Need help with my writing homework on Mozart’s 40th Symphony. Write a 1000 word paper answering; In words of Donald Tovey, “it is not only difficult to see the depths of agony in the rhythms and idioms of comedy, but it is not very intelligent to attempt to see them.” There are different views in realizing the essence of overall tone from tragedy, sorrow, dejection to lightness and grace. Alfred Heuss finds the aura of profundity is permeated and unified by grief-tinged interval of low tone second notes. The second movement is a lyrical work. The first is contemplative mood which tries to surmount the agony and despair of world.

The theme the first movement is mirrored in a more subtle way in the second movement, Andante. The second movement is the submediant major of the overall G minor key of the symphony which carry us into darker expressions of urgency with further modulations with relying back on the recapitulations of the main theme. It features short two-note figures, called Seufzer (sighs) in Mozart’s day.

The bass-heavy instrumentation, 3-bar phrasing, cross-accented hemiola rhythm is although labeled as menuetto. it hardly offers joyous relief such dance-like movements typically offer. The forceful Menuetto (Allegretto) section, in G major, alternates the playing of the string section with that of the winds which offers a brief respite from this movement’s grim dance.

The main theme of last movement consists of a rising phrase followed by earth-bound one which suggests continuous struggle to go beyond the defeat with unresolved questions lurking in the background.

The finale also includes the most harmonically challenging music in which Mozart disrupts his escalating theme with a bitter note and a semi-tone, and then plays a sequence of ten tones on the level of chromatic scale. The single left note is g-natural.

The previously steady rhythm is interrupted into a movement which is not random but its forward motion. free of the questioning figures leaves a glimmer of hope.

Its notes are structured in mathematical logic as an interlocking series of diminished 4th and 7th, the least tonally anchored of all intervals. As Heinrich Jalowetz noted, “For a fleeting moment the sequence escapes from the gravity of diatonic (tonal) space and sets up a genuine chromatic (atonal) segment.”

In words of Barbara Heninger,”Mozart has taken us on an unusual voyage, but in the end his musical language still achieves a balance, order, and resolution”. Beauty of Mozart’s composition is not enraptured in technical analysis but its ethereal effects which bring you into different realm of flight from sorrow, despair into rise, uplift and redemption.


Symphony No.

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