Blog #3 Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven 
5th Symphony   Vienna 1807-1808

Click on the picture to hear it >>>

Beethoven’s 5th Symphony is probably one of the most popular and well-known compositions of the classical era. This symphony was composed during what had been termed his middle period, from about 1803 to about 1814. Beethoven composed highly ambitious works throughout the middle period which established Beethoven’s reputation as a great composer. This period has also become known as his heroric period as his works express heroism and struggle.

Although Beethoven enjoyed the generous support of the aristocracy throughout most of his life his work was widely accepted, and from the end of the 1790s Beethoven was not dependent on patronage for his income. Beginning about 1802, Beethoven’s work took on new dimensions, and his intention was to celebrate human freedom.

The enlightenment had encouraged the rise of the middle class and there was a need for large concert halls for the increased audiences. Beethoven’s 5th symphony was first performed in Vienna’s Theatre an der Wien in 1908. This was a huge concert that consisted entirely of Beethoven’s premieres, directed by Beethoven. This was the Theatre in which he was the composer from 1803-1804. Beethoven wrote his music to be heard by many and his humanity allowed him to write in a style that had broad and lasting appeal. This incredible piece of music was written to be performed in large concert halls for huge audiences not for a select few aristocrats in their drawing room.

Beethoven published his first symphony at age 30. His work was powerful and universal and his characterization of emotion set him apart from others, so when his work was published it was already in high demand from the new middle class.

 The 5th Symphony comprises of 4 movements but I chose this piece of music, as I especially love the dramatic opening and the last movement, which really is a true “finale”. The opening is so recognisable due to its 4 note movement that is repeated throughout all four movements. This piece of music with its suspenseful pauses and building intensity includes repetition and a common theme that makes it easy to listen to. It is dramatic which gives it a broad and lasting appeal and is still current today in its original form along with the current remixes as shown with the Vanessa Mae version included here.

 http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0856887.html

 http://www.biography.com/articles/Ludwig-van-Beethoven-9204862

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3 Comments »

  1. kellylowry Said:

    Very nice synopsis of both the piece of music and of the description of Beethoven himself. The 5th Symphony was a very powerful one and very easy to remember, its no wonder you chose it as your topic.

    You did a wonderful job of covering classical music as well as connecting it to the enlightenment of the middle class. A very powerful description when you talked about the concert hall used to allow as many people as possible. Very nice connection.

    The only thing I would have liked to see would be a video or music clip of the symphony on your page. Other than that, great job!

    • Amanda Said:

      There are two music clips, if you click on the picture of Beethoven there is one and then at the very bottom where it says the word “here” in blue there is another one.
      Thanks for your comments.

  2. daleowen Said:

    Hey just wanted to let you know im doing video blogs! Please come see my blog and leave me any comment! Good or bad, any input is good input, thanks! -Dale
    http://daleowen.wordpress.com/


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