Analysis on the Fourth Movement of Schubert’s Symphony No. 4

Analysis on the Fourth Movement of Schubert’s Symphony No. 4

Analysis on the fourth movement of Schubert’s Symphony No. 4

Like in the C minor “Fete” Symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven, one single motive dominates the entire movement. The P1.1 motive and its variants can be heard in the primary theme zone, the transition, the closing zone and the development space. In other words, it is featured everywhere in the piece with the only exception of the secondary theme zone. The rhythm of the modal form of this motive starts with a half-note tied to an eighth-note, which is then followed by another three eighth-notes. This rhythmic motive is, in fact, the retrograded version of the “Fete” Symphony motive. Whether or not this similarity is co-incidental or intentional might not perhaps be uncovered, but the use of motto rhythms in both movements is significant.

This movement is written in a typical type 3 sonata form with clear sense of exposition, development and recapitulation, while both the exposition and the recapitulation are divided into two parts. Although the details of each sections rather frequently comes into problems, the division of large sections in general is clear.

The primary theme zone starts with a four-measure P1.0 module followed by a grand compound sentence. Each of the compound basic ideas of the sentence, as well as the continuation phrase, can also be interpreted as a small compound sentence. Although the second grand compound basic idea is four measures shorter than the first one, it still suggests a cbi’ quality since it states the entirety of the two compound basic ideas of the first small compound sentence. Tonally, it starts in C minor, which will be recognized as the tonic of the movement. The continuation phrase of the second small compound sentence modulates to E-flat major, which can also be known as the major mediant. The grand continuation phrase stays in E-flat major for a while, but it comes back in C minor at measure 41. A perfect authentic...

Similar Essays