Revision notes on Shostakovich 5th symphony, movement 2

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Movement II ­ Allegretto
The first half of the scherzo (fig 48-53) has an internal ABA structure
The opening long melody (A) is on the lower strings in 8ves, ff and arco ­ strident and proud
Key: Am, with lack of G# (modal)
Contains some familiar melodic material:
First 2 bars have the same shape as the Figure 1 violin melody from Movement 1
Has an overall descending shape (which it shares with the trill theme, figure 49)
Last two bars have hemiola feel
Rising scale reminiscent of figure 5 oboe melody ­ this is developed into the dotted
main theme, and appears rhythmically diminished at bar 48
Use of repeated notes (reminiscent of Movement 1 motif c)
Use of descending sequence, underlined in blue
Descending sequence is also used:
In the trill theme at figure 49
In the bassoon melody, bars 25 and 26 (which is also an inversion of the b6
rising scale)
In the dotted theme at figure 53
Repeated notes are used in the scherzo to create varying characters
Light and mischievous at b21/22
Foreboding and fanfare-like at b11/12
Insistent in opening
After the opening melody the horns interrupt (internal B section)
ff, horns in 2nds ­ regal, majestic

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Shrill, ff then pupper woodwind melody
Similar shape to opening melody - Eb clarinet takes over (brash and cheeky)
Descending bass pattern ­ introduces a recurring feature (although here harmony is
still Am)
Answered by sprightly, staccato woodwind repeated chords
Sprightly bassoon takes over with descending scale as an answer, from which the
opening melody furtively emerges in lower strings (internal A repeat) with upper
strings joining in more prominently from the 5th bar (repeating notes)
From figure 52 violin 1 takes the melody with…read more

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Dotted theme returns, again in Cm
Now all strings except double bass, p dynamics (more mysterious) ­ accompanied by
quiet/staccato ww and brass, with downbeat on Cb and timpani
Fanfare section in F again and repeating notes with same orchestration as before
Horn octave E flats then lead in to trio.…read more

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C, B, Bb
Interrupted by horn fanfare (F#m) then spooky string chromatic quavers (D#m ­
terzverwandshaften) ­ a textural and harmonic interruption `a step into sharp world'
Figure 62 ­ lower woodwind (sound like brass, sinister and confident) play the
beginning of the trio A theme (tries to return) in B
This is interrupted by a combination of the fanfare (ww) and the trio B theme (strings
and brass), with descending parallel chords: Em, Dm, C
Figure 61-63 then repeats, the only difference being the…read more

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Sprightly, joyful woodwind repeated Vicious pizz strings
Sprightly bassoon descending scale Pizz cello ­ frustrated effetct
Opening melody returns in Bassoon and contra bassoon
lower strings (furtively) (role swapping)
Stabbing repeating notes on high Pizz strings ­ more reserved
arco strings
Dotted theme ­ jubilant woodwind Woodwind an octave higher
with the addition of the
sinister xylophone outlining the
melody ­ a chilling jokey facade
Trill motif ­ same orchestration with Trumpet replaced with trombone ­
trumpet accomp darkens mood, less regal
Horn melody…read more


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