5th Symphony

Ludwig Van Beethoven. 5th Symphony. 1804-1808. Vienna, Austria.

Ludwig Van Beethoven was born on about December 16, 1770, in the city of Bonn (“Ludwig Van…,” n.d.). His career had three distinct periods. First period was until 1802 and is where he wrote conventionally, following Haydn and Mozart. Second period, the Heroic period between 1803 and 1814 is where his works become more dramatic and longer in length, and the famous 5th Symphony is from this period. Last period is where he explored new territory, departing from Classical constraints and his greatest symphony, the 9th Symphony, is considered the first symphony of the Romantic era. Some of his works include 3rd Symphony, 8th Symphony, and 6th Symphony. He started losing his hearing at about 20 years old, however, he kept composing (Prevot, 2001).

The 5th Symphony was written between 1804 and 1808 and finally performed in Vienna in 1808. It comprises of four movements: opening sonata, an andante, and a fast scherzo which leads attacca to the finale. He dedicated this work to Prince Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz and Count Razumovsky (“Symphony No. 5…,” 2012).

This work is considered a natural continuation of Symphony No. 3, “Eroica”, because it approaches the same themes and it expresses the relationship between particular and general (“Beethoven’s Symphony…,” n.d.).

It is related to the middle period because during this period, there was a widespread demand for arts.  Also, the key of the Fifth Symphony, C minor, is commonly regarded as a special key for Beethoven, specifically a “stormy, heroic tonality” which was the center of many themes during this era. It is thought to symbolize “fate” knocking at the door (“Symphony No. 5…,” 2012).

I like this piece of the 5th Symphony by Beethoven because it sounds like a mystery is going on, or sort of like it is telling a story. I mean, when I listen to it without watching the YouTube video, I think of it as a story being told using fast-paced and slow-paced music. Fast-paced would indicate like a chase or a mystery of some sort. When it is slow-paced, I think of it as a place of finally resting or taking a break. I have heard this piece many, many times in different cartoons, TV shows, and the radio.


Works Cited

“Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. The Destiny Symphony.” Beethoven 5th Symphony|Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5| The Destiny Symphony. All About Beethoven. Web. 07 June 2012. http://www.all-about-beethoven.com/symphony5.html

“Ludwig Van Beethoven Biography.” Bio.com. A&E Networks Television. Web. 07 June 2012. http://www.biography.com/people/ludwig-van-beethoven-9204862

“Symphony No. 5 (Beethoven).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 06 June 2012. Web. 07 June 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._5_(Beethoven)

Prevot, Dominique, and Hannah Salter. “Biography: Beethoven’s Life – Ludwig Van Beethoven’s Website – Dominique PRÉVOT.” Biography: Beethoven’s Life. Dec. 2001. Web. 07 June 2012. http://www.lvbeethoven.com/Bio/BiographyLudwig.html