Dvorak, Symphony No. 9 in E minor, 1st movement:

Analytical Summary

Exposition:

 

m.

 

Event

 

Cadence

 

m.

 

24

 

a1

 59

PAC (i)

59

tr

 91

HC (iii)

 91

 b1

 149

PAC (III)

149

b2 (cl)

177

IAC (III)

Recap:

 

m.

 

Event

 

Cadence

 

m.

 

273

 

a1 (mostly in i)

 

HC (#iii)

 

312

 

312

 

b1 (mostly in #iii)

 

PAC (#III)

 

370

 

370

 

b2 (cl) (mostly in #III)

 

DC (i)

 

412

 

412

 

Coda

 

PAC (i)

 

438

 Some thoughts on the movement's form

• In the recap, cadences are hard to find! I've shown the simplest analysis above for the recap, omitting the transition and lumping some development-like passages into the second group. You may feel that some of these passages deserve separate mention.

• Clearly A-flat major in the recap = G# major = #III, NOT flat IV.

• Take note of the A minor passage in mm. 396-403. This patch of subdominant is as close to a statement of b1 in a closely related key as we ever get. It compensates somewhat for the #iii / #III statements of the second group in the recap, which are perplexing to those seeking to understand this movement in terms of the sonata principle.

• If we consider the overall harmonic progression of the movement, we get

(Exposition:)

m. 24

91

149

a1

b1

b2 (cl)

i

iii

III

(Recap:)

m. 273

312

370

396

408 (or so)

432

a1

b1

b2 (cl)

Coda

i

#iii

#III

iv

V

i

So even if we can't explain the movement in terms of the sonata principle, we can hear the exposition as unfolding an incomplete version of the i - iii - V - i arpeggiation of the tonic triad that is presented in its complete form in the recapitulation (with a picardy third!). And since Dvorak had already used natural iii and III (i.e. G minor and G major) in the exposition, he had to use the raised, major-mode forms of those keys in the recap.