Shostakovich Symphony No5 - Movement 2


Second Movement

Typically the second movement of a symphony in the classical period was usually the slow movement however shostakovich puts it 2nd. Largely due to Beethoven. To add more interest the composer reworks the scherzo section after the trio, rather than relying on a simple de capo. The Key of A minor is the tonal centre with the trio in the relative key of C major.

  • SCHERZO: Intro Figure 48 - Tonal sense is A minor in a modal way. Avoids G# and uses Bb to create a Phrygian character. Solitary bass line played by cellos and basses. Crotchets and quavers create spritely energy. Repeated A tonic.
  • Figure 49 A SECTION -  Idea 2. Powerful unison with 7 woodwind instruments in high register. Trills, staccato notes and angular leaps = playful character. Typical of Mahler. Only accomp, is from horn on beats 1+2
  • Figure 50 - Homophonic writing for wind. Solo melodic line in bassoon accompanied by cello and bases.
  • Figure 51 + 52 - 'a' repeated. Violins take over bassoon melody. Accompanimental figure = dance like. Accents = playful hemiola feel, broken chords like Ab Maj triads. 4 before 53 the lower strings drop out.
  • Figure 53  B SECTION - 'b' idea (idea 3) in C minor. new meloodic phrase in woodwind…


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