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In Classical Music, This Joke is No Joke « Rogue Politics

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In Classical Music, This Joke is No Joke

In large classical compositions, like symphonies, concerti, chamber music pieces, etc., the compositions are divided into sections that are called movements.  A classical symphony will usually have 4 movements, a classical concerto will have 3 movements, and chamber music pieces have various number of movements-usually three or more.

These movements will be described usually by the tempo of the movement.  You might see for example Symphony #1 in D major, movement #1, allegro. Of course, that means the composers 1st movement of his 1st symphony will be played fast.

Sometimes movements are also given a more descriptive term for the movement, besides the tempo. For example you have movements described as romances [self explanatory], or dances [like minuets, gavottes],  or trios [which means that the first and 3rd section of the movement will be exactly the same, divided by a different second section of the movement]. Some movements are described as scherzos.


Scherzo literally means joke.  Scherzos usually have a light, fast-moving, and playful character.  Some scherzos actually bring a smile to your face, like the third movement of Beethoven’s Violin Sonata known as the Spring Sonata, which we feature here. 

Two of my favorite scherzos come from the great Ludwig Van Beethoven. The third movement of his Sonata for Violin and Piano, called the Spring Sonata [this is one of the shortest scherzos you will hear]; and the second movement from his famous Symphony #9 [this is one of the longer scherzos you will hear]. 

 In Beethoven’s Spring Sonata, the scherzo is the short third movement. You can see the playful nature of the pianist and violinist and the “joke” of how the instruments don’t seem to be playing together [on purpose].  When watching this movement there is no doubt why this movement is scored scherzo.

Then the scherzo from what many call the greatest symphony ever written, Beethoven’s majestic Symphony #9, commonly known as the Ode To Joy, for it’s glorious, hopeful final movement #4.  The Scherzo is the second movement of this masterpiece.  This dramatic scherzo, while having what could be described as a surprise ending, is definitely no joke.

As always, friends, please turn up the volume and enjoy these two scherzos, which are not a joke.

Beethoven: Violin Sonata #5 in F Major [“Spring”], movement 3 Scherzo, allegro molto:






Beethoven: Symphony #9 in D minor, movement 2, Scherzo, Molto vivace – Presto:

Authored By Tales from a tribble

By Big Mike See The Original Post Here

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