Beethoven - Symphony No. 5, part III-IV
‘Ta-ta-ta-taa’. It is quite possibly the most famous opening sequence, to one of the most famous symphonies ever written. It has become impossible to think of concert halls today without Beethoven’s ‘Fifth’, but for a symphony this popular it had a rather disastrous opening night. December 22nd 1808 the piece was premiered, alongside the Sixth Symphony, the Fantasy in C minor for Piano, Chorus, and Orchestra, and also the Fourth Piano Concerto and parts of the Mass in C. A concert marathon, in fact, and truly exhausting for the underpaid musicians. Vienna at that time was experiencing a gruesomely cold winter, meaning even the audience had a hard time in the unheated concert hall. Beethoven’s biographer Anton Schindler noted: “the reception accorded to these works was not as desired, and probably no better than the author himself had expected. The public was not endowed with the necessary degree of comprehension for such extraordinary music, and the performance left a great deal to be desired.” In this broadcast: the final two movements.