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Beethoven Symphony No. 5

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, the Fate Symphony, is one of the greatest masterpieces of music history. This dramatic and extroverted piece is a gateway to classical music for many people.

A symphony for symphonists. Beethoven’s Fifth may be the most played classical piece in the world. It is also music about which it is impossible to be apathetic. In his comprehensive book on Beethoven, former Konserthuset director Åke Holmquist wrote that the symphony is “scaled down and incredibly concentrated, with violent contrasts, easy to follow, and – if one so wishes – with ‘action’: from darkness to light, from struggle to triumph. In addition, the Fifth is thought, like no other piece, to portray the myth of Beethoven: alone against destiny, the battling titan, who can only prevail through conflict.”

However, it was not Beethoven who came up with the name the Fate symphony, but the author Anton Schindler, who was the composer’s daily assistant and unpaid secretary during the last eight years of his life. Based on his notes, Schindler later wrote a highly regarded biography of Beethoven.

Here, German conductor Hartmut Haenchen leads the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. 

  • The music

  • Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No 5
  • Participants

  • Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Hartmut Haenchen conductor
  • Filmed in September 2014.
  • The video is approximately 34 minutes. 

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