A Level Music: Septet in Eb: Op.20: Movement 1 by Beethoven

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When was this piece composed?
1799
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When and where was this piece first performed?
1800 in Court Theatre, Vienna
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When was the piece published and who was it dedicated to?
1802, to Empress Maria Theresa
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How many movements are there altogether?
6
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How many players are there in a septet?
7
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Is the grouping of a septet rare?
Yes
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Name the resources
violin, viola, cello, double bass, clarinet, bassoon and horn
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What is the role of the clarinet and violin?
They have the main melodic interest. The clarinet equals the violin in promience
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What key is the clarinet written in? How much lower (than written) does the clarinet sound?
Bb. A tone lower
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What is the role of the bassoon and horn?
They provide the harmony
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Which instrument shares a solo with the clarinet in bars 69-73
Bassoon
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What key is the horn written in? How much lower (than written) does the horn sound?
Eb. A major 6th
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What is the role of the viola?
Accompanies the piece with arpeggio figures: bar 61
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What is the role of the cello and bass?
They add textural weight and depth of pitch
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Name some of the techniques that the violin and viola use
Double/multiple stopping, no pizz but there is staccato
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Are the strings high in tessitura?
No
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Are there any dynamic contrasts?
Yes: fp: bar 12, sf: bar 18
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What is the structure of this piece?
Sonata form with slow intro
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Which movement out of 6 is this piece? What is it?
1st. Serenade.
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What is the structure defined by?
The tonality
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What is unusual about the CODA
It is longer than usual
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What is the tonality of this piece and what is it dictated by?
Functional, dictated by sonata form, Eb major
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Does the piece modulate? If so, are the modulations to related keys?
Modulates to related keys - Eb minor (relative minor): bar 10, Bb major (the dominant): bar 53, C minor (relative minor), Ab major (subdom): bar 124, F minor (relative of subdom): bar 132
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What are these modulations established by?
Perfect cadences
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What do pedals do to the texture? Give an example of a pedal in this piece
Add stability. Dominant pedal: bar 140, begins recapitulation, 2nd subject in Eb major
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Talk about the harmony
Functional, typical of classical style, mostly root and 1st inversion chords (with occasional 2nd inversion)
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What are the cadences like?
Clear perfect (28-9) and imperfect cadences (7-8). Typically classical caential Ic-V: bars 38 and 97
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Describe the harmonic rhythm of the piece
Slow, e.g. 4 bars of tonic Eb at beginning of Expo, however it does speed up towards cadences
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Talk about the type of chords in this piece?
Varied: mostly diatonic, e.g. dominant 7th: ending of intro, with some chromatic, e.g. German Augmented 6th: bar 7.
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What do pedals create?
Tension
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What is the metre?
3/4 in intro. Then cut common time: simple duple in main section.
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What is the tempo?
Intro: slow, Main Section: lively (allegro con brio)
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Name some of the features of the rhythm
Syncopation: bars 45-46, Continuous triplet rhythms: bars 76-79, Rhythmic Diminuation: crotchets halved to quavers: bars 284-285
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What do the themes begin with?
An anacrusis
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Talk about the rhythm specifically in the intro
More complex - demisemiquavers, sextuplets and double dotted rhythms
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Talk about the rhythm specifically in the 1st subject
3 quavers and a minim tied to a quaver accompanied by continuous repeated quavers in the viola. When repeated: bar 29: accompaniment is replaced by syncopated rhythm in violin and viola over on-beat crotchets in cello
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Talk about the rhythm specifically in the 2nd subject
Opening: sustained minim rhythm, then the pace increases with excitement
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Discuss the textures
Wide variety. Intro: tutti homophonic chords in bar 1 and monophony in bar 2. Allegro section: MDH, as expected. Homophonic/homorhythmic: bars 50-53 and 86-97
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Who are the antiphonal exchanges between in bars 47-50?
Clarinet and bassoon
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Where is there octave writing and who is it between?
Bar 128 between clarinet and bassoon
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Where are these octaves between 5 instruments?
Start of the development section: bar 113
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Describe the melody
Diatonic with brief chromaticism (chromatic scale in 1st subject: bars 25-26), period phrasing, repetition, ornamentation (trills, grace notes), acciaccaturas and appoggiaturas
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What is the melody like in the intro and 1st subject?
Intro: both conjunct and disjunct. 1st subject: rising sequence based on 4 note motif from bar 8 of intro (chromatic auxiliary note), moves sequentially up a 3rd each time with a longer note forming an Eb major triad.
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How does the 1st subject end and the 2nd begin?
1st: with turn and ornamented perfect cadence. 2nd: intervals of 4th played semi-staccato before conjunct movement: bar 53. Then descending quavers, spanning an octave and slurred in pairs: bar 61.
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What is the melody like in the codetta?
Based on 2 motifs, an anacrusis to the 1st subject and conjunct descending figures from the 2nd subject
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Card 2

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When and where was this piece first performed?

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1800 in Court Theatre, Vienna

Card 3

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When was the piece published and who was it dedicated to?

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Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

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How many movements are there altogether?

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Card 5

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How many players are there in a septet?

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