Thursday, July 19, 2012

Beethoven Symphony No.7

Beethoven in 1814 painted by
Blasius Hofel
Of what sort is this traveler who is the wayfarer? Of whom shall I say that this person has attained completion? (Iqbal, Persian Psalms; 1927)

Beethoven's seventh symphony was first performed in Vienna in 1813. Napoleon had just been defeated and their was optimism and confidence in the air. The symphony well suited the occasion and has been remembered as an expression of energy and power. Beethoven himself is reported to have described it as " "one of the happiest products of my poor talents." (See NPR Music: 'Beethoven's Symphony No.7').

Posterity has often discussed this symphony with special reference to perfection and completion. Hungarian composer Franz Liszt (1811-1886) described it as "the apotheosis of Rhythm" (see Symphony Salon: 'Beethoven: Symphony No.7') while Liszt's contemporary German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883) more famously described it as "the Apotheosis of the Dance", finding in it "a blissful insolence of joy, which carries us away with bacchanalian power through the roomy space of nature, through all the streams and seas of life, shouting in glad self-consciousness as we sound throughout the universe the daring strains of this human sphere-dance." (See NPR Music: 'Beethoven's Symphony No.7').

Modern analysts have described the symphony as "one of the most perfect symphonies ever written" (see Geoff Kuenning: 'Beethoven: Symphony No.7'), recognizing it as a moment "where classical elements intertwine with romantic ones" (see All About Beethoven: 'Symphony No.7').

Video: Symphony No.7 (Complete)
0:00 First Movement
14:42 Second Movement
23:41 Third Movement
32:57 Fourth Movement

1 comment:

  1. Greetings,

    Thank you for this.

    This beautiful symphony seems as if the apogee of Beethowen's work.

    All good wishes,