Iván Fischer conducts the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Ludwig van Beethoven’s bustling Symphony No. 2. You can watch the performance with or without Iván Fischer’s commentary.
From our 21st-century vantage-point Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 is still firmly anchored in the tradition of Haydn and Mozart, but for Beethoven’s contemporaries the symphony displays shockingly innovative techniques. After the Second Symphony’s premiere in Vienna in 1803, a critic described the work as “a loathsomely writhing wounded dragon that refuses to die, but which bleeds to death in the fourth movement”. After a performance in Paris in 1811 the composer Giuseppe Cambini was to write about Beethoven “In my opinion doves and crocodiles dwell in him in equal quantity”.
Iván Fischer has been a welcome guest conductor with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra since 1987. Fischer’s way of working, which is as unusual as it is committed, and the musicians’ enthusiasm and virtuosity always result in very special performances. You can watch the performance of Beethoven’s Second Symphony with or without Iván Fischer’s commentary. The conductor’s fascinating explanation takes you straight to Beethoven’s time.