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How Beethoven’s 5th Symphony put the classism in classical music

How Beethoven’s 5th Symphony put the classism in classical music

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony starts with an anguished opening theme — dun dun dun DUNNNN — and ends with a glorious, major-key melody. Since its 1808 premiere, audiences have interpreted that progression from struggle to victory as a metaphor for Beethoven’s personal resilience in the face of his oncoming deafness. Or rather, that’s long been the…
Beethoven’s 5th Symphony is a lesson in finding hope in adversity

Beethoven’s 5th Symphony is a lesson in finding hope in adversity

In the first movement of his Fifth Symphony, Beethoven set up a battle between hope and despair. The dark side of that spectrum is represented by the symphony’s anguished opening notes: dun dun dun DUNNNN. Over the course of the next three movements, Beethoven tries to overcome a dark real-world fate with bright, major-key melodies…
Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, explained

Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, explained

We know Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony like we know the Top 40 — that striking opening melody of dun dun dun DUNNNN that builds in tempo and volume to a climactic restatement, leaving the listener in suspense. We’ve heard it in films and commercials. It’s been parodied in Saturday morning cartoons and disco-ized in Saturday Night…

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