Everyone knows the opening of Beethoven’s Fifth, but how well do you actually know the symphony? This undisputed masterpiece is the focus of this season’s second Essentials concert. The conductor Thomas Hengelbrock makes Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony – and his Egmont Overture, which is nearly as famous – sound like new.
Da-da-da-daaaa! Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 is iconic. And there’s a very good reason for that. The way in which Beethoven creates a musical structure out of just one tiny rhythmic motif is unrivalled. It is heard at every imaginable pitch and takes on myriad forms in the first movement, returning in ever-new guises in the other movements. At the premiere, it was immediately recognised as a remarkable work – indeed, Beethoven’s Fifth taught composers how to make the very most of the simplest, most basic material.
Three times a year, the Essentials Series focuses on an essential masterwork, a piece of music every music lover should know, performed by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and introduced by the lively presenter Thomas Vanderveken in his own unique way.