Beethoven festival: Symphony No 4 & 5
Symfoni nr 4 och 5 med Malmö SymfoniOrkester och Robert Trevino.
Our Beethoven festival continues with Symphony No. 4 and 5.
Cheerful return to Viennese Classicism
In his Symphony No. 4, Beethoven plays with the expectations of his audience. The introduction promises something extremely serious and solemn, only to turn those expectations on their head as the rest of the work is permeated by exuberant cheerfulness and joie de vivre.
Symphony No. 4 was created during the extremely productive year of 1806, when Beethoven also composed his celebrated Violin Concerto and Piano Concerto No. 4 – all while revising the opera Fidelio, which had premiered the previous year. He was also immersed in work on what would become his fifth symphony. During that summer, however, he was commissioned to produce a new symphony by a music-loving relative of his patron, Prince Lichnowsky, and during a stay at the Prince’s summer home during September and October 1806, he composed Symphony No. 4.
Musically, the work is a return to Viennese Classicism. The slow second movement is renowned for its beauty. The third movement is a whirling minuet, while the finale sinks the tempo somewhat yet significantly increases the energy level, among other things through the bubbling solos from the various woodwind instruments. Symphony No. 4 premiered in Vienna in March 1807.
Eight notes that changed the world
There are countless theories and speculations surrounding the iconic opening theme to Beethoven's Symphony No.5. What do those notes really represent? What inspired the composer?
The big question, however, should be this: Why should we require any further explanation beyond the fact that Beethoven is one of the greatest composers of all time? Why should it be necessary to theorise and seek explanations for his gift for creating brilliant melodies? This was of course his profession!
The theme consists of the rhythm ”di-di-di-daaa”, and the notes G-G-G-E♭, then reported one note lower. That’s it! One of the secrets behind the theme’s greatness is its simplicity. It sounds powerful, but could just as well be played by the first recorder section. Once heard, the melody is lodged in the brain forever. Even the tone deaf can hum this tune, as it has more to do with rhythm than melody. One need only drum it on the table top with the fingers and the majority of people will recognise it immediately.
There is however one exciting detail that is sometimes overlooked: rather than beginning on the first beat of the bar, the theme is preceded by a quaver-long pause. This can be clearly heard when the theme is played together with other parts later in the movement.
One should not however allow this monolithic first movement to stand in the way of the rest of the symphony. The second movement begins with a rolling string theme, growing and alternating between grandeur and despair. The third movement returns to the rhythm of the main theme, first in the brass section and then the strings. In the final movement, Beethoven creates a ghostly soundscape with kettledrums before allowing the finale to flower in all its glory.
Beethoven began sketching what would become Symphony No. 5 as early as 1804, although the lion’s share of the work was accomplished from 1807-1808. The work had its premiere in Vienna on 22 December 1808 on a programme that also included Symphony No. 6.
Malmö SymfoniOrkester (MSO) grundades 1925 och består av ca 90 heltidsanställda yrkesmusiker från nästan 20 länder. Orkestern är stolt bärare av den traditionella symfoniska repertoaren, men strävar också efter att föra den symfoniska musiken framåt genom samarbeten med nutida tonsättare och utveckling av nya konsertkoncept.
Flera inspelningar med Malmö SymfoniOrkester har under åren blivit internationellt uppmärksammade med första pris i tävlingar som Cannes Classical Awards och Diapason d’Or. I augusti 2013 inledde orkestern tillsammans med chefsdirigent Marc Soustrot det omfattande arbetet att spela in all symfonisk musik av Camille Saint-Saëns, allt som allt åtta CDs, på skivbolaget Naxos.
Läs mer om Malmö SymfoniOrkester genom att klicka här.
Robert Trevino chefsdirigent
Den amerikanske dirigenten Robert Trevino fick sitt internationella genombrott när han 2013 med kort varsel ersatte Malmö SymfoniOrkesters förre chefsdirigent Vassily Sinaisky i ett projekt vid Bolsjojteatern i Moskva med lysande recensioner som följd. Det ledde till flera nya engagemang med ledande orkestrar. Trevino har studerat för David Zinman som Aspen Conducting Fellow vid Aspen Music Festival and School och därefter, 2011, för James Levine som Seiji Ozawa Conducting Fellow vid Tanglewood Music Festival. Hans samarbeten med ledande orkestrar i USA och Europa innefattar bland andra Cleveland Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony och Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.
Från och med säsongen 2019–20 är Robert Trevino chefsdirigent för Malmö SymfoniOrkester.
Last updated 2020-01-17
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DURATION: approax. 1 hour (no intermission)
Beethoven Symphony No. 4
Beethoven Symphony No. 5
Malmö Symphony Orchestra
Robert Trevino, conductor
Concert introduction at the Canal stage 6pm with
ORGANIZER: Malmö Live Konserthus