1 there is a simple rustic character to the theme

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1There is a simple, rustic character to the theme that takes shape, yetits treatment is very sophisticated. We hear motives repeated, but subtle changes surround the repetitions, not the least of which are changes in dynamics.In mm. 5-8, the initial four-notes of the motto are heard twice in violin 2, while a new melodic motive is spun out in violin 1, based
on the characteristic “motto” rhythm of two sixteenth notes and an eighth note. As violin 1 continues in mm. 9-16, it introduces a sortof counter-motive, which seems to grow quite naturally as an extension of the preceding measures.An interesting detail relating to this new counter-motive is the viola line in mm. 5-8, which serves to accompany the two motives above it. The rhythm of the viola’s line in mm. 5-6—quarter note, quarter note, dotted quarter note, eighth note—repeated in mm. 7-8, anticipates the counter-motive that we hear in violin 1 in mm. 9-16.Let’s take a look at the ways in which these three lines—violin 1, violin 2, and viola—interact in mm. 5-16.2Now let’s listen to the “motto” theme—the theme in the Principal Tonal Area—as it is shaped and then presented in its complete state(0:36-1:01). Notice that this includes imitative repetitions of the motto. The motto is played first by oboe (at 0:36), and next by clarinet (at 0:40), before the complete theme is jubilantly “sung” forteby the entire orchestra (0:44-1:01). Notice, too, that all the harmony we hear in this first minute consists of only tonic and dominant chords. Let’s listen, while following the score.Symphony No. 6, First Movement, Exposition: Principal Tonal AreaSymphony No. 6, First Movement, Exposition: Transition and Secondary Tonal AreaAfter the complete statement of the “motto” theme in the Principal Tonal Area, Beethoven gives us a Transition that makes short workof effecting a modulation to the dominant key. A “V7 of V” is
introduced, and then it becomes the V7 chord in the new key of C major.It’s worth noting, too, that triplet accompaniment figures are introduced for the first time, and the motto theme’s prominent rhythmic motive—sixteenth note, sixteenth note, eighth note—is absent for the first time.The first theme in the Secondary Tonal Area is a very simple eighth-note arpeggio of the dominant seventh chord (V7) and the tonic chord (I), which works its way down through the strings before being taken up, first, by clarinet, and then by a host of woodwinds.Let’s listen to the Transition and the first theme in the Secondary Tonal Area, while following the score. We’ll pick up the recordingat the end of the “motto” theme in the Principal Tonal Area, in the first measure that we see in the score. The Transition begins (0:09) on the second measure of “page 7” (across the binding). There is a sforzandoindication (fp), and it is at this point that we first see (and hear) the repeated-note triplet figure in clarinet and bassoon (although the “3” of the triplet is understood, not written). The first theme of the Secondary Tonal Area begins (0:24) fourteen bars later, in the fifth measure of “page8.”1

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