THE 5TH — MOVEMENT I, A Battle Brewing

Sep 08, 2020, 09:00 AM

You know Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. You’ve heard it in films, advertisements, parodied in Saturday morning cartoons and disco-ized in Saturday Night Fever. The Fifth Symphony is a given, so much so that it blends into the background. You know this piece, but how well? Of all the symphonies of the bewigged classical "greats," why is this one still stuck in our heads over two centuries later? To answer these questions, we’re giving Beethoven’s famous symphony the same treatment we give to pop songs. And we’re doing so with the help of an orchestra that’s been performing this piece since 1842, the New York Philharmonic. In Movement I, we hear how the famous opening notes of the symphony aren't just melody: they’re the main character in a drama that will unfold over four movements. Featuring: Frank Huang, Concertmaster and Violinist Anthony McGill, Principal Clarinet Sherry Sylar, Associate Principal Oboe Recording of The New York Philharmonic performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 con...

You know Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. You’ve heard it in films, advertisements, parodied in Saturday morning cartoons and disco-ized in Saturday Night Fever. The Fifth Symphony is a given, so much so that it blends into the background. You know this piece, but how well? Of all the symphonies of the bewigged classical "greats," why is this one still stuck in our heads over two centuries later?

To answer these questions, we’re giving Beethoven’s famous symphony the same treatment we give to pop songs. And we’re doing so with the help of an orchestra that’s been performing this piece since 1842, the New York Philharmonic.

In Movement I, we hear how the famous opening notes of the symphony aren't just melody: they’re the main character in a drama that will unfold over four movements.

Featuring:

Frank Huang, Concertmaster and Violinist

Anthony McGill, Principal Clarinet

Sherry Sylar, Associate Principal Oboe

Recording of The New York Philharmonic performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 conducted by Jaap van Zweden used by permission from Decca Gold.

New episodes of our four-part miniseries The 5th drop every Tuesday and Friday starting September 8th.

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