Recording: Berlin Philharmonic, conducted by Claudio Abbado [DG 435 683-2]
Published 1878

The rather swift composition of the Second Symphony in the summer of 1877 stands in marked contrast to the many years spent on the First.  It seems as if, having removed the great hurdle of producing a symphony, a sequel could arise with relatively little effort a year later.  Brahms wrote it in the rural and natural atmosphere of southern Austria, which may have contributed to the work’s essentially pastoral nature.  Commentators today often note the extreme contradictions of mood in the first movement and the dark hues of the slow movement to put the “pastoral” notion to rest, but despite the troubled moments, the symphony’s overall effect is still radiant and bucolic.  The contradictions, however, are very real.  Even the orchestration is a clue to this, as the Second is the only one of the four symphonies to employ a tuba along with its three trombones.  The trombones and tuba lend solemnity and darkness to the second movement and certain key moments in the first movement and finale, but are also capable of producing a blaze of joy at the symphony’s end.  Silences and dissipation are common.  The first movement is enormous by any standard.  It is very long even without the very long exposition repeat, which is usually observed because of the very long first ending.  The content of the exposition alone is far more extensive than in that of any of the other three first movements.  The opening three-note figure pervades the other movements as well, especially the finale.  The slow second movement is extremely complex and chromatic and, while beautiful, has a sort of seriousness that is not even matched by the corresponding movement of the Fourth Symphony.  The movement also has great rhythmic and metric complexity.  The third movement is another moderately paced “scherzo substitute” like that of the first.  Although this time the main section is in triple meter, the five-part structure is new and a true tour de force, combining Schumann’s “scherzo with two trios” model with a deft variation concept across the whole movement, through which the starkly contrasting tempi and meters are given unity.  It is the shortest movement in the symphonies in terms of performance time.  The finale is joyous and extroverted, surpassed in exuberance perhaps only by the “Academic Festival” Overture.  But even this brilliant movement has an unusually hushed opening and an almost shockingly mysterious re-transition passage that sounds like the nebulous opening of Mahler’s First Symphony!   The work remains an audience favorite.  Even the first movement’s great length is balanced by a flood of inspired content and contrasts.  The symphony has been criticized as “top heavy,” but the finale is merely fast, not short, and may well be the composer’s most satisfying conclusion of all.  It does not need the gigantic structure of the First Symphony’s last movement to accomplish that.

ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (First Edition from Brahms-Institut Lübeck)
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (from Breitkopf & Härtel Sämtliche Werke)

1st Movement: Allegro non troppo (Sonata-Allegro form).  D MAJOR, 3/4 time.

0:00 [m. 1]--Theme 1.  The first bar sounds like an introduction.  The cellos and basses play a hushed four-note motive that is extremely important in the course of the movement.  It is a turning figure, beginning on the keynote, that jumps down to the “dominant” note.  As the low strings jump to this fourth note in the second bar, the horns and bassoons begin the second idea, a mellow, beautifully harmonized melody that outlines the chord of D major and includes an downward octave leap.  The third bar of this melody turns the low string figure upside down.  All is played at a subdued level.
0:08 [m. 5]--As the melody completes its first phrase, the low strings begin another statement of the four-note motive a third higher.  The four-bar phrases of the low string motive and the main melody are oriented one bar apart.  The melody’s second phrase is taken by the flutes, clarinets, and bassoons and begins with four stepwise rising notes, all harmonized.
0:16 [m. 9]--The completion of the phrase is again disrupted by the low strings, who begin their third statement, which turns to B minor.  The horns and bassoons respond in E minor, in an phrase similar to the first one.  The fourth low string motive leads again to the flutes, clarinets, and bassoons, who now begin with a three-note descent that turns back up one note before heading down again.  This phrase is in the “dominant” key of A major.
0:31 [m. 17]--This time, the low strings do not begin a new statement on the last bar of the phrase.  Instead, the first violins and violas make their first entrance, coming in surreptitiously on the last beat of the bar.  They and the low strings hold their note.  The last two bars of the high wind phrase, which have turned back upward in an arpeggio, are repeated.  The violins and violas leap an octave on the last beat.
0:36 [m. 20]--At this point, all three strands come together metrically.  The violins and violas hold their note over the bar, then seem to begin the turning four-note motive with which the low strings opened the movement.  At the same time, the higher winds (except oboes, who have not yet played), play chords, no longer out of phase by a bar.  The cellos and basses re-articulate their low note at the same time.  The violins and violas, after playing the first three notes of the motive, wind their way downward with arpeggios and octave leaps.
0:43 [m. 24]--The winds and low strings drop out, and the violins and violas continue to meander downward, seemingly aimlessly.  After two bars, the middle range is reached and the cellos take over for the violas, who drop out.  The “dominant” chord (A major) is outlined in these meandering leaps until new pitches are introduced in the last two bars.  The volume diminishes to almost nothing, and the strings, having led nowhere, simply stop after outlining an unstable “diminished” chord.
0:57 [m. 32]--After the strings fade away, there is a soft timpani roll.  Then follows the surprising and strikingly dark entry of trombones and tuba (doubled by cellos) on solemn chords.  On the third of these, the flute and oboe (the latter making its first entry) play the first three notes of the opening turn motive.  A second sequence of these elements--drum roll, low brass chords, and three-note wind motive (now played by clarinet and bassoon)--follows immediately.
1:12 [m. 40]--For the third sequence of the “dark” music, the timpani roll is replaced by a single tap aided by plucked string basses.  The low brass chords enter as before, but the winds (now oboe and bassoon) come in a bar early on their three-note motive.  This is because the notes are stretched out and doubled in length, the second held over a bar line.  These three notes, beginning with the “dominant” note A, finally add the fourth, which is a strong arrival on the main keynote D as the following theme begins.
1:21 [m. 44]--Transition theme.  With the arrival on D, a new and radiant theme emerges out of the darkness.  It uses elements already heard, such as the turning motive, the outline of the D-major chord, and the four stepwise notes, which now descend.  Despite this deft construction, the theme has a natural and graceful flow.  Because it is in D major, it seems that it may be the main theme and that what has preceded was introductory.  The violins play the melody, with an undulating accompaniment from violas and cellos.
1:28 [m. 48]--The graceful melody’s second phrase is taken by the flute, with a rising chromatic horn counterpoint that had already begun at the end of the string statement.  The violas and cellos continue to undulate.  The second flute, clarinets, and bassoons begin to harmonize the melody after two bars.  There, it turns higher than had the first violin phrase.
1:34 [m. 52]--The violins begin what sounds like a third phrase of the melody.  Quickly, however, other instrument groups begin to imitate the beginning of the phrase at different levels, beginning with the second violins (who make their first entrance here).  Flute and oboe enter next, followed by bassoons and low strings.  Under the flute/oboe entry, the violins, then the horns, begin to pulsate on syncopated repetitions.  The volume increases dramatically and it is finally apparent that this is the transition.  When the low instruments begin their imitation, flute and oboe begin to pulsate and the strings play powerful descending arpeggios.  At this point, the trumpets make their first entrance.
1:44 [m. 59]--On the last beat of m. 58, the higher instruments come together on a strong statement of the opening turn figure whose first note is held over the bar line.  The low strings begin an angular accompaniment with octave leaps and plunging arpeggios.  After the four notes of the turn, the violins also play these angular figures as the low strings take the four notes a step higher.  This alternation appears to begin again with the violins and flutes taking the first three notes yet one level higher, but they then leap down and back up, speeding the three notes up with powerful off-beat accents and a cross rhythm supported by syncopated chords and octaves from the other instruments.  The music moves away from D major.
1:56 [m. 66]--Suddenly, the bottom drops out of the powerful music.  Oboes and horns are isolated on detached and quietly leaping figures.  These are punctuated by shorter leaping figures from the violins, as well as isolated interjections from flutes and bassoons.  After three alternations, the oboe and horn figures join with the flutes and bassoons, and the leaping violins take over in five consecutive bars.  The harmony is very unstable, but it strongly suggests the F-sharp minor in which the second theme group will begin.
2:10 [m. 76]--The violas and cellos take the isolated interjections with clarinets, bassoons, and horns.  The leaping violin figures are taken over by clarinet and flute.  This only happens for two bars, then the full string choir (without basses), breaks into a rising and fully harmonized chromatic line with stretched out notes and syncopations suggesting a 3/2 meter.  The cellos descend by half-steps as the violins ascend.  These chromatic chords finally arrive on F-sharp minor as Theme 2 begins.
2:22 [m. 82]--Theme 2.  F-sharp minor is not the expected key for Theme 2.  It is the related minor key to A major, which would be the expected key.  The exposition will, however, actually end in A major.  The theme itself is a broad and melancholy lullaby played by cellos and violas in harmonious thirds and sixths.  The cellos actually play above the violas here.  The violins accompany with the leaping figures (including octave leaps) just heard at the end of the transition, while the basses play two plucked repeated notes at the beginning of each bar.  The winds drop out for this first statement of the theme.
2:36 [m. 90]--The lullaby theme pauses on a dissonance.  The violins play a sweeping figure that first moves up by three steps, then falls rapidly downward on an arpeggio.  The dissonance and sweeping figure are repeated.  Horns, bassoons, and timpani make discreet entrances, the timpani and horns now alternating with the basses on the punctuating groups of two repeated notes.
2:42 [m. 94]--The violas and cellos begin a long closing phrase to the lullaby theme.  The basses abandon the plucked repeated notes and join in harmony while the violins play a lightly syncopated line.  Bassoons and flutes are also present.  The music has moved again toward D major.  The cellos close with a faster sweeping line, always remaining above the violas.  The end of the cello line is questioning, and the clarinets respond with a rising arpeggio.  The violins follow with another that firmly moves back to F-sharp minor.
2:57 [m. 102]--The winds (flutes, oboes, and bassoons) now take the lullaby theme in F-sharp minor.  The string basses again play the punctuating plucked notes in groups of two, as they had before.  The other strings provide a harmonic background.  After four bars, the violins take over the theme.
3:07 [m. 108]--Suddenly, the lullaby theme is diverted into a transition and buildup.  The winds enter again.  Winds (in thirds), then violins (in unison), then winds again play two rising gestures of the theme in three statements.  Violas and cellos join the basses on the plucked repetitions, creating full chords.  The violins and winds both hold long notes after the rising gestures.  Finally, the gestures are passed to the violas and bassoons, who speed them up, creating syncopation as the harmony slides down to F.  The repeated notes are passed to the timpani, and the volume rapidly builds.  Finally, all instruments, including the violas and bassoons, moving faster still, join on a huge hemiola, or implied 3/2 bar, the timpani playing on each beat.
3:24 [m. 118]--Closing Section.  A large arrival comes as the bass slips down to E, a preparation for the A major in which the exposition should and will end.  The strings play huge upward leaps in dotted rhythm followed by strong syncopations and more dotted rhythm, creating a march-like music.  There is a strong arrival on A major, and then the huge leaps are heard again, reaching higher and followed by more syncopations.  Winds and brass punctuate these with long chords.  Then an even stronger cadence on A, punctuated by trumpets, confirms that this key is the goal.
3:39 [m. 127]--At the cadence, the strings begin to play a churning long-short-short rhythm.  This is followed by more soaring lines in the violins and more syncopation.  The horns and trumpets join on the long-short-short figures, and they punctuate a loud, strong syncopation on the last beat of a bar [m. 134].  Clarinets, horns, and violas begin to play a pulsating syncopation on the long-short-short rhythm, tying the second short note to the long note, holding over the musical beats.  The other instruments hold the chord.
3:55 [m. 136]--The music is still agitated, but quiets somewhat.  With the meter already obscured by the syncopation and the established pulsation in clarinets, horns, and violas, the low strings and bassoons begin to play fragments of the main portion of Theme 1 that begin on the second beat of the bar.  These four-note figures are then imitated by the violins, and no instruments strongly articulate the downbeat.  The second beats of the bars begin to sound like the downbeats.  There are also shorter three-note groups without a long note.  The pulsations continue, flutes and oboes enter on a long chord, and there is a slow, steady buildup.
The harmony is unstable, hovering on the “dominant” chords of A major and D major.
4:12 [m. 148]--The low strings and violins come together, and the flutes and oboes take the imitating line.  The harmony moves beyond A major to the “dominant” chord of E major.  With the meter still obscured, the trumpets enter on the syncopated pulsations, and as the music reaches a high point the pulsation is suddenly cut off.  The strings play a powerful descent, supported by the brass, that begins on the second beat of a bar, and the sense of the true downbeat is still not restored, although E major does slide back to A.
4:24 [m. 156]--The music is suddenly quiet, and, holding the last beat of a bar into the downbeat, the lullaby of Theme 2 arrives to finally restore the true sense of meter.  It is played by second violins and violas, with the violas on top.  They are accompanied by plucked notes in the low strings, short interjections from horns and clarinets, and most importantly, a flowing line in triplets from the flute.  This A-major version of the theme takes a new turn in its second phrase, and winds down with a bassoon descent in sixths.
4:38 [m. 164]--The flutes and oboes now play the lullaby theme, with both oboes largely doubling both flutes.  The flowing triplet line moves to the first violins.  The other strings play pulsations above the plucked basses.  The instruments seem to stall on the theme, then the flutes and violins begin to fragment it as the oboes drop out.  A descending line under a cadence gesture is heard first in flutes and violins, then oboes and bassoons, and finally violins and cellos, the entries dovetailing with each other, quieting greatly.
5:06 [m. 179, first ending]--The final A-major cadence leads into the first ending, a transition back to the beginning for the exposition repeat.  The cadence is reiterated in the strings, and the descending lines are heard first from the bassoon, then flute and oboe, then low strings under soft violin and viola chords.  This low string descent becomes syncopated, and starts to undulate on the opening half-step of the initial motive.
 5:20 [m. 186, first ending, replacing m. 1]--Theme 1.  The last bar of the first ending doubles as the first bar of the exposition repeat, and its notes, held over from the previous bar, are the beginning of the first low string motive.  The repetition thus begins with the second bar, altered only with the addition of notes for the upper strings to close their long lines on a downbeat.  Then a continuation as at the beginning.
5:28 [m. 5]--Second statement of four-note motive and second phrase from upper winds, as at 0:08.
5:35 [m. 9]--Third and fourth statements turning to B minor, E minor, and A major, as at 0:16.
5:50 [m. 17]--Entry of violins and violas and repetition of the end of the last phrase, as at  0:31.
5:55 [m. 20]--Strands come together.  Violins and violas begin to wind downward, as at 0:36.
6:02 [m. 24]--Violins and violas meander downward, diminish, and stop, as at 0:43.
6:16 [m. 32]--Timpani rolls, solemn trombone and tuba chords, and three-note wind motive, as at 0:57.
6:31 [m. 40]--Drum tap and brass chords with lengthened wind motive and arrival on D, as at 1:12.
6:40 [m. 44]--Transition theme from violins in D major, as at 1:21.
6:47 [m. 48]--Transition theme played by flute with horn counterpoint, as at 1:28.
6:53 [m. 52]--Imitation on transition melody, syncopated pulsations, and buildup, as at 1:34.
7:03 [m. 59]--Statements of opening turn figure, angular accompaniment, and cross rhythms, as at 1:44.
7:14 [m. 66]--Quietly leaping, detached figures and short violin leaps, as at 1:56.
7:29 [m. 76]--Winds take violin leaps, then chromatic string chords and arrival on F-sharp minor, as at 2:10.
7:41 [m. 82]--Theme 2.  Low string lullaby in F-sharp minor, as at 2:22.
7:54 [m. 90]--Pause on dissonance, sweeping violin line, and timpani alternating with basses, as at 2:36.
8:01 [m. 94]--Closing phrase to lullaby and bridging arpeggios, as at 2:42.
8:17 [m. 102]--Winds, then violins take up lullaby theme, as at 2:57.
8:27 [m. 108]--Transition and buildup on lullaby theme, leading to hemiola, as at 3:07.
8:43 [m. 118]--Closing section.  Upward leaps, syncopations, and march-like music, as at 3:24.
8:59 [m. 127]--Churning long-short-short rhythm in A major and pulsing syncopations, as at 3:39.
9:15 [m. 136]--Imitation on fragments of Theme 1 with pulsations and highly obscured meter, as at 3:55.
9:32 [m. 148]--Strings come together, wind imitation, and powerful descent, as at 4:12.
9:43 [m. 156]--Restoration of meter and decorated major-key statement of Theme 2 lullaby, as at 4:24.
9:57 [m. 164]-Wind statement of lullaby, fragmentation, descending lines, and cadences, as at 4:38.
10:24 [m. 179, second ending]--Some elements remain from the first ending, such the reiterated cadences and the return to the opening motive on the original pitches.  The descending lines, however, are all now in the strings, and they are transposed so that they more firmly confirm A major rather than facilitating a motion back to D major for the repeat.  After four bars, there is a highly colorful shift to a new key, F major, using the fourth note of the motive (the downward leap to A in the bass) as a common note.  A horn begins a statement of Theme 1 in this key, over rising arpeggios from cellos and first violins.
10:40 [m. 187]--The oboe and second violins play a harmonized continuation of the upward-turning figure from the theme’s main phrase, moving to D minor.  The arpeggios continue in violas, bassoon, and clarinet.
10:47 [m. 191]--The low strings having played the opening motive in the previous measure, the flutes begin a new statement of the Theme 1 melody with yet another harmonic shift, to B-flat major.  The rising arpeggios and harmonic background continue in the strings.
10:54 [m. 195]--The continuation from 10:40 [m. 187] is played, this time without the harmony, by oboe, clarinet, and bassoon in unison and in G minor (related to B-flat).  There begins a strong buildup in tension and volume.  The string arpeggios emerge into an agitated figure with rests and repeated notes.  The cellos and basses imitate the “continuation” in G minor under this.  Dovetailing with them, the flute, oboe, and horn begin another statement, this time in C minor.  This is also immediately imitated by the low strings, who are briefly isolated for one bar before they complete it.
11:08 [m. 204]--The volume has now reached a strong level, and a long passage of counterpoint begins that is based on the four stepwise rising notes (the third element of Theme 1).  It starts in C minor, with the first violins taking the lead.  The violas play a faster leaping, detached counterpoint, and the clarinets enter with another angular upward-leaping idea.  Second violins, then winds play strong syncopation across bar lines.
11:15 [m. 208]--The second violins and violas play another statement of the stepwise rising notes in G minor with the faster counterpoint moving to the first violins.  The clarinets play their angular idea again, and the strong syncopations are also heard, the violas taking over for the second violins.
11:21 [m. 212]--The leaping idea heard in the clarinets now takes the foreground and is turned upside down, working downward.  The first violins play this version, dovetailing with the original ascending version in flutes and oboes.  The stepwise rising notes are taken by low strings and bassoons in shorter statements, continuing to move up by fifths to D minor.  The faster counterpoint continues in second violins and violas.
11:27 [m. 216]--The climactic statement of the counterpoint begins up yet another fifth, in A minor.  The first violins play the leading stepwise rising notes.  The faster counterpoint is in all the lower strings and bassoons.  The leaping idea is in the second violins (in the descending version) and the high winds (in the ascending version).  The strong syncopations begin again, now with the trombones joining the horns and winds, and the statement is extended to double length by these syncopations, which continue and build to an intense climax as the faster counterpoint moves to the violins.  The extension moves to A major.
11:38 [m. 224]--At the climax, the passage of counterpoint breaks, and the strings play a powerful arpeggio in E minor.  At the same time, the trombones blast out the opening turn motive, the three of them playing in succession and overlapping.  Flutes and horns take it up from the trombones, filled with tension.  The strings begin to play tremolo chords as the opening motive is further passed among the winds and brass, now in B minor.  The strings then break into the same arpeggio before leaving the winds alone for two bars.
11:53 [m. 233]--The strings enter strongly, again with the tremolo.  With clarinets and bassoons, they slide upward, making a strong arrival on B major.  The music then breaks into faster versions of the opening motive, which creates a cross rhythm and an implied 6/8 meter.  The wind chords support this cross rhythm.  A string bridge leads to the same faster versions and cross rhythms that suggest E minor but actually move to C minor/major.  A longer and strong string bridge emerges into the strongest developmental climax yet.
12:14 [m. 246]--This arrival is marked by a timpani roll.  The faster versions of the opening motive persist in the strings, and above them, the winds and brass (including tuba) begin to blast out the opening rising figure of Theme 1 itself in G major.  They then speed up the first of these notes and create more cross rhythms that  support the string motion.  All of this emerges into material from the “melodic” transition theme in G minor, played by all high winds except oboe over a softer string tremolo and trombone chord.
12:28 [m. 254]--The oboe, having rested in the previous passage, now plays a new melody derived from the  opening motive in G minor.  The strings play isolated arpeggios, and the timpanist plays the typical two-beat repeated-note groups at the beginning of each bar.  This passage is much quieter.  Then, suddenly, the  fast version of the motive appears in the strings in B-flat major.  The same timpani roll and short rising figures from Theme 1 appear as heard at 12:14 [m. 246], blasted out from winds and brass.
12:42 [m. 262]--The material from the transition theme is played by the strings, with tremolo in second violins and violas.  A shift in harmony that did not occur after 12:14 [m. 246] moves the music to D minor, and thus briefly back to the home key center.  The patterns and fragmentation of the transition theme material are the same, but the music quiets greatly.  The new melody from 12:28 [m. 254] is then played by flute and oboe in D minor above the same isolated arpeggios and timpani beats, but at a much softer level.
12:56 [m. 270]--The transition theme material is heard again, now from clarinet and bassoon.  It is supported by a trombone chord and string tremolo as it was on the two previous appearances, but now a quiet timpani roll is added and the whole volume level is much softer.  It is now in F-sharp minor. 
13:04 [m. 274]--The new melody derived from the opening motive is played in F-sharp minor, now by the violins, still with string arpeggios and timpani beats.  This time, the melody is expanded by repeating it in the “expected” instruments, flute and oboe.  Here, it is again in D, but now in a major/minor mixture.  The repetition builds strongly, the timpani beats speeding up to groups of four.
13:18 [m. 282]--The short rising figures from Theme 1 are blasted again, as at 12:14 [m. 246], but now the strings lead, along with the trombones.  The key is ambiguous, hovering between F major and D minor.  The faster version of the opening motive is not here now, but the cross rhythms remain, supported by syncopated chords in the winds and brass (except trombones).  The timpani roll thunders.  This passage is also extended to twice its previous length.  Halfway through, F shifts up to F-sharp, and the ambiguity is now between D major and F-sharp minor.
13:32 [m. 290]--Re-transition.  The home key is reached slightly “early.”  At a hushed level, the violins play the opening motive in tremolo, but it is stretched out to double its length, creating a metric ambiguity and an implied 3/2 bar over two 3/4 bars.  Above this, the horns seem to want to begin the main melody of Theme 1, but stall at the opening.  Flutes and oboes play long chords.  There is then a buildup as the transition theme is heard, also in tremolo.  The low strings and a trombone play the opening motive underneath it, also in the “stretched-out version.”  The continuing horn and wind chords support the stretched-out motive.
13:39 [m. 294]--The transition theme is heard twice more at different levels, first in B minor from the winds over string tremolos, long brass chords, and an timpani roll that now begins.  The second (third) statement is in G major from the tremolo strings under a long held chord from brass and winds as the drum roll continues.  A chromatic bass line undermines the harmonic motion and keeps the music somewhat anchored to D major.  Both B minor and G major are very closely related keys.
13:47 [m. 298]--Finally, the upper strings and oboes drop out, the drum roll ends, and the flute and clarinet begin the downward scale, tinged with the minor key, leading into the recapitulation.  Under this scale, the trombones play an even longer version of the opening motive, stretched out over four bars.  Although the trombone motive is at the original pitch level, the harmony supporting this final lead-in is not the expected “dominant” harmony, but on a dissonant chord that would be expected to lead into the preparatory chord.
13:54 [m. 302]--Theme 1.  The arrival of the theme is much altered.  The opening motive was already provided by the trombones.  The D-major harmony is here somewhat undermined by the previous dissonant chord.  Oboes play the principal melody, the horns now providing only support.  Unexpectedly, the transition melody, which seemed more “theme-like” than the theme, is heard below in the violas, with the violins providing supporting arpeggios.  This is the first time the two themes have been heard together.
14:01 [m. 306]--The theme continues, with the first violins providing a decoration to the second phrase (heard in second violins and violas) that contains half-steps and other chromatic notes.  The opening motive has been restored to its original function, entering in the low strings a bar before each phrase.  The winds briefly drop out.  The harmonies and structures correspond now to the exposition.
14:08 [m. 310]--The theme continues, with the oboes and horns again taking over, passing the next response to flutes and bassoons.  The violins and violas decorate with arching arpeggios and the transition melody under the oboe/horn entry, then the violas continue with a winding chromatic line under the flute/bassoon response.  The opening motive continues to enter in its expected positions.  The last two bars are reiterated, with clarinets replacing flutes and the viola line passed up to the second violins.  The repetition corresponds to 0:31 and 5:50 [m. 17], but the horns replace the violins on the long note beginning with an upbeat.
14:25 [m. 320]--A rescored version of the passage from 0:36 and 5:55 [m. 20].  The flute and oboe begin the downward winding motion, and the clarinets take over after four bars.  Bassoons, horns, and lower strings hold long notes, and the first violins add a new decorative line.  This decorative line is hesitant at first, with yearning half-steps, but it becomes more flowing under the clarinets, plunging downward.  The harmonies under the clarinet line were not present in the bare version at 0:43 and 6:02 [m. 24].
14:38 [m. 327]--In an extension to the pattern of the exposition, the previous passage is heard in a harmonic shift a step higher, moving from the “dominant” chord, A major, to B-flat.  The first bar doubles as the last of the previous phrase, the clarinets completing their line as the flute and oboe enter “early,” but the shift to B-flat (as an implied “subdominant” chord of F major) happens as the flute and oboe begin their line, which is again taken over by clarinets after four bars with the same decorative line in the violins.
14:52 [m. 335]--Continuing the sequence, the whole pattern shifts up again, to the chord of B major, and the same devices are used for the shift.  This time, however, the flute and oboe make a quick alteration to B minor, and the statement is cut off before the clarinets have a chance to take over.
15:01 [m. 340]--The violins, now joined by cellos, are left alone as the other instruments drop out.  They meander on arpeggios, first on B minor, then on dissonant diminished harmonies, then on G minor.  The four-note arpeggios cross bar lines and somewhat undermine the 3/4 meter.  Above these quiet and mysterious arpeggios, two drum rolls are heard, the first after two bars and the second two bars later.  It is not immediately apparent that these drum rolls correspond to 0:57 and 6:15 [m. 32] because they are isolated and lack the three-bar low brass responses.
15:12 [m. 346]--The arpeggios end, and a third drum roll is heard in isolation.  It is finally given the low brass response, with the more mellow horns now joining the trombones and tuba.  This brass response corresponds to 1:12 and 6:31 [m. 40], but the goal is not an arrival on the home key of D major, rather on B minor, the related key where the string arpeggios had hovered.  Theme 2 will immediately follow.  The “melodic” transition material is completely skipped here, having been given attention in the development section and having been heard as a counterpoint to Theme 1 at the beginning of the recapitulation.
15:21 [m. 350]--Theme 2, as at 2:22 and 7:41 [m. 82], now in B minor.  It is important to note that the B minor--D major relationship is the same as the F-sharp minor--A major relationship from the exposition.  In other words, the recapitulation will end in the home key, as it should, and the use of B minor here already confirms that.  The scoring of the theme itself is as in the exposition, with the cellos above the violas and the basses playing the plucked repetitions.  The accompanying figures are new, however.  The violins pass descending arpeggios to flutes and clarinets and back.  These have mild syncopation that becomes stronger.
15:35 [m. 358]--Pause on dissonance and sweeping violin line, as at 2:36 and 7:54 [m. 90].  The timpani do not play here as they did in the exposition, and the basses alternate with two horns playing in thirds.
15:43 [m. 362]--Closing phrase to lullaby theme, as at 2:42 and 8:01 [m. 94].  There is more rescoring.  Most importantly, the violas and cellos are reversed, the violas now moving above the cellos and taking the top line.  The clarinets have a new role, playing material previously taken by second violins.  An oboe takes some previous flute material.  The first violins drop out much earlier, abandoning their syncopated repetitions.  The “bridging” arpeggios are both played by violins.  Harmonic motion is toward G major.
15:59 [m. 370]--The winds take over the lullaby, as at 2:57 and 8:17 [m. 102].  This time, clarinets participate and flutes do not.  The violins follow the winds, as before.
16:09 [m. 376]--Transition and buildup to hemiola, as at 3:07 and 8:27 [m. 108].  This is largely as in the exposition except for the added participation of clarinets, who join the violas and bassoons on the faster rising, syncopated gestures.  The timpani, which had been unexpectedly absent in Theme 2 here thus far, enter as expected at the end of the buildup.  The harmony drops down to B-flat.
16:27 [m. 386]--Closing section.  Upward leaps, syncopations, and march-like music, as at 3:24 and 8:43 [m. 118].  Here the bass drops down to A in preparation for large cadences on the home key, D major.  The horns and trumpets are given a larger role at the strong cadence leading into the “churning” music.
16:43 [m. 395]--Churning long-short-short rhythm in D major, corresponding to 3:39 and 8:59 [m. 127].    There is a significant change at the loud chord leading into the pulsating syncopations.  This time, a timpani roll is included, and the trumpets and horns punctuate the following downbeat while all other instruments hold over it, helping to create slightly less metric ambiguity than in the exposition.
16:59 [m. 404]--Imitation on fragments of Theme 1 with pulsations and highly obscured meter, as at 3:55 and 9:15 [m. 136].  This section is largely scored as in the exposition, with some slight differences in the trumpets.  The harmonies are on the “dominant” chords of D major and G major.
17:17 [m. 416]--Strings come together, wind imitation, and powerful descent, as at 4:12 and 9:32 [m. 148].  The harmony moves to the “dominant” chord of A major and slides back to D major.
17:28 [m. 424]--Restoration of meter and decorated major-key statement of Theme 2 lullaby, as at 4:24 and 9:43 [m. 156].  This time, the winds (flutes, clarinets, and oboes) have the first statement of the melody.  The violas now play the flowing triplet line, and the violins join the plucked notes with the low strings.  The oboes join the bassoons on the descent in sixths.
17:42 [m. 432]--This corresponds to 4:38 and 9:57 [m. 164], but the scoring is reversed.  The flowing triplet line moves to the flute, where it was at first in the exposition.  The lullaby theme is played by violas and cellos, its original instruments, with the cellos on top.  After the theme “stalls,” the descending lines are heard first in oboe and bassoon, then clarinet and cellos, and finally violas and cellos leading into the coda.
18:10 [m. 447]--The coda opens with the first two notes of Theme 1’s melody passed among the wind instruments, notably flute and oboe, and even the trumpet participates.  The trombones play a solemn chord over a timpani roll, and the strings play a tremolo on a dissonant chord.  The dissonant chord resolves into the “dominant” chord, and the inverted version of the opening motive as heard in the melody begins to take over.  This happens after a swelling and receding.  The figure lingers in clarinets, bassoons, and trombones.
18:28 [m. 455]--A solo horn is now isolated on the “inverted” version of the opening motive.  It begins a sort of reverie on the figure over a string background based on the transition melody, but this gradually intensifies in volume, tempo, and chromatic notes.  The strings become more active and syncopated.  Finally, the horn isolates the last two notes of the motive, leaving rests on the last four downbeats.
18:56 [m. 469]--The horn reaches its climax, and with the strings, it slows back down and diminishes, holding some long notes over bar lines to somewhat obscure the underlying pulse.  Horn and strings settle toward a cadence in D major that merges into the following variation of Theme 1.
19:18 [m. 477]--A variation of Theme 1 begins that includes the opening motive in the low strings.  The melody itself, however, adds an initial long note that is heard above the opening motive.  Second violins and violas play pulsating syncopations.  Horns join the harmony after five bars.  The opening motive is heard three times in succession before the entry of the horns.  Brahms marks “in tempo, ma più tranquillo.”
19:37 [m. 485]--A cadence is interrupted by another, highly decorated version of the Theme 1 material.  The opening motive is now heard four times.  The horns join the middle strings in the pulsing syncopations.  The first violins embellish the theme with gentle half-steps, and there is a slight buildup and some harmonization.  The winds join after the fourth statement of the opening motive.  They extend the embellished theme and slow it down to an oscillation, the strings moving to a slower, syncopated line.  The music settles down to a half-cadence.
20:03 [m. 497]--In a brilliant move, Brahms brings back an element that has not been used since the exposition.  It is the quietly leaping detached music from 1:56 and 7:14 [m. 66].  Brahms marks it “in tempo, sempre tranquillo.”  The oboe takes the lead, as expected, but it is supported by all other woodwinds.  The shorter leaping figures formerly played by violins are taken by horn and bassoon, who dovetail.  The trumpet plays punctuating thirds, and the low strings have a steady plucking.
20:11 [m. 501]--The strings are isolated for a bar.  The low strings continue their plucking as the violins and violas make an entry with plucked chords off the beats.  Against this rocking pulse of plucked strings, flute and oboe enter with an entirely new idea.  It is a melodic figure taken from a contemporary song, “Es liebt sich so lieblich im Lenze” (Op. 71, No. 1).  There is surely some “spring” symbolism in the quotation.
20:18 [m. 505]--Another statement of the “quietly leaping” music begins, this time only in bassoons and horns.  The strings continue the rocking plucked pulse, with the violins and violas off the beats.  The shorter figures with octave leaps are played by oboe, flutes, and clarinet, with some dovetailing. 
20:25 [m. 509]--After the four-bar statement, the rocking motion continues, with the violins playing fuller chords, still plucked, off the beat.  The winds join this off-beat motion, and the melodic outline seems derived from the song quotation.  There is one last buildup, and at the top of this, the chords in both winds and plucked strings become colorful and slightly dissonant.  The volume then quickly recedes again.
20:33 [m. 513]--The horns and trumpets play some final statements of the beginning gesture from Theme 1.  Under these, the punctuating string and wind motion becomes less steady, with full rests inserted on alternating downbeat/upbeat groups.  The low strings still pluck on the beats, while the winds, soon reduced to flutes and clarinets, play off the beat with plucked violins and violas.  Finally, the horns and trumpets settle on a unison note (the “dominant” note, A), the woodwinds drop out, and the strings continue to pluck.  The string gestures become more isolated and are finally reduced to only the first beats for four bars.
20:48 [m. 521]--The last chord is played by all winds and brass, including trombones and tuba, and is supported by a soft timpani roll.  The strings, who all pluck softly as the chord begins, add one more plucked punctuation to cut off the chord after it is held for two bars.
21:02--END OF MOVEMENT [523 mm.]

2nd Movement: Adagio non troppo (Sonata form with modified recapitulation).  B MAJOR, 4/4 and 12/8 time.
0:00 [m. 1]--Theme 1.  The first statement of the theme is presented in its entirety by the cellos.  At the outset, the tone is dark and nebulous.  The theme begins on an upbeat, and the emphasis on weak beats in the first two descending lines obscures the meter.  The bassoons play an ascending counterpoint, and the presence of the tuba increases the heavy nature of the opening, supported by horns, violas, and basses.
0:12 [m. 3]--The continuation of the theme in the cellos restores a strong sense of the meter on the downbeat after an upbeat rising fourth.  The trombones enter here, but quickly drop out.  Higher winds now provide supporting harmonies.  The theme itself winds downward, then breaks into two hesitant rising gestures on broken chords.
0:32 [m. 6]--The cello theme avoids a strong cadence and continues with more descending lines that again obscure the meter.  Two emphasized rising leaps lead into the three closing gestures, descending lines rounded by leaping dotted rhythms.  These lead not to a B-major cadence, but instead to D major.  The winds consistently provide punctuating harmonies on weak beats until the more emphatic closing gestures.
1:09 [m. 13]--A second statement of the theme begins with the full orchestra.  The melody is played by violins and flute.  The cellos initially take the rising counterpoint first played by the bassoons.  Horns provide a syncopated background.  Trombones and tuba, and now even trumpets join at the upbeat rising fourth before the third bar.  The theme continues essentially unaltered except for the fuller scoring for four bars, through the first of the “hesitant rising gestures.”
1:36 [m. 17]--The theme cuts off and seems at first to be approaching a long-eluded B-major cadence, but then a single horn is isolated on a leaping figure beginning with a rising fourth (an important motive first heard before m. 3).  A very brief passage of imitation, or fugato, follows on this figure.  The oboes follow the horn, who continues with a syncopated counterpoint (joined by bassoon).  The flutes enter next, the oboes also continuing with a new line.  Finally, the low strings enter on the leaping figure as the wind instruments continue their lines.  The entire passage moves to the “dominant” key of F-sharp major.
2:23 [m. 28]--The fugato passage, having slightly built and receded, melts away into the material of the theme.  It is the passage beginning with the rising fourth (from 0:12 [m. 3]), now played by cellos and violas, with the trombones and tuba in the background again.  Other winds and the violins join as this melody suddenly and strongly builds to the movement’s first climax.  At the top, the violins lead back downward, with more rapidly ascending cellos and violas, the music receding toward the arrival on Theme 2 in F-sharp.
2:52 [m. 33]--Theme 2.  Like Theme 1, it begins on an upbeat, and after that upbeat, the meter changes to the more lilting 12/8.  Brahms indicates “L’istesso tempo, ma grazioso,” meaning that the speed should remain the same, the 12/8 bars being divided into four beats of three parts.  The tune is indeed graceful, but halting, again because of emphasis on weak beats.  Flutes and oboes present the main material, supported by clarinets, bassoons, and plucked cellos.  The clarinets in harmonious thirds take over in the third bar (F-sharp major).
3:13 [m. 37]--The violins join with a more chromatic line.  The winds play shorter figures.  Finally, the cellos stop the isolated plucked notes and join the upper strings in bowed harmonies.  The violins briefly break for a short alternation with winds and horns, after which the violins drop a full octave in pitch.
3:35 [m. 41]--All strings move to isolated plucked notes as the flutes and oboes begin another statement.  This statement rapidly builds to another unexpected large climax, the strings bursting into a soaring bowed line.  This climax recedes as quickly as it built up, breaking into four detached and increasingly quiet chords with off-beat horn punctuations.
3:59 [m. 45]--Closing Theme.  The melody, in F-sharp major, is the most expressive and straightforward thus far.  Its main characteristic is a stepwise ascent of a fourth (filling in the previous rising fourth).  The meter is obscured, as it begins on the second beat of the bar and includes much syncopation in its oscillating line.  The strings alone play it at first, in rich harmonies.  After two bars, the winds join, and there is a third sudden, dramatic buildup, this one more surprising than the first two.  It shifts seamlessly away from F-sharp major toward B minor.  Approaching the top, the trumpets enter on octaves.  This buildup and abbreviated closing theme merge directly into the development section.
4:20 [m. 49]--The closing theme melody generates a stormy fugato.  It begins in B minor.  The low strings play an embellishment of the rising fourth that includes notes held over between beats and some faster motion.  Entering directly after them, flute, oboe, and horn play the closing theme in a form similar to its original structure.  The fugato entrances are punctuated by the trombones, tuba, and timpani.
4:31 [m. 51]--The wind statement of the “original” closing theme merges with the entrance of the violins, who begin another statement of the “embellished” version, now in G minor.  One beat later, the low strings restart, this time playing the “original” version, also in G minor. 
4:43 [m. 53]--A sudden diversion to A minor begins a harmonically active passage.  The low strings alternate with the high winds and violins, each entry moving up by a fifth, ending up on C-sharp.  The entries are now all on the “embellished” version.  Against this, the second violins play ominous tremolo repeated notes.  The instruments all build toward a plunging arpeggio on C-sharp minor.
4:54 [m. 55]--The motion is suddenly arrested by a dissonant “diminished” chord.  The strings all move to a hushed tremolo.  Against this, the winds play the rising figure from the closing theme and the preceding fugato, but it is shortened to three notes, the third one held over the beat.  The winds pass this three-note figure between each other, all except oboes playing it with a harmonization in thirds.  While this is going on, a trombone, tuba, and bassoon play slow three-note gestures that resemble the opening figure from the first movement, first in inversion, then (in the tuba) in its original shape.
5:09 [m. 57]--From this point, the meter is a mixture of 4/4 and 12/8, some instruments continuing the 12/8 triplet motion, others moving back to the straight 4/4 rhythm.  In what sounds like a recapitulation, the main theme emerges in the violins, but it begins on the wrong beat (the second), and is in the wrong key (G major).  The original ascending bassoon counterpoint is present, but now it is coupled with the three-note figure just introduced, with the third note held over the beat.  This is played by flute and oboe in 12/8.
5:19 [m. 59]--A sudden buildup to another cascading arpeggio (this time on a diminished seventh chord) leads to another passage of hushed tremolo, rising three-note figures in the winds held over the beats, and slow three-note gestures in trombone and tuba, similar to 4:54 [m. 55].
5:40 [m. 62]--Yet another “false start” of the main theme on the second beat, now in E major.  The oboe plays the theme, the violins the rising counterpoint usually associated with bassoons, and the bassoons the three-note gestures in triplets with the third notes held over the beats.  This statement is extended by a bar of transition leading back home to B major.  In this bar, a slow descent is passed from strings to winds.
5:59 [m. 65]--Re-transition.  B major has arrived, but this apparent statement of the main theme breaks off to settle to the actual arrival point.  It is still a “false start,” as it begins on the second beat.  The theme is heard in flute, oboe, and horn, the rising counterpoint in violas and cellos, and the rising triplets figures held over beats in the violins.  These rising triplets lose their held notes in the last bar, leading smoothly into the actual recapitulation.  The entire passage from m. 65 is heard over a soft timpani roll.
6:14 [m. 68]--Theme 1.  It begins where it should, on the fourth beat, but after three false starts, one in the home key, Brahms thwarts expectations on the actual return by presenting it in an embellished form in triplet rhythm (the 12/8--4/4 mixture still being in force).  It is played by the first violins  The rising counterpoint is heard on its original instrument, the bassoon, and the three-note gestures are dispensed with since the triplet rhythm is now heard in the theme itself.  The other strings accompany with light plucking over held pedal notes in the string basses.
6:24 [m. 70]--In the passage analogous to 0:12 [m. 3], the rising fourth restores the sense of meter.  The trombones and tuba enter on cue, just as they had in the exposition.  In an apparent paradox to the stable meter, the violin line in triplets has strong syncopation, with notes held over beats.  The “hesitant rising gestures” are heard in their expected place, but now in the prevailing triplet rhythm.  They are passed between the strings, bassoons, and horns in full harmony.  Unexpectedly, these gestures make a harmonic diversion to E major that was not present in the exposition.
6:44 [m. 73]--The passage is analogous to 0:32 [m. 6], but is in a new key, E major.  The violins play the descending lines, rising leaps, and closing gestures in their original straight rhythm.  The weak-beat harmonies are replaced by ascending harmonized triplet arpeggios in violas and cellos, which respond to descending arpeggios in the clarinets played on the downbeats.  Flutes and other winds enter at the closing gestures.  These closing gestures make the expected motion to G (analogous to the D of the exposition), but at the end, they make a striking digression to C major and then back to B in a small extension and climax.
7:23 [m. 81]--The second statement of the theme is skipped, and the music moves directly to the leaping horn figure from 1:36 [m. 17].  This time, the horn is doubled by the flutes, and a descending scale line is played against it by oboe, bassoon, and low strings.  The figure is also shifted in the meter by half a bar.  The imitation happens as expected, but it is in the cellos and basses, and is altered to a rising third (instead of a fourth), cutting off any further imitation.  Violins and violas enter with off-beat descents that surge forward, rapidly building while the low strings inevitably move to the pervasive triplet (12/8) rhythm.  Trumpets and horns enter fanfare-like on the rising fourth at the top of this buildup.
7:52 [m. 87]--In an almost shocking interruption, the fanfare launches into a passionate, stormy passage in B minor that is based on the rising fourth and the music from 0:12 [m. 3] and 6:24 [m. 70].  This interruption replaces Theme 2, which is entirely absent.  The violins surge forward at double speed (groups of six notes to a beat), while the full brass choir, with trumpets, trombones, and tuba, along with other winds, plays slower chords with a solemn grandeur.  This is the high point of the entire movement.  The violins begin to introduce syncopation as the climax continues.  It is cut off by two sharp chords.
8:20 [m. 92]--Closing Theme.  Brahms marks an unambiguous 12/8 in all instruments for the closing theme.  It is given an introductory bar where the violins follow the cellos, which struggle to shake off the minor key.  The stormy nature of the preceding music is harder to shake off, and a surging timpani roll with horn octaves helps preserve the intensity.  The violins take over in the second bar, making a clear statement of the closing theme melody in the home key of B major.  The winds join in.  At the point where the theme built up in the exposition, the direction is reversed with off-beat leaping descents.  The music recedes, and the rising three-note gesture from the development section is heard in the bassoons and cellos.
8:53 [m. 97]--At the coda, the meter returns to straight 4/4.  After a pause, the strings quietly give one last echo of their preceding descent.  The coda returns to Theme 1, played entirely by the winds.  Flute and oboe present the main tune, while the bassoons play their original rising counterpoint.  The horns, however, add a new pulsing under-beat in the triplet rhythm that has been so inescapable.
9:07 [m. 100]--The strings take over, giving the theme one last transformation to a darker, fragmented version with minor-key hues.  The violas play a line reminiscent of the “closing gestures” while the cellos take over the rising counterpoint.  The timpani now have the triplets, thumping them as the theme makes one last surge.  At the very end, after the music recedes, clarinets and bassoons join before the last chords.  The final chord is played by all instruments except trombones and tuba.
10:03--END OF MOVEMENT [104 mm.]

3rd Movement: Allegretto grazioso (Quasi Andantino) (Combination of Rondo, Scherzo [with two trios] and Variation form—ABA’B’A”).  G MAJOR,  3/4, 2/4, and 3/8 time, with two 9/8 measures.
FIRST SECTION (A), 3/4 time
0:00 [m. 1]--First part (a).  The minuet-like theme is presented by an oboe with accompanying chords from clarinets and bassoons.  There is also a “walking” bass line in arpeggios presented by plucked cellos.  Characteristic of the theme are the lilting grace notes, as well as the triplet-rhythm descents in the fourth and sixth bars.  After a normal eight-bar phrase, the closing two-note descent is repeated an octave higher.  It is then played again at the original level.  The music is basically quiet and gentle.
0:20 [m. 11]--Second part (b).  What sounds like another repetition of the two-note descent in the higher octave is in fact the beginning of the middle segment of this main “scherzo” section.  The oboe melody gains a harmony from the second oboe, largely in sixths.  A horn joins in the accompaniment.  The “walking” plucked cello line continues.  The new melody makes a turn to D minor.
 0:28 [m. 15]--Halfway through the new melody, the flutes enter, and they, with the clarinets, take over the melody from the oboes.  One oboe begins to play a pulsating syncopation.  This second half is extended to twice the expected length.  The clarinets take over the melody entirely, and the extension serves to transition back to the opening melody.  The plucked cellos and a horn playing in syncopation settle on a reiteration of the note D (serving as the “dominant” to move back to G major) before a slight pause.
0:46 [m. 23]--Third part (a’).  The main melody appears to resume, but it is soon varied with alternations between major and minor sounds.  The triplet-rhythm descents are not heard, and the phrase settles into slow “sighing” descents of a third.  The “walking” cello continues.  The material is again passed from the oboes to the flutes and clarinets.  Despite the variation, this third part, like the first, is also ten bars long.
SECOND SECTION (B), 2/4 time - Presto ma non assai
1:07 [m. 33]--First part (a).  Although the meter is changed and the tempo is much faster, the opening passage is almost exactly analogous, both in harmony and melodic outline, to that of the first section.  Thus, this Presto section is as much a variation as it is a new section or “Trio.”  The melody is presented by scurrying strings in harmony with off-beat accents (the cellos now bowed), still without the basses.  At the repetition of the two-note descent (which is embellished to a four-note figure) in the upper octave, the material is passed to the winds.  As in the first section, this figure is then played again (by the strings) at the original level.
1:14 [m. 43]--In an extension to the first part that marks the first deviation from the structure of the “main” opening section, the embellished two-note descent (now the four-note figure) is turned around and now ascends.  It is passed from winds to strings three times before being abbreviated to a two-note leap of a third, which is also passed twice from winds to strings.  The music here moves from G major to C major and greatly builds in volume.
1:20 [m. 51]--Second part (b).  The two-note descent now returns unembellished for an exuberant passage in C major.  The string basses make their first entry, and it is significant, as they pound away at a persistent low C pedal point.  The music resembles a stomping peasant dance.  The two-note descents, which now include a dotted rhythm, alternate with downward leaps of a third.  Four bars of this material alternate twice with a two-bar detached arching line.  All winds and strings play, the horns joining last on the bass pedal.
1:29 [m. 63]--The music suddenly becomes very quiet and the winds drop out.  The detached arching line is now turned upside down and played in a secretive, scurrying manner by the strings, and the basses drop out again.  The character resembles the first part of the section (a).  D minor and E minor are suggested.
1:34 [m. 71]--The “peasant dance” material returns, but it is now in the soft, secretive character.  The basses again play their pedal, but it is quietly plucked.  The horns join the pedal, but no other winds are heard.  The violas continue the scurrying line, and eventually an off-beat C is isolated in the violins.  The music seems to move to E minor.
1:40 [m. 79]--Third part (a’).  The suggestion of the material from the first part is heard in the cellos, but in the violins and violas, it is fragmented into upbeat gestures.  They quickly reach a cadence in E minor.
1:43 [m. 83]--The first Presto melody is heard on its original pitches in the winds, but it is now harmonized in A minor rather than G major.  After four bars, it breaks off, and rapid descents are heard first in the strings, then the winds.  These move back to G.  The wind descent suddenly emerges into the embellished two-note descent.  This in turn smoothly melts into the ascending extension from 1:14 [m. 43], with alternation between winds and strings.  A deft extension helps to reverse the notes originally presented by winds and strings.  The expected return to the “peasant dance” is thwarted by the lack of a buildup.
1:56 [m. 101]--Re-transition.  The entire Presto has been grouped in two-bar units.  Now there are suddenly two groupings of three bars each.  This is to make a metric transition back to the 3/4 Allegretto tempo.  Each bar of the 2/4 is indicated as one single beat of the 3/4, so each three-bar unit is equal to one bar in the coming 3/4.  The figuration is as before in the violins and violas, but plucked cellos and the reduction of the winds to soft chords on oboes, bassoons, and horns also anticipate the return of the main “scherzo” section.
THIRD SECTION (A’), 3/4 time - Tempo primo
2:01 [m. 107]--The metric transition has made for a smooth arrival of the opening theme.  The oboes again take the lead, along with bassoons, but the clarinets are absent.  The harmony, including the “walking” plucked cellos, is A minor rather than G major.  The home key returns as the flutes and horns enter.  Here, the actual theme is interrupted and seems to restart.  The flutes take over the theme with new counterpoint from horn and oboe.  Here, the plucked cellos drop out.
2:16 [m. 114]--On the theme’s fourth bar, which includes the triplet-rhythm descent, the strings, including bowed cellos, take over.  The theme, however, stalls on this bar.  The pattern with the triplet descent is repeated a total of eleven times, building and receding.  On the third statement, it shifts down an octave as the string basses make another entrance.  From the seventh statement, the climax of the buildup and the beginning of the retreat, it is only played by cellos and basses.  Over all of these repetitions, the winds play short melodic gestures with dotted rhythms.  The violins and violas join these from the seventh statement.  The key moves to E minor (related to G major).  After the eleventh statement of the pattern, there is one bar that slows to a full close, turning to E major at the very end.
FOURTH SECTION (B’), 3/8 time - Presto ma non assai
2:46 [m. 126]--This second “Trio” begins with a rushing series of four string descents in the new 3/8 meter, each bar of which seems to echo the long series of repetitions that included triplet descents.  These turn at the end from G major to C major, where a short-long rhythm makes its first appearance for two string bars.
2:49 [m. 132]--The winds (without oboes and horns) take over from the strings, who drop out.  They make a sudden shift to A major and play the short-long rhythm.  The melodic patterns seem strangely familiar, and it soon becomes obvious that this is a transformation of the stomping “peasant” dance heard in 2/4 in the earlier Presto “Trio” section (B).  The 3/8 meter and the skipping short-long rhythm lend it an almost “Celtic” character.  The last two bars suddenly build up
2:56 [m. 144]--At this point, the key has moved from A major to C major, and from here, the “Celtic” 3/8 transformation of the “peasant dance” closely follows the pattern from 1:20 [m. 51].  This loud passage is analogous to the first segment of that material, with the winds joining the strings on the two-bar detached lines.  The correspondence between the bars and their harmonies from the previous section is nearly exact.
3:03 [m. 156]--Suddenly quiet, detached scurrying music analogous to 1:29 [m. 63].  It is, of course, altered to the 3/8 meter, and it is played by clarinets and bassoons rather than strings.  The suggestions of D minor and E minor are preserved.
3:07 [m. 164]--This follows the secretive string presentation of the dance material from 1:34 [m. 71], with plucked basses.  There are no horns.  The isolated off-beat C, now on the second beat of the 3/8 bar, is syncopated.  The apparent motion to E minor is preserved.
3:11 [m. 172]--Following the pattern at 1:40 [m. 79], the quiet upbeat gestures in the strings and suggestion of the main Presto material (now heard for the first time in 3/8) reach a cadence in E minor.
3:13 [m. 176]--The passage follows 1:43 [m. 83], with the wind statement of the transformed Presto melody in A minor.  The two rapid descents are heard, but both are in the strings.  The second is a simple repetition with a new initial harmony; it does not emerge into the two-note descent.  The pattern is thus abbreviated, without the ascending extension, and the re-transition follows the two descents directly.
3:20 [m. 188]--Re-transition.  The grouping into three “bars” is retained for the transition back to 3/4, but instead of six 3/8 bars, it is notated as two 9/8 bars.  They continue the rapid descents, but the winds make hints at the main Allegretto melody.  The key appears to move to B major instead of the expected G. 
3:24 [m. 190]--Because the 3/8 bars will naturally be slightly faster than the 2/4 bars of B, some additional re-transition is needed to reach the original Allegretto speed in 3/4.  The 3/4 meter arrives here, but these four bars are still transitional, continuing the descents.  The music actually slows down here rather than simply making a metrical shift.  The wind hints at the melody are suddenly diverted into a harmonious cadence gesture in thirds.  The strings climb upward, and the music moves beyond B to F-sharp major.
FIFTH SECTION (A”), 3/4 time - Tempo primo
3:32 [m. 194]--First part (a).  The main theme is played in nearly its original form (at first), but it is in the strings instead of the winds, and is very much in the wrong key, F-sharp major.  The cello still plays the plucked walking line.  The second half of the phrase makes a harmonic motion back to B major, a turn not heard in the original theme.  The basses also make a new tentative plucked entrance here where they had been entirely absent.  The closing two-note gesture is suddenly turned upside down so that it now ascends.  The resulting melody in this second part of the phrase is vaguely reminiscent in contour (and certainly in key) to the main theme of the second movement!
3:48 [m. 202]--The “echo” effects from the theme are expanded.  First, winds (oboe, clarinets, bassoon) play the two-note gesture in its original descending form.  Then the strings repeat it in the inverted ascending form.  The winds add a new third “echo,” also in the descending form.  Finally, the strings play a new two-bar extension that transforms the two-note gesture into the opening three-note turn from the first movement.  Brahms thus recalls both previous movements in the space of a few bars.  This last extension finally moves the music home to G major.
3:58 [m. 207]--Second part (b).  This now presents the material of 0:20 [m. 11], but it is rescored for strings instead of oboes.  The bassoons and horn retain their original line, as do the plucked cellos, and the basses continue to participate where they had not done so before.
4:05 [m. 211]--The passage from 0:28 [m. 15] is also subtly rescored.  The flutes and clarinets take over the melody as they had before, but now it is the clarinets rather than the flutes who drop out.  The flutes continue the melody, doubled by the oboes.  The pulsating syncopation is transferred from the oboe to the violins.  The horn syncopation in the re-transition is transferred to violas.  Finally, oboe rather than clarinet leads into the return of the main theme.  The same pause is heard before the return.
4:23 [m. 219]--Third part (a’).  The first six bars follow 0:46 [m. 23] exactly, including scoring.
4:36 [m. 225]--The four last bars of the return, which had been taken by the “sighing” descents, emerge into a new and sustained melody in the strings.  Violins and violas play it in unison over the continuing plucked cellos and basses and under long wind chords.  This new melody, which emerges in G minor, is a strangely melancholy digression in a mostly lighthearted movement.  The winds respond with another phrase that is highly chromatic, with half-step motion.  Flutes descend while the other winds ascend.  Except for sustained cellos, who suddenly take up their bows for these long notes, the strings drop out.
4:53 [m. 233]--The main melody makes a hesitant final return as the major mode re-emerges.  It is in its familiar instrument, the oboe, with bassoons and clarinets, but the cello accompaniment is now a winding bowed line that is passed to the violas and back.  The melody is arrested in its third bar by a strangely dissonant wind chord (a “half-diminished seventh”) that is sustained a bar and then held even further by a fermata sign when the strings join in.
5:08 [m. 237]--The sustained chord is finally dispelled by a genteel closing cadence in the strings that now seems almost incongruous.  The winds enter with chords in the short-long rhythm of the two-note descent.  They are cut off with a plucked reiteration from the strings.
5:25--END OF MOVEMENT [240 mm.]

4th Movement: Allegro con spirito (Sonata-Allegro form).  D MAJOR, Cut time [2/2].
0:00 [m. 1]--Theme 1.  The entry is supported by a soft brass support, but then the strings continue.  The presentation is quiet and secretive, marked sotto voce.  Although broken by a rest after the first note, the first three notes are the same as those that opened the first movement, the downward turn.  The continuation moves as far down as the fourth below, echoing the downward leap in that opening figure from the first movement.  The unison strings continue for two bars, then break into harmony on the continuation.  The theme meanders, then devolves into a pattern of descending fourths before slipping to a half-cadence.
0:10 [m. 9]--The theme continues with a new phrase that develops the pattern of descending fourths.  It includes a distinctive turn after each set of descents.  A bassoon joins the strings for this phrase, and the low strings move to a brief low drone.  After two sets of descents, the other winds enter with their own descents against continuing string counterpoint.  The harmony moves to distant regions, and the theme actually recedes even more.  The winds drop out after their brief participation, and the strings wind down in a similar manner to 0:43 and 6:02 [m. 24] in the first movement.  They completely fade away into silence.
0:28 [m. 23]--After winding down to nothing on an unstable “diminished seventh” chord, the full orchestra, complete with thundering timpani, suddenly wakes up with an enormous outburst.  The outburst, while joyous, is unsettling because it begins just off the beat.  The huge arpeggio, with violins moving down and low strings moving up, with chords from brass and winds, moves directly into a statement of the theme’s opening at a grand and full level, in stark contrast to its first presentation.  The first gesture is given an extra, decorated statement, and the theme reaches higher so that the descending fourths are at a higher level.
0:39 [m. 32]--New material is inserted into the theme.  The insertion begins with six repeated statements of a heavily accented figure based on the “turning” figures from the theme.  These work steadily higher, with several intruding chromatic notes, until the sixth statement plunges downward.  This leads to four more bars of similar downward plunging figures, all very loud and given strong accents with winds, brass, and timpani.  Finally, an arpeggio moves further downward and turns back around.
0:53 [m. 44]--The continuation from 0:10 [m. 9] now returns in greatly altered form.  The descending fourths are now extremely exuberant and separated by brass and drum punctuations while the second violins and violas continue with faster motion.  It is greatly expanded and varied, eventually adding a hammering repetition before the descent.  The “turning” figures then take over and the music builds even more, reaching an intense and unsettled climax with eight repetitions of the same turning figures with syncopated brass and wind chords along with timpani rolls.
1:12 [m. 60]--Transition.  Suddenly the violins, brass, and most winds drop out.  A clarinet begins a descending line that rapidly moves to F major, the suggested harmony of the “distant regions” heard at 0:10 [m. 9].  The low strings rapidly diminish.  They continue the turning figures under the clarinet line, which continues by rapidly arching up and back down. 
1:18 [m. 66]--The flute takes over the clarinet descent.  This flute statement and an oboe statement that follows shift to D minor, the home minor key, which is the closely related “relative” minor key to the previous F major.  The volume winds down again, and a slower arching arpeggio from plucked strings under soft wind chords leads to the “dominant” key of A major for the second theme.
1:33 [m. 78]--Theme 2.  It is an extremely warm and soulful tune with broad lines at a moderate volume.  Brahms even marks it largamente.  The opening of the theme turns the beginning figure of the movement (and the first movement) upside down after repeating the first note.  The first violins present it in their lower register while the other strings provide counterpoint derived from the “turning” figures of Theme 1.  The theme builds, reaches higher, and approaches a cadence (A major).
1:44 [m. 86]--The winds take over the theme in a harmonized restatement at the half-cadence.  The strings continue with more prominent lines including the “turning” figures, which now make wide octave leaps.  The last two bars of the restatement are redirected and lead to a four-bar expansion in which the violins join the main line with the winds.  The extension builds greatly and leads to a half-close.
2:01 [m. 98]--The strings suddenly emerge into a heavily accented descending scale with a slow tremolo effect.  The accents are on weak beats.  This scale moves to the minor key (still based on A).  The winds also play the scale.  These wind instruments then break into rapid arching figures against forceful two-note upbeat figures in the strings and horns.  The figures continue with the violins now playing the arching lines while everyone else plays the two-note upbeats.  The music here moves back to A major.
2:12 [m. 106]--A similar descending scale with weak beat accents and slow tremolo begins the transition to the closing material of the exposition.  It also hints at a minor key (B minor), but is harmonized.  This continues with yet more accented descents from the winds, the violins and violas following each note with off-beat chords.  As a climax approaches, the winds move off the beat as well so that only low strings play on the beat, creating strong syncopation.  There is a strong confirmation of the A-major key here.
2:22 [m. 114]--Closing Material.  A strong arrival brings back material from Theme 1, primarily the “turning” figures.  They are played by violins and flutes, with strong interjections from brass and timpani along with long chords in winds and low strings.  The mood is extraordinarily festive and excited.  After four bars, horns and winds emerge with an extremely prominent and exuberant descending line.  Suddenly, this breaks off, and a series of string descents tries to regain momentum, but is sharply cut off.
2:32 [m. 122]--The music is suddenly hushed.  Brass and low strings drop out.  The violins and violas play plucked broken chords while flutes and clarinets play a sort of “interruption,” a series of meandering turning figures and scales harmonized in thirds.  Following a long descent, the flutes and clarinets separate.  Bassoons join the former and oboes the latter, and the groups play in alternation, still over plucked strings.  This also culminates in a long descent.  All four pairs of wind instruments play in pleasing thirds.
2:41 [m. 130]--The running figures in thirds now begin a strong buildup in flowing stepwise motion that continually arches up and down.  Clarinets and bassoons (a new pairing) begin.  They are then joined by flutes and oboes.  Finally, the strings take their bows and take over with a series of rapidly building ascents.  At that point, the winds take over the detached slower figures from the plucked strings.  The final ascent is in a rapid triplet rhythm that suddenly breaks off.  The next bar starts with a general pause, and all winds and strings play a series of four syncopated cadence gestures leading to the last strong arrival on A major.
2:57 [m. 142]--Transition to Development.  The strong cadence merges into clipped figures in a skipping short-long rhythm.  These are played by the strings with supporting wind chords.  Trumpets and timpani enter as well.  They remain in A major, but seem to threaten a departure.
3:05 [m. 149]--The clipped short-long figures are suddenly hushed.  Winds and brass drop out and activity starts to settle down.  The music moves away from A major back toward the home key of D.  The strings fade away as oboes and clarinets, and later flutes play the last short-long figures, which are very quiet and subdued.  These lead smoothly back to D and merge directly into the development section, whose beginning is the same as the opening of the movement, complete with the soft brass support on the first beat.
3:14 [m. 155]--First section.  The first four bars are an exact repetition of the movement’s opening, but after that, the strings move in a different direction and alternate a series of overlapping three-note figures with various groups of wind instruments.  The strings consistently avoid playing on the downbeat of each bar here, leaving that to the wind groups, who begin their groups on the last beat of each bar.  The music remains hushed.  At the same time, the harmony moves away from D major to darker minor-key areas, first to E minor and then to F-sharp minor, where the winds drop out and the strings come to a half-cadence.
3:34 [m. 170]--Winds and strings begin a variant of Theme 1 in F-sharp minor that nearly turns it upside-down.  The upper strings then break into short, light figures while the cellos, then winds restate the last portion of the variant.  The winds then sequence these notes upward twice, still alternating with the cellos, who seem to propel the winds upward.  The harmony also shifts a level, to C-sharp minor.  After the last statement of these notes, the winds continue to develop the material of Theme 1 in C-sharp minor, moving directly into the “turning” figures.  Finally, the strings hint at the opening figure as the winds reach a poignant cadence in C-sharp minor.
3:53 [m. 184]--Theme 1’s second phrase, first heard at 0:10 [m. 9], is given a new and powerful statement in C-sharp minor  There are heavy accents on weak beats.  Most winds and all strings punctuate these weak beats.  Right before an expected cadence, Brahms veers away and heads toward B minor.
4:00 [m. 189]--The variant of the same phrase from 0:53 [m. 44] is heard in B minor.  There are horn and trumpet punctuations.  It is again strong and powerful.  The phrase continues with the “hammering repetitions.”  It departs from the pattern when the “turning figures” are reached, going a new direction, but preserving the great buildup and climax associated with this version of the phrase.  The “turning” figures emerge in cross groupings that extend over bar lines  The heavily chromatic motion leads eventually back to F-sharp, but it is now the major-key version.  When the climax is reached, the strings, initially with wind chord support, make a strong descent with heavy syncopation.
4:23 [m. 206]--Second section.  Overlapping with the previous descent, the winds (without oboes) enter with a highly varied version of Theme 1’s opening in F-sharp major.  It is suddenly quiet, marked “Tranquillo,” and played in a smooth, leisurely triplet rhythm.  The string basses drop out for a long stretch here.  The winds alternate presentation with the strings.  After one alternation, the winds reach a cadence.
4:29 [m. 210]--Another alternation of the “tranquillo” triplet material in F-sharp begins, this time starting with the strings.  After the winds play, the strings begin to move to a cadence, but Brahms re-notates F-sharp major as G-flat major and a change of key follows to the flat side, B-flat minor.  The strings make a suddenly melancholy descent as the new key arrives.
4:37 [m. 214]--An oboe, left out of the wind statements of the triplets, now almost sneaks in to play the second phrase with the descending fourths in B-flat minor.  It is given syncopated support by a horn, and the strings play isolated upbeat figures such as those heard around 2:01 [m. 98].  The mood is still tranquil and quiet.  After the oboe statement, the material is passed to a clarinet, which is joined by a flute, then a bassoon.  This statement is extended and winds downward to another arrival on B-flat.
4:49 [m. 221]--As the winds arrive on B-flat, the violins enter and they, along with clarinets and bassoons, pivot sharply from B-flat minor back to the previous F-sharp major, where the triplet music begins again, marked “sempre più tranquillo.”  This time, there are no wind-string alternations, but the material is used to begin a long motion toward the preparatory “dominant,” A major.  The instruments fluidly pass the material between each other, and eventually the flutes and oboes join in.  At a very quiet level, the triplets break off, and a slow descent veers unexpectedly from A major to C major.
5:17 [m. 234]--Re-transition.  The music suddenly becomes extremely hushed and mysterious.  The string basses make their first entrance after a long absence.  Also, the trombones and tuba make their first entrance in the movement.  Flute, oboe, clarinet and trombones state a transformed version of the second phrase, the descending fourths.  The notes are twice as long as in previous statements.  The violins begin a shimmering tremolo under this.  The first statement is over a long-held C.  A second statement begins on D.  As the bass moves to A, flute and strings come together on a winding descent over brass octaves and a timpani roll.  The key is not D major, but D minor.  If fades away, merging into the quiet beginning of the recapitulation.  (The entire passage has similarities to the opening of Mahler’s First Symphony, composed ten years later.)
5:39 [m. 244]--The preparation of the re-transition for the soft opening is masterful, and it arrives as expected, with the initial brass support.  Although quiet, the sudden arrival of D major after the D minor in the previous descent is extremely refreshing.  The first phrase is as at the beginning to the half-cadence.
5:49 [m. 252]--The second phrase is completely transformed.  The descending fourths are inverted, and now shoot upward.  They begin in the lower strings.  Winds and violins enter above them with rising octaves, then take over the rising fourths while the low strings continue in counterpoint on the “turning figures.”  The continuation moves more forcefully to A major, but as the music slows for the final descent, it turns back to D, avoiding the distant harmonic regions and using the “diminished seventh” chords as a means instead of an end.  The last two chords are isolated in the strings, and an expectant pause follows.
6:04 [m. 264]--The radiant outburst with brass and timpani is analogous to that at 0:28 [m. 23].  The direction of the lead-in arpeggio beginning off the beat is reversed.  The outburst itself is varied, first with wind commentary on the opening figures, then with churning strings continuing the outline of the theme while moving entirely in half-steps.  The continuation is expanded by two bars from the exposition presentation by adding bars of “breath” with the churning strings between the soaring wind and horn figures.  The strings intersperse arpeggios with the chromatic half-step motion.
6:17 [m. 275]--This passage begins like 0:39 [m. 32], but it is much abbreviated, and trombones are added.  The second heavily accented turn figure already deviates, and the number of these figures is reduced to three.  A fourth is aborted by a premature “plunging” descent which then slows to a triplet rhythm in the strings and leads directly into Theme 2, omitting the exuberant continuation and transition.
6:25 [m. 281]--Theme 2, in the home key of D major.  The pattern remains otherwise close to 1:33 [m. 78] except for the presence of long-held syncopated horn notes in support.  The violas also add a new line of harmony that makes the theme seem richer and fuller than before.
6:37 [m. 289]--The wind restatement is essentially analogous to 1:44 [m. 86], with some changes.  The oboes, who were absent for the first portion of this music in the exposition, now replace the clarinets, who remain silent for quite some time.  The violins also join on the main line with the winds two bars earlier.  The powerful buildup remains.
6:53 [m. 301]--This passage remains very close to 2:01 [m. 98].  The scale with tremolo effects is obviously now in D minor.  The arching figures and two-note upbeat gestures are scored as before.
7:03 [m. 309]--Other than key, this is nearly exactly analogous to 2:12 [m. 106].  The harmonized minor-key hint is now at E minor.  The climax, with off-beat chords and syncopation, closely follows the exposition and strongly confirms D major.
7:14 [m. 317]--Closing material.  It is closely analogous to 2:22 [m. 114], including scoring and the festive, celebratory mood.
7:25 [m. 325]--The hushed “interruption” with wind runs in thirds and plucked string broken chords remains close to 2:32 [m. 122].  When the other winds join the flutes and clarinets, the pairing on the alternation is different.  Now flutes and clarinets remain together and oboes are joined with bassoons.
7:33 [m. 333]--The buildup is analogous to 2:41 [m. 130].  The runs begin with flutes and clarinets rather than clarinets and bassoons.  The string ascents and the forceful syncopated cadence gestures follow.  Here, the horns are given a larger role than in the exposition.
7:49 [m. 345]--The transitional passage with short-long rhythms begins as at 2:57 [m. 142], but since there does not need to be a motion to a new key, that is avoided, and instead the figures turn to the home minor key.  The brass are thinned, but the strings and winds continue to build.  The passage is extended by two bars, ending with a plunging arpeggio, and the soft continuation from 3:05 [m. 149] is omitted.
7:59 [m. 353]--The trombones and tuba make a solid entrance, and the strings begin to pass measured tremolo effects among themselves.  The music quickly recedes to a quiet level.  The trombones and tuba, along with bassoons, begin a harmonized variation of Theme 2 that exploits its opening syncopation, extending it to cross over bar lines.  D minor remains in force.  After one bar, the upper winds enter in near-imitation on this highly syncopated version of Theme 2, also in full harmony.  The music briefly swells.
8:06 [m. 358]--Overlapping the completion of the upper wind statement, the low brass and bassoons begin the process again, now a step higher, on C major.  They are once again at a quiet level.  Again, the upper winds enter in near imitation after one bar and the strings continue their tremolo arpeggios passed among themselves.  As before, the music swells, but this time it does not recede again. 
8:12 [m. 363]--The full orchestra now takes over the highly syncopated Theme 2 variant, still a step higher, in B-flat major.  There is now no near-imitation, and all instruments basically play together.  There are two statements, each a bar shorter than the ones at 7:59 [m. 353] and 8:06 [m. 358].  The music is now at full volume. 
8:23 [m. 371]--Suddenly, the strings break off this Theme 2 material with a descending arpeggio that seems as if it is going to move away from B-flat, transforming the chord into an “augmented sixth” that would lead back home to D.  This arpeggio is stated three times.  The second time is after a rest on the downbeat.  The third time, it is an octave lower and with notes twice as long, again after a rest on the downbeat.  These descents are supported by forceful wind and brass chords as well as timpani.
8:29 [m. 375]--The implied motion from B-flat back to D does not happen as expected, and instead just seems to come to a stop.  At this point, an unexpected return, that of the flowing “tranquillo” triplets from the development section at 4:23 [m. 206], serves to start the momentum again.  This time, they are underpinned by an unmistakable statement of Theme 2’s opening in the low strings and bassoons.  Both elements imply a motion back to D major.  The bass statements remain anchored while the triplets steadily move up and gradually build over four bass statements.  At the third, the timpani and higher winds enter.
8:39 [m. 383]--The Theme 2 material in the bass breaks its pattern, and the triplets, which had been followed by an arching syncopation, now completely give way to that syncopation as Brahms begins to make the dramatic buildup to his grand closing.
8:43 [m. 387]--A very noble version of Theme 1 begins in D minor, with powerful brass and strong supporting chords.  The gestures are broken by these chords twice before breaking into a continuously rising and building sequence of “turning” gestures. In the buildup, minor gradually gives way to major.
8:55 [m. 397]--The strings move from the “turning” gestures to a steady trill-like alternation.  Low strings, trombones, tuba, bassoons, and clarinets begin a thrilling sequence of powerful descending scales against rich trumpet and horn chords.  These scales are finally taken by the higher winds and violins over a timpani roll, the violins slightly displacing their descent with repeated notes and mild syncopation.
9:04 [m. 405]--The final windup is a series of arching scales in the strings with powerful repeated notes in horns and trumpets over thumping timpani.  These are stated twice, the second time a step higher.  Each statement is followed by an arresting pause that seems as if Brahms is slamming on the brakes--perhaps a symbol of the many meaningful silences and pauses throughout the symphony.  The scales resume in the low strings under a thundering timpani roll and brilliant octaves in horns and trumpets, supported by tremolo violins.
9:17 [m. 417]--The arrival point is marked by a boisterous return of Theme 2’s opening, first in horns and trumpets, which are powerfully joined in a second statement by trombones, tuba, and higher winds.  Turning figures derived from Theme 2 are then heard in all winds over another timpani roll.  All occurs over shimmering violin tremolo motion, the low strings and bassoons anchoring everything.  Finally, four short D-major chords are played as the trombones hold a blazingly bright chord.  The trombones cut off the chord on the third and fourth short blasts.  The symphony then ends with a final long chord in all instruments.
9:43--END OF MOVEMENT [429 mm.]