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Conductor Laureate Herbert Blomstedt leads this program featuring Nielsen’s Fourth Symphony, a work that depicts the tenacity of life even in the most difficult of circumstances. Written during the First World War, Nielsen’s Fourth is an ode to overcoming destruction and a celebration of the human spirit. The program concludes with fate knocking on our door: Hear the most famous opening notes in all of classical music when the Orchestra performs Beethoven’s exhilarating and monumental Fifth Symphony.
At A Glance
Ludwig van Beethoven made his mark as a frank and uninhibited revolutionary, who some argue almost single-handedly created an entirely new sound in music. Imagine how wild this Fifth Symphony must have sounded to listeners at its 1808 premiere who, unlike us, did not hear it as the most familiar of classical masterpieces. In the first movement, the famous ta-ta-ta-TA pattern is hardly ever absent, generating music that feels faster, more impacted and compressed, than any music heard before. After those storms, the second movement is an oasis of pure and lovely music making. The drama returns in the grotesque and threatening scherzo. All in all, this was a brand new kind of symphony, and Beethoven’s invention here of a path from strife to triumph became a model for symphonic writing to the present day.
After notes by Michael Steinberg
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