The overture begins with a powerful introduction in ascending chords. I get the image of the sun rising, because the chord progression rises, then settles into the tonic key. The introduction is kind of long, actually.
We are introduced to the fast paced exposition, played mostly by the strings. It begins with a fugal pattern that starts in the violins, and is repeated by the other, lower strings. At some point the fugue culminates in a full orchestral playing of the motive. I love the deceptive cadence leading into the B section, where the woodwinds have a contrasting, more fluid motive over the string’s motive. There is a distinct terminative section that ends on a large PAC.
A similar introduction to the first one is heard, after a long pause. This is like the developmental section, where the original motive is played in a minor key. I love the descending line that gets played first in the strings, lower woodwinds, then in an oboe, a flute, more voices, and finally the entire orchestra! Overall in this developmental section, motives from the exposition are heard. A clear PAC is heard. A transitional section follows, played much softer than the previous climax to the PAC, with many solos and duets in the woodwinds. We’re moving back to the original major key!!
Here we are in the recapitulation of the exposition. It is much shorter the second time around. All the motives are overlapped this time. The B section is mostly the same. There is a longer terminative section this time – many V-Is, and a lot of elisions. I love the loud brass in this section.
I always had a feeling that this piece was in sonata form!! It’s one of my favorites – fond memories of standing backstage listening to the orchestra play this part.