This Andante movement in classical style starts with a melancholic main theme in c-minor with the Oboe which develops to a kind of funeral march. A first lovely (my favourite part) and then conflictous middle part follows. At the end the theme turns to a friendly C-Major.
I liked a lot of the melodic and dialogue work in this;
and the shift toward major at the end worked nicely.
I've run into that same timpani gunning myself, by
the way... in notation, I'll generally hairpin some
dynamics around it to alleviate it somewhat, though
hand-notating the part (rather than using stock
tremolo expressions) is often necessary.