Page 10

Ex. 10

Following the trio, the scherzo is repeated, just like a minuet.  What is different with the Eroica's scherzo is that it is written out.  Normally a composer would indicate 'da capo' in the score and the orchestra would simply go back to the beginning.  Beethoven's written out repeat has a single but very important difference.  At bar 381 he suddenly changes the meter to alla breve.  This metric surprise is not the least bit ambiguous.  He has actually switched to a double meter for four bars then resumes the triple meter.  The resulting effect must have had the same impression on audiences as Stravinski's Rite of Spring more than a century later.


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