulates to _________ The dynamics in this section are ______ and use _______ meaning suddenly loud There is a _____ ______ on the note of F The section ends with a ___ ____ ____
Second subject bars 44-72 44-51 This theme is shared between the strings and woodwind. It is much more relaxed (notice the piano dynamics) and reduced instrumentation. Use of semitones is characteristic of the pathetique (melancholy) mood of the second subject (see 44-5 and 48-9) The falling figures (44-5 and 48-51) help to conjure up the mood of sighing – Chromatic descent was always used to feature grief and sadness in music. 50-51, another perfect cadence in Bb major – remember a balanced structure was important in classical music.
Second subject bars 44-72 52-58 The section is repeated but the strings and woodwind swap parts. 58-66 The theme is extended by a series of one-bar sequences (58-61) 66-72 A new 6 bar idea is heard in unison violins It is made of chromatically ascending quavers and rhythmic stops a descending scale marks the end of the second subject highlighted of course by a perfect cadence in Bb major.
Second Subject Re-cap What key is the second subject in?
How is the second subject different from the first? The second subject moves mainly by semitones. This is called _______ How does this section end?
Codetta bars This section is based on the opening three notes of the first subject. 73-88 The idea is passed from the clarinet to the bassoon. Meanwhile the violins play just the first two notes of the idea as minims (doubling the length of a note is called augmentation) in canon with the viola, cello and double basses. There is a perfect cadence in Bb at bars 79-80, before the whole section is repeated. 88-100 There is a long extended cadence spanning 8 bars (90-97) The texture is homophonic In bar 100 there is a Gm7 chord which leads back to bar 1 for a repeat of the exposition. The repeat ensures i) the section balances in terms of bars with the recapitulation section and ii) the listener is familiar with the two main subjects of the work.
Codetta Re-cap What is the codetta based on?
Why type of cadence does this section end with? A pivot chord links back to the opening section, which is repeated. Why did Mozart repeat this section? What do the violins play at the start of the codetta?
Development This section is based on the opening figure of the first subject. Following a G minor chord, a chromatic chord G♯ B D F (diminished 7th) leads to the remote key of F♯ minor – during which the theme enters in the violin. The first four bars of the theme is played four times in octaves, each repeat is a tone lower (sequence) The harmony is now chromatic. In bar the music resolves into E minor. The violas, cello and bassoon enters with the main melody. Meanwhile there is a countermelody in the violins. This melody is staccato so it stands out against the legato main theme.
Development At bar 118 the music modulates to A minor, the instruments swap melodies. In 120 the music reaches D minor, then to G minor by 122, C major by 124, then F major and then Bb major – lots of changes all up 4 steps (D-G-C-F etc) A dominant pedal on A enters in bar (bassoons, violas and cello) The texture is thinned as the first three notes of the melody are used as a motif. Pedals are used again, lots of them but the last pedal D creates tension before resolving to G in bar 166
Developing a motif What techniques did Mozart use to develop his main theme/motif?
Developing a motif Sequence Example from Mozart piece: Bar 5 (last crotchet) to bar 9 Example from development section: Bars and bars
Developing a motif Change key Example from Mozart piece: Bar 103 the first subject is in F# Minor He changes through a wide range of keys throughout the development section The keys are often unrelated
Developing a motif Add a counter melody Example from Mozart piece: Bar 114: Violas, cellos and bassoons enter with the theme, whilst the upper strings play a counter melody
Developing a motif Developing a fragment of the theme Example from Mozart piece: Bar 139: just the first 3 notes of the first subject are used as a motif and passed around between the instruments
Developing a motif Augmentation Example from Mozart piece: Bar 81: The violin play the first 2 notes of the theme in minims
Recapitulation 164-260 164-184 (first subject)
Exactly same as exposition bars 1-20 in G minor (bridge passage) This passage is extended from 24 bars originally to 51 bars. The usual purpose of the bridge section in the exposition is to take the music from the tonic to the dominant ready for the second subject. That isn’t necessary here as the second subject is repeated in the tonic key. Instead Mozart indulges in some further development of the thematic material. He adds things like a countermelody (bassoon, viola, cello) , dominant pedals and a bars rest (226) to add to the drama of expectation.
Recapitulation 164-260 227-260 (second subject) 227-241
The second subject is stated in the tonic key (G minor) and is the same as the exposition. Short extension in which the music modulates to E♭ major – again with more dominant pedals Use of a rising sequence, notice the bass notes rising chromatically. Perfect cadence in G minor leads to the rising theme heard in bars in the exposition (but in G minor)
What do you notice about the first subject in the recapitulation? The bridge passage is not an exact repeat. What’s different? What is different about the second subject? What does Mozart do to add to the drama of expectation in this section?
Coda The three note motif from the first subject is passed between the clarinet, bassoon and flute. Rounded off by a perfect cadence in 276 Starts with a scalic flourish building to the expected final cadence, but they are interrupted by woodwind chords which add to the drama. The final tutti is a homophonic reiteration of a series of chords I and V in G minor ending with four emphatic full stops (G minor chords)
Coda Re-cap The final section is marked tutti, which means ____?
The texture in the coda is________? The last 6 bars of the coda are the same as_____? How is the scalic floruish interrupted to add drama to the piece? What chords are used in the final section?
Listening What is unusual about the orchestra that Mozart uses in this symphony compared to the standard classical orchestra of the time? Describe two ways in which the first and second subjects differ in the exposition section of this movement. Mention two features of the development section? What is the purpose of the bridge section in the exposition? What key is the second subject in during the recapitulation section and why? The final section is the coda. What does Mozart develop further during the final part of the piece?
Listening How would you describe the mood of the first movement as a whole? Give three musical reasons to back up your argument What is the role of the two horns in this piece and why is one in the key of G minor and one in Bb major? Name two different types of musical texture to be found in this work. How many other movements are there in the rest of the symphony?
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