• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comment on the ways in which Mahler organises his thematic material in the first movement of his 4th symphony from beginning to figure 8 and from figure 18 to the end of the movement.

Extracts from this document...


Comment on the ways in which Mahler organises his thematic material in the first movement of his 4th symphony from beginning to figure 8 and from figure 18 to the end of the movement. Mahler's fourth symphony is on a smaller scale than his others, and follows a more conventional structure of four movements. However, instead of having a slow movement second and a dance movement third, like a traditional classical symphony would, Mahler swaps them around, using a traditional Austrian Landler for the second movement. Mahler also uses a smaller orchestra in this symphony than he normally does, without any trombones or tuba. The first movement is long, at 349 bars, and its follows standard sonata form of exposition, development, recapitulation and coda. The exposition and the recapitulation are the quieter, more peaceful sections of the movement, although they still contain many different ideas. The symphony begins with a short introduction of staccato B and F sharp on the first and second flutes, suggesting B minor. ...read more.


This is theme 4, which is diatonic, and built from two-bar phrases and a clear answering phrase. In the answering phrases the orchestra is used particularly flexibly; first the melody is in the oboe at bar 41, then it is passed to the violins at bar 44, and returns to the oboe at bar 45. At bar 47 a broad string theme enters forming theme 5, which is related to the cello melody of theme 4, and quickly builds to a climax at bar 51-52. At bar 52, theme 4 returns, accompanied by a moving bass line and an A played by four flutes. This leads to a more serene climax and a prolonged cadence before the music reaches figure 4. The closing section starts at bar 58 with theme 6; a playful little tune on the oboe, and a staccato bass line on the bassoon. The strings then take this idea forwards, and previously seen motifs begin to appear, for example, the triplet semi-quavers at bar 60, and the dotted rhythm scale at bar 66; both theme 2 ideas. ...read more.


The broad string melody from theme 5, then returns at bar 272. The movements closing section begins at bar 283, with many recognisable themes, such as the dotted rhythms scales in the bassoon, horn, cello and bass at bar 292. The shortened repeat starts at bar 298, with the return of the bells motif with a staccato chord in flute 1, 3 and 4. Flute 2 plays a semi-quaver accompanying figure, giving the motif a similar feel to the movements opening. There are more staccato chords reminiscent of the bells motif in the horn at bar 303, the clarinet and flute at bar 307 and the violin and viola at bar 308. The music slows to a halt before the coda at 340, and then picks up tempo once it has begun, creating energy through the use of more dotted rhythms scales over three octaves. The last four bars use the vigorous broken chords and the tonic/dominant harmony of the transition theme, bringing the music to a stirring close. This ending emphasises the na�ve nature of Mahler's ideas for the symphony, creating comforting end to the movement that satisfies the listener. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Music section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Music essays

  1. Mozart Symphony No. 41 in C, K551 "Jupiter" Analysis of Exposition

    In bar 88 the passing note of F sharp helps to establish G major, as it is the leading note, and in bar 99 the piece is firmly established as G major with an inverted pedal of G in flutes and oboes, and a pedal in the brass.

  2. Free essay

    Critical commentary on the fourth movement of Mahlers 4th symphony

    The first verse begins in bar 12 at figure 1 where the singer uses a similar melody as that of the introduction. Here, the singer is describing life in heaven, "We dance and we spring, We skip and we sing" This verse is the first of four and ends with

  1. Comment on the differences between the exposition and the recapitulation in Mozart's 41st Symphony

    The bassoons start by doubling the melody, shortly followed by the oboes then flutes. The addition of horns adds harmonic permanence. It creates more authority without having to adjust the dynamics. At b.268, we modulate to the subdominant minor (f minor)

  2. Critical commentary on the exposition of Mozart's 41st Symphony.

    This produces a reedy sound and induces a new type of texture we have not heard before. Whilst the bassoons are playing this melody, the flutes and oboes are both playing an inverted pedal and octave apart. This is held for 8 bars and is kept on the tonic note (G as we have modulated).

  1. Give a brief account of the First Movement, the Introduzione, paying particular attention to ...

    Bar 63 sees a glimmer of the very chromatic first subject. The exposition begins in bar 76, with the tonal centre of F. The exposition is usually made up of two main themes. Theme 1a begins with a melody similar to that of a Serbo-Croat melody.

  2. Analysis of Mozart's Symphony No. 41 1st Movement

    The Exposition- The exposition should consist of 4 clear cut sections: -Theme 1 in tonic key -Bridge modulating keys to -Theme 2 in dominant key ? contrasting mood - A closing section (coda) with a repeat The first theme is in C major.

  1. Analysis of the Exposition of the First Movement of Beethoven's First Symphony

    Musical tension is created as Beethoven slowly builds up the anticipation with several crescendos and sforzandi used to emphasize transitions to new chords, and new chords themselves- which are played on the first beat of bars 13 (C), 19 (Dm), 25 (G7)- respectively.

  2. How does Beethoven make Effective and Imaginative use of the Orchestra in the First ...

    the first violins providing the lead and the second violins the accompanying harmony lines, usually a third apart.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work