Flowering of Romanticism: The Expressive Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

The second section, entitled Adante con moto has been described as having "a lyrical theme with a hymnal resonance, even festive" in quality which indicates a sense of hope, even in the midst of despair (Munteanu 2006). In contrast to earlier musical works, which can be analyzed purely in terms of musical structure, Beethoven's Fifth is often analyzed as a creation of Beethoven's own, unique psyche: desperate yet occasionally finding joy. It is a sprawling yet seamless whole, like his mind and life, rather than a composition of particular movements that carefully balance one another and deal with several unified themes in a structurally perfect manner.

The third section entitled simply Allegro "has a free form, neither scherzo nor intermezzo, but constitutes itself as an epilogue to the dramatism in Part I and a prologue to Part IV. This is considered to be the key moment of the entire symphony, both psychologically and from the point-of-view of the musical construction" (Munteanu 2006). But while composers of the past may have used this critical, linking movement to engage in musical pyrotechnics, or to reconfigure the previous themes of the two movements, Beethoven chooses instead a psychologically revelatory approach to the third section that adds new emotive tones to the work. The motif of 'fate' continually intrudes, often in unexpected sections. It is as if, regardless of the mood of the listener, or what is transpiring in life, fate and a sense of foreboding will always drift across
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the landscape of human emotions.

The confusing, whirling, and contrasting elements of modern life become even more apparent in the fourth movement, Allegro, which "brings many new elements which constitute a genuine surprise. In the exuberance and joyfulness of the musical construction a lyrical theme suddenly appears -- an oboe that comes closer to a recollection, reminiscence. This segment takes a festive march theme expressing joy and absolute victory" (Munteanu 2006). Even in victory, there is a plaintive call; even in light of fate's foreboding there is power and the ability to sense freedom within the constraints of the human condition.

The ability to express contradictory emotions and merge seemingly inharmonious musical elements into a seamless fabric of expression is manifest in the Fifth Symphony. It is as complex as humanity's expressive power and potential itself. "Its message of victory through struggle, which so deeply touches both the heart and the mind, is achieved by a near-perfect balance of musical technique and passionate sentiment unsurpassed in the history of music" (Rodda 2009). Beethoven's artistry is a merging of unsurpassed technique and the need of the composer to express his feelings.

Works Cited

Munteanu, Iulian. "Beethoven 5th Symphony." All about Ludwig van Beethoven.

2006. December 1, 2009. http://www.all-about-beethoven.com/symphony5.html

Rodda, Richard. "Program note: Fifth Symphony." Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Kennedy Center. February 24, 2009. December 1, 2009.

http://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/index.cfm?fuseaction=composition&composition_id=2135

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Munteanu, Iulian. "Beethoven 5th Symphony." All about Ludwig van Beethoven.

2006. December 1, 2009. http://www.all-about-beethoven.com/symphony5.html

Rodda, Richard. "Program note: Fifth Symphony." Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Kennedy Center. February 24, 2009. December 1, 2009.

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