Hi. I’m Richard Atkinson. This video will analyze the magnificent counterpoint in the finale of Mozart’s “Jupiter Symphony,” # 41 in C major, K. 551. The movement has been celebrated for more than 200 years as one of the quintessential examples of craftsmanship in Western music. In this analysis, I will discuss its many incredible contrapuntal passages, culminating in the coda, during which five of the previously introduced themes are combined at once in five-part invertible counterpoint. The sonata form movement begins with a simple homophonic statement of theme number one, which consists of four whole notes. It will be highlighted in red for the remainder of the movement. It is answered by a frequently recurring rhythmic motif that I will highlight in gray since it does not play a role in any of the future contrapuntal passages. Theme number two immediately follows this, and consists of a dotted figure followed by a descending configuration of eighth notes. It will be highlighted in green. The first significantly contrapuntal passage occurs now, when theme number one (or at least the first three notes of it) enters as the subject of a fugal passage, with this short underlined figure acting as the countersubject. After this forceful statement of theme number one, theme number three (highlighted in blue), consisting of three staccato notes followed by a trilled dotted figure, makes its first appearance as a stretto between the first violins and the cellos and basses. “Stretto” is the fugal term for when the entries of the subject are squeezed together such that the second enters before the first is finished. Although it does not strictly apply to anything in this movement, I will use it to describe moments when the themes enter in such close succession. The stretto involving theme number three begins the modulation to the dominant key, and is immediately followed by a stretto involving theme number two. In this case the second entry occurs only one beat after the first, with a third, abbreviated entry in the horns of just the dotted rhythm, giving the appearance of three-part imitation. With the dominant key of G major now firmly established, this is the moment in a normal sonata movement when old or new thematic material would enter in the new key. In this movement, it consists of a fourth theme played by the first violins (highlighted in orange), a fifth theme played by the oboes (highlighted in yellow), the previously-mentioned third theme (played by the bassoons), and the previously-mentioned second theme (played by the flute). This is followed by another stretto of theme number three between the flute and bassoon, and then by an incredible stretto of the newly-introduced theme number four. The stretto involving theme number four begins with imitation of just its first three notes, with entries separated by the space of one measure. Subsequently, the entirety of theme number four is played in a remarkable four-part stretto, with each entry separated by the space of only one beat. Most of the orchestra now plays fragments of theme number four. This is followed by a passage featuring the recurring motif that was highlighted in grey, and another three-part stretto including variants of theme number two, including the original theme played by the violas and cellos, a syncopated version in the flutes and oboes, and a non-literal inversion of the theme played by the violins. An inversion is the [VERTICAL] reflection of the original music. In this case the overarching direction of the theme is inverted, but it is not a literal inversion (which actually does occur later in the development section). The exposition ends with two final statements of theme number two, first from the solo oboe and then from the solo bassoon. The development section of a sonata form movement typically explores distant keys while subjecting the material from the exposition to further development often by treating it more contrapuntally. In this movement, Mozart has already treated the material in an extremely contrapuntal manner, so the development section is relatively short. It begins with a statement of theme number one, answered by theme number two, followed by theme number one in a new key, answered by the literal inversion of theme number two. This is followed by a four-part stretto of variously truncated versions of theme number two, and then by alternating statements of a rhythmic variation of theme number one in the winds, and strettos involving theme number two and its inversion. The development section ends with statements of theme number two and its inversion, followed by a wonderfully elegant modulation back to C major, using entries of the dotted beginning of theme number two in the first bassoon, second bassoon, horns, and finally the entire theme in the first violin. As we’ve just heard, the recapitulation section begins with theme number one, followed by the recurring gray highlighted motif (much like in the exposition). Suddenly, the violins enter with modulating statements of theme number one in C, D, and E. At this point theme number one has its first stretto, between the first and second violins, modulating back to D, then back to C. Now listen to the remainder of the recapitulation section, which is similar to the analogous sections in the exposition. We’ve finally arrived at the famous coda, which continues with a stretto of the almost literal inversion of theme number one, between the high and low strings. This stretto is almost M. C. Escher-like in its configuration, since lining up the inversions of theme number one in this manner, creates additional instances of the non-inverted theme. This leads to the crowning moment of the symphony: an incredibly complex passage that features five-part invertible counterpoint. Invertible counterpoint occurs when contrapuntal lines are interchangeable among instruments of different registers. This passage begins with a simultaneous statement of theme number four by the violas, and theme number one by the bassoons, horns, and cellos. With each successive repetition a new theme appears. First, theme number three is added; then theme number five; and finally theme number two. Now all five themes are played together, interchangeably among the different parts. The symphony ends with statements of the recurring grey highlighted motif and theme number two, in a majestic conclusion of one of the most magnificent movements in the symphonic literature.