Wednesday, August 1, 2012


I have a few classical music selections on my iPod and occasionally they come up in the random play.  This morning, the first movement of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony came up.  It is probably one of the most well known melodies he wrote and it amazes me that after 150 years, his music is still being played.  I don’t think you will be able to say that about the popular bands today.
Ludwig van Beethoven was born in 1770 and was first known as a pianist.  His parents were musicians and his father was his first teacher and exhibited musical talent very early in life.  He was seven when he first performed publically, a fact that I didn’t know until I read his biography in Wikipedia.  It is very interesting to me as my father was a child prodigy as well and publically performed when he was six.  Also like my father, he started out as a performer and ended up as a composer.  Also like my father, at least according to this biography, he was well known as an improviser and I am sure had the same talent where he could compose something on the spot. 
He wrote the 5th Symphony in what they call his “middle” period when he composed various works in the “heroic style”.  The 5th Symphony was his most important works, according to many musical scholars and the four note motif which opens the work is the most well known appearing in other types of music in today’s music.  It took him about 4 years to complete the work and he wrote other significant pieces during that timeframe.  The 5th has by and large remained the most loved of all despite the rather lukewarm reception it originally received at its premiere in 1808.  That could have been due to the fact it was last on the program in a very long concert and by that time the audience was quite fatigued by the time it was performed.  It doesn’t matter to me as I will continue to listen to it time and time again, and it remains one of my favorites.

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