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Comment on the differences between the exposition and the recapitulation in Mozart’s 41st Symphony

Mozart’s 41st symphony is written in sonata form which plays host to three main sections. These sections are the exposition, the development and the recapitulation. Whilst the development introduces new ideas, motifs etc, it is the exposition and recapitulation that bear the same musical integrity as one another. This being said however, when the previous musical ideas created in the exposition are reiterated in the recapitulation, they are not necessarily exactly the same. I will attempt to explore the extent to which the two sections differ from on another within this essay.Most noticeably in this recapitulation is the lack of full modulation to the dominant. Instead we stay generally in C throughout (apart from b.225 – 243). Phrases and motifs that were in the dominant previously stay within C. One of the reasons behind this is that staying with the tonic is the realisation for the listener that we have come to the end by returning to the home key.At the very start of the recapitulation, there is no change to the way it is scored thus ensuring the overall texture is identical to what we have heard at the beginning. This imitation continues up to b.212 where the first difference is noticed. From the G that we finished on in 211, we now move into the tonic minor. From b.212 – 215, it is also worthwhile noting that there is an absence of brass, timpani and lower strings. This guarantees quite a distinguishable difference from the beginning of the recap (along with the fact is written with piano dynamics). This section borrows material from a couple of places in the transition, such as the descending quavers. It also however introduces a new idea in the oboes and bassoons, where they are playing high crotchets on beat 2 and 3 (b.220 – 224). I find this adds a sense of drive, and even though we are still in piano dynamics, it accentuates the sense of pace that the triplet semiquavers asserted at the beginning of this section. This section is different to the one Mozart uses in the exposition, but nevertheless it returns back to the triplet motif.This is scored in the dominant and we modulate to this key briefly before returning to the tonic. In b.235, there is an alternating harmony from what is a D7 chord without the root (diminished – f# a c) to a G major chord. This alteration occurs on every beat. It is there more or less to reinstate the fact we have briefly modulated to the dominant, and also to provide a pathway for the next section. This section is one we have previously seen before in the exposition but is in the dominant instead. The use of syncopation at the end adds drive and vigour. The fact it ends on a major chord provides us with a way to modulate back to C (as G to C is a perfect cadence).The second subject is now presented again, but this time in the tonic. We have modulated back from the dominant which we were in previously. The first 5 bars are scored the same, however the addition of flutes and oboes are brought in to add to the quaver run in b.249. They are not doubling, but adding harmony. The flutes are now doubling the melody also, where before it was only the bassoons. In b.254, the addition of horns is quite prominent also, adding a new depth. This was previously impossible due to the harmonic limitation of the brass instruments, but as we are now in C, it is possible.From b.260, we are getting quite close to the coda. The addition of woodwind here one by one creates a much heaver and substantial texture to the piece. The bassoons start by doubling the melody, shortly followed by the oboes then flutes. The addition of horns adds harmonic permanence. It creates more authority without having to adjust the dynamics.At b.268, we modulate to the subdominant minor (f minor) which is the same as the modulation in the exposition (G major to c minor). This coda is written differently from the one in the exposition, with it staying in a minor key for longer that before. It does however, relatively quickly, return to C major via a perfect cadence. The section reintroduced in C major (b.276) has been seen before in a more ‘delicate’ form (b.89-91). This is to say that previously, there were no thirds being played within a group. The fact instruments are now playing in octaves with more instruments doubling the sequence dramatises section and creates a fuller, richer sound. The falling G7 arpeggio at the end not only brings use to a quiet end of the section, but also adds a stable foundation for the next section which is in C also.From b.288, the ‘laughter’ theme is reintroduced from b.101, however this time; it is more heavily scored with a wider array of harmonies. In addition to this, the brass and timpani have been added again (they weren’t before due to the key). The bassoons and hors now provide a dominant pedal note in octaves whereas before it was just the bassoons playing a single note. Gradually, more and more woodwind instruments are introduced which leads us into a “tutti” for the end.From b.298, whilst the melodic material has been seen before, the timpani has now been added to increase the overall texture into a much broader one. The fact they are playing dotted rhythms also adds drive to the section and builds up the excitement for the end of the piece. After finishing with a G major chord in b.307, in the same place in the exposition, we would be moving into the development. In the recapitulation though, we are taken straight to 5 bars involving only C major, and the manipulation of it (arpeggiating the notes). Due to the fact it is staying on one chord, it is increasing harmonic stability. Also, as it is scored for all instruments and marked forte, it provides a clear, loud and well stated ending to the Jupiter symphony.To conclude, the main differences between the exposition and the recapitulation are mostly scoring changes, whether this is to add a new harmonic texture, or to reinforce things that were previously there. He often adds more instruments to help add depth to the sound produced, as well as reinstated the harmony. There is not a lot of new material in the recapitulation, and where there is, it is mostly built around existing material. The idea of a recapitulation is to reinstate and build upon previous motifs and phrases. As explained, this is exactly what Mozart does to great effect and provides a well rounded finish to an impressive piece.

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