caters Posted June 2, 2019 Share Posted June 2, 2019 So if you don't know already, here are my 2 favorite all time symphonies: Beethoven's 5th Symphony no. 40 And I have noticed some similarities between these 2 symphonies. And it isn't just that they are both in minor keys with flats. There is a lot more to the similarities than that. These 2 symphonies are like cousins, obviously related in some aspects but completely different in others. Here, I will in each category start with Symphony no. 40 and then show how that is similar to Beethoven's 5th. Motivic Development So here is the motif from Symphony no. 40: There is Mozart's motif. Now here is the symphony with the motif highlighted: Symphony no 40 with motif highlights.pdf As you can see, pretty much all of the first movement is based on that 1 little motif. But it isn't really used anywhere else in Mozart's Symphony no. 40. Beethoven takes this to the next level with his fifth symphony. Here is the motif: The very famous Fate Motif. It is probably the most famous motif that exists. It has been used for a long time after Beethoven as either an homage to Beethoven(even I use it this way) or as a parody of Beethoven's 5th. Here is how much Beethoven uses it so that you can see how similar and different it is to Mozart's motif in terms of frequency: Fate Motif Highlights.pdf As you can see here, every movement has a significant amount based on the Fate Motif, but especially the first movement and finale. I might have missed some instances of the Fate Motif but most of those were scalar instances where it isn't all that obvious that it is rhythmically based on the Fate Motif. Dissonance Treatment This is another similarity between the 2 symphonies. They both have instances where the dissonance is not resolved right away but is instead a rearticulated suspension, building up tension until finally a huge sign of relief as it resolves. Mozart only rearticulates the dissonance a few times. Beethoven rearticulates the dissonance a lot more. Mozart's dissonance also isn't as tense as Beethoven's dissonance even if it is played once. The Obvious Similarities They are both in a minor key with flats. Mozart's has fewer flats which leads to less tension. Beethoven's has more flats which leads to more tension. Also, the beginning theme of the Scherzo of Beethoven's 5th is directly taken from Symphony no. 40's second movement. Both begin with what is called a Manhiem rocket. Beethoven's is left unharmonized which is the major difference from Mozart. The orchestra is almost exactly the same but Beethoven added piccolo, trombone, and contrabassoon parts to his finale. Here are videos of the 2 symphonies: Are there any similarities that I missed between these 2 symphonies? And does Mozart's motif appear in movements besides the first movement? PDF Symphony no 40 with motif highlightsFate Motif Highlights Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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