1: Adagio – Allegro Moderato – Poco Adagio
The first movement opens with a slow introduction in C minor, which begins quietly and mysteriously, underscored by the looming ominous series of plucked notes in cello and basses. The subsequent primary theme grows increasingly agitated and urgent, interspersed with brief sonorous lyrical motifs. The chromatic resolution into the new key of D flat major marks the quiet entry of the organ and the beginning of the Poco adagio section of the movement. Its quiet serenity comes from the strings’ plainsong melody and the organ’s counterpoint, which becomes more expansive as the woodwinds are gradually included. The dialogue between the organ and the strings recalls the primary theme of the movement before the recapitulation, bringing back the former quiet, darker and troubling melodies. The music dies away towards the end of the movement.
2: Allegro Moderato – Presto – Maestoso – Allegro
The second movement opens with an energetic string theme which later reappears in the Presto section of the movement, complete with very rapid virtuosic passages in the piano. The Maestoso is introduced by a full C major chord in the organ and the beginning of the accented contrapuntal passage, first in strings, then in woodwinds and brass. Rapid piano four-hands is heard at the beginning with the strings’ statement of the chorale, leading to a resolute declamation of the same chorale by the strings and the organ and brass fanfare echoes. What follows a polyphonic fugal passage and brief pastoral interlude is the climax of the symphony, at which the return of the primary theme and its variations culminate in triumphant C major.