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    Symphony No. 5 (Beethoven)

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    Symphony No. 5 (Beethoven)

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    "Beethoven's Fifth" redirects here. For the movie, see Beethoven's 5th (film). For Beethoven's 5th piano concerto, see Piano Concerto No. 5 (Beethoven).

    Symphony in C minor No. 5

    by Ludwig van Beethoven

    Cover of the symphony, with the dedication to Prince J. F. M. Lobkowitz and Count Rasumovsky

    Key C minor Opus Op. 67 Form Symphony Composed 1804–1808 Dedication J. F. M. Lobkowitz Andreas Razumovsky

    Duration About 30–40 minutes

    Movements Four Scoring Orchestra Premiere

    Date 22 December 1808

    Location Theater an der Wien, Vienna

    Conductor Ludwig van Beethoven

    The Symphony No. 5 in C minor of Ludwig van Beethoven, Op. 67, was written between 1804 and 1808. It is one of the best-known compositions in classical music and one of the most frequently played symphonies,[1] and it is widely considered one of the cornerstones of western music. First performed in Vienna's Theater an der Wien in 1808, the work achieved its prodigious reputation soon afterward. E. T. A. Hoffmann described the symphony as "one of the most important works of the time". As is typical of symphonies during the Classical period, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony has four movements.

    It begins with a distinctive four-note "short-short-short-long" motif:


    The symphony, and the four-note opening motif in particular, are known worldwide, with the motif appearing frequently in popular culture, from disco versions to rock and roll covers, to uses in film and television.

    Like Beethoven's Eroica (heroic) and Pastorale (rural), Symphony No. 5 was given an explicit name besides the numbering, though not by Beethoven himself. It became popular under "Schicksals-Sinfonie" (Fate Symphony), and the famous five bar theme was called the "Schicksals-Motiv" (Fate Motif). This name is also used in translations.


    1 History 1.1 Development 1.2 Premiere

    1.3 Reception and influence

    2 Instrumentation 3 Form

    3.1 I. Allegro con brio

    3.2 II. Andante con moto

    3.3 III. Scherzo: Allegro

    3.4 IV. Allegro 4 Influences 5 Lore 5.1 Fate motif

    5.2 Beethoven's choice of key

    5.3 Repetition of the opening motif throughout the symphony

    5.4 Use of La Folia

    5.5 Trombones and piccolos

    6 Textual questions

    6.1 Third movement repeat

    6.2 Reassigning bassoon notes to the horns

    7 Editions

    8 Cover versions and other uses in popular culture

    9 Notes and references

    10 Further reading 11 External links 11.1 Scores



    Beethoven in 1804, the year he began work on the Fifth Symphony; detail of a portrait by W. J. Mähler

    The Fifth Symphony had a long development process, as Beethoven worked out the musical ideas for the work. The first "sketches" (rough drafts of melodies and other musical ideas) date from 1804 following the completion of the Third Symphony.[2] Beethoven repeatedly interrupted his work on the Fifth to prepare other compositions, including the first version of , the piano sonata, the three string quartets, the Violin Concerto, the Fourth Piano Concerto, the Fourth Symphony, and the Mass in C. The final preparation of the Fifth Symphony, which took place in 1807–1808, was carried out in parallel with the Sixth Symphony, which premiered at the same concert.

    Beethoven was in his mid-thirties during this time; his personal life was troubled by increasing deafness.[3] In the world at large, the period was marked by the Napoleonic Wars, political turmoil in Austria, and the occupation of Vienna by Napoleon's troops in 1805. The symphony was written at his lodgings at the Pasqualati House in Vienna. The final movement quotes from a revolutionary song by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.


    Main article: Beethoven concert of 22 December 1808

    The Fifth Symphony was premiered on 22 December 1808 at a mammoth concert at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna consisting entirely of Beethoven premieres, and directed by Beethoven himself on the conductor's podium.[4] The concert lasted for more than four hours. The two symphonies appeared on the programme in reverse order: the Sixth was played first, and the Fifth appeared in the second half.[5] The programme was as follows:

    The Sixth Symphony Aria: , Op. 65

    The Gloria movement of the Mass in C major

    The Fourth Piano Concerto (played by Beethoven himself)

    The Fifth Symphony

    The Sanctus and Benedictus movements of the C major Mass

    A solo piano improvisation played by Beethoven

    The Choral Fantasy

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

    Beethoven's Famous 4 Notes: Truly Revolutionary Music : Deceptive Cadence : NPR

    Conductor John Eliot Gardiner and author Matthew Guerrieri explain the incredible resonances, past and present, behind one of the most famous phrases in music: the start to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

    Deceptive Cadence


    Beethoven's Famous 4 Notes: Truly Revolutionary Music

    November 19, 20125:11 PM ET

    Heard on All Things Considered

    NPR STAFF 12-Minute Listen

    An autographed portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven.

    Hulton Archive/Getty Images

    A new book, a new recording and some old instruments, all addressing the most memorable phrase in music: the opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

    Matthew Guerrieri has written a book about this symphony, called The First Four Notes: Beethoven's Fifth and the Human Imagination. Guerrieri writes about how Beethoven's piece resonated with everyone from revolutionaries to Romantics, and German nationalists to anti-German resistance fighters.

    So many people have found so much meaning in just those first four notes. But Guerrieri says that we really don't know all that much of what Beethoven meant by them.

    "The most common story that is told is that Beethoven allegedly said that the opening of the symphony was supposedly symbolizing fate knocking at the door. And this is probably an invention of his biographer, although we can't really tell," Guerrieri tells NPR's Robert Siegel. "The other story going around at the time that Beethoven wrote it was that he had gotten the opening motif from the song of a bird. And that story just sort of fell away as the fate symbolism took over. But in Beethoven's time, and to Beethoven, that actually would have been a fairly noble way of getting a musical idea."

    Sponsor Message

    A Romantic 'Bombshell,' Delivered By Beethoven's Fifth

    In his book, Guerrieri writes:

    "The Romantic era [of the early 19th century] never really ended ... Every time a singer-songwriter is praised for projecting autobiographical authenticity, every time a movie star expresses the desire for a project that is 'more personal,' every time a flop is subsequently recategorized as a before-its-time masterpiece, all these are reverberations of the bombshell of Romanticism. And one of its pre-eminent delivery systems was Beethoven's Fifth."

    The First Four Notes

    Beethoven's Fifth And The Human Imagination

    by Matthew Guerrieri

    Hardcover, 304 pages


    The author adds: "I think that the Romantic era is another thing that we just sort of take for granted, because they've kind of always been there for us. But it's amazing how many of these ideas were new around the time that Beethoven was writing music. The whole idea that music picks up where language leaves off — which is pretty much a cliche nowadays — that was a very specific Romantic idea, and it's one that lasted. Also, the idea that the artist is somehow more privileged in accessing these things beyond language, in accessing the sublime, in accessing glimpses of the divine, however you want to characterize it. A lot of the ideas we use to talk about music are these ideas."

    And how to play those four notes? "The two things that have been argued about more than any other technical aspect of the opening are the tempo and the fermata that Beethoven stuck in the opening," says Guerrieri. "A fermata is an indefinite hold — the conductor can hold onto a note as long as he wants."

    Holding On And Letting Fly: The Tempo

    The question of tempo relates back to an interesting story Guerrieri tells in his book. The metronome was an invention of Beethoven's day; he didn't have access to it when he was writing his early symphonies. But later, he came into contact with it and loved the device. "He immediately buys one and sits down and starts going back over all his old scores and putting in metronome markings," Guerrieri says. "And he picked a tempo for the Fifth Symphony that even today sounds really, astonishingly fast."

    The setting he chose was 108 beats per minute — so fast, so hard to play, Guerrieri says, that people have been theorizing for centuries about why Beethoven might have mismarked his own symphony. A broken metronome? Advancing deafness? Nobody knows.

    Dah-Dah-Dah-Duh For 'Victory'

    Here's one other story Guerrieri writes about those first four notes: In World War II, the anti-German resistance in occupied Belgium needed a simple graffiti symbol. A Belgian came up with the letter "V." It stood equally for victoire — "victory" in French — and Vrijheid, or "freedom," in Flemish. "Once that 'V' idea got back to the BBC and they wanted to start using it in their overseas broadcasts," says Guerrieri, "it was at the BBC that they had the idea of combining it with the Morse code for 'V': three short and one long. Somebody at the BBC realized that matches Beethoven's Fifth. So they could start using that as a little tag to symbolize that [something] was going to be a pro-Ally, propaganda broadcast from the BBC."

    A Less Homogenized Fifth


    Carnegie Hall Live: Gardiner Leads Beethoven's Missa Solemnis

    There's a new recording available of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 by John Eliot Gardiner's Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique — the Revolutionary and Romantic Orchestra, or the ORR. They play what Gardiner calls "transitional" instruments: They're not baroque, but not modern. The strings are gut; the bows curve inward. "The primary expression comes from the bow — with the right hand, not with the left hand," the conductor explains. The horns are valveless: "It's got a much rawer and a much more mellow sound than the modern horn, I think," he adds. The woodwinds "have a specific timbre which distinguishes one instrument — a flute from a clarinet, and an oboe from a bassoon — more differentiated than you'll find in a modern symphony orchestra." The timpani are played with hard wooden sticks on calfskin heads, "so there's a much more percussive edge than the plump, plusher sounds of the symphony timpani."

    Source : www.npr.org

    Beethoven′s Fifth Symphony: The truth about the ′symphony of fate′

    The beginning of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is known the world over, yet the opening motif is only four notes long. Music researchers have long wondered — is fate really knocking on the door at the start of this piece?


    Beethoven's Fifth Symphony: The truth about the 'symphony of fate'

    The beginning of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is known the world over, yet the opening motif is only four notes long. Music researchers have long wondered — is fate really knocking on the door at the start of this piece?

    Da-Da-Da-DUM — hardly any succession of notes is as famous around the world as the one at the beginning of Ludwig van Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

    If Beethoven had been alive today, he would have become rich through royalties alone: mobile phone ringtones, musical arrangements of all styles, prints of his music on bags, cups and umbrellas. Not to mention the proceeds from the right to perform his works. For instance, at this year's Beethovenfest in Bonn, the composer's Fifth Symphony can be heard in both its original and in modern arrangements.

    Read more: Beethovenfest kicks off in Bonn with quietly dramatic opening

    Why a symphony of destiny?

    The Symphony No. 5 in C minor from 1808 has gone down in music history as the Symphony of Fate. It is a central work for the Beethovenfest, which this year has as its motto "Fate." The fact that the symphony bears this epithet is above all due to Beethoven's secretary and biographer, Anton Schindler. When he asked Beethoven about the opening motif of the Fifth Symphony, the composer is said to have replied: "This is the sound of fate knocking at the door."

    For Jens Dufner, research assistant at the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, this concept of fate is problematic: "Anton Schindler was a shady figure," said Dufner. Although he was indeed a contemporary of the time who should generally be taken seriously, Dufner thinks Schindler presented his relationship to Beethoven in a different way than it really was. "Over the course of the years, he made ever greater attempts to portray his closeness to Beethoven and to embellish more and more things."

    Nine years before the publication of the famous quote, Schindler had written an article about Beethoven's Fifth and his own listening experience, in which he said it felt this music was about the struggle of a hero with fate. "The alleged Beethoven quote comes much later," said Dufner. "That makes us suspicious." Musicologist Michael Stuck-Schloen suspects Beethoven — even if the quote really came from him — only wanted to get rid of his intrusive biographer with this short answer.

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    Beethoven in Bonn

    Beethoven's own fate: Deafness

    What's certain is that the symphony was written at a time when Beethoven was already hard of hearing and suffering from tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. His condition began in 1798, and it took 16 years until he was completely deaf. During treatment at a health resort in Heiligenstadt in 1802, he wrote in his will: "There is little holding me back from ending my own life. It is only art that is keeping me going."

    According to researcher Jens Dufner, Beethoven contemporary Anton Felix Schindler was a 'shady figure'

    Even though at the time there were sketches of notes that were later used in the Fifth Symphony, Beethoven did not begin writing the work until much later, said Dufner. There is no evidence that the Heiligenstadt crisis had any influence on the symphony.

    Jan Caeyers, a Belgian music historian, conductor and Beethoven biographer, describes how the composer had to completely change his life at that time. His career as a pianist ended with his deafness. This prompted him all the more to want to go down in history as a great composer and write music for eternity.

    "This is where a phase in his life ends, and where a very great Beethoven begins," Caeyers told DW. "Without noticing, Beethoven developed a new orchestral language, went beyond the normal scope of the symphony, expanded the compositions, and his orchestral sound gained greater depth and intensity," he said. Beethoven wrote to a friend: "I want to grasp fate at the throat — it shouldn't bring me down completely."

    Influence of the French Revolution

    The image of a lonely person sitting there composing for himself is not true in Beethoven's case — at least not at a young age. He was interested in literature and philosophy, and above all, in politics. He was enthusiastic about the French Revolution and shared its ideals of freedom, equality and brotherhood. Beethoven often incorporated rhythms and motifs from French revolutionary music in his works — including, most likely, the four notes in the opening motif of his Fifth Symphony.

    French conductor Francois-Xavier Roth and his orchestra Les Siecles interpret the symphony as a "revolutionary" work. "The wind, the storm that blows through this work, really comes from these new philosophical aspects of the French Revolution and explodes in the finale," Roth said. In France, Beethoven's exciting Fifth Symphony with its explosive ending in C major is not described as a "symphony of fate," but as a "chant de victoire" — a victory anthem or triumphal march.

    Read more: Beethovenfest: Composers, their fates, their music

    What Beethoven left to researchers

    Roth and his orchestra performed Beethoven's Fifth Symphony at the 2016 Beethovenfest — with historical instruments from Beethoven's time, giving it a completely new sound. It's difficult to distance oneself from the usual sound images, in which the opening motif of the Fifth Symphony is always very pathetically overemphasized, said Roth.

    Source : www.dw.com

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