Mozart, First Movement from Symphony No.40 in G minor

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Tonality

Exposition

G minor, modulates to relative major Bb major at b.25, perfect cadence in Bb major at b.27

Development

F# minor, E minor.114,D minor b.120,C major b.124,F major b.126, Bb major b.128

Recapitulation

Tonic b.166, F minor b.198, Eb major b.205, G minor b.211

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Melody

Balanced 4-8 bar phrases usually question and answer

e.g. In the 2nd subject the first 4 bars end in an imperfect cadence and the next 4 end in a perfect cadence

Many phrases are scalic such as at b.30-33 in the violins

1st Subject

Characterised by a falling motif to the repeated rhythm of quaver, quaver, crotchet

This is repeated with some variation in the recapitulation

2nd Subject

Descending chromatic patterns shared between the strings and ww

This is repeated with some variation in the recapitulation

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Harmony

Diatonic and functional, based around major and minor triads

Use of chromatic chords such as at b.102 with a diminished 7th

In the second subject there is a circle of 5ths progression

The cellos have pedal notes just before the second subject

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Rhythm, metre and tempo

metre is 4/4 throughout

Tempo is molto allegro

Short rhythmic ideas are used to create unity

Rhythms are fairly simple but there are some dotted rhythms and syncopation to add interest and create momentum

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Texture

Texture is mostly homophonic

Counterpoint and imitation in the development

Octave doubling is frequently used 

Dialogue between ww & strings at the start of the 2nd subject

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Dynamics

Exposition

Apart from a loud passage in the middle the 1st subject is quiet

Transition is loud

2nd Subject starts of quiet but gets louder near the end

Development

Has a loud mid-section but starts and ends quietly

Recapitulation

Has similar dynamics to the exposition

Most dynamic changes occur suddenly

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Timbre

Mozart uses a chamber orchestra made up of strings ww and horns

The strings play a variety of material, such as melody, quick running scales, sustained notes and forceful chords.

The ww do play so much, and tend to have more sustained notes and fewer quick runs than the strings. They start to share the 2nd subject with the strings

The 2 horns are in G and Bb which maximises the notes they can play. The horns play mostly held or repeated notes to sustain harmonies

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Structure

Sonata form

Exposition - where the two subjects are introduced to the audience

Development - Based on the 1st subject but developed and is quite fragmented

Recapitulation - Subjects repeated with some variation and repeated perfect cadences in G minor finish the piece in the coda

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