Mozart: Symphony no. 35 – movement 1 of 4 – part 2


So 6 bars of melody with 4 bars of melody on top! Flutes, oboes and firsts are starting the same melody but offset 2 bars. This results in a canonic feel where the melody roughly accompanies itself in thirds, since the melody is ‘just’ a D major scale going down. Again the entrance of the 1st violins make the same ‘heavy’-feel that it did on the first page.

Now look at the second violins. ‘Yeah, tremolo’ – but! – half-note tremolos. So there is a stress on 1 and 3 to continue the emphasis that the violas start at 13. 6 violinists would play this line, but not 6 notes. To keep up the force they do the same as the very first note of the piece – they play on two strings – 12 notes! And not just tremolo – measured tremolo. Look at the timpani at 13 and compare to 2nds to see the difference, so we have even 16th-notes all the way through.

You will see old editions mark a timpani roll with the tr-sign as we find in woodwinds and strings in bar 18. However this sign is reserved for alternating pitches, while the 3 dashes represent successive repeats.

If we turn our attention to the brass and timpani we see a strong D pedal all the way through. But look at the weighting!

Horns are playing an octave below and therefore has the heavy weight of the brass while the higher trumpets can keep the force. So we have a rhythmic drive composed of heavy rhythms on 14 and 16 interrupted by forceful rhythms on 15 and 17. To keep a form of bottom to the trumpets and to give it extra punch, the timpani plays the same rhythm along with the trumpets.

This all collides on 18 with all 5 systems playing the rhythm. This is what I like about how Mozart constructs his forte!

Take a look further in the score to find these elements, that Mozart uses so well in these opening bars. More thoughts to come!

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One Response to Mozart: Symphony no. 35 – movement 1 of 4 – part 2

  1. Pingback: Mozart: Symphony no. 35 – movement 1 of 4 – part 1 | scoresome

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