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“Be still and know that I am Beethoven!” So proclaims the opening of the Seventh Symphony—so arresting, so charged with fervor, symphonic music would never be the same. To commemorate the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth, Dima Slobodeniouk leads the San Francisco Symphony through the visionary masterpiece. From its commanding open to its rustic Vivace, from the hypnotic Allegretto to the franticly exuberant finale, Beethoven signals to the world that the symphonic form is equal to the task of the greatest poets, and sets an almost unattainable standard for future composers. Also on the program, Jörg Widmann’s spectacular Con brio, a remarkable contemporary lens through which to gaze at Beethoven’s musical monument. Thrilling Armenian virtuoso Sergey Khachatryan, the youngest-ever winner of the International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition, brings his insight to Sibelius’ urgent and utterly bewitching concerto.
Symphony No. 7
All sound clips are from San Francisco Symphony performances and are used with permission of the SFS Players Committee.