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Nov. 14th, 2006 @ 06:13 pm inexperienced observations on beethoven's 5th, 1st movement
Current Music: Fulda Symphonic Orchestra - Symphonie Nr. 5 c-moll
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  • It's incredibly bipolar. One second it's light and jaunty and the next it's screaming at you.
  • It's recursive. Each repetition of the theme reinterprets it slightly, bearing the context of the previous iteration.
  • The strings and the woodwinds are at war--at any given moment, one is dominant and the other is passive. Sometimes they accompany each other, sometimes they alternate. The brass is neutral.
  • There's a part that sounds like an argument:
    Strings: Ditditdit dit ditditdit dit ditditdit dit!
    Woodwinds: Doodoodoo doo doodoodoo doo doodoodoo doo!
    Strings and woodwinds together: Doodoodoo doo! Doodoodoo doo! Doodoodoo doot! Doot! DOOOOO!
  • It's a play on tension. The repetition of darker, more anxious parts often builds up to an exhilarated relief, which in turn is cut by dark interruptions.
  • Short solos interrupt the buildup of tension in unexpected ways, abruptly changing the mood of the song.
  • The variations in volume are grand and intentional--some parts are shouting, some are whispering. Sometimes this is the only thing that changes when a part is repeated.
  • The last few notes of the coda are quite loud, but the last one is played softly--there's a hint of doubt in the ending's otherwise powerful conviction.

    I can't help but think this is some kind of meditation on love--a small gesture can turn anguish to joy, and a little seed of doubt can turn joy to anguish. In minutes. Over and over. And the music tries to be indifferent, tries to be skeptical, but it really can't help itself. That pleasant little part keeps drawing it in, and drawing it in, and it almost seems like everything is going to be okay until DUHDUHDUH DUH.

    And then the song reels in hysterical anxiety until a little "meep?" comes from the woodwinds and it's all happy again, and the woodwinds and the strings are alternating blissfully, though more guardedly than before, and when the DUHDUHDUH DUH comes it's been recontextualized to be all beautiful and wonderful, and maybe things are going to work out this time but then a little oboe quietly goes "doodoodoo do?" and oh no everything is terrible again.

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