This symphony represents triumph over
adversity. I learned that this was Beethoven’s first symphony in a minor key.
Although he was working on other pieces as well, Symphony No.5 had the preference
and was premiered at a famous concert on December 22, 1808. This symphony
became popular and is now commonly used at inaugural concerts of new
orchestras. In addition, it also became associated with the victory during
WWII. Gradually, Beethoven was suffering from hearing loss and he once stated
that he would “seize fate by the throat; it shall not bend or crush me
completely”, hence that was what he did.
For this reason, the symphony is remarkable
because of the compelling energy from the first four notes. Naturally, the
rhythm alone is what drives the movement incessantly. Importantly, here Beethoven
incorporated two alternate themes in the quite unexpected key of A-flat major
which gives us a sense fear. Correspondingly, the second theme is driven out by
the trumpets and drums. Henceforth, the last movement is a scherzo in a minor
key and here we can hear the energetic trio in the bass parts. Altogether, the
music then returns quietly and fragmented. Then near the end, we can hear a
long and mysterious crescendo which leads directly to the triumphant C march
which will conclude the symphony. Throughout this symphony, we can feel the
progression of emotions starting from the opening of the symphony in C minor to
its triumphant ending in the C-major coda.
I heard the Symphony
No.5 in C minor, op. 67- I. Allegro con brio, II. Andante con moto, III.
Allegro and IV. Finale: Allegro-Presto. I personally preferred II. Andante con moto
because of its slow crescendo. This slow tempo made me feel more soothing which
I really enjoyed. At the beginning of the first piece I. Allegro con brio it
gave me a sense of suspense and fear, while III. Allegro seemed a bit happier
it still provides a little suspense along with a sense of pride. IV: Allegro-Presto
was the piece that provided an extraordinary sense of triumph and pride along
with a more happier tone than all of them.