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Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven)

Part 2



The Breitkopf & H?rtel edition dating from 1864 has been used widely by orchestras. In 1997 B?renreiter published an edition by Jonathan Del Mar. According to Del Mar, this edition corrects nearly 3000 mistakes in the Breitkopf edition, some of which were remarkable. Professor David Levy, however, criticized this edition in Beethoven Forum, saying that it could create "quite possibly false" traditions. Breitkopf also published a new edition by Peter Hauschild in 2005.

While many of the modifications in the newer editions make minor alterations to dynamics and articulation, both editions make a major change to the orchestral lead-in to the final statement of the choral theme in the fourth movement (IV: m525-m542). The newer versions alter the articulation of the horn calls, creating syncopation that no longer relates to the previous motive. The new Breitkopf & H?rtel and B?renreiter make this alteration differently, but the result is a reading that is strikingly different than what was commonly accepted based on the 1864 Breitkopf edition. While both Breitkopf & H?rtel and B?renreiter consider their editions the most accurate versions available--labeling them Urtext editions--their conclusions are not universally accepted. In his monograph "Beethoven--the ninth symphony", Professor David Levy describes the rationale for these changes and the danger of calling the editions Urtext.



A page from Beethoven"s manuscript

The symphony is scored for piccolo (fourth movement only), 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in A, B flat and C, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon (fourth movement only), 2 horns (1 and 2) in D and B flat, 2 horns (3 and 4) in B flat (bass), B flat and E flat, 2 trumpets in D and B flat, 3 trombones (alto, tenor, and bass, second and fourth movements only), timpani, triangle (fourth movement only), cymbals (fourth movement only), bass drum (fourth movement only), and strings.

The vocal parts consist of soprano solo, alto solo, tenor solo, baritone solo, and choir in four parts (soprano, alto, tenor [divided briefly into Tenor I and Tenor II] and bass).

Note: These are by far the largest forces needed for any Beethoven symphony; at the premiere, Beethoven augmented them further by assigning two players to each wind part.



The symphony is in four movements:

First movement

First movement is in sonata form, and the mood is often stormy. The opening theme is played pianissimo over string tremolandos. This first subject later returns fortissimo at the outset of the recapitulation section, in D major, rather than the opening"s D minor. The coda employs the chromatic fourth interval.

This is the first appearance of a quartet of horns in a Beethoven symphony.


Second movement

The second movement, a scherzo, is also in D minor, with the opening theme bearing a passing resemblance to the opening theme of the first movement, a pattern also found in the Hammerklavier piano sonata, written a few years earlier. It uses propulsive rhythms and a timpani solo. At times during the piece Beethoven directs that the beat should be one downbeat every three bars, perhaps because of the very fast pace of the majority of the movement which is written in triple time, with the direction ritmo di tre battute ("rhythm of three bars"), and one beat every four bars with the direction ritmo di quattro battute ("rhythm of four bars").

The contrasting trio section is in D major and in duple (cut) time. The trio is the first time the trombones play in the work.


Third movement

The lyrical slow movement, in B flat major, is in a loose variation form, with each pair of variations progressively elaborating the rhythm and melody. The first variation, like the theme, is in 4/4 time, the second in 12/8. The variations are separated by passages in 3/4, the first in D major, the second in G major. The final variation is twice interrupted by episodes in which loud fanfares for the full orchestra are answered by double-stopped octaves played by the first violins alone. A virtuosic horn solo is assigned to the fourth player. Trombones are tacet for the movement.


Fourth movement

The famous choral finale is Beethoven"s musical representation of Universal Brotherhood. American pianist and music author Charles Rosen has characterized it as a symphony within a symphony, the view which will be followed below. It is important to note that many other writers have interpreted its form in different terms, including two of the greatest analysts of the twentieth century, Heinrich Schenker and Donald Tovey. In Rosen"s view, it contains four movements played without interruption. This "inner symphony" follows the same overall pattern as the Ninth Symphony as a whole. The scheme is as follows:

First "movement": theme and variations with slow introduction. Main theme which first appears in the cellos and basses is later "recapitulated" with voices.

Second "movement": 6/8 scherzo in military style (begins at "Alla marcia," words "Froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen"), in the "Turkish style." Concludes with 6/8 variation of the main theme with chorus.

Third "movement": slow meditation with a new theme on the text "Seid umschlungen, Millionen!" (begins at "Andante maestoso")

Fourth "movement": fugato finale on the themes of the first and third "movements" (begins at "Allegro energico").


Source: encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com

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