Shostakovich Symphony No5 - Movement 1

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Movement One

Based clearly on principles found in Sonata form.Exposition = Bar 1 - Figure 17.     First Sub (D Minor) - Start to Figure 9                                                      Second Sub (Eb Minor) Figure 9 - 17

Development = Figure 17 - 36Recapitulation = Figure 36 - end.  First Sub (D minor) - Figure 36 - 39                                                      Second Sub (D Major) - Figure 39 - 44                                                      First Sub (D Minor) - Figure 44 to End

1A =          1B =

1C=                            1D =

1E =     2A =

2B =

  • Start: First Subject - In the opening the violins are in close canon with cellos and basses they then move by contrary motion to meet on significant As in bar 4. They play Motif 1A, 1B and 1C.
  • Figure 1 - 1d is played = main melodic theme in main violins it is a distinctively mournful theme and it also has the dark Eb of the Phrygian mode. Strings in close canon playing perfect fifths creates a bare sound.
  • Figure 2 - 1a is played but is now a tone lower and is in C minor. Lower strings play pizzicato and they are rhythmically augmented. Bar 15 1b is heard in Upper string part.
  • Figure 3 - Here the violin plays 1d decorated with 1b but a perfect fifth higher. The 1d melody continues creating new rhythmic ideas often free of the accentuation of the bar line.
  • Figure 4 - Around figure 4 and before we have a thin contrapuntal accompanimental texture on violin 2 and the violas. From figure 4 there is a long cantalina - it is pleading at times with the occasional support from the flute. At bar 28 1c is played in 1st violin and flute. Register becomes high and creates intensity for musical climax.
  • Figure 5 - Now back in Dminor. In bar 2 of figure 5 the oboe has 1e before it goes to the bassoon in the next bar = modal feel.
  • Figure 6 - Bar 35 = 1a in octaves in the strings. The long cantalina is 1d developed. 1b is then passed antiphonally creating harsh conflict.
  • Figure 7 - ff climax here with all ideas present. Moment of C major. 1a played - like a fanfare. Woodwind are very shrill just before and into figure 8
  • SECOND SUBJECT: Figure 9 - Eb Minor. Pulsating accompaniment with throbbing chords = harp


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