Beethoven's 5th Symphony - Overplayed AND Underplayed?

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Beethoven's 5th Symphony - Overplayed AND Underplayed?

Postby Catmando » Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:13 am

The other night, I was listening to a classical music station on my digital cable TV, and they played something a little unexpected, and quite frankly, very refreshing........Beethoven's 5th Symphony, Movements 3 & 4.

Yes, not the Allegro con brio movement #1, which may be the most played piece in classical music!

It was refreshing, because although I think the 1st movement is tremendously overplayed, the other movements of the 5th symphony are underplayed.

So, for the debate team, two questions arise:

1) Do you think 1st movement of Symphony 5 overplayed?

2) Do you think the other 3 movements of Symphony 5 are underplayed?

:)
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Postby Shapley » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:07 am

I don't listen to any classical station other than this one. (I can't think of any logical reason I would want to.) I don't recall the 1st movement of the fifth being played too often here, except when it is played with the full symphony.

I actually think the 2nd movement is the best movement. I would say that the symphony is not overplayed by any means, at least not here on B.com.

Mind you, I don't listen on weekends, so it may be played often there. I actually don't recall hearing that many requests for it during weekly airplay.

V/R
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Postby bignaf » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:32 am

any time movements are sepearated from the rest they are being overplayed. since they should never be played alone, even one time is considered overplayed. (there are exceptions). the 5th is a progression from conflict to joy, and leaving out any part of that is nonsensical. also for purely musical reasons. the transition between the 3rd and 4th movements makes no sense unless you hear the 1st movement.
overall, I think the 5th is overplayed. I think it should be played a ton, as it is the greatest symphony ever, but other stuff also need playing time. actually it is underplayed, if you compare it to "Thriller" for example....
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Postby shostakovich » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:08 pm

When I first got a copy of the 5th I overplayed it myself. Consequently, any time I hear it now, I change the station. It's unquestionably a great symphony.

It's the earliest symphony I can think of where an earlier movement (3rd) is reprised in a later (4th). Can anyone think of an earlier example? I'm curious.

By the way, the PDQ Bach "concertcast" of the first movement is a riot. I can still take that with enjoyment.
Shos
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Postby Catmando » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:20 pm

shostakovich wrote:It's the earliest symphony I can think of where an earlier movement (3rd) is reprised in a later (4th). Can anyone think of an earlier example? I'm curious.
Shos

I think it is the earliest symphony that a reprisal of such occurs, but I'm not an expert on this. I think it's undoubtedly the 1st instance for a Beethoven symphony. Although he did this with the Opus 27, No. 1 Piano Sonata (the non-Moonlight sonata one).
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Postby Catmando » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:23 pm

[quote="Catmando]but I'm not an expert on this.[/quote]
I should elaborate.....not an expert on anything relating to classical music. Although the more I listen and the more I read, I am learning more each day, and enjoying that tremendously. :D
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Postby bignaf » Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:34 pm

shostakovich wrote:It's the earliest symphony I can think of where an earlier movement (3rd) is reprised in a later (4th). Can anyone think of an earlier example? I'm curious.

Shos

actually it is the motif from the first movement getting reprised in all movements. in the 4th movt. it is the transition from the 3rd to 4th movt. being used as a trtansition to the recap. the big deal is that that transition uses the tatata taaa motif. also conecting the 2 movt's with a transition is a big deal. I can't think of any earlier symphony that does any of this. also using trombones, piccolo, and Contra bassoon in a symphony is not known to me. the guy went crazy.
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Postby DavidS » Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:36 am

shostakovich wrote:It's the earliest symphony I can think of where an earlier movement (3rd) is reprised in a later (4th). Can anyone think of an earlier example? I'm curious.


Mozart recapped the motif from movt 1 of Symphony no 40, in movt 4.
There are several later examples:
Beethoven himself in the last movt of Symphony no 9 repeated in the final movt motifs from the previous movts.
In Dvořák's Cello Concerto he repeats the first movt motif towards the end of the third movt.
There are other examples, I'm sure.
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Postby shostakovich » Wed Jun 28, 2006 8:34 pm

Hi David. I've heard the Mozart 40th often, with its outstanding first movement. I never noticed a connection in the 4th movement. I'll get around to listening again.

Dvorak made a regular thing of referencing the beginning at the end. The New World quotes all 3 earlier movements in the last.

It happens a lot in writing. I notice it at least twice a week in Time and Newsweek articles.
Shos
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Postby Giant Communist Robot » Wed Jun 28, 2006 10:43 pm

1) Do you think 1st movement of Symphony 5 overplayed?

2) Do you think the other 3 movements of Symphony 5 are underplayed?


1)No, but maybe we are overexposed to it from sources other than radio. Snippets of it. The other day I was wondering how many times a person living in Beethoven's time had the opportunity to hear one of his symphonies--say the fifth; maybe it was only once or twice. We hear it until we know every note by rote, and can even compare nuances from different orchestras and conductors. A really heavy exposure.

2) Yes. Once I requested the 3rd movement of the fifth and got an e-mail back from Nicole Marie asking me to pick another piece. I didn't see it on the playlist; I just figure the DJ's are sick of hearing the most popular stuff. So later I requested some obscure Chopin nocturne and it was green-lighted immmediately.
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Postby DavidS » Thu Jun 29, 2006 9:38 am

shostakovich wrote:It happens a lot in writing. I notice it at least twice a week in Time and Newsweek articles.
Shos

Yes, when I used to write Executive Reports, the rule was:
1. Introductory Section with as short a synopsis as possible of the main points to be covered, and the findings, conclusions etc.
2. Main body of the work in which you treat every topic individually and in detail.
3. Final summary - same as Introductory Section, but in different words ("See? - we contrived to do what we set out do...").
It was clear that most executives run through either the first or concluding section (sometimes both), just looking for the "bottom line", but hardly ever have the patience or attention span to read the middle bits in detail.
Of course you have to take enormous pain getting the middle sections right - (a) for the record, (b) so as not to be exposed to attack by nudnik executives (some call them concientious) who will insist on reading every single word and bombarding you with countless pedantic comments, suggestions and annotations.
The same applies to scientific papers and academic research reports, and of course to newspaper articles.
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Postby Shapley » Thu Jun 29, 2006 9:52 am

Film music usually does the same thing. The End Credit music (which is often the only 'stand-alone' work in the film, will often encompass the themes used throughout the movie. John Williams End Credits are often nothing but a hodge-podge of themes thrown together, but many of the end credits (and the entre-acts, on those films that have them) are a solid work built around the incidental themes used througout the film.

V/R
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Postby DavidS » Thu Jun 29, 2006 10:59 am

Shapley wrote:Film music usually does the same thing. The End Credit music (which is often the only 'stand-alone' work in the film, will often encompass the themes used throughout the movie. John Williams End Credits are often nothing but a hodge-podge of themes thrown together, but many of the end credits (and the entre-acts, on those films that have them) are a solid work built around the incidental themes used througout the film.

V/R
Shapley

And don't forget classic opera overtures of course!
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Postby Shapley » Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:16 am

Absolutely! I think if you're going to tie a group of works (movements) together as a single volume, it would be best if they had some sort of continuity to them. And a finale should be the place to wrap up the whole thing into a neat little package.

Also, it saves the need to be creative (if you're a prolific movie soundtrack producer) because all you have to do is rehash the various works already used in a continuous stream. :roll:
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