Equivalence in Beethoven:
Some Problems in Performance and Analysis
by Tim Carter
The majority of conducting
students has been set the problem of how to beat the opening of the last
movement of Beethoven's First Symphony, op.21 (see ex.1a). Here a slow
introduction (24 , Adagio) leads to the Allegro molto e vivace (24 ).
The introduction consists of fragments of rising scales extending by degrees
(a third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh) with in effect a notated accelerando;
this leads to the octave scale (in the new tempo) at the beginning of the first subject. There are two main issues in mm.6–7: first, the
handling of the fermata on the quarter note (in some editions, an eighth
note plus an eighth-note rest); and second, how to give the preparatory
beat(s) for the octave scale. The latter problem stems from, and is solved
by, the answer to the main question: what is the relationship between
the beats in the Adagio and in the Allegro molto e vivace?