Development of 3rd movements

  • Created by: lilac123
  • Created on: 14-03-21 17:24


-The 3rd movement of the symphony has changed in symphonic music from 1750 to 1900, due to changes in tempo, character and type of dance.

-The 3rd movement in the early Classical period was usually in the form of a minuet and trio, used by Stamitz in his second Symphony (1750).

-This was developed by composers such as Haydn through the handling of form and characteristic rhythms.

-Likewise, Beethoven moved replaced the minuet with the Scherzo, in the mature Classical/early Romantic period. In the Romantic period, the scherzo was widely used by composer such as Tchaikovsky in his 6th Symphony (1893). 

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Early Classical period

-the 3rd movement would be a minuet in binary form, followed by the trio. The minuet was based off a Baroque courtly dance, which shows some Baroque influence that continued into the Classical period.

-Stamitz Symphony no.2 (1750) is a good example which includes this form in its’ third movement and in order to give a dance-like feel Stamitz includes quavers on the 3rd beat of bar 1, in the violins, giving the minuet a graceful, triple time effect.

-In this symphony the reduced instrumentation in the trio is an old fashioned feature from when the minuet was used as a dance. Composers used this dance in their symphonies to provide variety for audiences.

-Stamitz did develop some features of the 3rd movement as he took advantage of the orchestral forces available at the Mannheim Court and makes more use of independents woodwind, than was normal in the early Classical period.

- for some symphonies it was actually the last movement, as seen in C.P.E Bach’s Symphony in E minor (1759), which unusually ends allegro and in 4/4 rather than in 3/4 and more of an andante tempo.

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-Haydn played a vital role in the development of the 3rd movements, particularly due to his use of humour in his symphonies.

-symphony no.47 (1772) the minuet is made humorously awkward by placing accents and leaps in such a way, making them stand out, showing a change in the use of rhythm in the minuet.

-in Haydn’s symphony no.104 (1795), the minuet is in ternary form .Haydn started modulating to unexpected keys such as the subdominant (G major) in the reprise of A, bar 4. Also, in the third movement of this symphony captures a dance-like character, through the strong rhythmic vitality, with accents on the 3rd beats of each of the first 3 bars before returning to a more normal accented pattern at bar 7. 

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-Beethoven replaced the minuet with the scherzo, as it provided greater variation as it was considerably faster, despite retaining the ternary form and triple time metre of the minuet.

-In Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony (1808), the third movement is much more aggressive and fast, very contrasting to the minuet.

-The scherzo in this symphony sounds more like a rustic peasant dance than a graceful minuet, through the staccato crotchet opening, which is heard throughout the 3rd movement and this creates a bold, dance like feel rather than a gentle minuet. 

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Early Romantic period

-there had been a clear change from the minuet as new dance forms were more widely used.

-This was because the Romantic period was a time of greater expression and emotion. However, composers like Mendelssohn still had connections to the Classical period and minuet.

-Mendelssohn’s ‘Italian’ Symphony (1833), Mendelssohn didn’t use Beethoven’s aggressive scherzo-type minuet, instead a gentle minuet.

-Although both the Minuet and Trio are nominally in binary form, the second halves are expanded, particularly in the Minuet, which is in the form of A1, A2, A3, Codetta and the A3 section develops rather than reprise A1, including further modulation.

-This shows that despite Mendelssohn’s third movement had features of the Classical period, he developed the minuet through unexpected modulations and a different approach to structure.

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Late Romantic period

-the rise in programmatic music led to a different approach.

-Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique the dance movement, is played in the second rather than third. Instead, the third movement, is in the form of a waltz rather than a minuet, portraying the artist’s ‘beloved’ dancing at a ball with another. 

-the scherzo was more widely used in the Romantic period as seen in Liszt Faust Symphony, (1857) where the third movement is a scherzo, with extra development and a coda, which uses a distorted fugue to suggest evil and it ends with a tenor solo and male voice.

-scherzo with its’ more aggressive nature enabled composers like Liszt to use the form in their symphonies to create a darker third movement. 

-Tchaikovsky also replaces the third movement of both his fifth and sixth symphonies with waltzes. Also this third movement was 10 minutes long, which is a complete contrast to Stamitz’s symphony no.2 which is around 5 minutes. 

-6th Symphony, (1893) the third movement is in 5/4, which is very unusual. It could be suggested Tchaikovsky used this time signature in order to reflect something tragic.

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