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Guided Tour - Beethoven Symphony no 5 - Movement 2

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This movement is marked "Andante con moto", meaning “flowing, with motion”. It is in the form of a theme and variations. The theme consists of two main sections. The first section is very stoic-sounding... ...with a delicate ending on the flutes and woodwinds... ...which is echoed on the violins. The second section begins on the clarinets. It has a much more "majestic" feel to it, like a royal procession. The second section ends with long, uneasy notes. It transitions us into the first variation. Variation 1 begins with the stoic first section again. But the accompaniment on the violas and cellos is faster. However, the first section still has the same familiar flute and violin ending. The majestic second section begins. Again, notice the faster accompaniment. The long, held notes as we transition out. Variation 2 takes us back to the stoic section - but now the accompaniment moves twice as fast as Variation 1! The slow-moving nobility has now transformed into a beautiful clockwork mechanism. It builds up to a large climax... ...but where you would expect the gentle flute moment to come in... ...a light rhythm begins on the strings... ...the woodwinds play little rising motif... ...and a bizarre moment takes place where half the woodwinds go up and the other half go down. Where did the majestic second section go? Has Beethoven forgotten it? We're not kept waiting long... ...as the grand second section comes back in full force. But then it dies away, never to be heard again. The strings start an oscillating accompaniment... ...and the flute marches in with a minor key version of the stoic first section. It's all fairly gentle, but slowly builds in power... ...and becomes a full-blown return of the stoic music. It reaches a soaring climax... ...but still finishes with the delicate flute ending. This sounds like the end... ...but a cheeky bassoon with a syncopated rhythm arrives on the scene. It's another variation on the stoic theme... ...which brings us back to... ...our delicate flute ending... ...the echo in the strings... ...and the full orchestra slowly sings the final notes...or are they? Not quite...little runs in the orchestra become louder and louder... ...and the movement reaches its real climax.

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 6 seconds
Country: Australia
Language: English
Views: 548
Posted by: bromley on Apr 6, 2009

This is the slow movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony with explanatory subtitles.

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