Archive for the tag: Symphony

How Beethoven Revolutionized the Symphony

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6 Ways that Beethoven revolutionized the symphonic genre, and changed music history forever.

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Beethoven – Symphony No. 5

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L. v. Beethoven – Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 (Arr. F. Liszt)

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Beethoven – Symphony No. 7 – Iván Fischer | Concertgebouworkest

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Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Iván Fischer
Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, 9 & 10 January 2014
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Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 | Daniel Barenboim & the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (complete symphony)

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The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim performs Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the Berlin Philharmonic. It’s supported by singers Angela Denoke, Waltraud Meier, Burkhard Fritz and René Pape. The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is a very special ensemble: It is made up of young Israeli and Arab musicians and is campaigning for a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict. The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which was founded in 1999, gives concerts all over the world. Proceeds from the concert in Berlin went to the Barenboim-Said Academy, which supports musical education programs.

The 9th Symphony in D minor op. 125 is the last finished symphony by the composer Ludwig van Beethoven. The work was premiered in Vienna on May 7, 1824 in the presence of Beethoven, who was already completely deaf and was a complete success. The fourth movement is also known as “Ode to Joy” and is one of the most popular songs in the world. Since 1985, the main theme of the
last movement has been the official European anthem.

I. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso 00:00
II. Molto vivace 17:54
III. Adagio molto e cantábile 29:59
IV. Presto 47:10

Choir of the German State Opera Berlin
West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
Daniel Barenboim | CONDUCTOR
Angela Denoke | SOPRANO
Waltraud Meier | MEZZO SOPRANO
Burkhard Fritz | TENOR
René Pape | BASS

© EuroArts Music International

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Beethoven: Symphony No. 6 Pastoral | Bernard Haitink & Berlin Philharmonic (complete symphony)

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Bernard Haitink and Berlin Philharmonic perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F major op. 68, the “Pastoral,” at the Festspielhaus Baden Baden, 2015.

Beethoven composed his 6th Symphony about nature in 1807 and 1808. The Symphony No. 6 in F major, op. 68 has five movements, not four, and along with the usual tempo indications, Beethoven gave them descriptive headings too. The Sixth, known as the “Pastoral,” begins with “Awakening of cheerful feelings on arrival in the countryside,” to be taken at an “Allegro ma non troppo” speed (fast but not exceedingly so).

But there are actually many tempos, moods, feelings and effects in the first movement of Beethoven’s Sixth. One thing is missing, though: that forward thrust so typical for Beethoven; the struggle and the passion in striving for a goal. Instead, the main theme is repeated, and in parts of the first movement, time seems to slow down and even stand still.

The Symphony No. 6 isn’t a graphic musical depiction of nature, though. As Ludwig van Beethoven personally wrote over the first movement: “More an expression of feeling than tone-painting.”
Use your imagination while listening to the second movement of Beethoven’s Sixth, and you can hear ripples on a creek and birds tweeting. To make it clear, Beethoven added a description, “Scene by the Brook,” to go with the tempo heading “Andante molto mosso” (as though walking, very moving).

Beethoven only rarely explained his music, but in this case, he added: “It’s left to the listener to figure out the situations. Anyone who has any idea of life in the countryside can discern the composer’s intent even without titles or headings.”

For the musicians, Beethoven goes into greater detail, writing in the score that the calls of the nightingale, the quail and the cuckoo are rendered by the flute, the oboe and two clarinets.
The triple-movement episode begins with a “Merry gathering of country folk,” with “Allegro” (rapid-action) the specified tempo.

Altogether, the Symphony No. 6 in F major, op. 68 anticipates what later went by the name of “program music:” music that describes a situation or tells a story. In the “merry gathering” we hear an oom-pah-pah village band that doesn’t quite play together but, for that, is all the more boisterous.
“My decree,” wrote Ludwig van Beethoven: “Stay in the countryside. My unfortunate hearing problem doesn’t plague me here. It’s as though, in the country, every tree was speaking to me. Holy, holy! Who can express it all? Sweet quietude of the forest!”

That sweet quietude comes to an abrupt end in the fourth movement of the Symphony No. 6 in F major, op. 68. It’s titled “Thunder, Storm,” and the composer specified it to be taken at a fast clip, “Allegro.”

It’s the shortest but most dramatic movement in Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony. Thunder, screeching wind and a downpour are all clearly audible, while images come to mind from Walt Disney’s 1940 animated film “Fantasia,” where the Greek god Jupiter gleefully hurtles bolts of lightning and makes terrified villagers flee for shelter.

After the merry gathering of the countryfolk and the storm comes the finale of Beethoven’s Sixth, titled “Shepherd’s song. Cheerful and thankful feelings after the storm,” with the Italian tempo mark “Allegretto” (slightly fast).

(00:00) Opening
(00:18) I. Allegro ma non troppo: Erwachen heiterer Empfindungen bei der Ankunft auf dem Lande / Awakening of cheerful feelings on arrival in the countryside
(12:43) II. Andante molto mosso: Szene am Bach / Scene by the brook
(24:42) III. Allegro: Lustiges Zusammensein der Landleute / Merry gathering of the countryfolk
(30:15) IV. Allegro: Gewitter, Sturm / Thunderstorm
(34:16) V. Allegretto: Hirtengesang. Frohe und dankbare Gefühle nach dem Sturm / Shepherd’s song. Glad and grateful feelings after the storm

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Ludwig Van Beethoven's 5th Symphony in C Minor (Full)

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Ludwig Van Beethoven's 5th Symphony in C Minor (Full)

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Biography of Ludwig van Beethoven
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