Music with Ease > Classical Music > Concert Guide: Turn of the 20th Century > Symphony in F Minor - Richard Strauss
Symphony in F Minor
1. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso.
2. Scherzo. Presto.
3. Andante cantabile.
4. Allegro assai, molto appassionato.
Richard Strauss, so well known by his operas and symphonic poems, has written three symphonies, of which the one in F minor is best known. It opens with two phrases in the woodwinds, leading to the first theme in the first violins and violas. After slight development, the first subsidiary leads to a melodious subject in full orchestra. The second theme appears in the clarinet and bassoon, repeated by violins, and is briefly developed. The first theme then returns and closes the first part of the movement. A free fantasie follows, leading to a climax, and the third part begins in the clarinet and bassoon, and closes with a long Coda.
The Scherzo is noticeable for the appearance of a cantabile theme. The Trio begins with a theme in the violas, cellos, clarinets, and bassoons, the flutes, oboes, horns, and violins at the same time carrying a subsidiary figure. The Scherzo repeats after the Trio and the movement closes with a short Coda.
The first theme of the third movement appears in the strings and is subsequently developed in the woodwinds and horns. The second is a trumpet call over the other brasses in harmony, each call followed by passages in the strings and woodwinds. The third is a plaintive melody in the horns and bassoons, with string accompaniment, and is at once followed by the fourth in the first violins and cellos. These themes are worked up in the second part of the movement, the first, with suggestion of the trumpet call, furnishing the material for the Coda.
The last movement opens with a discordant effect between the violins and violas on the one hand and the woodwinds on the other. Two themes elaborately developed follow in regular course, with their subsidiaries, and the Coda recalls the themes in the preceding parts.