Ludwig key. It is likely that he was

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany. His father
started giving him piano lesson when he was only 4. He was forced to practice
for long period at a time and was not happy about it until he was about 11
years old, when he really took interest and found pleasure in his studies. When
he was 29, Beethoven suffered the first sign of deafness but this did not stop
him from continuing his career as a brilliant pianist. But by 1815, he was so
deaf that he was no longer able to play in public, and during his final years,
he was isolated in complete deafness.

                Beethoven
was one of the greatest composers who ever lived. His work marks the end of the
so-called ‘Classical’ music of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the
Romantic movement of the nineteenth century. His greatest contribution to music
was his development of the symphony and sonata. The form which Haydn invented
and Mozart developed, Beethoven perfected and enriched to such an intent that
no composer has ever equaled him in this form.

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In the fall of 1801, at age 30,
Beethoven revealed for the first time the secret of his increasing hearing loss
and stated in a letter that he would “seize Fate by the throat; it shall
not bend or crush me completely.” The initial motif of the symphony
represents Fate knocking at the door. Beethoven began composing the piece in
1804, his ‘Heroic’ Period (1803-1813) though several other projects forced him
to postpone his writing. The Fifth Symphony premiered with the Sixth at
Beethoven’s “marathon” concert, and was dedicated to Prince Lobkowitz
and Count Andreas Rasumovsky. Musicians with inadequate practice time faltered
through the performance,with only
one rehearsal before the concert—and at one point, following a mistake by one
of the performers in the Choral Fantasy, Beethoven had to stop the music and
start again. The auditorium was extremely cold and the audience was exhausted by the
length of the programme. Symphony No.5 was to be
his first symphony in a minor key. It is likely that he was inspired by
minor-key symphonies of Haydn and, even more directly, by Mozart’s great Piano
Concerto in C minor, K. 491. This symphony may be the most popular, due to its
familiar opening “short-short-short-Iong, ‘V’ for victory” motto (use during
World War II), and because of its raw power and the overwhelming way it
represents a triumph over adversity. Four-note opening motif in particular, are known worldwide, with the motif
appearing frequently in popular culture, from disco versions to rock and roll covers, to uses in film and television.

The work is in four movements:

Allegro con brio
(C minor) – Sonata-allegro form.
Andante con moto
(A? major) – Theme
and variation.
Scherzo: Allegro
(C minor) – Ternary.
Allegro (C major)
– Sonata-allegro.

The first movement is in Sonata-allegro form which consists of Exposition,
Development and Recapitulation. It starts out with two dramatic fortissimo
phrases, introducing Theme 1 in Exposition, bar 1-4 portray the two statements
of ‘Fate’ motive. (played by Clarinet and all the Strings) From bar 4-17
(played by Bassoon, Strings) Beethoven uses imitations and sequences to expand
the theme, these pithy imitations tumbling over each other with such rhythmic
regularity that they appear to form a single, flowing melody. And from bar 18
(played by all instruments including timpani) to bar 62, this is where the
transition begins and it ends with a French horn solo (bar 59). The Theme 2 in
relative Major key which is E? major is introduced in bar 63 by Strings
and eventually the woodwinds. The second theme is more lyrical and sweet. The
codetta is again based on the four –note motif. From bar 110-122 is the closing
of the theme by all instruments without timpani. Theme 1 and 2 is then
repeated.

The Development follows at bar 125, motive played fortissimo by clarinet,
bassoon, horn and strings, then passed back and forth between woodwinds and
strings. At bar 179 it reaches a rhythmic climax which motive is pounded
incessantly by all instruments except timpani and horn. At bar 196 the two
notes of transition motive

 

 

passed back and
forth too. Then at bar 210, the single note passed between woodwinds and
strings and at last gets quiet. At bar 228 the four-note motive reenters loudly
by all instruments except horn and timpani.  Horn and enters after the single note passed
from woodwinds at bar 234

Recapitulation starts at bar 240 with the return of motive and there is an
unexpected oboe solo. All instruments played very loud at bar 248. At bar 291
the motive returns and moves hurriedly to climax by all instruments. At bar 307
the sweet and quiet second theme is heard again from flute, oboe and bassoon
continues with strings and passed back to woodwinds. There is a crescendo leading
to closing theme at bar 331 played by bassoon and strings then joined by
clarinet and flute and eventually by all other instruments. The closing theme
is at bar 365 played by woodwinds and strings, joined by brasses and timpani
right after three bars.

                Finally the movement ends with a
massive coda with new four-note pattern at bar 423 with main melody played by
strings and all other playing counter melody. This pattern alternates between
strings and woodwinds and lastly succession of I-V-I chords at bar 495 played
by all instruments brings movement to abrupt end.

 

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