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1816 – Schubert Symphony No. 5

 

1816 Franz Schubert Symphony No. 5 in Bb
Instrumentation Strings, flute, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 horns
Movements I: Allegro (Bb) II: Andante con moto (Eb)  III: Menuetto: Allegro molto (g) IV: Allegro vivace (Bb)
Overview Schubert’s Fifth symphony was written when the composer was 19 and is the last of his ‘early’ symphonies (although given that he died at the age of 31 all his works are in a sense early!). It has only a small orchestra and is full of lightness and grace but nevertheless has some hidden complexity particularly in the first two movements. In many ways this early-Romantic music is Mozartean but it also shows some darker Beethovenian qualities on occasion.
Link to full score of first movement
Essay Points
G) Harm. / tonality Like much Mozart and Haydn the easy-going surface of this piece clothes some pretty far-out harmonic and tonal twists. This is how the symphony starts:
One striking moment is the way the end of the second subject suddenly and briefly turns from the dominant (F major) to Db major:

Another is the twists and turns of the development where he goes rapidly through Db and Gb majors and their relative minors of Bb and Eb:

(notes and extracts from the score on these two moments here)

Another notable feature, although a less unusual one in the early Classical period, is the recapitulation starts in the subdominant (Eb).