A question from a studentI received this question from a student: "I have to analyze the Symphony No. 1 in C major by Beethoven op.21, but I have a problem with the minuet, which is the third movement. Scheme looks completely different from the other movements, but can not find anything on the internet, except that it is more a scherzo than a minuet, but not knowing what is a scherzo ... even the key changes are sudden and often do not understand anything .... ".
Beethoven ends with the hedonism of the eighteenth centuryHere's my answer. You are right, dear student: Menuetto is indicated (ie Minuetto), but in fact is a Scherzo, because it is a ternary time much faster, and this is one of the new structural of Beethoven Symphonies with respect to the eighteenth century. In fact, it beats one, namely: the movements for each measure are three, but the speed of the piece leads to only one scan for each beat.
While prevalent in the eighteenth century idea of music entertainment and dancing minuet, with its moderate path and mannered gestures and gallant was almost the symbol of that type of music (and the society that demanded), with Beethoven states peremptorily bourgeois individualism and romantic, with strong-willed and stubborn expression of his personality: the Scherzo, with its pressing rhythms and vigorous vividly expresses this indomitable will. We note that the Symphony was written just between 1799 and 1800, and also the date it seems symbolically crucial.
A brief analysisHow can we analyze briefly this composition? It would take a lot of space! But the speed of the Internet forces me to brevity. Inevitably I will have to use some word "technique" (which I will write in italics), but anyone can contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to receive further explanation. Every technical term is explained by the program Playing Singing Wellness.
At least consider the larger subdivisions: the first ritornel corresponds to the first period, which ends with a modulation to G major (the piece is in C major). The theme is characterized by a pressing pace, strongly marked at the first time, from indication of movement Allegro molto e Vivace and the prevalence of staccato:
n the following 17 beats at a cadence comes in D flat Major, that is, to a remote key from the beginning of the piece: in this fact we see the dramatic dynamism of the music of Beethoven, in contrast to the eighteenth-century hedonism.
Then eight bars characterized by tonic pedal ('D flat' held by the double bass and bassoon II) The next 11 lines prepare the return of the theme in C major, which extends for 35 beats.
Follows the Trio (that was the middle section, conflicting, even in the classical minuet), which is also in C Major and is characterized by figures in eight-notes of violins over a rhythmic and harmonic accompaniment quarter notes and half notes achieved mainly by wind instruments:
The Trio is formally divided by the refrains, then follows the recapitulation Da Capo section A.
The analysis is very brief and we do a lot of knowledge! But the space is ended for the day.