Beethoven — Symphony No. 5 (1st movement)

About the piece

A symphony is a long piece of music for an orchestra, usually split into four sections known as movements. When Beethoven wrote his 5th, he had a musical idea that would turn out to be one of the most famous motifs in musical history! It has been reused in pop music many times.

About the composer

Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) wrote 9 symphonies, of which this was his 5th. Beethoven wrote this symphony in his thirties when he was beginning to lose his hearing. Some people think that the opening motif (a repeated group of notes, in this case very famous) represents fate knocking on the door, Beethoven’s fate being deafness. What do you think?

Ludwig Van Beethoven on the Ten Pieces website

More resources for Ludwig Van Beethoven from the Ten Pieces pages on the BBC website.

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